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Sunday, March 06, 2016

[Matt's Messages] "Jesus Paid It All"

“Jesus Paid It All”
March 6, 2016 :: Isaiah 53 

You may have noticed a slight change in the furniture up here at the stage.

In fact, I think it’s pretty hard to miss.

It’s not going to be up here every Sunday, but I wanted to do something different this month to focus our minds and hearts together on the Cross.

We just recently finished the book of Romans. And the big question when you finish something big like that is, “What’s next?”

What is our next sermon series? What are we going to study next? What are we going to learn next? What’s up next?

And the big, long-term answer to that question is the Old Testament books of 1st and 2nd Kings. 1st and 2nd Kings. Soon, we’re going to pick up our long-term ongoing journey through the big story of the Bible that we’ve been on since 2003. Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and most recently 1st and 2nd Samuel.

So, 1st and 2nd Kings is what’s next in the long run.

But I don’t plan to start us in those books until after Resurrection Sunday. Not until April begins will we dive into the stories of the Kings.

So what’s next in the short run?

“Jesus Paid It All.”

We sang a newer version of that song this morning. We’re going to sing it every Sunday this month.

And I want us think about the truth of that song every Sunday this month.

“Jesus Paid It All.”

That’s what this table is all about.

Jesus Paid It All
All to Him I Owe
Sin Had Left a Crimson Stain
He Washed It White As Snow

Did you ever have one of those moments when everything in the world made sense?

Where the “penny dropped” and you finally “got it.”

When I was a very young man, maybe 15 years old or so, maybe 14, the choir at my home church was doing a cantata.

Do you know what cantata is? Cantata is the Latin word for long, boring, choir concert.

I’m just kidding. Actually, I love choir concerts!

But a cantata is a longer choir concert often on a single theme.

And this was an Easter one.

And I was listening closely. I didn’t always listen closely when I was a kid, but that day I was.

I wasn’t searching for something spiritual. At least, I didn’t think I was.

But the choir sang this song and a younger adult named Jim Artz sang the verse as a solo.

Jesus Paid It All
All to Him I Owe
Sin Had Left a Crimson Stain
He Washed It White As Snow

And the Holy Spirit used that solo at that moment to draw me to God and to give me an understanding of the gospel like I had never had before.

I remember it so clearly, and it got me through some painful times that I was going through right then. And it strengthened my faith as I debated Christianity with my friends at that time.

It was all suddenly so clear!

Jesus had paid for it all. And I owed Him everything.

Turn with me, if you would to the prophecy of Isaiah chapter 53.

Because the lyrics of that song are powerful because they are true. What they are saying is in the Bible. And probably the place where it’s the clearest is Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53 is one of the most famous passages of holy Scripture, and rightly so.

For it predicts the suffering of Jesus Christ over 700 years before He was born!

Isn’t that amazing?!

Isaiah was written at least 700 years before Jesus was born, but when we read it today, you can hear it. It’s so obviously about Him.

It doesn’t use His name.

It actually refers to Him as “God’s servant.”  And describes Him in prophetic terms as God’s Suffering Servant.

A servant undergoing an almost unbearable amount of personal suffering.

But not in vain.

Now, we won’t be able to talk about every detail of this chapter. A few years ago, I preached Isaiah 53 in 3 messages, and I still didn’t get to all of the nooks and crannies and glorious nuances in this prophecy.

But I do think that we can feel the weight of it. That we can do some justice to the potent heaviness, the weightiness of this passage of Scripture and feel it in our bones that Jesus paid it all.

Let’s actually start in Isaiah 52, the last 3 verses, because that’s where this part of the prophecy really begins to unfold. Isaiah 52:13.

“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.”

God speaks first.

In the King James, it says, “Behold!”

Look at this! God has an appointed servant, and He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

It starts on a good note. And that’s important to remember because it goes down really fast after that.

But it starts with a vision of the end so that we know the story has a happy ending.

