Isaiah 53:4 Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs 7/30/2017 ßà
#1. The Second Question (2Pet 1:20-21)
#2. The Gospel in Isa 53 (Isa 53:1-8, Rom 5:8)
#3. Tell No Man (Mat 8:16-17, 1-4, 9:27-30, Luk 8:49-56, Mark 5:1-20, 2Tim 2:26)
Please open your Bibles to the First Epistle of Peter, 1Pet 3:15 (2X). Today I would like to speak about Isa 53:4, which begins with the words, “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs”. That is the title of this sermon, “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs”. But before we get there I first would like to iron out:
Last week and two weeks ago I laid down the fundamentals of interpreting the most popular verse in the Bible, John 3:16. It is my intent to cover some very basic doctrines that are laid out in the Bible; so basic that each one of you “is ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you for the reason of the hope that is within you, with meekness and fear”. You may have recognized that these are the words of 1Pet 3:15, where we read, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”. Every one of us must always be ready for such an answer. God demands this from every one of us, old and young. And so, let us begin with a very basic question: Where did God come from? Where did the idea of God come from? Did it come out the minds of men, or did it come from a supernatural being who is really the God who created the whole universe and all mankind that is upon the earth? I am asking this elementary question because I meet people who want to debate the second question, which is, Where did the Bible come from? These two questions are very much interrelated. So let’s begin with the first question: Where did God come from?
# 1. Those who are of the evolutionary persuasion believe that mankind gradually evolved from apes, and thus the concept of God gradually evolved as mankind began to be religious. And so, without being converted to communism they have swallowed one of the basic teachings of Karl Marx, who wrote that “religion is like opium for the masses”. It keeps the superstitious masses subdued under their tyrannical rulers. And so, we can begin to group all mankind into two groups: Those who believe the theory of evolution, and those who do not believe the theory of evolution. Those who believe the theory of evolution consider us to be backward, ignorant, superstitious, and in need of a psychological crutch, and that is why we hang on to a man made theory of God and the worship of God. When we think of the answer to give to every man, from 1Pet 3:15, we do not include those who believe in the theory of evolution. We cannot communicate with them. We are always talking past each other, never touching a common understanding of some point or another, for they do not believe in God. But from God’s perspective they are fools, for God says, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God”. Ps 53
#2. The second group of people are those who believe in God. And herein again we can see two groups of people who are separated by the very basic question, “Where did the Bible come from?” One group says, “The Bible is the work of man”, and the second group says, “The Bible is the work of God”. Let us carefully consider these two groups of people. Please turn in your Bibles to the Second Epistle of Peter, 2Pet 1:20 (2X).
#1. The Second Question (2Pet 1:20-21)
The people who believe in God can be divided into two groups: group A and Group B.
#A. The people in group A have been taught by their churches that the Bible is a collection of 66 books, written by a number of people who were not all apostles or prophets but some were lay people, such as Mark, and Luke, and James the Lord’s half brother, and his brother Jude, and the writer to the Hebrews. And since these authors are all different, it stands to reason that we may find a few contra-dictions here and there, but overall they agree on the main points of the Gospel. The problem with this stand is that it leaves God out of the picture. Where is God in all of this? Does God have any input in the making of the Bible? And they say, NO! Their church determines what goes into their Bible. Their God observes the situation in the world, He judges evil and rewards good works, but He is not directly involved in the affairs of this world, and He does not dictate how people should worship Him. And thus they arrive at the notion that each one has the liberty to find a church that they like, and may worship therein. And so, they arrive at a great tolerance for other churches and other denominations, claiming that they all agree on the main issues of the Gospel, and so they all worship the same God in different ways that are all acceptable by God. The problem with this stand is that it does not agree with what their own Bible says. Moreover, if the Bible is the work of man then there is no absolute truth anywhere for truth was arrived by an agreement to believe the basics of the Gospel as found in the Bible, which was a work of man. And so, the Gospel, which is the way to heaven, the way to God, is really the work of man. This is serious business. It concerns the Gospel of salvation, which means the good news of our way to heaven, the way to eternal life with God; if that way to God is coming out of a book that was written by man, then that way to God was also written by man, and then that may not be the way to God at all. This means that those who insist that the Bible was a work of man are really worshipping a man made god, a man made idol, and they are falling in the same category as the group of people who say that there is no God and who worship mankind as their idol. For if you are falling down before a man made idol, or if you are falling down before mankind as your idol, there is no real difference. Yes there are such people. I know them personally. And thus, I conclude that it is a very dangerous thing to believe that the Bible is a collection of 66 books written by many authors, for it will lead to utter idolatry.
