The Atonement: The Exaltation of the Servant of Yahweh, Part 3.

“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)

“The Old Testament covenant pronounced a curse upon any person who broke the law of God. On the cross, Jesus not only took that curse upon Himself, but He became ‘a curse for us’ (Galatians 3:13). He was forsaken by the Father and experienced the full measure of hell on the cross. “ 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 53:12. “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.”

 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong.” The word “therefore” is a common adverb indicating a conclusion. The Prophet Isaiah, and God Himself, come to a conclusion regarding the person and work of the Servant of Yahweh. The image conveyed in this portion of Isaiah 53:12 is one a conqueror dividing up the spoil among the enemy he has conquered. It pictures a general or leader dividing up the goods taken from an enemy. The enemy is Satan and the goods are those who become believers in Christ.

Dr. John Walvoord comments that, “Because He was numbered with the transgressors, that is, was considered a sinner (cf. Matt. 27:38) and bore the sin (cf. Isa. 53:6) of many, that is, everyone, He is exalted and allows believers to share in the benefits of that exaltation. And because He is alive (cf. v. 10), He now intercedes (prays; cf. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25) for … transgressors (related to the word peša‘, “transgression[s],” in Isa. 53:5, 8). This great passage gives a tremendously complete picture of what the death of Jesus Christ accomplished on behalf of Israel (John 11:49–51) and the whole world (1 John 2:2). His death satisfied God’s righteous demands for judgment against sin, thus opening the way for everyone to come to God in faith for salvation from sin.”

 “Because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many.” The reason given for Jesus Christ to victoriously glean a harvest of souls from those dead in their trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) is because He willingly went to the cross on behalf of sinners like you and me. While Jesus endured the humiliation of a criminal’s death on the cross, He was actually dying for the true criminal: me. Therefore, God’s justice was satisfied allowing Him to justify sinners like me (Romans 3:21-26).

And makes intercession for the transgressors” Jesus’ intercession or help on behalf of sinners began at the cross (Luke 23:34) and continues to this day as He intercedes for believers from Heaven (Hebrews 7:25; 9:24). Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5). That is why salvation is solely by grace alone, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Dr. John MacArthur concludes by saying, “With Yahweh’s own words in Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,” this magnificent passage ends where it began in verse 13 of chapter 52, with the exaltation of Jesus Christ. He will return in order to defeat the world’s rebellion against God, judge the ungodly, and establish His glorious kingdom on the earth (Rev. 19:11-20:6). He will receive the title deed to the earth (Rev. 5). The kingdoms of the world will become “the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). And at the name of Jesus every kneed [will] bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Phil.2:10).”

 I encourage you meditate upon the following hymn by Charles Wesley: And Can It Be?

 And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood
Died He for me, who caused His pain
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace
Emptied Himself of all but love
And bled for Adam’s helpless race
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shoudlst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine
Alive in Him, my living Head
And clothed in righteousness divine
Bold I approach the eternal throne
And claim the crown, through Christ my own
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God, shouldst die for me?

May God’s truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

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