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The Paradox of the Suffering Servant: Exaltation in Humiliation

March 31, 2019 Preacher: Matthew O'Sullivan Series: The Passion of Christ in Isaiah 52, 53, and 61

Scripture: Isaiah 52:13–15, Isaiah 53:1–3

Key Truth: Jesus is the Suffering Servant who was humiliated through His suffering and rejection by fallen humanity but was exalted by God for our salvation.

 

 

Introduction:

 

“The announcement of the means of salvation that comes after 52:12 . . . is surprising in the sense that all the language about God’s power to redeem and to defeat the enemies of his people tends to condition the reader to expect something in the way of overwhelming power and might. When instead we hear about suffering, humiliation, and loss it comes as a surprise.”

John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66

 

What kind of people do you admire most?
What kind of people are you most likely to
 dismiss without a second thought?

 

 

The Paradox of the Suffering Servant: Exaltation in Humiliation

Isaiah 52:13-15

 

“The cleansing the Servant brings is for many nations. The one that people regarded as unclean (they were appalled at him, 14) will turn out to be the one who cleanses others. It is a paradox so astounding that it will dry up every accusation and cause every mouth to be stopped. The wisdom of God displayed in the Servant will utterly confound human wisdom.”

Barry G. Webb, The Message of Isaiah: On Eagles’ Wings

 

What kind of message is the world hearing from us?
Do we startle or astonish them with
what we say as Christians?
If so, why?

 

 

The Humiliation of the Suffering Servant, Part 1: Suffering Witnessed and Ignored

Isaiah 53:1-3

 

Esteemed is an ‘accounting’ word, a reckoning up of value. When all that the human eye saw and the human mind apprehended was added up the result was zero. With this word, Isaiah completes a diagnosis of our human condition . . . to see the Servant and find no beauty in him reveals a bankruptcy of the human emotions; to be one with those who despise and then reject him exposes the misguidedness of the human will; to appraise him and conclude that he is nothing condemns our minds as corrupted by, and participants in, our sinfulness. Thus every aspect of human nature is inadequate; every avenue along which, by nature, we might arrive at the truth and respond to God is closed. Nothing but divine revelation can make the Servant known to us and draw us to him.”

Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction and Commentary

 

Do you esteem or despise Christ?
How is your view of Christ shaping your view of others?

 

 

Application:

Isaiah 52:13-53:3 teaches us that Jesus is the Suffering Servant who

- was humiliated through His suffering and rejection by fallen humanity

- was exalted by God for our salvation

 

 

Benediction:

Isaiah 65:17-20