10Yet 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. 11 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. 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.” (Isaiah 53:10-12)
Isaiah 53:10-12 is the fifth and final section in the prophet’s substantial Servant Song of Yahweh concerning the LORD’s substitutionary atonement on behalf of sinners. As was the case with the previous four sections, this final section contains three verses. Each of the verses will be individually examined.
“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” (Isaiah 53:11).
“Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied.” Once again the subject in this verse is the Servant of Yahweh: Jesus Christ. It is the Servant who will be filled with the anguish of the soul. Anguish means trouble, labor and toil. Soul refers to the inner being of the Servant. This anguish of soul which the Servant experienced was because He bore the wrath of God the Father on behalf of sinners. It was such expiation and propitiation (Romans 2:21-26; I John 2:1-2; 4:7-11) that satisfied God the Father’s righteous justice and wrath.
“By his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous.” The servant understood exactly what needed to be done to solve the sin problem, which still exists in the world today. Protests, peaceful or otherwise won’t solve the problem of sin. Government programs won’t solve it. The social gospel won’t solve it. The only solution is the substitutionary atonement by the Servant, His resurrection from the dead, and imputed justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
To be accounted righteous is God’s declaration that the justified sinner is legally and forensically declared righteous. They are in a right relationship and standing with God. This righteous standing is not because of any inherent righteousness the sinner may possess, but rather on the basis of Jesus Christ’s credited righteousness on the sinner’s behalf.
Galatians 2:16 says, “ Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
By the sacrifice of the One, the many were declared righteous (Romans 5:12-21; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Is the doctrine of justification by faith alone that important?
Dr. R.C. Sproul once commented that, “(Martin) Luther was excommunicated by Rome and declared a heretic for teaching justification by faith alone. Luther replied that the church had embraced a heretical view of salvation. The issue still burns as to who the heretic is. In Luther’s response to Erasmus’ Diatribe, he acknowledged that many of the points at issue were trifles. They did not warrant rupturing the unity of the church. They could be “covered” by the love and forbearance that covers a multitude of sins. When it came to justification, however, Luther sang a different tune. He called justification the article upon which the church stands or falls, a doctrine so vital that it touches the very heart of the Gospel. A church that rejects justification by faith alone (and anathematizes it as a deadly heresy) is no longer an orthodox church. Luther wasn’t shadow boxing on that issue; nor was the Reformation a mere misunderstanding between warring factions in the church. No teapot was big enough to contain the tempest it provoked.”
Justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you received the righteousness of Christ in exchange for your sin?
Soli deo Gloria!