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7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted; yet ? he opened not his mouth : 2 he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
8. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for 3 he was cut off out of the land of the living : for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Matt. 26:63; 27: 12, 14. Mark 14:61; 15:5. John 19:9.
? Acts 8: 32.
3 Dan. 9: 26.
site of God's way; it leads to ruin, and he cannot alone find the way to heaven and God. And the Lord hath laid on him. The word “laid” means to light, in hostile encounter, whether as many burdens on one shoulder, or many shafts aimed at one common target. Each sin of every sinner would be like a separate wound in the heart of this Man of sorrows. — Birks. The iniquity of us all. The sorrows that were due for our iniquity, the
to bear our sins; he took our place of his own free choice. And as he was really God, thus God himself bore our sins and is our Redeemer. Some have said that it is mean to allow another to bear the pains we deserve. We do not allow it: but it is the very essence of love, of nobleness, of greatness, to be willing to suffer for the good of others. And it is exactly this which the God-man Jesus Christ did, and thus has expressed more clearly, than by all he has done in this marvellous universe, the goodness, the greatness, the love, the exalted nature of our God and Saviour.
CHRIST BEARING THE SINS OF MEN.
1. Punishment (1) expresses the feeling of justice due for sin. (2) It is one measure of the evil of sin, showing God's abhorrence of it. (3) It is meant for the good of the sinner, to persuade him to cease from sin. (4) It is a warning to others to avoid that which so displeases God and brings ruin to man.
II. Forgiveness, merely on condition of repentance, fails (1) in satisfying the sense of justice; (2) in showing the evil of sin; (3) in satisfying the conscience of the sinner himself; (4) in preventing sin in others. No ruler in a wicked world can make it a rule to forgive sin and remove its punishment on the mere condition of repentance, although it be sincere, without spreading and multiplying that sin. The peculiar sins of every community and nation prove this.
III. Christ bore the sins of men, so that to those who repent and believe on him, (1) the sense of justice is satisfied; (2) the evil of sin is shown to be greater than it could have been by the punishment of sin; (3) more than by any other power is the sinner saved from committing sin; (4) it is the greatest preventative of sin among men; it does more than all other forces to save the world from sinning. It brings the strongest motives — love, duty, fear, hope — to bear on the hearts of men with the greatest power. Facts visible in every Christian community prove that Christ does bear the sins of men away.
IV. Foregleams of the Suffering Saviour.- Vers. 7–10. 7. He was oppressed. All his ill-treatment was unjust and oppressive. He was afflicted. Rather, “ he submitted himself to affliction,” he accepted it voluntarily for the sake of saving men. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter. The essential truth taught here by the fig. ures of the sheep and lamb is the quiet non-resistance with which Christ submitted to all the indignity put upon him. -- L. Abbott. While at the same time he had the power to save himself from every one, and “more than twelve legions of angels" stood ready to defend him.
8. He was taken, etc. Or, “ through oppression (Ps. 107: 39, s.w.) and judgment was he taken away"; by violence which cloaked itself under the formalities of a legal process. - Cook. By violent hands he was seized upon, and hurried to trial, and by a sentence of unrighteous judgment carried off to execution. — Birks. Who shall declare his generation ? Meyer, Alford, and others understand this as equivalent to,“ Who can describe the wickedness of the men of this time?" Hengstenberg interprets it, “Who shall declare his posterity?" i.e., his spiritual children, born of the travail of his soul. R. Payne Smith renders it, “Who will care to bestow thought on a career so prematurely cut short?” This agrees better with the spirit of the passage than either of the other interpretations. - L. Ābbott. Cut off out of the land of the living. This implies a violent death. For the transgression of my people. He was indeed cut off, and his earthly career prematurely ended, but it was in order to save the people from their sins.
9. 1 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any 2 deceit in his mouth.
10. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him ; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul 3 an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, ' he
11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied : 6 by his knowledge shall ? my righteous 8 servant ' justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
1 Matt. 27: 57, 58, 60. ? 1 Pet. 2:22. John 3: 5. • 2 Cor. 5:21. 1 Pet. 2: 24. • Eph. 1: 5,9. 2 Thess. I:11. John 17: 3. 2 Pet. 1:3. ' 1 John 2:1. • Isa. 42: 1.
Rom. 6:9. Rom. 5:18, 19.
9. And he made (or, “ One appointed”) his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death. An enigma which only history could explain. Jesus was put to death with the wicked on the cross, and they thought to bury him in a criminal's grave. But by a striking providence the same authority gave permission to a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, who provided him with an honorable burial in his own rock-hewn tomb (Matt. 27: 57-60). - This striking and minutely accurate prophecy could not have been the result of conjecture. How could a pretended prophet, 700 years before the event, conjecture of one who was executed as a malefactor, that he would be buried with the rich, contrary to the usual course of events? - Barnes. Because he had done no violence. This was the reason why God so ordered matters in his providence. It was an attestation of his innocence (Cook). It was the beginning of his glorification (Philippi).
