Doing the Unthinkable

Doing the Unthinkable

Scripture: Isaiah 53:5
Date: 03/06/2021  Lesson: 10
The weight, the guilt, the punishment for the sins of the whole world—every sin, by every sinner—fell upon Christ at the Cross, at once, as the only means to save us! What does it tell us about God’s love that He would do this for us, even at such a great cost?

Down From His Glory - Paper or Digital Download

Down From His Glory - Paper or Digital Download
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Jean Ross: Good morning, friends. We want to welcome you to "Sabbath School Study Hour," coming to you here from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome our many online members and those who are joining us across the country and around the world. I know a number of our regular members are still home due to the pandemic, but we are so glad that you're joining us for our study time.

We've been looking at a really great book in the Old Testament for our study time, the book of Isaiah, and that's what our lesson is all about. Today we find ourselves on lesson number 10 entitled "Doing the Unthinkable." And so we're excited to look at a beautiful chapter that we find in Isaiah, and we'll be getting to that in just a moment.

I'd like to remind you of our free offer today. We have a book entitled "Down from His Glory," and we'd be happy to send this to anyone for free. If you're in North America, all you need to do is call 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer number 154. We'll get that in the mail, and they'll send it to you. If you're outside of North America or even in North America and would like to receive a digital download of the book, all you have to do is text the code SH139 to the number 40544 and you'll be able to get a digital download.

Again, welcome. We're glad that you're here, part of our "Sabbath School Study Hour" this morning. But before we get to our lesson, we're going to lift our voices in song. We're going to be singing hymn number 272. It's "Give Me the Bible."

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Jean: Let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in heaven, what a joy to be able to gather in Your house to worship You. And as we always do, Father, we ask Your Spirit to come, especially as we open up Your Word and we look at just a beautiful passage, a passage that points to the Messiah, to Jesus. And, Father, we pray that Your Spirit will come and guide our hearts and our minds and just impress upon us those wonderful truths that You would want us to know. For we ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.

Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by Pastor Doug.

Doug Batchelor: Morning. I want to welcome our friends that are watching online, or on satellite, or Amazing Facts Television, the Hope Channel, 3ABN. We're glad you're joining us for Sabbath School. Here in California at this point things are beginning to ease up a little bit, and so we're really glad that we have a little bit of a local class here as well as we continue in our study of the book of Isaiah. And today's lesson, as you heard earlier, is lesson number 10, and it's titled "Doing the Unthinkable." Lesson number 10 in your quarterly, "Doing the Unthinkable." And, you know, I didn't adhere. They may have already mentioned that.

For those who are watching, if you're wondering what we're doing is--it's typically the pattern in the Adventist Church that we have a quarterly. Once every quarter we have a different study guide, and the objective is, is that we sort of go through the panorama of the entire Bible in a 5-year period. And this lesson, of course, is dedicated to Isaiah. If you want to get one of these, you can read it online, or you can go to your local Seventh-day Adventist Church and I'll bet they'll be happy to supply one for you for free.

Now, there's a memory verse for today's study, and it's taken from the book of Isaiah chapter 53, verse 5. You're going to want to find your way to Isaiah chapter 50 and 53. That's the main study we're going to go through today. Isaiah 53, verse 5. If you want, you can read this out loud with me. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed."

It's one of the most magnificent passages in all of Scripture, is what we have the task of talking about today. And I really feel like I am on holy ground. And so pray for me as I do my best to unpack some of these beautiful trues that are in this passage of prophecy.

Now, again, our assignment--there's really two verses we're looking at for the whole lesson today. Isaiah chapter 50, verses 4 through 10; and then it will jump to Isaiah 52 starting with verse 13, reading through chapter 53 to verse 12, one of the great messianic prophecies in the Bible. And so if you've got your Bibles, let's start with Isaiah chapter 50, and we're going to start with verse 4. And I'm just going to read and do my best to expound as we do that. "The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary."

And here, Isaiah--these are prophecies not only of Isaiah the prophet, but he's really prophesying about the Messiah and how he would have the Spirit of God. That's how God gives us the tongue of the learned, that we can know how to speak a word of encouragement to him that is weary. Now, this is one of the hallmarks of a Christian. You want to encourage the discouraged, and it's only the Lord that can give you the tongue and know what to say to a person. We don't know what a person is going through. Always is amazing to me. Very amazing.