#B. The people in group B believe that the Bible was written by God. It is NOT a collection of 66 books, written by 39 authors, but it is one Book, written without error in the original Hebrew and Greek texts, and God has commanded all mankind to believe the words of this Book from cover to cover. Are these principles supported by the words in this Book? The answer is: Absolutely Yes! That is why I had you turn to 2Pet 1:20. We read there in 2Pet 1:20,
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Verse 20 says that no portion of Scripture is of any private interpretation. No one may say, “This is what it means to me”. My opinion or your opinion about a certain verse does not count; only God’s opinion counts; for, and this is the first word in the next verse, for God is the Author of these words. In verse 21 the word “came” and the word “moved” is actually the same word. The Greek text says in verse 21 literally, “For prophecy was not borne (or carried) at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake having been borne along (or carried) by the Holy Spirit.” Let me say it again in slightly different words, “For prophecy was not conveyed at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake having been conveyed by the Holy Spirit.” What does this mean? The meaning of “prophecy” is “a message from God”, for “to prophesy” means “to speak a message from God”. All Scripture, both the OT as well as the NT is prophecy; these are all messages from God. The historical, as well as the not so historical, are all messages from God, which were carried by men set apart by God. “Holy men of God” have been “set apart by God” to speak and to write these messages from God. It means God dictated to them what they should speak and write. Who are these holy men of God? A good example is the false prophet Balaam as recorded in Num 22, 23 and 24. It does not mean that Balaam was a saved man, but he was set apart by God to bring messages, which God dictated to him; he spoke those messages which God dictated to him word for word. And when we read those messages we believe that those words spoken through the mouth of wicked Balaam are messages which God wants us to hear as truth. Therefore, people who believe 2Pet 1:20-21 are people who take the Word of God seriously; each word and each letter of each word in the original languages was inspired by God, and was written down exactly the way God wanted it to be written down. And we are not allowed to impose human rules on these messages from God, such as, “The OT was just the history of the Jews before the coming of Christ, it was the Old Covenant, but now we live in the NT time, the New Covenant, and thus we can do away with the OT”. NO! We must leave the entire Bible intact, but we must recognize that the OT Ceremonial Law was fulfilled when Christ died on the cross.
Please turn now to the Gospel according to John, John 6:63 (2X). The Bible is not just a Book to teach us how to live a decent moral life here on earth. That is not the purpose of the Bible. The Bible is also not just a Book to teach us the historical events of the nation of Israel, or the history of the Jews, for that is also not the purpose of the Bible. The purpose of the Bible is to bring us to salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the sole purpose of the Bible. And therefore, the Bible is a spiritual Book that teaches us the way to God. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:63,
John 6:63, It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The words that we read in the Bible are the words of the Lord Jesus, for He is Jehovah who exists from eternity past. Therefore the words of the Scriptures are able to convert a soul, if these words are accompanied by God the Holy Spirit. God says in Rom 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. Everyone of the human race is in need of conversion while under the hearing of the Word of God, for conversion means salvation. Conversion refers to a soul who is made “born from above”. Why do we need salvation? The Bible says that all men are born in sin and on the way to Hell, and therefore we all are in need to be saved from that terrible destiny. The Good News is the Gospel that there is salvation to all who believe in Christ through His atonement on the cross. That is why the Lord Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. But salvation is available only through Jesus Christ, not any other way. Please turn in your Bibles to chapter 14 in the Gospel according to John, John 14:6 (2X). The Lord Jesus is speaking here on the evening before He was going to the cross. In these last instructions to the disciples He emphasized those things that are of utmost importance to them, and also to us, for we too are learning about those principles that are of utmost importance to our salvation. One of those principles he taught us here in John 14:6 (2X), “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Let the meaning of these words sink into your mind, and be no more ignorant about who Jesus is. When Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, did He really mean “No man”? That is absolutely true. No one can go to heaven except through the Lord Jesus. Or let me say it differently. When God says that “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”, and the Lord Jesus says here that “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, it means that God did not save all those who had no opportunity to hear the Gospel of salvation of the crucified Lord Jesus. God simply did not plan to save them. There is no other plan of salvation except through faith in the crucified Lord Jesus Christ. Many millions of people lived and died before this Gospel became available in the year AD 33. Before that time only a trickle of believers in the nations of Israel and Judah received the message of the coming Messiah through the OT writings that were handed to them. Millions of Israelites saw these same OT Scriptures, but concluded that the way to God was obedience to the ceremonial laws, instead of faith in the work of the coming Messiah; and thus they too remained unsaved. God simply did not plan to save them. And so we see that if we take the words of the Bible seriously, we find that the God of the Bible is a sovereign God who has total control over all those whom He plans to save and whom He does not plan to save. We may not like this, but that is the God whom the Bible portrays as the only true God. And so we see that the purpose of the Bible is not only to tell us that the Bible is a spiritual Book, and not only to tell us the only Gospel, God’s plan of salvation for rebellious mankind, but the purpose of the Bible is also to describe to us the characteristics of the God whom we worship. We may have in our minds the idea that God is love and that this is all that we need to know about God, but the Bible clearly says in many places that His righteousness is the principal attribute of God and that in the process of salvation He is sovereign, and He will not share His glory with another. Therefore, when someone comes to us not preaching this Gospel of Christ crucified but preaching another way, not willing to be subject to the sovereignty of God but having a gospel of salvation by his own free will, and not willing to recognize the absolute righteousness of God as the Judge who is perfectly just in casting unsaved sinners into Hell, that person is a liar, for he brings a gospel from another god than the God of the Bible. Let us now see if we can apply these principles in some examples from the OT and the NT.
