The Victorious Death of the Savior
Dr. Tamene Menna
Overview: From the beginning, God’s purpose in choosing Israel was that they would be light to the nations. However, they themselves were caught in spiritual bondage because of their sin. Throughout the book of Isaiah, they are accused of their blindness and idolatrous tendency. However, despite their sin, God in His mercy promised to come to His people in salvation and to bare His Holy arm in the sight of the nations. But the means the salvation of God revealed to the people was strange and surprising. So strange, that not many recognized it or paid attention to it. God accomplished His plan of salvation through a suffering servant who was despised, rejected, and put to death by the people. Despite His rejection and humiliation, the servant became the means of atoning for the sins of the nations. Isaiah’s prophesy of God’s saving activity that began in the history of Israel reached its fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As promised by God, this salvation through Jesus Christ is not just for the benefit of Israel but is extended to the whole world: to all who believe and accept the gift of forgiveness. And this good news of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus continues to advance through the suffering of its witnesses who find their calling and example in Christ Himself.
1. God’s salvation that began in the history of Israel reached its fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. God’s salvation through the victorious death of Jesus is to all people who accept God’s gift of forgiveness by faith.
3. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to advance through the suffering of its witnesses who find their calling and example from Christ Himself.
Questions for Discussion and Discovery
1. Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. How did Jesus fulfill the role of the suffering servant?
2. Can the question in 53:1a be asked regarding the gospel today? What is the normal response in today’s culture that you hear from people when you try to share the gospel? Isaiah 53:1. John 1:9-11.
3. The speaker in v.1b by way of rhetorical question implies that the arm of the Lord- God’s saving power is mysterious unless God reveals it. What does this teach us about evangelism and prayer?
4. Read Isaiah 53:4-6. Identify how many times the personal pronouns “our,” “we,” or “us” appear. What was the purpose of the servant’s suffering? Identify the words descriptive of our sin. How do people respond to this biblical view of our sinful nature?
5. In what ways can we follow Christ’s example of suffering today so that others may know His salvation?
For further reading: Grogan, Geoffrey W. Isaiah. EBC 6. Zondervan, 1984