Sometimes after church I go to the door and I greet the people and visitors in particular, and folks will come up and say, "How did you know that's exactly what I needed to hear today?" Well, I had no idea that's what they needed to hear, and--or sometimes they're a little upset they say, "Pastor, I know you were singling me out today." I say, "I can promise you--" Except a few rare occasions in the small church, but otherwise I'll admit there's a couple times I had a someone in mind with a particular sermon. But most of the time it's just expounding the Word. But the Holy Spirit, you know, he guides you in what to say, and--amazing how that works. "That I might speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning."

You know, I think of that verse "Great is His faithfulness. His mercies are new every morning." And he goes on. "He awakens my ear to hear as the learned." So you notice he's got the tongue to speak. It says the tongue of the learned, and the ear of the learned. You know, if you want to have the tongue of the learned, you need to have the ear of the learned. You need to be able to listen to be able to speak. "And the Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious."

Now, does Jesus talk about those who are having eyes they do not see? I'm going to talk a little about that in the sermon later today. Having ears they do not hear? Jesus actually quotes from this prophecy in Isaiah, saying, you know, "I'm preaching the truth and so many of the scribes and the Pharisees rejected his message. Even though they had eyes, they did not see. They had ears, they could not hear." In Revelation, when Jesus is giving the message to the church, he says, "He that has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says."

I remember I had an English teacher in school, and he became a little exasperated with me. I was not a great student, not in English anyway. And--if you could only see me today. I went to a Catholic school. This is one of the brothers there. And I used to always say--he'd asked me a question, I'd say, "I didn't hear." And he'd say, "You heard. You weren't listening. You've got selective hearing." My English teacher and my wife tell me that. Selective hearing. "You're not listening." Sometimes the Holy Spirit tells us stuff and we're not listening.

I remember years ago reading about the great preacher George Whitfield, and he had an incredible voice. You know, unfortunately they did not have recordings back in his day, but Whitfield--they wrote a book about him I read called "The Trumpet of the Lord." And before he became a minister he was actually an actor in England, and he had a tremendous voice for projection and resonance, and it was such a marvel. This one man's voice was so amazing that Benjamin Franklin, who was good friends with Whitfield, did an experiment. And when he was preaching at some point in Philadelphia, Franklin went to hear him preach, and he said, "I've never heard a voice like that. You can hear him distinctly from anywhere in the crowd."

And so Franklin began to walk further and further away and see how far he could go--he was a very curious man, always doing experiments. How far away he could go and still clearly hear his voice. And he was a quarter mile away and he could still hear him. That's quite a ways. He said, "Now I believe the rumors that 30,000 people--" Because they used to say 30,000 people would come to hear him and they could all hear him. And he says, "Now I believe the rumors I'd heard that 30,000 people could be in one gathering and everyone could hear him distinctly."

Well, one--you know, Whitfield would go through towns and he'd preach and there'd be great revivals. And they close all the bars and saloons, and a couple of men in the bar were saying, "Yeah, the preacher, Whitfield, is coming to town." He says, "You better enjoy your drink. They're going to close--they'll probably close the bar after he gets done with his revival." And one fella said, "Well, I'd like to see the guy, but I don't want to hear him because I don't want to quit drinking." So he went to the field where Whitfield was gathered, and he--they had a makeshift podium. And he was up there and he was preparing to speak, and this guy climbed a tree like Zacchaeus because there were so many people who wanted to see him, but he didn't want to hear him. So he got up in the tree, and he kind of leaned against the tree and wrapped his legs around the branch he was sitting on and then he put his fingers in his ears. And Whitfield got up and he started to preach, and a horsefly began to buzz around this guy's face. Now, horseflies are not regular flies. They bite. And the horsefly landed on his nose, and he pulled his fingers out of his ears to swat at the fly.

Right when he pulled his fingers out of the ears, Whitfield said with that booming voice, "He that has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says," quoting from Revelation, and the man was so stunned that those would be the first words that he would hear. That's a story--once he fell out of the tree and was converted like Zacchaeus.

But sometimes we don't want to hear what the Holy Spirit says. It says, "He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God--" I'm in verse 5, Isaiah 50. "The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious nor did I turn away."

Now here's where you'll begin to recognize the messianic part of this prophecy. "I gave My back to those who struck Me." Doesn't say they held Him down. It's--he's offering himself. "I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheek to those who plucked out the beard." You know, you'll see some accounts of Jesus's sufferings they talk about them not only hitting Him. We know He was whipped on the back, but they talk about Him having--they pulled out His beard, and this is where that comes from. It's not actually in the New Testament. "I gave my cheek to those who plucked out the beard." You know what else that would imply? Jesus had a beard. "I did not hide My face from shame and spitting." So they beat Him, they spat upon Him. It was extremely humiliating. "For the Lord God will help me. Therefore, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a flint."

