THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation
Part LXII: Messiah's Suffering And Glory, Isaiah 52:13-53:12
B. Israel's Confession Regarding Messiah At His Second Coming, Isaiah 53:1-12
1. Israel's Confession Regarding Her Rejection Of Messiah In His First Advent
A. When Israel repents at Christ's Second Coming, she will realize the significance of His earthly life, ministry, death and resurrection, what is predicted to occur in Isaiah 52:13-53:12; B. K. C., O. T., p. 1107.
B. Israel's confession regarding her rejection of Christ in His first advent is predicted in Isaiah 53:1-3, and we view this important passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. Israel's Confession Regarding Her Rejection Of Messiah In His First Advent, Isaiah 53:1-3.
A. The Isaiah 53:1 questions do not call for a negative answer, but are asked in a way that highlights the scarcity of true believers in the world and especially in Israel. (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 340)
B. Also, the word "report" of Isaiah 53:1a KJV is not what one speaks, but the "tidings" he hears (F. C. Jennings, Studies In Isaiah, n. d., p. 615), a reference to the tidings that were announced to Israel in Christ's ministry.
C. Thus, believing Israel at Christ's Second Coming will marvel at how few in Israel truly believed the message Jesus gave when He presented Himself as their Messiah in His first advent, what is recorded in John 6:66-68.
D. Similarly, the "arm" of the Lord, alluding to the miraculous power of God expressed in Christ's miracles that authenticated His identity as the Messiah (cf. Matthew 11:2-6 with Isaiah 35:5; 61:1), would have caused so few in Israel to believe in Him as the Messiah, Isaiah 53:1b. Matthew 12:24 records that Israel's leaders even credited Jesus' authenticating miracles to Satan's and not God's power, thereby refusing to believe in Him!
E. To explain how such an amazing rejection of Messiah by Israel occurred, repentant Israel at Christ's Second Coming will assert that nothing about the Messiah's externals attracted a following for Him, Isaiah 53:2:
1. Messiah would have grown up before God as a tender shoot, coming from David's line (Ibid., B. K. C., O. T.) but unimpressively so, what was fulfilled when Jesus, though being of David's lineage, grew up in despised Nazareth of the Gentiles, Isaiah 53:2a with Matthew 1:1-2:23; John 1:45-49.
2. Messiah would come as a root out of a dry ground, a description of "an arid area (spiritually speaking) where one would not expect a large plant to grow," Ibid.; Isaiah 53:2b. This is seen when Jesus began to minister in Galilee, for He there exorcised many demonic spirits from people in Israel, staying up late into the night to do so (Mark 1:32-34) as the people there walked in spiritual darkness as Isaiah 9:1-2 predicted.
3. In appearance, the Messiah in His first advent was unimpressive, having no unusual beauty or majesty that would convince the people of Israel that He was their Messiah, Isaiah 53:2c; Ibid.
F. Repentant Israel will testify that Messiah in His first advent was thus despised and rejected of men as a loner, a Man of sorrows Who was acquainted with grief so that people turned their faces away from Him, despising Him with the result that they did not esteem Him, Isaiah 53:3; Ibid., Young, p. 342-344. Such a rejection of Christ is recorded in passages like Mark 10:33-34, Matthew 26:56 and Matthew 27:39-44.
Lesson: Repentant Israel at Messiah's Second Coming will confess that Israel had rejected Him in His first advent, refusing as a nation to believe the tidings He brought or the authenticating miracles He performed because the externals didn't fit: His geographical upbringing, that region's spiritual darkness and His appearance were very unlike what the nation expected of its long-expected King and Messiah. Thus, Israel's unbelief would be caused by her preoccupation with externalism versus the actual teachings of Scripture, exposing her artificial spirituality.
Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God because He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies relative to His life and ministry regardless of the externals of His humble upbringing, ordinary appearance and the spiritual darkness of the realm where He was raised. (2) If we believers must mimic the example of our Lord especially relative to His sufferings (1 Peter 2:21), may we not judge one another's credibility by externals, but by the Word of God. (3) Similarly, may we not judge our own credibility or effectiveness by external criteria, but by the Word of God, 1 Corinthians 4:3-5. (4) If we feel insignificant due to external factors that mark us, factors like an unimpressive geographical location, heritage, etc., may we recall God's appointment of His Son to grow up in spiritually dark, unimportant, despised Galilee, and so may we bloom where we are planted, abounding in the Lord's assignment there since our labor is not in vain in the Lord, 1 Corinthians 15:58!