Isaiah 53:10-12 God’s Servant Will Be Satisfied – Part 5 of 5

Isaiah 53:10-12 God’s Servant Will Be Satisfied – Part 5 of 5

The final stanza of this servant song can be summarized in one word: satisfied! God is satisfied! The Lord Jesus is satisfied! And we are satisfied too!

1. God is satisfied: 53:10

It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” One can readily understand other statements about the pleasure God found in the Lord Jesus: “It pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell” (Colossians 1:19); ‘this is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). And the Lord Himself could say, “I do always those things that please the Father”(John 8:29). His person, His life and His ministry were all pleasing to God. But in what sense could this be said of His death?

God found no pleasure in the fact that He suffered

Clearly God found no pleasure in the way men rejected and crucified His Son. Creation was convulsed at the death of Christ: the sun refused to shine, the earth quaked, and the graves were opened. Everything suggested that God was deeply involved in what was happening. We would have understood if He had intervened directly and poured out His wrath upon those responsible for that monstrous act. But, instead of that, as we sometimes sing, ‘the Holy One did hide His face, O Christ, ‘twas hid from Thee…”

God found pleasure in His death as an offering for sin

God brought much suffering into the life of Joseph but he looked back on it and explained it to his brothers in this way, “As for you, you meant evil against me; But God meant it for good in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). It pleased the Lord to bruise Joseph because his sufferings were the divinely prescribed means by which blessing would be brought into the lives of others. In a similar way God was pleased to bruise His Son. At Calvary God’s holiness was involved: He could not arbitrarily ignore sin. God’s justice was involved: He demanded satisfaction for sin. God’s love was involved: He desired to reach out to and save men and women. The resolution of all of this was: “You made His soul an offering for sin”, an offering that was all that God required and that satisfied Him.

God found pleasure in the results of His offering

He shall see His seed.” An indication of divine favour and blessing to the Jews was to have numerous children and especially to see one’s children’s children (e.g. Psalm 128:6). The Lord Jesus has a seed: those who believe in Him.

He shall prolong His days.” Another indication of divine favour was long life (eg. Psalm 91:16). His death would not be the end and so He says, “I am He Who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18).

the pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” “In His hand” suggests authority and control. For example, the angels of the seven churches are in His right hand (Revelation 1:16), under His control and subject to His authority. Paul writes about ‘the mystery of God’s will, according to His good pleasure which he purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:9-10). Thus God’s pleasure will find fulfillment in the Lord Jesus when everything is united in Him.

But “in His hand” can have another meaning. If someone leaves something in my hand, he is making me responsible to look after it. And so, when we read about the Lord Jesus “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3), it may point to the responsibility He was given. Within the Godhead there was this commitment to do something about a world gone wrong and it was agreed that the Lord Jesus would handle it. It was in His hand because God entrusted Him with the work of redemption. And God has not been disappointed. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus accomplished all that was desired, such that in every way His work has been satisfactory and God is satisfied.

2. The servant is satisfied:53:11

He shall see the labour of His soul, and be satisfied.” The work He undertook was no easy, simple task. It was “labour”, hard, trying, laborious, wearying and yet satisfying. This satisfaction came from knowing that:

His work was completed

The Lord Jesus could say, “I have glorified You upon the earth. I have finished the work which You gave me to do”(John 17:4). On the cross He made that triumphant announcement, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

His work was appreciated

Notwithstanding the fact that He was rejected, the Lord Jesus was appreciated where it mattered most. This was especially so in His resurrection, as is suggested by the NIV translation of this verse: “After the suffering of His soul He shall see the light of life…” The resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus were God’s “amen” to His work. It looked like He had been abandoned but what He was doing was acceptable to His Father and was appreciated by Him.

His work was effective

That’s the principle thought in this text. He shall see all that follows from His atoning sufferings: His Father is glorified, the devil’s power is nullified, and men and women are justified. He will see us (the fruit of ‘the labour of His soul”) and He will be satisfied. We sometimes sing, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.” In that coming day the Lord Jesus will look at us and He will say, “It was worth it all!” Referring again to the story of Joseph, I expect he felt that way when he looked at his brothers and recognized the hand of God in it all. But, if anyone could look at what he had accomplished and express satisfaction with it, that person was the Lord Jesus.

3. We are satisfied: 53:11-12

He shares His righteousness with us: 53:11 “By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many.” That says something about His character: He is righteous. It also says something about His actions: His was a “righteous act” (Romans 5:18). What Adam did was a transgression and an offence and an act of disobedience; what the Lord Jesus did was a work of righteousness and an act of obedience which results in justification.

“His knowledge” may be understood in an objective sense, referring to our knowledge of Him. It is only as we come to know Him and trust in Him that we are justified (cf. Romans 3:26). Alternatively, “His knowledge” may be understood in a subjective sense, referring to what He knows. When Joseph was sent by his father to get news of his brothers, he came to Shechem and they were not there. He might have returned home and advised his father that he had done what he was asked to do but his brothers were not at Shechem. But Joseph knew his father and understood what his father wanted. He enquired and discovered that they had gone to Dothan and he went after them and found them there. The Lord Jesus said, “…I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:15). He knew His Father, His concern for the sheep, His desire to save lost men and women and bring them back to Himself. He knew how that was to be accomplished and He was willing to do what was necessary and lay down His life for the sheep. His knowledge of the divine will and His submission to it has resulted in many being justified.

He shares His reward with us: 53:12

God rewards His servant as a victor on the field of battle shares in the spoils of victory: “I will divide Him a portion with the great.” And He in turn ‘shall divide the spoil with the strong.” The ‘strong” are we who are trusting in Him and who benefit from all that He has done. Joseph had a portion in the Egypt: “God has made me lord of all Egypt.” And he desired to share it with his family: “Come down to me, do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me… I will provide for you… Joseph situated his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land…Then Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread according to the number in their families”(Genesis 45:9-11; 47:11-12). So it is that the Lord Jesus shares with us the results of His work, since it was for us that “He poured out His soul unto death.” He identified with us and “was numbered with the transgressors.” Mark quotes this passage with reference to the two thieves who were crucified with Him, one on either side (Mark 15:27). But Luke appeals to this text as a general description of what was involved in His sufferings (Luke 22:37). We were the transgressors; He identified with us and bore our sin and made intercession for us. All this He did on our behalf and we are blessed through Him. Surely we are satisfied!



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