V. The Triumph of the Suffering Saviour. — Vers. 10–12. 10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him. The statement here is a climax rather than a contrast. It was not unjust judges alone, but the LORD himself, who laid on Messiah this heavy burden. — Birks. Not because of any displeasure with him; not as wishing him pain or evil; and not at all as approving the spirit or the deeds of his murderers; but as looking toward the ulterior reward — the glorious results which could not be reached save through much suffering. He had joy in the suffering only because the results were so surpassingly joyous and could be gained in no other way. — Cowles. When thou shalt make. The construction in the margin, when he shall make, is the one now usually adopted. — Alexander, In the common version “thou” refers to Jehovah. His soul. His life, his own heart's blood. — Cowles. An offering for sin. When the atonement is made and completed, then by means of that the following shall be the result. He shall see his seed. His spiritual children, those born by the Spirit into a holy and divine life like his. He shall prolong his days. (1) His days, which seemed to be brought to an end prematurely, shall be prolonged by a joyful resurrection (Ps. 21:4). — Birks. (2) He ever liveth in heaven, and is with his children to the end of time. (3) His kingdom and reign on earth shall never end. The pleasure of the Lord. The things which please the Lord: the salvation of men, their redemption from sin, and the flourishing of the fruits of the Spirit, - love, joy, etc. All these shall prosper in his hand, or under his government or direction. No power has ever yet been found like Christ for producing in men the character and the deeds which please the Lord.
11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. The word “ travail ” is here used in its old English sense of labor accompanied with pain, toil, without reference to any particular kind of labor or suffering. - Todd. The toil or travail is the suffering of Christ, when his soul was made a sin-offering. It is here promised that he shall behold the blessed effects of those sufferings, and be satisfied with them. — Birks. They will abundantly repay hin for all his sufferings. This is the grandest promise in the Bible with reference to the number of the saved. — Todd. Whatever may be true to-day, in the end the number of the saved shall be to those that are lost as the countless leaves of the forest to the few dead leaves of winter, -as all the inhabitants of the state to the few criminals in our state prison. Before the world's ages have passed away, Christ will be satisfied, and so shall we be satisfied with him. — P. By his knowledge. By the knowledge of him. By his sacrifice of love being made known to men, and by the experimental knowledge of him in their hearts. My righteous servant. The righteous one, my servant. None but a perfect being could make atonement. Justify many. Cause them to be treated as just or righteous before God, and also make them truly just in heart and life. 12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and 2 he shall divide the spoil with the strong ; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was 3 numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and 4 made intercession for the transgressors. 1 Ps. 2:8. Phil. 2:9. ? Col. 2:15. Mark 15:28. Luke 22:37. Luke 23:34. Rom. 8:34. Heb. 7: 25.
And those thus saved shall not be few, but many. For he shall bear their iniquities. All this shall be by means of the atonement which shall have force all down the ages.
12. Therefore. Still on account of his atoning love he never lets us forget the source and power of the world's salvation. Divide him a portion with the great. The simple meaning is that he shall be triumphant. Spiritual triumphs must be here intended. — Alexander. Not that others shall be sharers of his victory, but that he shall be as gloriously successful in his enterprise as other victors ever were in theirs. — S. T. Lowrie, D.D. The mighty are those who constitute the spoil, and therefore even the mighty kings (52:15) and strong nations (Mic. 4:3) shall become his inheritance (Ps. 2:8). – Birks. Because. He again refers these triumphs to the means by which they shall be obtained, — the atoning love of Jesus Christ. He was numbered with the transgressors. Not only by being crucified between two thieves, but in being made like sinful man, becoming one of a sinful race. And made intercession for the transgressors. Makes, and will make. “He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” Not merely in the restricted sense of prayer for others, but in the wider one of meritorious and prevailing intervention (Rom. 8: 34; Heb. 9: 24; 1 John 2:1). — Alexander. A Saviour; “all that God could give, and all that man can want.” – Josiah Gregory.
PRACTICAL. 1. One scheme of redemption runs through the whole Bible. The same Saviour is taught by symbol, and type, and prophecy in the Old Testament who is revealed in the New.
2. This unity of plan through fourteen centuries in many different writings, with definite prophecies fulfilled 700 years after they were written, is a proof that the Bible is from God."
3. Ver. 2. The world often despises, in their feeble beginnings, the best things that come to it, — the best men, the best reforms, the best inventions.
4. Those not acquainted with Christ, by receiving him into their hearts, do not perceive the beauty, and blessedness, and joy there is in him.