You know, when Jesus made up His mind to go to Jerusalem and die, it tells us that He set His face like a flint. It's what "Desire of Ages" tells us. He had made up His mind. The devil tried to detour Him. Jesus told the disciples in the book of Matthew, he said, "I'm going to Jerusalem--" I think this is in Matthew 16. Right after Peter says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," he said, "I'm going to Jerusalem. I'll be betrayed into the hands of sinners. The Son of Man will be beaten, crucified, and rise the third day." And Peter took Him aside and said, "Not so, Lord. Don't even talk like that. That's being negative. God's got great plans for You." And Jesus said to Peter, "Get thou behind Me, Satan." He knew the devil was trying to discourage Him from His mission. He had set His face like a flint.

Now, flint is not pliable. Flint is a very brittle stone. It's why they used it to make arrowheads because you could sharpen it and it won't indole. It was very brittle. And so He had made up his mind to go and to die for the sins of the world, to go forward with His sacrifice. "Therefore, I set My face like a flint," still finishing verse 7, "and I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me, who will contend with Me. Let us stand together. Who is My adversary?"

Now, what is an adversary? You know how you say the word Satan? Satan is adversary. That's what that word means. "Let him come near me. Surely the Lord God will help me. Who is he that condemns me?" The Bible says Satan comes, and "He has nothing in me," Jesus said. He had lived without sin. "Indeed they will all grow old like a garment. The moth will eat them up. 'Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys His voice like His servant?'"

Now, in your Bibles you notice the word servant. I see you all looking at me, and you're really good students, but I want you to also look at your Bible. But it says right here, "Who obeys the voice of His servant?" That's His, capital H, capital S. Is that right? They understood this is the Messiah. He's often referred to as the servant. We talked about this last week. "And who walks in darkness and has no light?"

You know, one of the signs of Jesus was that He said no sign will be given to this generation, except the sign of the prophet Jonah. "As Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." And that's Matthew chapter 12, and start with verse 38. Was Jonah in the darkness? Can you get darker than being in a fish?

I scuba-dive. Karen and I and the boys are all certified. And, you know, the deeper you go, the darker it gets. And a few years ago, we went to look at the whale sharks in Belize, and I'll tell you that's really something. But you go down about 80 feet and you look down and it's pitch black, and you look up and you see the light. Jonah went down, where he would have normally needed a decompression chamber coming up, but he--the Lord supplied that in the fish. But he was in the dark, and that describes the sufferings of Christ.

Christ went through that darkness. When the Father left Jesus, it was at night. When He was betrayed, it was night. Jesus said, "Now is the hour." It was the hour of darkness. The Father withdrew His protection, His presence. "Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God." And He in the end, of course, said, "Lord, into Your hands I commend My spirit." "Look, all who kindle the fire, who encircle yourselves with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and the sparks you have kindled. You shall have from My hand--this you shall have My hand. You will lie down in torment."

That's talking about the religious leaders that were walking in the light of their own kindling, their own sparks, worshiping their own god. They weren't walking in the light of God. It talks about the sun, the moon, and the stars, that's God's light. They were walking in manmade fire. And so this is just one of the prophecies here that outlines the sufferings on the Messiah.

Now we're going to jump to--go with me to Isaiah chapter 52, and we're going to start with verse 13, which is where this prophecy begins; that is, again, taking up the prophecy. You know, I probably ought to say something at this point that's important. Prophecies like Daniel, Revelation, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zachariah--there are a lot of these apocalyptic prophets in the Bible. They do not tell their prophecies in a running discourse. It's not a chronological story. They are taken in prophecy from scene to scene, and they write what they're being shown.

And so you've got sound bites of these prophecies that are not always connected, and I think I shared with you before in Isaiah 14. He starts out and he talks about the king of Babylon, and then all of a sudden he's showing the devil who is manipulating the king of Babylon behind the scenes. And then you read in Revelation 12 about this dragon about to devour the woman. It's talking about Herod who kills the babies in Bethlehem, tries to devour the child, but it's talking about the Roman power that is being manipulated by the devil. And then you read in Ezekiel, it says, "Give this message to the king of Tyre." Starts out talking about the king of Tyre, and then it goes to the devil, says, "You are in need in the garden of God. Every precious stone was--" Talks about the devil behind the king of Tyre.

