Isa 53:8                     He Was Taken from Prison                                  9/14/2008      ßà   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       Yet He Opened Not His Mouth (Isa 53:7, John 18:36, Luke 23:9, John 19:9, Acts 8:32-35)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       He Was Taken from Prison (Isa 53:8, Acts 2:27,31, Isa 48:10, John 19:30, Isa 53:11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       How Do I Know if Christ Died for Me? (John 6:37,39,40,44, Rev 19:13)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:1 (2X). While you look this up, let me read to you what God revealed to us through the pen of the apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthian church. We read there in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. This is a statement of awesome consequences. It does not mean that the apostle Paul came to Corinth with only one message: “Christ was crucified”. But it means that Paul came to Corinth with a variety of messages which all centered to and were radiating from the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, all the essentials of the Gospel of salvation, as found in the Bible, are centered on the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross in AD 33. And so, when we are remembering the Lord’s death in a Lord’s Supper service, like today, it would be good if we focus our attention on Isa 53, where many of the essential doctrines of Christ’s atonement are on display, and where the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified as the Suffering Servant of Jehovah. Particularly we want to focus on Isa 53:8, and ask ourselves why the translators chose in this place to write, “He was taken from prison”. Therefore the title of this sermon is, He was Taken from Prison (2X). Let us now read about:

Isa 53:1-8  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

God revealed to us here that the death of the Lord Jesus was a vicarious death, which means that it was a substitutionary death. In other words, He died in the place of someone else who deserved to die. The words, “For the transgression of my people was he stricken” clearly indicate that He died in the place of someone else. Last time we have covered verse 6, “All we like sheep have gone astray”. Today we will focus our attention on verses 7 and 8, and the first thing that catches our eyes are the words:

#1.       Yet He Opened Not His Mouth (Isa 53:7, John 18:36, Luke 23:9, John 19:9, Acts 8:32-35)

Isa 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

What is the big deal about the fact that He did not open His mouth? In fact, when we read the details of the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin and before Pontius Pilate, we read that the Lord Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence”. In fact, He said a whole lot more than this. And thus the Lord Jesus did open His mouth. What then is Isa 53:7 speaking about? It speaks about the fact that the Lord Jesus did not open His mouth to defend Himself. He did not open His mouth to try to set Himself free. And when Jesus was brought before king Herod, He answered him nothing. We read in Luke 23:9, “Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing”. And when Pilate heard that Jesus called Himself the Son of God Pilate again questioned Jesus We read in John 19:9 “And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer”. The Lord Jesus also did not open His mouth when He was crucified. He suffered silently. It was in this sense that God writes in Isa 53:7, “Yet He opened not His mouth”. He opened not His mouth when the Roman soldiers tortured Him and when they mocked Him. Read Isa 53:7 carefully; He opened not His mouth when He was oppressed and when He was afflicted. Put a sticker here in Isa 53 and please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 8:32 (2X). We have here a NT reference to Isa 53:7-8 and this solidly proves that Isa 53 was speaking of the Lord Jesus. The story in Acts 8:32 is that one of the deacons of the NT church was bringing the Gospel to a eunuch who served at the royal court in Ethiopia. Philip, the deacon, heard the Ethiopian Eunuch read out loud from the Prophecy of Isaiah. Then Philip joined the Ethiopian Eunuch in his chariot, and there we read in

Ac 8:32-35  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:   In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?   Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Philip preached unto him the Gospel of Jesus; he preached to him the good news of Christ crucified; like we have read in 1Cor 2:2, everything in the Gospel centers on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He preached to him that Christ is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. And he preached to him that the Lord Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune God, who came down to unite Himself with the Son of Mary, so that Christ is fully God and fully man. Because He was a sinless man He qualified to be the spotless Lamb of God. And because He was fully God He was capable of paying the price for our sins in our place. And so, on April 3 in the year AD 33, He who was appointed as the Judge of all the earth came down from behind the judges bench, and took a lowly place as the Servant of Jehovah, and took our sins upon Him, and paid for our sins the price that had to be paid, because we were unable to pay such a great price. To be able to pay in our place He had to be fully man, a sinless man. To be able to endure the payment required He had to be God, for no other man or angel would be able to endure such a great price without being consumed. He was led:

Please turn again to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:7 (2X), and there we read,

Isa 53:7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

Concerning His crucifixion the Lord Jesus did not open His mouth. He did not complain, since He knew that He was voluntarily paying the price for the sins of all those He came to save. But silently He prayed to His heavenly Father. We know this from many of the Messianic Psalms which God instructed the prophets to write. Please turn about 225 pages to your left (à) to Psalm 22 (2X). One Messianic Psalm is Psalm 22, where we read of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, and about the prayers to His heavenly Father when He hung on the cross. This was a Psalm of David, but David never experienced the piercings of hands and feet that are described herein. We read in Psalm 22:12-21,