5. Ver. 3. We hide our faces from Christ behind the veils of prejudice, besetting sins, pride, and worldliness.
6. Ver. 4. Christ has felt human sorrow and overcome it. Therefore he can sympathize with us in our griefs, and by his divine power and love can take them away or transform them into blessings.
7. Ver. 6. Men have gone astray from the true path, and wandered, like sheep without a shepherd, into the ways of sin and danger, and cannot of themselves find their way back to God and heaven.
8. Christ by his life, sufferings, and death has made atonement for the sins of the world. In the light of this we see (1) the greatness of our sins; (2) our danger; (3) the love of God; (4) God's desire for our salvation; (5) our duty to forsake our sins and come to Christ; (6) the ingratitude of rejecting Christ.
9. Vers. 10, 11. Christ has not died in vain, and his work is a success in the world. 10. Great multitudes will be saved through Jesus Christ. II. The kingdom of Christ will triumph and endure forever. 12. The means by which it shall triumph is the atoning love of God in Jesus Christ. 13. The fruit of toiling and suffering for others more than pays for all it costs.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS. Note the time of this prophecy, and the wonderful accuracy of the description written 700 years before the event.
SUBJECT, – SALVATION THROUGH A SUFFERING SAVIOUR.
I. HOW THE SAVIOUR WAS FIRST RECEIVED BY MEN (vers. 1-3). Christianity, now so great, had the feeblest beginnings; and Jesus Christ, now so honored, was at first despised and rejected.
Illustrations. (1) The stone that smote the image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and which became a great mountain. (2) A little feeble child, like Moses in the bulrushes, becoming the founder of a great nation, and doing wonderful deeds as a general, a lawgiver, and organizer. (3) Almost all the greatest inventions and discoveries have been rejected and despised at first, the printing-press, the steam-engine, railroads, telegraphs, etc.
REASONS Why Christ was rejected then.
II. THE SAVIOUR BEARING OUR GRIEFs (ver. 4). In two ways when on earth. (1) By sympathy (John 11: 33–36; Luke 19:41, 42. (2) By healing their diseases (Matt. 8: 16, 17). In four ways in our time. (1) By sympathy (Heb. 4:15, 16). (2) By making them work out our good (Rom. 8:28; Heb. 12:10). (3) by making for us an eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17, 18). (4) By the Gospel's power in lessening poverty, sickness, and pain among men (Rev. 21:3, 4).
III. THE SAVIOUR BEARING OUR SINS (vers. 5-9). Here we study the meaning, the necessity, and the power of the atonement, the central fact of Christianity.
Illustrations. (1) The story of Zeleucus, king of the Locri. (2) The sufferings which one person voluntarily takes upon himself to help others do not illustrate the atoning power of Christ's death, but they do take away the objections sometimes made to the atonement, as if causing the innocent to suffer for the guilty. For (1) the innocent suffers for the guilty of his own free will. (2) He inflicts it on himself. (3) It is the highest manifesta. tion of love and heroism.
IV. THE SAVIOUR TRIUMPHING BY MEANS OF HIS SUFFERING (vers. 10–12).
NOTE that in each of these verses the source of the triumph is in the atonement. To leave that out of the Gospel is like leaving the steam out of the steam-engine or the light out the sun. For a vivid idea of the progress of the triumph of Christianity, see Dr. Dorchester's Religious Progress; or, as more condensed and useful to carry into the Sunday school, Rev. A. F. Schauffler's small, illustrated, but vivid and telling volume, The Growth of Christianity.
LESSON XII. — DEC. 20. THE GRACIOUS INVITATION. — ISA. 55:1-11. GOLDEN TEXT. — Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. — ISA. 55:1.
TIME. — Between B.C. 713 and 698, the last half of the reign of Hezekiah. It naturally follows soon after the last lesson.
PLACE. - The kingdom of Judah; centring at Jerusalem, its capital.
PLACE IN BIBLE HISTORY.-The history of the times when this prophecy was spoken is contained in 2 Kings, chaps. 18-21; 2 Chron., chaps. 29–33.
INTRODUCTION. In chap. 53 (our last lesson), the foundation truths of redemption were brought before us in the meritorious sufferings and atoning death of the Great Surety-Substitute. In chap. 54 we have the result of Messiah's fierce travail-pangs in the birth of a glorious church. It is a magnificent picture of the purchase secured by the Redeemer's agony. The tent that represents the former economy is not only enlarged to admit the vast spiritual progeny, but is marvellously transformed into an enduring palace or temple whose“ stones are laid in fair colors, its windows of agates, its gates of sparkling gems, and all thy boundary walls of jewels." What remains but to give the joyous welcome to this House Beautiful, and the feast spread therein. — Condensed from Macduff.
1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, 'come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, 2 and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 1 John 4:14; 7:37. Rev. 21:6; 22:17. Matt. 13: 44, 46. Rev. 3:18.
