Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Coming Messiah cont.

In this post we continue to focus on God’s amazing gift of love in sending His Son to provide our salvation.

Is. 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.

“gone astray” = deceive, (cause to, make to) err, seduce, (make to) stagger, (cause to) wander, be out of the way.

As I look at the first two clauses in this verse, I get a picture of two different kinds of sheep. The first one wanders off from where he should be because of deceit, or bad judgment, or seduction, or physical impairment. The second is making a deliberate choice to go off on his own and choose his own path independent of the shepherd. These directly relate to the sinners and transgressors in the previous verse.

“laid” = to impinge, by accident or violence, or (figuratively) by importunity:—come (betwixt), cause to entreat, fall (upon), make intercession, intercessor, intreat, lay…

“impinge” = To fall or dash against; to touch upon; to strike; to hit; to clash with; — with on or upon.

More often than not, the Hebrew sends my mind spinning in many directions. YHWH, God the Father, laid our sin on Jesus, His Son. Paul declared this truth in his letter to the Corinthians. As I read through the different translations, I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them. I think you need a couple of them to get the complete picture.

Complete Jewish Bible - 2Cor. 5:21 God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.”
New International Version - 2Cor. 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In my mind it is important to recognize that in becoming our sin offering He became our sin. He was there in our stead. This is something the Jews who lived under the sacrificial system of the law understood much more completely than do we who live under grace.

By laying our sin on Jesus, God the Father effectively created a separation between Himself and His Son that had never before existed.

Matt. 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

In our mind I don’t think we can adequately picture how violent and terrible this was for Father or Son. It wasn’t just my sin, or your sin; it was the sins of every person who has ever lived or will ever live on planet earth. His sacrifice was for all.

Rom. 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

1Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

After willingly and obediently becoming our sacrifice, Jesus became our intercessor before the Father.

Heb. 7:25 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.

Is. 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.

Oppressed doesn’t sound so bad; the Hebrew gives a clearer picture—He was driven like an animal and tyrannized. He was afflicted; the Hebrew included humbling oneself and submitting. No matter how unjust or cruel His treatment, He endured it without complaint or fighting back. He is pictured as a lamb being taken to slaughter and as a sheep being taken to have its wool shaved off—completely submissive.

And then the most amazing truth of all—

Is. 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

“it pleased the LORD” – This is a hard phrase for me to digest. God the Father was pleased (desired and took delight) with the bruising (beating to pieces, crushing) and grief (pain, weakness, wounding) of His Son. I can hardly see through the tears even as I type this. It’s easier for me to put the focus of His pleasure on the obedience of His Son—His Son’s desire to do the will of His Father over His own will. The thing is—the Father would never have put such a plan into place were it not for my sin. I know my heart; I would never have chosen such a selfless act of unconditional love and sacrifice involving my son. God's love is so amazing! The lengths to which He has gone to have a relationship with me as His child is totally beyond my understanding. I know how many times I have failed Him—sometimes ignorantly, but more often than not by willful choice. I feel so unworthy, yet He considers me of great value, a special treasure. This is one truth I’m not sure I’ll ever understand—even in heaven.

Jesus was both our complete sin and trespass offering (described in Leviticus 4-6). Again, the Jewish people understood this far better than we. The main difference being that the offering of Jesus was sufficient once for all.

“he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days” – I had to stop and think about this phrase quite a while. I finally realized that the word his was throwing me; it is not in the original. It doesn’t matter so much with the first phrase as it does with the second. Jesus would see his seed, His offspring; that is a reference to His spiritual offspring—not physical. “He shall prolong days” I think is a reference to the time that the Father would allow for the offspring to be a great multitude. As I was reminded when reading through one commentary, to have many children was considered a special blessing to the Jews. The Father wants to greatly honor His Son.

No comments: