Suffering Servant (4 of 10)

The Word
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:4-5)

 Voice from the Church
“Martin Luther’s beloved wife once said to her husband that she could not believe the story of Abraham and Isaac because God would never treat a son like that. ‘But Katie,’ Luther replied, ‘he did treat his Son like that.’”
(R. C. Sproul, 1939-2017)*

The atoning, substitutionary death of the Suffering Servant, God’s unique Son, was the wonder of angels and will forever be the worshipful enthrallment of believing, redeemed saints: “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).

That this Servant and Son has “borne,” and “carried” all the “griefs” and “sorrows” that we have ever experienced and ever shall—on the Cross for us—is utterly incomprehensible to the human mind. But more than that—it was for our “transgressions” and “iniquities” that he was “pierced” and “crushed.”

Our very human sympathy is stirred to its depths when we read the account of Abraham’s willingness to offer his beloved son Isaac in sacrifice to God, at Yahweh’s direction. But that Almighty God would offer his Son as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the entire world is still unimaginable, until we discern his Father-heart toward us.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
(Isaac Watts, 1674-1683)**

*R.C. Sproul, The Consequences of Ideas, p. 153.
**From “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts.

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Author: Ralph I. Tilley

I joyfully identify with the long history of the orthodox, evangelical stream of the Church. Theologically, I am a conservative. On issues of secondary importance, I will not quibble with my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I would hope I have no doctrinal biases; however, I realize that is a practical impossibility: “Now I know in part.” You can read more on the About page.