Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
Together, we have been considering the incarnation of Jesus Christ. We have acknowledged that one can never understand the implications of the birth of Jesus unless you look back to the beginning of the story. The gift of the Lord Jesus is rooted in grief in the heart of God (Genesis 6:6). It is also connected to grief and brokenness in each of our hearts (Isaiah 59:12).
God has heard the cry of humanity and responded by sending His Son. We also looked to the angelic announcement of Christ’s birth “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14). This announcement reveals our need and Christ’s mission.
What brings you pleasure? What are the top ten things that bring you pleasure? Without trying to be spiritual, what would make a great day or week for you?
The magnificent story of the birth of Jesus is connected to pleasure in the heart of God. When you get this fact it will change the way that you think about this story.
Our text today is a capsule of the story and can easily get lost in the midst of this great chapter in Isaiah. There is no clearer, more pointed, or greater demonstration of the love of God than the offering of His Son.
Let’s unpack the text.
Why Did It Please The Lord To Crush Him?
A better translation of the beginning of this text is, “Yet it pleased the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief”. This is tough to get our heart and mind around this phrase. How could it be that God the Father would ever find pleasure in the crushing and the grief of His Son? These words are meant to make you ask, “How? Why?”
As parents this is inconceivable given the affection that we have for our children. We fear for our children. We hurt for our children. We do everything we can to protect our children from danger. We do this because we love them. We never want difficulty for our children - especially the kind of difficulty that is described in this passage.
What could be so powerfully motivating in the heart of God that He would be willing to subject His Son to this horrible thing? Even more, how could God find pleasure in this act? What could be in the heart of God that would allow Him to do that? The answer is this: love. The answer is a faithful, joyous, magnificent, redeeming love!
John 3:16 tells us how we can know that love made God willing to do this radical thing - giving His Son. God looked at this broken world and our severed relationship with Him and was so full of love, so full of grace, and so full of compassion that He wasn’t willing for the world to stay in that state. That is love!
We needed a savior and we were unable to help ourselves. We were unable to fix the world. God had to move on our behalf. He sent His Son to die. God does not find pleasure in those particular moments of the suffering of His Son; He finds pleasure in what that suffering would result in. God loved us this much that He would be willing to subject His son to unthinkable things.
We must remember this great love - because we are tempted to doubt it.
Remember Christ’s Suffering
We are tempted to doubt His love when we experience the pain of physical illness, significant relational disappointment, financial difficulty, or the loss of a loved one. When you have been betrayed and it seems like evil prospers we are tempted to wonder, “Where is God? Where is His love?” We must remember the suffering of Christ for us.
The “crushing” referred to in our text is depicting the physical suffering of Christ–not just the suffering on the cross but the entire suffering of His whole life. His suffering began in the manger and He suffered every day as He subjected Himself to the harsh realities of life in a fallen world.
The “grief” shows us Jesus’ emotional suffering. He was despised and rejected and we see the emotional pinnacle of His suffering on the cross when He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” This terrible moment is where the Father turned His back on His Son. This is actually a picture of how much God loves us.
God Gives Us Everything We need
The truth of God’s amazing love is the place to run. God giving Jesus shows us the magnificence of His love, but it also argues that He will continue to love us (Romans 8:31-32). Paul is arguing that if God would willingly give Christ over to suffer for us that He will definitely give us everything else that we need. It would make no sense for God to do this radical thing and then turn His back on you in your moment of need. That would make no redemptive logic. Paul is saying that Christ on the cross is our guarantee that God will be faithful to us.
God will do things in our lives that we do not understand. We have to trust the sovereignty of God. Isaiah 53:10 and Romans 8:31-32 are places that we should run to when we are confused about what He has brought in our lives.
The second half of verse 10 lays out God’s plan. The plan was that a second Adam had to come; the first Adam failed the test, and a second Adam had to come. Jesus was that second Adam, and He had to be willing to live in the middle of the harsh realities and the temptations of life in a fallen world. He was willing to be obedient in every way, in every thought, in every desire, in every word, and every action. He was obedient all the way to the cross. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God who can now carry our sins. He has satisfied the anger of God so that we can receive forgiveness, acceptance into the family of God, and eternal life.
Run to Jesus! Run to His love! Find Joy in God’s plan!
This week, as you reflect on the message, utilize this section to help you apply what has been taught to your life. Think of friends, co-workers, neighbors, family etc., that you could meet with to have a time of mutual sharing to discuss the implications of the message.
This simple acronym (BLESS, B - Bless, L - Listen, E - Eat, S - Speak, S - Sabbath) should help you to frame your life according to the great commandment “love God” (Matthew 22:37) and the expression of that commandment in loving your neighbor (John 13:34). Each time you meet, start by discussing the rhythms of your life according to B.L.E.S.S.
Intentionally bless: Christ-followers, non-believers and those different than you.
Listen to what God is saying to you, through His Word and others.
Share a meal with a Christ-follower and also a non-believer.
Talk to God through prayer and to others about Jesus through witness.
Be intentional about taking time to both rest and recreate.
Read: Isaiah 53:10
Share about a time when you had to do something very difficult and even painful, where the goal was filled with joy and satisfaction.
When you consider what it means to “reflect the hope of Christ”, give some examples of what this has looked like for you in your life.
How is Jesus “the way” that God has come to us?
NEXT WEEK'S PASSAGE: CHRISTMAS DAY!