David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology.

Tag: Isaiah 53

Staring into the Abyss of Wrath

“And he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.'” (Mark 14:34-36)

Reading through this passage this morning presented me once again with the awful reality of what Jesus was staring into in the garden, looking into the dreadful cup of God’s wrath that He would have to endure if we were to be saved. The Father’s justice had to be satisfied if we were to be counted righteous. What lied in that cup of God’s just anger is terrifying beyond all of the physical torment He experienced. Its contents more hopeless and painful than any situation we could find ourselves in upon this Earth. What lied in that cup was hell. And He drank it down to the dregs.

Jesus was stricken for our sins, smitten and afflicted on our behalf, as prophesied in Isaiah 52:13-53, amongst other places. Jesus was looking into being cut off from the land of the living, taking on the curse that rightfully should fall on us sinners, becoming the final sacrificial lamb for all time, that we may be made right with God through faith alone, apart from works.

And not only did He endure the curse for us, but He prevailed triumphant in the resurrection, raised to life and thus sealed the hope of our salvation. He defeated sin, death and hell. What love must this be that would motivate the God of the universe to become a man, to bear our punishment though guiltless in Himself, and take on the very judgment our sins deserved? What a wonderful Savior!

Cursed is Everyone Who is Hanged on a Tree

“And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God.” – Deuteronomy 21:22-23

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.'” – Galatians 3:13

I came across this passage in reading Deuteronomy today (and thought about its fulfillment in Galatians 3:13) and it got me to thinking in light of the saddening and disheartening revelation concerning The Shack author William P. Young’s denial of substitutionary atonement: Did Jesus commit any crime punishable by death at all? No, we all say together, He was sinless. Yet He willingly gave Himself over to a criminals death based upon this passage in Deuteronomy, right? Right. So if He was sinless, why was He condemned to this awful punishment? It must be that it was for someone other than Himself, for there is no other explanation, other than those that fall infinitely short of a satisfactorily Biblical answer. For whose crime was He willingly entering into and suffering then? The undeniable answer of the Bible is He suffered for sinners who admit their guilt and believe in the only name of the Son of God, resting in His work alone on their behalf to save them. Romans 3:21-26 is the best place to see this great news.

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Isaiah 53:4-6

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Isaiah 53:4-6 (In Context)

I just love going back to the Old Testament and seeing Christ spoken of so clearly. This is the very Gospel in the Old Testament, that our Messiah would suffer so greatly on our behalf. I find it interesting to see how the writer talks about how He carried (past-tense) our sorrows, how he was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. Christ’s sacrificial death spans and pierces through time. When He died, He died with supreme, sovereign intentionality, to purchase those those the Father had chosen in eternity past, before the foundation of the world, His children (John 17). Christ’s atonement was to bring glory to God and to purchase salvation for the children of God, Jew and Gentile. The Holy Spirit then applies this work of redemption to the children of God in time. One of the cool things though is that the work of Christ was clearly perceived by the prophets several hundred years before Christ was born, this piece of scripture being a clear picture of this. How cool is that? They saw the work of redemption that was coming, not necessarily knowing all the particulars, but nevertheless seeing the Work of works. Thank God for Jesus, that He would put on human flesh, live a perfect life unto God, die on the cross for our sins, and rise from the grave, that any who would believe in Him would be saved. It’s just simply amazing, the very thing that brings life, and meaning to life. If you’re depressed, look to the cross of Christ; if you think more highly of yourself than you ought, look to the cross of Christ; if you have huge decisions to make, look to the cross of Christ and base them upon and as a result of His work. Are you worried or anxious? Look to the cross of Christ. There is nothing better than personal communion with the God of all time, the Sovereign King, the LORD of lords. Go to Him and look to Calvary where He was “crushed for our iniquities” and that “with His stripes we are healed.” Sin has ruined everything, Christ and His work can fix anything.

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