Ps 22:12  Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Unmistakably this is a prayer of the Lord Jesus when He hung on the cross. The Lord compares the wicked around His cross to various animals. He speaks of those who mocked Him as strong bulls of Bashan. He speaks of them also as dogs. He speaks of Satan as a ravening and a roaring lion, and He prays to the Father to save Him from the lion’s mouth. And then, in verse 20, He prays to the Father that He shall deliver His soul from the sword. Now, was Christ ever threatened by a sword? Not by a literal sword, for His soul could not be threatened by a literal sword. This sword refers to the Bible, the Word of God, which according to Heb 4:12 is like a two-edged sword. It was the Law of God which threatened His soul, for the Law of God demanded that the payment must be made in full. And what was that payment? It had to be a payment that was equivalent to what we would have to pay if we would be paying for our sins. The Law says that we have to pay an eternity in Hell for our sins. Therefore Christ would have to pay the equivalent of an eternity in Hell as a full payment for our sins, for this was the penalty He had to endure in His body and in His soul. The Lord Jesus prayed in verses 19-20, “O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword”. Was His prayer answered? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 5:7 (2X). We read here about the prayers of the Lord Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, before He was bound and led to the trial before Annas and Caiaphas. We read in Luke 22:42-43, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him”. We are inclined to say that heaven was silent concerning His request. But there appeared a messenger unto Him from heaven. What was the comfort that this messenger brought Him? The answer to this question comes from Heb 5:7, where we read,

Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

He was heard in what He feared. The Father would save Him from death. We can clearly see that this does not refer to physical death, but to spiritual death, the death of His soul. The Lord Jesus had to endure the torments equivalent to Hell in our place, in His body and in His soul, but especially in His soul while He was hanging on the cross. If that does not grab you, then nothing else will. Please turn again to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:8 (2X). And there we read,

#2.       He Was Taken from Prison (Isa 53:8, Acts 2:27,31, Isa 48:10, John 19:30, Isa 53:11)

Isa 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Why did the translators of the KJ Bible write this? They knew that Jesus was never in prison. They knew the Bible better than you or I do. They were scholars who could read and speak Hebrew and Greek fluently, and many of them had studied Luther’s Bible, as well as the Reina Valera translation. They had to write this, for the Hebrew word that was translated “prison” actually means “restraint”, like physical restraint by a straitjacket. But the Lord Jesus was not physically restraint. The word “prison” should be understood as spiritually restraint, or a “spiritual prison”. Please turn a few pages to your left, to Isa 48:10 (2X). When the Lord Jesus suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, He could not free Himself from this condition, because He had taken it upon Himself to complete our payment for sin, and thus He had to endure to the end. But the promise of the Father was that He would not leave His soul in Hell, as we read in Heb 5:7, and in Acts 2:27 and 31. The passage in Isa 48:10 speaks of the atonement of the Lord Jesus for our sins, in our place. He chose the individuals for whom He would pay their sins,

Isa 48:10  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

The furnace of affliction is not our furnace, but His furnace of affliction. And we should not belittle this as if it is just poetic language. God chose these words for His reasons, and we are called to search out the matter why He chose these words. God clearly says here, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction”, which says that the Triune God chose for whom Christ should atone for their sins. This gives us a clearer insight in the word “prison” in Isa 53:8. Please turn again to chapter 53, Isa 53:8 (2X). Remember the context. Isa 53:7 speaks of the fact that Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter. He was crucified, and then He died. And thus paraphrased verse 8 reads as follows: “He was taken out of the sufferings of Hell, and out of the judgment that was upon Him, for He died; He was cut off out of the land of the living at the time when He was taken out of the sufferings of Hell and out of the judgment that was upon Him”. And is this not exactly what we read in the Gospel of John 19:30 where we read, “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”. And from the Gospel of Luke we see that Jesus said this with a loud voice, so that everyone could hear Him. “It is finished” was His cry. It was a cry of victory. The disciples did not understand this until two days later, when the Lord Jesus rose from the grave. Then they understood that it was a cry of victory. It was cry of relief that He was released from the sufferings of Hell, because He finished the complete payment for our sins. And then He died. That is why we read in Isa 53:8 in this context, “and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living”.

Many people have a hard time accepting that the Lord Jesus Christ suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. They want a Savior who only suffered in His body, but not in His human soul. It troubles their conscience that the Lord had to suffer to this great extent. But look now at verse 11 in this chapter. God says in Isa 53:11, “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied”. Moreover, when we consider the absolute righteousness of God, we can see that this must be so. God is an absolutely righteous Judge. A righteous Judge will not reduce a sentence for the sake of special circumstances. A righteous Judge will not reduce a sentence even if His own Son would stand before the judgment throne. God the righteous Judge will not reduce a sentence even if all the angels of heaven would plead with Him to do so. A righteous Judge must hand out the penalty that was prescribed for the crime as prescribed by the Law of God, regardless who it is. Only then will His righteousness be satisfied. But the penalty for our sins is and eternity in Hell. Therefore, this is the penalty that must be paid, either by us, or by the Lord Jesus Christ, if He is allowed to substitute for us. But we should not try to probe how long Christ must endure the payments of Hell, or how intense His payment should be. Only God is able to do the math of determining what is equivalent to an eternity in Hell, since we cannot understand infinity.

But who shall declare His generation? Who knows who the family of Christ is? Only God knows.