No matter how awful the story gets in the middle, the end is going to be glorious. V.14

“Just as there were many who were appalled at him–his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness–so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.”

Again, something good is going to happen. God’s servant will “sprinkle many nations.” He’ll purify them. He’ll sanctify them.

And alternate translation will be, He’ll “startle” many nations. They’ll be surprised so much so that the “kings will shut their mouths because of him.”

They’ll be saying, “Wow! I never saw that coming!”

“Nobody ever told me that this could happen, that this would happen! That He would do that!”

But to get there, to this sprinkling or startling of the nations, it will take massive suffering.

V.14 says that the Servant’s appearance would be disfigured beyond that of any man.

I think that means that He wouldn’t even look human.

Now think about the Cross.

This month, think about the Cross. Pick a gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John and read the last several chapters slowly. Maybe do each one. And see what Jesus went through.

Think about how they treated him at His trial, His scourging, His crucifixion.

Do you think when they were done with Him, that he looked like a man?

In verse 1, the prophet speaks.

“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

Who is listening? Who has gotten the gospel? Who has been paying attention?

Who gets what I’m saying about this Suffering Servant? He is the arm of the LORD. He is the Messiah who has been promised. He is the Lord’s strength.

Is anybody listening?

Very few. He didn’t seem like much. V.2

“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

He didn’t stand out in the crowd.

He seemed like a little weed, a little shoot from the stump, not a real tree.

Not anything to be reckoned with.

He wasn’t a Joseph or David or even a Saul.

He came from Nazareth. Can anything good come from Nazareth?

It’s like Pinchy. Can anything good come from Pinchatoly?

We wouldn’t take Him seriously.

You see that’s part of His suffering. Jesus who was God laid aside His glory and lived in obscurity. He deserved all worship and He got ignored. V.3

“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

We turned our back on Him.
We did not care that He was suffering.

He was obviously a loser.

Only losers suffer!

But it turns out that the suffering He was doing was our suffering. V.4

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows [the pronouns are so important], yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. [Those were our sufferings! V.5] But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Jesus paid it all.

Now, I want this to be really clear.

It’s possible to see the suffering of Jesus and not realize that it’s because of our sins.

V.4 says that He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.

So, one thing He did was suffer with those who suffer. He hurt with those who hurt.

He was pained with those who are pained.

And that’s encouraging if you are someone who has experienced great suffering yourself.

Jesus understands and is going through it with you.

He is man of sorrows and familiar with suffering–including yours.

But verse 5 says something more. It says that the sufferings the Servant went through (and it’s so obviously Jesus, isn’t it?), that his sufferings were because of our transgressions, our iniquities. That’s not just our trials, that’s our sins.

His hands were pierced because of my gluttony, my gossip, my lust, my hate, my anger, my jealousy, my arrogance, my deceit.

And yours, too.

He was crushed because of your sins.

Think about your last week, your last seven days.

How many sins?

Either things you did that you shouldn’t have done.
Or things you should have done that went undone.

How many sins?

V.6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Substitution is at the heart of the gospel.

Jesus got what we deserve.

When you see Jesus on the Cross in your minds’ eye, realize that that is the treatment that you deserve for your crimes against humanity and more importantly your crimes against the Deity.

Your crimes against God.

“The LORD has laid on [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.”

Jesus paid it all.

He suffered, and we profited.

We are in Isaiah 53. We’re the sheep. Stupid little sheep choosing our own way. No matter who we hurt. No matter how wrong we are.

Verse 6 should read, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has...sent us all to hell.”

But that’s how it reads.

It says, “Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

By His wounds, we are healed.

Saved!

Jesus bore our sins.

I know that we say that all of the time. Let’s never take it for granted.

Let’s never get used to that idea.

The servant suffered for our sins. And He did submissively. V.7

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

That’s Jesus at His trial, right?

He could have easily defended Himself and accused them. But He had chosen this and was following His Father’s will. V.8

“By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”

He didn’t deserve it.

But He died for our sins.

