• Christ Church, Willesborough

First Sunday after Easter Morning Prayer (11 April 2021) Isaiah 53:12

Updated: Apr 24, 2021


Prophet Isaiah lived during 760-700 BC. His prophesies were warning calls calling the Israelites to repent and turn to the LORD Almighty. Like many other prophets who prophesised about the birth and death of Jesus, Isaiah also prophesised about the birth and death of Jesus. In Isaiah 9:6 we read, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. In Isaiah 53:5 we read, “he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”. Isaiah 53 talks about the passion and death of Jesus Christ to give salvation to the mankind. He prophesised about God’s salvation to the mankind.

Today, I would like to meditate based on our Old Testament Reading, Isaiah chapter 53 verse 12. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; 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”. The verse mentions two rewards that Jesus will receive. What did Jesus do to receive the two rewards? We have the answer in the same verse.

1. Poured out His soul unto death and bore the sins of many

2. Numbered with the transgressors and

3. Made intercession for the transgressors

1. Poured out His soul unto death and bore the sins of many

Because of the disobedience and sin committed by the first Adam, humans lost salvation and the glory of God. Sin passed on through the generations. Old Testament Laws and commandments could not give salvation. When the Israelites were in their bondage land, God the Father asked them to celebrate the Passover Meal. God the Father said that the blood of the Passover lamb on their door posts would be a token of His covenant with them. A few Egyptians who heard about the covenant celebrated the Passover meal. Similarly, there were Israelites who did not celebrate the Passover meal that night. Irrespective of Israelite or Egyptian, the first-born sons died in the houses that did not have the blood of the Passover lamb. Hebrews 9:22 says, “almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission”. That night, the Passover lamb without any blemish was sacrificed to save the first-born sons from death. Jesus Christ came to this world as the later Adam to offer the salvation that was lost by the first Adam. Luke 19:10 says, “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. Jesus offered Himself as the Passover Lamb. He bore our sins and poured His soul unto death for the whole world. Hebrews 7:27 says, “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself”. He was without sin or blemish but offered Himself as the one-time sacrifice to redeem us. When He said “It is finished” on the Cross, the continuous cycle of offering sacrifices was finished because Jesus offered Himself as the sacrificial Passover Lamb.

2. Numbered with the transgressors

Jesus lived a sinless life in this world. In Luke 2:51 we read that He was subject unto His parents. Jesus’s focus was to fulfil His Father’s mission to give salvation to mankind. He performed many miracles. The people were not hurt or harmed. But the priests and soldiers came to arrest Jesus like a thief. The people who received Jesus as the King of Peace on Palm Sunday asked Him to be crucified. They asked a murderer to be released instead of Jesus. He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. He was crucified between two thieves. While on the Cross, one of the thieves said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom”. Jesus replied, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise”. Jesus said in Luke 5:32, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. This was fulfilled when Jesus was on the cross. Although Jesus was numbered with the transgressors, He fulfilled His Father’s mission. Even when He was numbered among sinners, He seized the opportunity to save one of them. He saved the thief even when He was hanging on the Cross.

3. Made intercession for the transgressors

The purpose of Jesus’s first Advent was to die for the sins of the world and give salvation to mankind. In John 17 we read Jesus praying and interceding for all whom the Father had given Him. In Luke 22:44 we read He was in agony and prayed more earnestly. When Jesus lived like us as a human, the road to Calvary was a very difficult path. He had to bear the agony, pain, insult and humiliation. While on the Cross, His Father’s face was hidden from Him. When He had to endure the sufferings by Himself, Jesus cried “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” But even when He was forsaken by His Father, Jesus prayed “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. In Matthew 5:44 and 45 Jesus preached “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven”. When He prayed on the Cross He showed practiced what He preached. He witnessed that He is His Father’s Son. When Jesus interceded on the Cross, the prophecy regarding intercession for the transgressors was fulfilled two thousand years back.

Jesus Christ came into this world and fulfilled His Father’s mission in this world. He fulfilled the prophecies about His birth, life, death and resurrection to give us. He came as later Adam and restored the glory that was lost by the first Adam. Jesus poured out His soul unto death on the Cross. Romans 4:20 says Jesus was “delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”. He bore the sins of many and died for us. He rose again from the dead and took victory over sin and death. He was numbered with the transgressors so we are saved. He had to bear the heavy Cross to set us free. Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” In Romans 8:26 we read “the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Even today, He is interceding for us to the Father. Jesus did His part and received His reward.

We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus last Sunday. Jesus resurrected to give salvation to everyone. The thief who accepted Jesus as his personal saviour was saved during the last minutes of his life. The one who rejected salvation did not go to Paradise with Jesus. In Matthew 24:40-42 Jesus sais, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come”. The probability of people accepting the salvation Jesus offers is 50%. Let us ask ourselves which 50% we are in. Are we among those who are saved waiting for the second Advent of Jesus Christ? We don’t know when Jesus will come to receive the church as His bride. Have we inherited salvation through and from Him? Are we ready to face Him without sin when He comes for the second time? Are we sanctified through His offering of His body and soul unto death? It’s the time to self-reflect, ponder and prepare ourselves to meet Jesus when He comes to receive the church as His bride. Only when we prepare ourselves, the purpose of Jesus bearing agony, pain, insult and humiliation will be fulfilled. The purpose of Jesus’s sacrifice will be fulfilled only if we inherit eternal life with Him. Let us ask ourselves if Advent, Lent and Resurrection Sunday have real meaning in our lives. If they are meaningful, we can be confident we will hear Him say to us, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. I would like to close with a verse from 1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” Amen!

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