#2. The Gospel in Isa 53 (Isa 53:1-8, Rom 5:8)
Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:1 (2X). When we read Isa 53 we see without any doubt the entire atonement of the Lord; the humiliation, the crucifixion and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus are all in here. Actually, all the verses from Isa 52:13 to Isa 53:12 are recognized as the 10th Servant Song of the “Suffering Servant” in the Prophecy of Isaiah. We are going to read just a portion of the 10th Servant Song, and of this portion we are only going to look at one verse, Isa 53:4.
Isa 53:1 ¶
Isa 53:2 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.
Isa 53:3 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.
Isa 53:4 Surelly he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 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.
Isa 53:6 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.
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.
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.
Verse 1 is the introduction to this chapter. “Who has believed this report” of the Suffering Servant of Jehovah? Nobody has believed it. All mankind is born in rebellion against God. “There is NONE that seeketh after God. There is NONE that doeth good, No, Not One!” And verse 3 continues this poor response to the report that Christ died as the substitute for the many who deserved to die. “We hid as it were our faces from him”. Even His own people, no, not the Jews, but the ones for whom Christ died are His own people, even they hid their faces from Him. And why? It is because God declared in Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. “While we were yet sinners” means in time past, while we were still in our sins, while we were still in rebellion against God, while we were still in the clutches of Satan, while we were still adamantly opposed to Christ and His Gospel, God bestowed His love toward us and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us in our place, on he cross of Calvary as a ransom for many, so that we might be released from the clutches of Satan and be set free to worship the only true God. What a love! What a mercy and grace for unworthy sinners! We cannot comprehend such a love from Almighty God for creatures that are just like a few worms on a planet that is only a speck of dust in this great wide universe. Certainly there are more nobler creatures in heaven on whom God could have bestowed such a great honor. But no! He did it for the sons of Adam. He did it for the sons of the one who turned his back on God and sold all his possessions and all his posterity into the hands of the Devil. And because Christ died for us, because He purchased us out of the slave-market of Satan, therefore He also purchased the right to make us spiritually alive at a time that He chose, and not at a time that we would choose.
And now we come to verse 4. Our KJV says in Isa 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs”, but the Hebrew Masoretic text says, “Surely he hath borne our sicknesses”. What sicknesses does this refer to? Are these physical sicknesses or spiritual sicknesses? People of the Charismatic persuasion think that this refers to physical sicknesses. They believe that Christ paid also for our physical sicknesses and diseases, because Christ wants to see us happy and well and materially blessed in this life until the day that He takes us home. That is why they have developed worship services where healing miracles are performed. The problem is that this causes confusion among the saints, for the Bible says that near the end of time the messengers of Satan “shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”. Most likely, healing miracles performed today are the work of Satan rather than of Christ, because today we are living in a period near the end of time. The saints will not be allowed to engage in healing miracles, for this causes confusion. On the other hand, about 2000 years ago Christ and the disciples performed healing miracles, but Satan was not allowed to engage in healing miracles, for this would have caused confusion among the saints.
Is it really true that Christ has borne our physical sicknesses? Absolutely not! Our sicknesses in this life are totally unimportant. For example, we read in Luke 16 of the beggar Lazarus, who was covered with sores, and he was so poor that he could not afford a physician, for the dogs licked his sores. But when the beggar died he was carried to Abraham’s bosom, which means he was in a state of highest bliss. All the sores and all the poverty did not hurt him one bit, for while he was in this life he was a child of God, and God was taking good care of him. If Christ died for our physical sicknesses then Christ certainly did not die for the beggar Lazarus, and that is an impossibility. You see, there is a sickness which is far more serious than any physical sickness on earth, and that is the spiritual sickness of sin in our life, for it can send us to Hell. If Christ was our sin bearer, because our sins were imputed to His account, then He bore our spiritual sicknesses. This is in harmony with the rest of the Bible. This is the meaning of the words, “Surely he hath borne our griefs”. And then we continue to read in Isa 53:4, “and carried our sorrows”. What sorrows are in view here? Put a sticker here in Isa 53 and please turn to Psalm 32 where the same word is used, Psalm 32:10 (2X). The theme of Psalm 32 are the words of verse 8, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go”. God is instructing us the blessings of eternal life with Him and the sorrows of those who continue to live in sin. We read here in Psalm 32:10, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about”. When are these sorrows of the wicked going to come upon them? Not in this life, for then those sorrows might turn him to seek for Christ. No, the Devil will make sure that in this life the wicked are not plagued by sorrows. But like in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man has no worry in this life, but his sorrows are multiplied in the life hereafter in Hell. Those are the sorrows referred to in Psalm 32:10, where God says, “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked”. These refer to future sorrows in Hell. We are those wicked. Now let us return to Isa 53:4,
Isa 53:4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows”. Not only did the Lord Jesus Christ bear the sicknesses of our sins on His soul, but He also had to pay for those sins the penalty that had to be paid to satisfy the righteousness of God. He had to pay the equivalent of an eternity in the torments of Hell. He had to pay the sorrows of Hell that was due to us for the sins that we have committed. And so, we have concluded that the Lord Jesus Christ made our spiritual sicknesses His first priority, rather than the physical healings that many people seem to cherish most. Let us now apply this conclusion to some examples out of the life of the Lord Jesus when He walked on earth, about 2000 years ago. Please turn to the Gospel according to Matthew, Mat 8:16 (2X).
#3. Tell No Man (Mat 8:16-17, 1-4, 9:27-30, Luk 8:49-56, Mark 5:1-20, 2Tim 2:26)
We have here an event early in the ministry of the Lord Jesus. His fame as the miracle worker spread quickly throughout Judea and Galilee. As a result, many followed Him, hoping to be healed.
This is a quotation from Isa 53:4, exactly as we have already seen it a few minutes ago. Did you notice that verse 16 says, “many that were possessed with devils”. We must distinguish between two kinds of healing miracles that Jesus did: The 1st kind was the physical healings, which were pictures of salvation, but were not necessarily resulting in salvation of the soul. The 2nd kind was the miracle of healing the soul, by casting out demons which keep people in bondage to sin and Satan. This kind of healing truly resulted in souls being saved. Here in Mat 8:16-17 the second kind of miracles occurred.
Please turn now to the beginning of this chapter, Mat 8:1 (2X).
Mt 8:1 ¶ When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
Mt 8:2-3 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Mt 8:4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Here we have the 1st kind of miracle. Leprosy is a picture of sin. By healing this man’s leprosy the Lord Jesus showed US a picture of salvation, but this man was not necessarily saved. But consider now the instruction the Lord gave to him: “See thou tell no man”. Please turn now to the next chapter in Matthew, Mat 9:27 (2X). And here again we have the 1st kind of miracle, a physical healing.
And consider again the instruction that the Lord gave them: “See that no man know it”. Please turn now to the Gospel according to Luke, Luk 8:49 (2X). We have here another miracle of the 1st kind. The lord Jesus brought a dead girl back to life. This is a stupendous miracle, but again it is only a picture to US what salvation really is. Initially we were dead in trespasses and sins. And when the Lord made us born from above we became spiritually alive. This girl was not necessarily saved.
Lu 8:51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
Lu 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
Lu 8:53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
Lu 8:54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
Lu 8:55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.
Lu 8:56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.
Consider again the instruction the Lord gave them: “they should tell no man what was done”. Please turn to the Gospel according to Mark, Mark 5:1 (2X). Now we want to look at the 2nd kind of miracle, like we have seen in Mat 8:16-17, where demons are cast out of a person. But now, when demons are cast out, this is not merely a picture of salvation, but it means that this person is really saved. Here in Mark 5 we have the story of the healing of the Gadarene demoniac.
Mr 5:1 ¶ And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
Mr 5:2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Mr 5:3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
Mr 5:4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
Mr 5:5-6 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
Mr 5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
Mr 5:8-9 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
Mr 5:10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
Mr 5:11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
Mr 5:12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
Mr 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
Consider now the instruction the Lord Jesus gave: “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee”. Do we have a contradiction here? Of course not! This man was really saved. He loved the Lord and wanted to join the band of disciples. This is the normal way of life for anyone who really becomes saved. But can we now understand why in all the other cases of healing miracles the Lord instructed them; “Tell no man”? The Lord Jesus did not want to be known as the miracle worker. He wanted to be known as the one who really saves people by casting the Devil out of a person. This brings glory to God and this is what salvation really is. When a person is not saved it is equivalent to that person being possessed by a demon. They are in “the snare of the Devil, and are taken captive by him at his will” (2Tim 2:26). Pray to God that He gives us the grace to tell every man what the Lord has done for us. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.