And so Isaiah, he's commingling his prophecies about what Israel was going through in their day when the king of--well, I should say what Judah was going through in that day when the king of Israel and the king of Assyria were harassing and warring against them from the north. And then he goes back and forth, and then he talks about the ultimate deliverance that would come from the Messiah when he came. So here in the midst of chapter 52 suddenly he begins to talk again about the Messiah, and you see if you don't agree. "Behold, My servant will deal prudently."

All right. Now, we're going to go through some of these little by little. Who is this servant? Tell you what, let me read a few verses then back up. "Behold, My servant will deal prudently. He will be exalted and extolled and very high. Just as many were astonished at you, His visage was marred more than any man and more than the sons of men." Christ was beaten in His visage, meaning His appearance was marred. He suffered. "So He will sprinkle many nations--" This is what a priest did. He would sprinkle the blood to make atonement for the people. "He would sprinkle many nations--" Not just for Israel, but even for the Gentiles. "Kings will shut their mouths at Him; for what has not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will consider." And so this is talking about the sufferings of Christ here.

Now, let me just--let me back up and kind of establish something before we dive into this. The Jewish nation misunderstood a lot about the coming of the Messiah. The New Testament church was born out of a great disappointment. Did you know that? The disciples--not just the 12 apostles, but all the disciples of Jesus when they walked in front of Jerusalem and He rode the donkey down into Jerusalem, they shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David”, what were they thinking was going to happen? Were they thinking, "This is great. He's going to die in two days." Well--it was actually about a week later. Or were they thinking, "He's now going to be coroneted as the King, the Son of David. He will sit on the throne. He's going to use His miraculous power to multiply bread and feed an army. We're going to rise up against the Romans. We'll become an international power again. Israel will be a world nation." And they had all these glorious ideas.

Why do you think the disciples came to Jesus, and James and John said, "When You come in Your kingdom, we want to sit on Your right and Your left?" And Judas just probably pulled them aside and said, "I'll be the treasurer." And they were all thinking about places in an earthly kingdom. Isn't that right? Because they misunderstood the prophecies.

See, there's two prophecies about the Messiah coming. One has the Messiah coming as a lion. That's the second coming, with a roar. The other is have him coming as a lamb. Isaiah is now talking about when He comes like a lamb. The disciples got the comings mixed up. They had Jesus coming as a lion first. They didn't even really know much about the lamb. They didn't understand that.

You know what the church is doing today? A lot of evangelicals have Jesus coming quietly the next time, secret Rapture; are getting the lion and the lamb mixed up. No, He came quietly the first time. He did not damage a bruised reed. He came quietly. He came meekly. He even said, "I am meek and lowly." He's coming next time. He's a lion. He's coming with triumph. So they didn't understand He's coming like lamb.

Look here, for instance, in Matthew 11:3. "And they said to Him, 'Are You the coming one?'" John the Baptist sent his messengers. "Are You the Coming One?" Capital Coming One. "Or do we look for another? Are You the One we've been looking for?" John couldn't understand. Even John the Baptist. "How come You're just teaching these nice things and You're healing people, and that's all wonderful, but I'm waiting for You to, you know, overthrow the Romans, to establish Yourself on the throne of David."

You can look in Luke 24. When He rose from the dead and He met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Cleopas said, "We were hoping that it was He that was going to redeem Israel." What did they think redeem Israel meant? You and I think of redemption as forgiveness for sin. They thought redeem Israel meant, "You're going to save us from the Romans." "We thought He was the one who was going to redeem Israel." He just did on the cross. "Indeed, beside all this, it's the third day." He told them what was going to happen even after the Resurrection. Acts chapter 1, verse 6: "Therefore, when they'd come together," just before His ascension, "they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?'"

Now, can that be misunderstood? What were their expectations? That Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. It wasn't going to be under the Babylonians, or the Persians, or the Greeks, or the Romans. They had been under oppression ever since the days of Nebuchadnezzar. Someone else had been ruling them. They wanted to be another world power as it was back in the days of Solomon. They thought the Messiah was going to come riding in on a white horse. That's, you know, the future, and establish His kingdom. They said, "All right, Lord, You died on the cross. That's kind of--we're not too clear of why that all happened. Now are You going to overthrow the--now do we get to sit down on the right and the left of You and help rule the tribes of Israel?" And Jesus said, "It's not for you to know the times or the seasons." They still did not get it.

By the way, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was also born out of a great misunderstanding of prophecy, a great disappointment. So it's biblical that movements begin that way. Are we clear on that? All right.

