So We Would Be Numbered with the Saints

Download Lent Vespers 6 2019 SRM

Isaiah 53:10–12 (CSB)
10 Yet the Lord was pleased to crush him severely.,
When you make him a guilt offering,
he will see his seed, he will prolong his days,
and by his hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished.

11 After his anguish, he will see light and be satisfied.
By his knowledge,
my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will carry their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will give him the many as a portion,
and he will receive the mighty as spoil,
because he willingly submitted to death,
and was counted among the rebels;
yet he bore the sin of many
and interceded for the rebels.

In the ancient world when the king or emperor or general won a great victory, he held a triumph, a celebration including a great parade of the treasure seized and of the captive enemies dragged as slaves in the parade. The victor and his heroes rode on gorgeous horses or in splendid wagons or chariots.

A little of this lives on in the form of the grand parades of the winners of the Superbowl or the NCAA basketball tournament.

In this fourth song of the suffering servant, Yahweh tells us how and why He celebrates the victory of His Hero, as the humble servant is exalted.

HOW? His Hero is not a subordinate, but true God with the Father. The song begins by referring to Him as Isaiah only refers to the mighty God:  “See, my servant will be successful; he will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted.” (Isaiah 52:13, CSB)

Another HOW? Therefore I will give him the many as a portion, and he will receive the mighty as spoil. He received “the many,” all of the gifts that He gives to the church, The one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens, to fill all things. And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:10–12, CSB)

Add to that the Holy Spirit and all the gifts of the spirit (to list just a few) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.” (Galatians 5:22–23, CSB)

And HOW else shall He celebrate, with all His mighty enemies as captives, “For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25–26, CSB) Death itself is destroyed before Him.

And WHY? Because the Exalted LORD of all stooped to serve: “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— in heaven and on earth and under the earth— and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8–11, CSB)

because he willingly submitted to death,
and was counted among the rebels;
yet he bore the sin of many
and interceded for the rebels.

The Song of the Suffering Servant is the celebration of the love of Christ, who intercedes, not for the innocent or the righteous, but for the sinners and the rebels, and submitted to death itself for them, to deliver them victoriously.

Jesus knew that this is what lay before him when He went up to Jerusalem to face the cross: “For I tell you, what is written must be fulfilled in me: And he was counted among the lawless. Yes, what is written about me is coming to its fulfillment.” (Luke 22:37, CSB)

This is the eternal song of victory, the song of the victory of the Savior through suffering, death, and finally resurrection. It is His love that it is at the center of our faith, and knowing Him our greatest Joy, as Paul writes, “I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16–19, CSB)

So may you ponder the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord, the Christ, victorious over sin and death in your place.