EXPLANATORY. 1. The Gracions Invitation. — Vers. 1-3. 1. Ho. The word “Ho” is perhaps corrupted from hold. It is an interjection, and signifies the same as Halloo! Oho! Attend! A call to excite attention. — Webster. Every one. Without limit or distinction. None are so far away, so defiled, so unworthy, but the invitation is given to them. This is far better than if each one were called by name; for there might be more than one of the same name, and we might not be quite sure that we were the ones invited. But “every one” certainly includes us. That thirsteth. That has any desire for these things. The invitation is useless to those who have no desire. No wants are so keen, none so imperiously demand supply, as those of hunger and thirst. When long continued, nothing is more distressing: hence the figure is often used to denote any intense desire for anything. Few persons in America ever know what thirst means. But in oriental lands one need not look alone at caravans crossing the desert for illustrations, when their water-supply has given out, when they are tantalized by an appearance of trees and water ahead, and push on with quickened, though feeble, sore, and convulsive march, knowing that they must drink or die; and then perhaps faint with exhaustion and disappointment at finding that they have for hours been painfully chasing a mirage. On many a waterless day's journey, the effects of heat and thirst make a man as ravenous as a wild beast when he approaches water. He plunges and snaps after it with involuntary, unreasoning, purely physical movements, and drinks and drinks, till he is as sick and distressed with fulness and torments therefrom as he was just before tortured with thirst. — Prof. I. H. Hall. Such is the thirst men should have for salvation; such would be their thirst if they realized its value. Come ye to the waters. The flowing streams, the cool springs, the copious showers. In countries like Palestine, where the want of water is frequently experienced, where so many months are without rain, and where an abundant supply would be so great a blessing, this image would be well understood. These waters typify whatsoever satisfies the thirst of the soul. Jesus Christ alone has the living waters which can satisfy the thirsts of the soul; and he satisfies them all. Just as many-sided as man is, so many-sided is the religion of Christ, to meet the wants of each. Man is the cup-bearer. His greatness depends on the number, the quality, and the capacity of these cups (or desires) he bears. But Christ is the cup-filler; he gives that which will fill them all. “No part nor desire of the soul goes away thirsty from Christ. Man thirsts (1) for forgiveness, (2) for a new life and heart, (3) for a worthy object and aim of life, (4) with a noble ambition, a longing for more, (5) for knowledge, (6) for power, (7) for the communion of saints, for sympathy, and love, (8) for eternal life. And for these, and all others, Jesus Christ brings the living waters that spring up to everlasting life. — P. And he that hath no money. The poorest can obtain these living waters. It is not always nor everywhere that one can come to the waters without money. Throughout the lands of the Bible, a spring of water has for ages determined the site of a village or city, and that necessarily. The people of one village often resent the approach of strangers to their fountain, and exact payment. — Prof. Hall. But Christ welcomes all to his blessings. Come ye. Salvation is free to all; still there is something to be done by him who would enjoy it: he must "come" and take it (so Matt. II: 28; John 5: 40; 6: 35; Rev. 22:17). There must be voluntary acceptance of the salvation by him who would be saved. The fountain may be overflowing, but it will not quench the thirst of any one, unless he comes to it and drinks. -- Todd. Buy Not, pay a price, but obtain; called buying because usually a price must be paid for such things. And eat. Satisfying hunger is now joined with quenching thirst. Food and drink are essential to the life of the body: so are the spiritual blessings Christ gives essential to the life of the soul. Our Lord resumes both these figures — that of water in John 4: 14; 7: 37; that of feasting in various parables, (e.g., Matt. 22: 1-10; Luke 14:15-24), and also in his representation of his own flesh as the bread of life (John 6: 32-58). The central idea is, the best and most needful things for the body made the symbols of the best and most vital blessings for the soul. The abundance and freeness of the former represent the yet richer abundance and freeness of the latter. - Cowles. Buy wine and milk. Regarded by the Jews as the choicest articles of diet, both satisfying and delicious. The pure, unfermented juice of the grape is one of the most healthful and delightful articles of diet, and is best taken directly from the grapes themselves. New wine, or must, as it is sometimes called, containing, as it does, a large quantity of saccharine, especially in the eastern world, has, like the grapes themselves, always been regarded as favorable to longevity. The juice of the grape before fermentation contains, it is said, 30 per cent more nutriment than milk. – Rev. R. S. Crampton. Milk contains all the elements necessary for the growth of the animal framework. — American Cyclopædia. The sense here is, that the blessings of the Gospel are fitted to nourish and support the soul, as well as make it glad and cheerful. - Barnes. Without money and without price. The freeness of the offer is again repeated, that there may be no mistake, and the poorest and most needy may feel sure of a welcome. The best things in this