The Atonement: The Exaltation of the Servant of Yahweh, Part 2.

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:10-12)

“In receiving the wrath of the Father on the cross, Christ was able to make atonement for His people. Christ carried, or bore, the punishment for the sins of human beings. He atoned for them by accepting the just punishment for those sins.” Dr. R. C. Sproul 

 We now arrive at the climax of the Fourth Servant Song of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). These final three verses in the fifth stanza, 53:10-12, provide a crescendo of praise for the person and work of Jesus Christ in providing atonement for sinners.

Today, we examine Isaiah 53:11. In this verse we not only witness the doctrine of substitutionary atonement but also the doctrine of justification by faith alone. “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.

 “Out of the anguish of His soul He shall see and be satisfied.”  It is a futile gesture to try and differentiate between the Father and the Son in vs. 11. Most commentators take the perspective that the personal pronoun “he” in vs. 11 pertains to Jesus Christ. There is no violation to the meaning of the text by taking that point of view.

Jesus’ hard difficult experience within His internal being, which includes His will, intellect and emotions, due to His atonement on the cross will be superseded by His contentment in bringing the salvation of many souls to fruition. The plan of redemption will succeed.    

 “By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous and he shall bear their iniquities.” Jesus’ contentment in having experience all that He did will be because He understands that His work on the cross is the only means by which sinners will be counted righteous before God the Father. The Hebrew word Yas’dig means to be declared righteous. How can a sinner be justified before God? Only by faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Likewise, the ability to exercise saving faith is because of God’s sovereign grace enabling the helpless sinner to believe the Gospel.

The heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that sinners are justified by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Isaiah 53:11 declares and affirms justification by faith, imputed righteousness, substitutionary atonement and the Messiah’s death to provide propitiation before Yahweh.

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “Those doctrines were the very same principles that were recovered by the Protestant Reformers after nearly being smothered to death under centuries of accumulated error and stifling church tradition. The Reformers dusted them off, recognized their true importance and proclaimed them as essential gospel truths. They are the same truths that set the hearts of English and American Puritans aflame. They are the same doctrines proclaimed by the Puritans spiritual heirs—men like George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and others. When taught clearly and fearlessly by preachers who truly believe in the authority of Scripture and proclaim it, ‘as it really is, the Word of God’ (I Thessalonians 2:13), those truths have always been used by God to draw people to Christ and transform whole communities—and sometimes to reform an entire culture.”

You know a church has become like the worldly culture when it no longer preaches the truths affirmed by Isaiah 53:11. The individual must question whether they are truly converted if they do not hold to and believe the truths affirmed by Isaiah 53:11.

Hymnist Edward Mote (1797-1874) wrote one of the most significant hymns regarding the theme of justification. It is entitled The Solid Rock.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood
When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my Hope and Stay

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless to stand before the throne

 May God’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

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