Isa 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Clearly, the Lord Jesus was not a substitute for everyone in the world, but only for those who are called “My people”. Who is God referring to when He speaks of “My people”? We have to be careful, for “My people” does not always refer to God’s elect. God says in Hos 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. And God says in Hos 11:7, “My people are bent to backsliding from Me”. And God says in Amos 9:10, “All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword”. When we look at all the verses in the Bible containing the words “My people” we see that God uses this expression in two ways. On the one hand “My people” stands for the nation of Israel, but only as a type, or a picture, of God’s elect. We know this from various passages. When Moses declared God’s command to Pharaoh, “Let my people go”, God used the expression “My people” only as a type, or a picture, of God’s elect, for we read in Heb chapter 3 that most of them died in the wilderness because of unbelief. Obviously they were not elect, for they died in unbelief. On the other hand, God uses the expression “My people” to point out His elect, chosen before the foundation of the world from all nations of the world. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 1:21 (2X). In this chapter God introduces us to the events related to the birth of the Lord Jesus as the Son of Mary. Mary was espoused to Joseph. Mary was very pregnant before she had any sexual relationship with Joseph. Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him the reason for her pregnancy. We read in Matt 1:20-21,

Mt 1:20-21  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (meaning: Savior”): for he shall save his people from their sins.

What is the meaning of: “For He shall save His people from their sins”? How is the Lord Jesus going to save His people from their sins? He will suffer for all their sins the equivalent of an eternity in Hell while hanging on the cross in AD 33, and He will cause them to be born from above in their lifetime, and He will cause them to be cleansed from all their sins in their soul, and He will cause them to remain in the faith until their body dies, and He will take them to be with Him forever as His Bride. This is the meaning of “He shall save His people from their sins”. And so, “His people” are not the Jews, for the major part of the nation of Israel shall remain in unbelief until the fulness of the Gentiles have come in, which means until the end of time. If “His people” is limited to the Jews, then Matt 1:21 leaves me out, for I am not a descendant of Jacob, and then Isa 53:8 also leaves me out so that Christ did not die for the remnant of the Gentiles. Obviously, we can see that this runs counter to many passages in the Bible. Please turn to chapter 20 in this Gospel of Matthew, Matt 20:28 (2X). The only way we can harmonize all these verses is if “His people” in Matt 1:21 and “My people” in Isa 53:8 refers to the elect of God who were chosen from before the foundation of the world out of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. The Lord Jesus says in Matt 20:28, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many”. He gave His life a ransom for many. Who are t.m

#3.       How Do I Know if Christ Died for Me? (John 6:37,39,40,44, Rev 19:13)

This is a very practical question. It is fine if we understand that the Bible teaches election, but if we are not able to apply it to ourselves, then it is of no use to us. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 6:37 (2X). The Lord Jesus confronted the Jews of His days in John 6:29 saying, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent”. In other words, the work of God in your heart, or in your soul, is that you believe in Me, for if you believe in Me your faith unto salvation is a gift from God. And then the Lord says in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”. In other words, All whom the Father has chosen from before the foundation of the world to be saved, shall come to Me. Because I will have paid for their sins, not for the sins of the whole world but for their sins, the Father and the Holy Spirit shall work in their hearts so that they shall be drawn to Me. Please drop down to verse 39. There we read in John 6:39,

Joh 6:39  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

This means that it is the Father’s will that all those whom He has assigned to Jesus to pay for their sins, they all shall persevere in the faith unto the last day when Christ shall come in the rapture to raise them up to be with Him forever. And who are those that were assigned to Jesus? The next verse says:

Joh 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is a repeat of verse 29, where we have seen that it is the work of God to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who believes on the Lord Jesus is transformed from unbeliever to believer, or from sinner unto saint. But who is the cause of this transformation? The Lord says in John 6:44 (2X),

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

In other words, the only ones desiring to come to the Lord Jesus are those who have been drawn by the Father. No one outside the ones chosen from before the foundation of the world shall come to the Lord Jesus and believe that He has paid for their sins. O, they will worship another jesus, but he is not the jesus from the Bible. You see, when God gives us faith He also gives us a copy of His Word. Some receive only a small portion of His Word, like little children, and many receive the entire Bible. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, it means that we believe the whole Word of God, from cover to cover, for He is called “The Word of God” in Rev 19:13. Those who do not believe the whole counsel of God are actually believing and worshipping another god, who is a god of their own making. But when we recognize that God has done a miracle in our soul by drawing us to the Lord Jesus, and has made us believe that our salvation is all by grace, and not of works, how can we then doubt our salvation? Doubt arises when our life is still filled with sin. But if we live in sin or indifference toward Christ and His Word, it means that we do not believe in Him. For if we indeed believe that Christ suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for us, we would be filled with gratitude towards Him, and we would have a burning desire to know more of His Word. It is true that our works do not save us, but our works can be the evidence that we are still unsaved. And so, the answer to the question: “How do I know if Christ died for me?” is really answered by the evidence whether I have been drawn by the Father to the Lord Jesus, to love Him, and to love His Word with a fire that will not quit, and to love the brethren who also love the Lord Jesus. By this I shall know that He died for me.        AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.