The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Session 4 – The Exaltation of the Suffering Servant
October 16, 2022

The Gospel According to Isaiah 53: Session 4 – The Exaltation of the Suffering Servant

Preacher:
Passage: Isaiah 53:12; 52:13-15
Service Type:

 Series: The Gospel According to Isaiah 

Title: The Exaltation of the Suffering Servant 

Scripture:  Isaiah 53:12; 52:13-15 

Subject: Exaltation 

Central Theme: Exaltation of the Suffering Servant 

Objective Statement: Because of the life, death, and resurrection of the suffering servant, He will be exalted in 4 ways. 

  1. Reward for His Victory. (v.12a)
  2. Intercession for the Transgressor. (v.12b)
  3. Recognition for His Ministry. (52:13-15)
  4. Cleansing of the Nations. (52:15)

 

Introduction: 

Connection: 

  • Don’t you love a great story? 
  • Every great movie has an introduction, narrative hook, building tension, climax, and conclusion. 
  • It’s an incredible thing to watch… 
  • Indiana Jones… 
  • Sports movie… 

Tension: 

  • We’ve been studying this chapter in Isaiah… 
  •  

Objective Statement:  Because of the life, death, and resurrection of the suffering servant, He will be exalted in 4 ways. 

  1. Reward for His Victory

 

Isaiah 53:12a 

(12)  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;  

 

Explanation: 

  1. The verse begins with the word therefore, which signifies that what is about to be said is based on everything that was just said. 
  1. Let's review what we've already learned from what Isaiah predicted 700 years before Jesus came. 
  • The messiah will come in the form of a servant. 
  • The servant will be like "a root out of dry ground".  He will be like a watermelon in the desert!   
  • What is unique about him will not be his looks.  He will look like a normal person. 
  • His experience will be like ours.  He will deal with life as we deal with it. 
  • He will be rejected by his people, and they will think it was God doing it because He deserved it. 
  • His death will be bloody. 
  • His death will be voluntary. 
  • His death will be sentenced upon him. 
  • His death will be substitutionary. 
  • The Lord will participate in this death of the suffering servant. 
  • This sacrifice he made will be honored both in burial, and in the fact that He bodily rose from the grave. 
  • His sacrifice will satisfy the wrath of God. 
  • His sacrifice, through faith in Him, will justify everyone who believes. 
  • Because all of this will come to pass, according to Isaiah, God will exalt this suffering servant. 
  • How will he do this? 
  • There are two words that I want to point out here. 
  • The words are portion and spoils. 
  • In this verse it says "I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong." 
  • The servant will enjoy a reward for His spiritual victory.  The word "spoil" speaks of the reward that comes after conquest. 
  • The picture is of a victory parade with the Servant, of all people, marching in the role of conqueror, bringing home the spoils of conquest.    
  • Earlier in the text Isaiah spoke of the travail of his soul.  He did a work of redemption on the cross. 
  • As a result of that work He has merited both salvation to give to us, and a reward for what He has done. 
  • The reward, the spoil, the portion, here speaks to what God gives to the servant in regard to what He has done. 
  • What are the spoils of his victory? 
  • We know some of them, don't we? 
  • Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David to rule and to reign in fulfillment of the covenant God made to David. 
  • 2 Samuel 7 tells about the prophet Nathan going to David and communicating God's covenant to David. 

2 Samuel 7:12-16 

(12)  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 

(13)  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 

(14)  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 

(15)  But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 

(16)  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 

 

  • Jesus Christ is the suffering servant of 2 Samuel 7:12-16. 
  • He is also the king who will sit on the throne in Revelation 11:15. 

Revelation 11:15-19 

(15)  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 

(16)  And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 

(17)  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 

(18)  And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 

(19)  And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. 

Application: 

  1. There may be an idea that because Christ came the first time as a suffering servant the first time that there is no need to fear. 
  1. When I talk to people about their sin in an attempt to share the Gospel with them, many will say to me, "Yeah, but isn't God loving?  Won't he just forgive me of my sin?".   
  1. Of course, God is loving, and He will forgive your sin, but there must be an acknowledgement of that sin and a turning to Christ by faith as Savior.   There must be repentance. 
  1. He is coming back to rule and to reign.   
  1. We can praise Him in that exaltation. 
  1. He has been victorious, and He will continue to be victorious. 