So now we're going to Isaiah chapter 52 again, and he says, "My servant--" This is verse 13. "My servant will deal prudently." Jesus is called the Son of David, and one of the characteristics of David was that he dealt prudently. You're looking 1 Samuel 18:14. "And David be hazed--behaved himself wisely in all of his ways, and the Lord was with him." Going back to Isaiah, it says, "He will be exalted and extolled and be very high." Does that fit the description of Jesus? Paul says in Philippians 2, verse 9 through 11--I'm looking forward to when we get to the other side of all these pandemic restrictions. I like the days when we would have different people read the verses in the audience. We'll try and find a way to make this more interactive, but in the meantime, this has got to be speeching--kind of preaching teaching mixed up.

It says He's exalted and very high. Philippians 2, verse 9: "Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and those on the earth and under the earth, and that every tongue could--should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." Well, does that fit the criteria He will be exalted and extolled and very high? Jesus fits that. Go to verse 14. I'm in Isaiah chapter 52. "Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men." Here, Jesus is suffering like Job.

Now, Job had boils from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. His visage was marred. The sufferings of Job are a type of the sufferings of Jesus. You read in Matthew 26, verse 67, "And they spat in His face." Did we read that in Isaiah? "And they beat Him, and others struck Him with the palms of their hands." And we learned something else that happened, as they pulled out His beard. They abused Him in just about every way imaginable. Of course, they mocked Him, they put a robe on Him, and they took a reed. They said, "Here's your scepter." They put it in His hand, and they took the reed and they beat Him about the head after putting the crown of thorns on His head.

So all these sufferings Jesus said, "I offered Myself. I gave My back to those that beat Me." Jesus said, "No man takes My life. I lay My life down." Christ was a sacrifice, but He was a willing sacrifice. He was like the son of Abraham. What was his name? Isaac. Do you really think Abraham at 118 years of age jumped up on Isaac, wrestled him to the ground, and tied him up like a cowboy with a calf? No. He explained to his son what God had called him to do, and Isaac offered himself. He was a willing sacrifice. Indeed, he carried the wood on his back as Jesus carried the cross on his back. Psalm 71, verse 7: "I am a wonder unto many." They were astonished. "So over--" Now I'm in verse 15, Isaiah chapter 52. "So He will sprinkle many nations."

We talked about that. That's talking about the sacrifice of the priests. An example would be--go to Numbers 19, verse 18. "A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and all the vessels and on the persons who were there." The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean, and on the third day He will be clean. That's Numbers 19:18 and 19. And so that's sprinkling to the Jew represented someone who is clean through this ceremony cleansing the unclean. Jesus through His sacrifice--you know, not only did blood come out of His side. What does John say came out? Blood and water. And Jesus said to the woman at the well, "I'm offering you living water," artesian water, "that will satisfy and that will cleanse." In our sermon later today, we find out about a man who washed and came away sin. And there's a cleansing.

So he sprinkles many nations, and they are made clean. "Kings will shut their mouths at him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will consider." Revelation 6:15, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men hid themselves in the caves and the rocks of the mountains." And Jesus when he was tried before Pilate and Herod, they weren't able to condemn him. Pilate said, "I find no fault in him."

Now we're going to Isaiah 53, Isaiah 53. And if you look--we'll start with--we're going to go through this whole chapter here. Isaiah 53, verses 1 and 2: "Who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he will grow up before him as a tender plant. And as a root out of dry ground, he has no form or comeliness. And when we see him, there's no beauty that we should desire him." It says here in John 12:37, "But although he had done many signs before them, they did not believe him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which he spoke, 'Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?'"

Now, did you catch what we just did? We are actually reading from Isaiah 53 in the New Testament. John is quoting Isaiah 53, saying Isaiah is a fulfillment of Jesus. So we don't need to be wondering or doubting who does this represent. This is how the New Testament writers understood this prophecy. And then it says there's no beauty, no desire, no outly form or comeliness. Have you ever seen an ugly painting of Jesus? Not too often. And I'm not saying Jesus was ugly, I'm just saying he looked like a normal person. Now, how do we know that? When they wanted to betray Jesus, they had to get one of the apostles and say, "You know, he looks like everybody else. Which one is he?"

Now, if Christ looked like your, you know, typical striking movie star, that'd say, "There he is." But he looked like a normal man. He looked like a carpenter. There's no outward beauty that we should desire. What is it about Jesus that changed the world? Is it a photograph, is it a painting or a sculpture, or is it his words? It's what he said that changed the world. "There's no beauty that we should desire him." Verses 3: "He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from him."