Interesting about being assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich (?) in His death. That’s fulfilled in Joseph of Arimathea, isn’t it?

Jesus was sinless. Jesus was innocent. Jesus was pure and spotless.

Yet Jesus was sacrificed. V.10

“Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer...”

Those are some of the hardest words in this prophecy to swallow.

The King James rightly translates that it God was “pleased” to crush him and cause him to suffer.

Not because God is cruel. But because God is just and loving at the same time. Perfectly just and perfectly loving at the same time.

And this, in God’s wisdom, was the way to save His people from their sins.

To be both just and the justifier of those who believe. (Romans 3)

Because Jesus’ suffering was not in vain.

Jesus’ sacrifice was salvific! His life was a guilt offering. V.10 again.

“Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.”

What?

I thought it said that the Servant was going to die?

Yes. Pierced, crushed, slaughtered, taken away, cut off from the land of the living, a guilt offering sacrificed up.

But then RAISED UP!

Good Friday was a evil as it comes. But Resurrection Sunday was just 3 days away!

What’s amazing about Isaiah 53 is that it not only predicts the crucifixion, but also the resurrection.

What is this offspring of the Servant? It’s you and me. It’s Jesus’ children by faith.

It’s God’s children by adoption. “And the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” v.11

“After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

Jesus paid it all.

You know what that means?

That means that our debt is fully paid.

And it means that Jesus will be rewarded for His suffering, and He’s planning to share the rewards with us?!!!  Can you imagine?!!?!

The very people whose sin placed Him on the cross?  Victory in Jesus!

Do you hear God’s voice in verses 11 and 12?

Just like He spoke in verse 1, “My servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted,” God speaks again in these last two verses.

“I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

God says that He will reward His Servant for paying that terrible price.

That’s what Paul was meditating on when he wrote Philippians 2.

“Christ Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus paid it all.

He bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Do you feel the weight of that?

That’s what I felt when I heard that song sung when I was 15.

I got it. In many ways, for the first time right then.

I want to live there this month.

All the time really, but I want to dwell at the foot of the Cross and look up and see my Savior and what He did for me.

Jesus Paid It All.

Three points of application as we celebrate around this table.

#1. REPENT.

I hope that none of us take Jesus’ sacrifice for granted.

Oh, that’s Jesus’ job. I do the sinning. He does the suffering.

Thanks for the blood!

When I read this and see what Jesus went through for me, it should cause me to blush with shame over my sin.

To regret it and hate it and turn from it.

I can’t pay for it. He’s done that already.

But I can hate it.

I can turn from it. I can wage war on my sins.

Today, at this table, tell the Lord how much you hate your own sin and turn away from it.

Use this as a time of confession.

If you don’t see your sin at all, then don’t eat the bread and drink from the cup.

Because this is a meal for sinners.

Only sinners eat this meal. Only those who can see how vile they’ve been are welcome here.

Repent.

#2. RECEIVE.

Receive the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus has paid for them all. He was pierced for your transgressions. He was crushed for your iniquities. The punishment that brings you peace was upon Him.

By His wounds you are healed.

By His knowledge of suffering, God’s righteous servant will justify many.

Or as John said it, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Receive Him.

Maybe for the first time.

If you have not received Him as your Savior, we invite you to do so right now!

This table is only for those who have received Jesus.

Maybe for the thousandth time, receive His forgiveness.

Because Jesus paid it all, your debt is paid.

Walk in that. Don’t keep trying to pay your own way.

Receive His payment on your behalf.

#3. REJOICE!

Rejoice that all of this is true.

Jesus is satisfied. Jesus is happy about His work and what He did for us.

Even as we regret and repent of our sins, we rejoice that they are paid for.

So praise Him!

“Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!”

Rejoice!

Thank the Lord for His goodness and kindness and mercy and grace.

This is a table of thanksgiving.

This is a table of rejoicing.

This is a table of celebration.

We’re dividing the spoils with the Savior!

“Because he poured out his life unto death and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sins of many and made intercession” for us.

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