 

Because of the life, death and resurrection of the suffering servant, He will be exalted in 4 ways. 

  1. Reward for His Victory. (v.12a)
  2. Intercession for the Transgressor. (v.12b)

 

Isaiah 53:12b 

...because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 

 

Explanation: 

  1. This part of verse 12 really sums up why the suffering servant, Jesus Christ, will be exalted. 
  1. 1.  He poured out his soul unto death. 
  • Jesus Christ willingly died. 
  • He said on the cross, "Father into thine hands I commend my spirit." 
  1. 2.  He was numbered with the transgressors. 
  • Jesus died the death of a guilty criminal. 
  • He was crucified with two thieves. 
  1. 3. He bore the sin of many. 
  • Jesus Christ bore the sin of the whole world on his shoulders at that moment. 
  1. 4.  He made intercession for the transgressors. 
  • Here is the point I am making. 
  • On the cross Christ interceded for mankind. 
  • Think about this.  He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." 
  • He said to the thief on the cross, "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise. 
  • What does intercede mean? 
  • To go to someone on behalf of another. 
  • This is literally what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us. 
  • He interceded for us. 
  • And as a result, He gained a people for Himself. 
  • What does Christ now do for us? 
  • Talking about Christ's priestly role in Hebrews 7:25 it says this: 

Hebrews 7:25 

(25)  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 

  • Talking about Christ's intercessory role in Hebrews 7:25 it says this: 

Romans 8:34 

(34)  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 

  • Because Christ died and rose again, there are people who will believe and put their trust in Him. 
  • He gives to them eternal life.  They receive His righteousness. 
  • Now Christ is making intercession for us to God. 
  • What an incredible thought that as a result of Christ's victorious death, burial, and resurrection on the cross He now goes to God the Father on our behalf. 
  • This is why Paul continues with the question that he asks next in that passage. 

Romans 8:35-39 

(35)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 

(36)  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 

(37)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 

(38)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 

(39)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Application: 

  1. Christ died for your sins. 
  1. He rose again to bring us new life. 
  1. He now sits on the right hand of God and makes intercession for us. 
  1. We can know that nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. 
  1. We must exalt Him.  Let's give Him praise for what He has done, and for who He is. 

 

Because of the life, death and resurrection of the suffering servant, He will be exalted in 4 ways. 

  1. Reward for His Victory. (v.12a)
  2. Intercession for the Transgressor. (v.12b)
  3. Recognition for His Ministry. (52:13-15)

 

Isaiah 52:13-14 

(13)  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 

(14)  As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 

Explanation: 

  1. Now I take you to the beginning of this section of scripture.   
  1. Notice that this prediction comes at the very beginning of the 5 stanzas of this section of Isaiah.   
  1. This prophesy- this section- has been different than others in Isaiah that refer to the servant.   
  1. The servant has been described before as a wonderful counselor.   The mighty God.  The everlasting father and prince of peace.   
  1. The increase of his government will have no end.  It is all very grandiose.    
  1. It is almost as if Isaiah knows he will be referring to something so different in this text.   
  1. Isaiah is about to predict all the things that we have covered these last three weeks. 
  1. This servant will suffer. 
  1. He will be sorrowful, sacrificed, and silent.   
  1. He will be beaten, bruised, sacrificed.   
  1. He will be put to grief. 
  1. He will be cut off from the land of the living. 
  1. So, in 52:15 he wants us to know from the outset that the servant will be successful!  It’s going to work out… 

 

(13)  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 

 

  1. The idea of “shall deal prudently” in this text indicates that the servant will make the exact right choices when he comes.   
  1. He will succeed in all that he comes to do. 
  1. And as a result of these choices and this ministry He will be exalted.   
  1. He will be extolled. 
  1. What would those choices look like?  All that he is going to say.  We see that in a summary of his ministry at the crucifixion in verse 14. 

(14)  As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 

  1. He will be exalted and extolled…and many will be astonished!  Astonished by what?   
  1. First by the humility and even the humiliation in his first coming, and in his death on the cross.   
  1. His body will be so marred that he will be unrecognizable.   
  1. Christ will suffer and die, and as a result we will see God exalt him and give him the spoils of his victory.  
  1. Who are these many that will be astonished? 
  1. We will see this in the next verse. 

 

Because of the life, death and resurrection of the suffering servant, He will be exalted in 4 ways. 

  1. Reward for His Victory. (v.12a)
  2. Intercession for the Transgressor. (v.12b)
  3. Recognition for His Ministry. (52:13-15)
  4. Cleansing of the Nations. (52:15)

 

Isaiah 52:15 

(15)  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 

Explanation: 

  1. "So"-  in this way.  By this marred visage, by His stripes, and His bruising, and His slaughter... 
  1. "shall he sprinkle"- the word here for "sprinkle" in verse 15 is the Hebrew word pronounced "naw-zaw". 
  • Strong’s concordance defines this word as "to spirt, that is, besprinkle (especially in expiation) which means to purify or cleans from sin"; to sprinkle. 
  • This same Hebrew word is used 24 times in the Old Testament. 
  • Here are some examples: 
  • In dealing with the consecrating of the priests in Exodus 29:21: 

Exodus 29:21 

(21)  And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. 

  • In dealing with a sin offering made by a priest on behalf of a person. 

Leviticus 5:9 

(9)  And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. 

  • Most famously on the day of atonement, the high priest would go into the holy of holies in the tabernacle and in the temple. 
  • Leviticus 16 describes what was to happen on the day of atonement.  The high priest could not enter into the Holy of Holies on the other side of the vail until that day. 
  • It is where the presence of the Lord was said to manifest itself.  In this place was the ark of the covenant. 
  • In Leviticus 16:12-13 we are told that the High Priest was to take a censor with a hot coal, and incense in his hand, and to cover the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat o he would not die. 
  • Then he would take the blood of a bull and goat and sprinkle it with his fingers on the mercy seat. 
  • Then he would sprinkle the blood of a goat for the sin of the people and sprinkle it on the ark of the covenant. 

Leviticus 16:15 

(15)  Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 

  • On that day he took the blood and sprinkled it on the mercy seat.  The mercy seat was the top of the ark of the covenant. 
  • The sprinkling of the blood was to atone for the sin of the people.  It was to cleanse.  It was a sacrifice. 
  1. What are you trying to teach us, Pastor Ben? 
  1. Look at the text- 
  • "so"...in this way, by the marred visage, the bloodied body of the suffering servant 
  • "Shall he sprinkle"- Shall he cleanse, shall he atone for the sin...sprinkle what? 

"many nations"- 

Think about this in the text of Isaiah and from a Jewish perspective. 

Of course, the people of Israel get atonement. 

Of course, the Jewish Messiah would save the Jews. 

Of course, the suffering servant would suffer for his people... 

But this text tells us that this atonement was not just be for the Jews. 

It's for the nations!  It's for jew and gentile. 

It's for the whole world. 

Look at these verses again: 

Isaiah 52:14-15 

(14)  As many were astonied at thee;  

  1. Who is it that will be astonished? 

his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: 

(15)  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. 

  1. "the kings"- plural.  More than one. More than just the Jewish king. 
  1. What will they do? 

Romans 1:14-17 

(14)  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 

(15)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 

(16)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

(17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

  1. "shall shut their mouths at him"- They have nothing else to say.  They are astonished.  Some are astonished in judgement.  Some are astonished in belief and worship.  Why?  Because the Messiah will cleanse them of their sin through faith in him. 
  1. Why? 

"for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider." 

  1. Gentile Kings and nations did not have the revelation of God that the Jews did. 
  1. But God's intention was always to not just save the Jew.  His intention has always been for the whole world. 
  1. You say, prove it, Ben. 
  1. It's from the beginning of the Jewish nation. 

Genesis 12:1-3 

(1)  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 

(2)  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 

(3)  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 

  1. How are all the nations of the earth going to be blessed by Abraham? 
  1. It's through the seed of Abraham that Messiah would come. 
  1. It was through this Messiah that atonement would come to every nation of the earth. 
  1. That's why Paul could say in Romans 1: 

Romans 1:14-17 

(14)  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.  (15)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (16)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

  1. God's plan was always to sprinkle many nations. 
  1. God's plan was always to redeem those who would believe in the suffering servant. 
  1. The kings of the earth and the people of the earth will see this servant and believe!   
  1. God's plan was always to exalt His Son after He  

Philippians 2:5-11 

(5)  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 

(6)  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 

(7)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 

(8)  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

(9)  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

(10)  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 

(11)  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

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