Now, when it says that Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, some people think that means that Christ was always in a bad mood, always sad, never smiled. No, that's not true. Jesus--you know, children were attracted to him. He smiled. I'm sure he laughed. But because he was holy, the son of God, living in an unholy world, he was often saddened by the suffering of humanity and by the sins that were hurting people. You know, Jesus tells a parable about His second coming, and He said it'll be like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. And he'll say to the sheep on his right hand, "Well done, good and faithful servants. Enter into the joy of the Lord because I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty, you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you took me in. I was naked and you clothed me. I was a prisoner and you came to me. I was sick--" Now, I got those out of order, but the six things I got them all. "I was sick and you visited me." Okay?

Can any of you here name any suffering of humanity that does not fit into one of those categories? You realize that covers all the suffering of man: hunger, thirst, loneliness, sickness, cold, stranger, imprisonment. I mean, it really--any suffering that you could think of would fit, and a lot of you right now are thinking, "I fit the sick category." "I'm in the lonely category." But all the suffering of humanity is in that. Jesus in that parable describes the suffering of humanity, and He said, "In as much as you have ministered to the least of these, you did it to Me."

Why does God say that? Because God is not only omnipresent, God is omnipotent. He's all-powerful. He can be everywhere. He's omniscient, He knows all things. And here it is, God is omnipathic. Omnipathic means you feel everything anybody feels. That goes along with being all-knowing. But there's no sensation, no impulse, no feeling, no pain anywhere in the universe God is not aware of. Is that right? So when Jesus is in the world and He's experiencing all the suffering of humanity, can you understand why it says He's a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief? In spite of that, He was still able to rejoice at times, and Jesus often rejoiced and marveled when He saw people of faith.

And so it goes on and it tells us that He will go before Him--still in verse 2. "He'll grow up as a root out of dry ground." Why does it say that? Jesus grew up quietly. You know, there's no miracle that Christ performs until He begins His ministry and He's anointed at 30. That first 30 years, He lived as a holy person among humans without using any miraculous power to save Himself or to prove who He was. He lived a meek and a quiet life.

Matter of fact, it's so meek and quiet that a lot of people just can't accept that Jesus actually didn't learn at the feet of some great guru or teachers. And they say, oh, during those years He disappeared and He went to India and He studied from the Maharajis, or He went to Egypt and He studied from the leaders there, or He went--and they've got all these theories about where did Jesus go during those quiet years. It tells us He went home and He was subject to His parents. He worked with His father in the carpenter shop.

And so, you know, don't believe--I remember when I was a new Christian someone gave me a copy of "The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ," talking about how Jesus went and studied under all the masters of the East. That's where he got all his wisdom. No, he got it from the Bible. He got it from his mother reading the Bible to him, he--from the Holy Spirit. He went to the temple. He asked them questions, and He listened, and He learned. "Who has believed our report?" They did not believe. "He's despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him." For most of humanity, they did not want to accept who He was. "He's despised and yet we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows."

Every time we pray, we're casting our cares upon God. Is that right? "Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. He was wounded," why, "for our transgressions." I mean, how can that be mistaken? "He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed." Stripes doesn't mean like on a barber pole or on candy cane. Those stripes are talking about--that's a word--when you were whipped in Bible times, it left stripes on the back, either from the rod or from the whip. And it's saying that the punishment that we deserve He took. With His stripes we are healed. He has borne our griefs. He's the great substitute.

See--and this is the thing that should--when you really believe it, it should really make you love the Lord, when you realize that He took the punishment for all of your sins and your eternal loss. Because He loves you so much, He wants you to be saved. That ought to touch us all. Amen? I think we ought to be moved by that. "All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We've turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has laid upon Him the iniquity of us all." Who can miss that? John the Baptist points to Jesus, says, "Behold, this is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world." "All of us have gone astray, but this is the Lamb that takes away our sin. He's punished for us."

Now, you might be wondering, how in the world does a Jew read this passage and not see Jesus? Well, first of all, there's a lot of Jews who have not read the New Testament and so they're really only vaguely acquainted. You can take it from me. I have a lot of Jewish family. They're only vaguely acquainted with anything about the ministry of Jesus. The other thing is Jewish rabbis. When they read this, they say, "Oh, this suffering servant." This is describing Israel's suffering because of the Gentiles. "Because we are a nation of kings and priests, we are sprinkled in many nations." And they just say it's all applying to Israel.

But, you know, this last part here, it just--it can't be anything other than the Messiah. It says, "He was taken from prison and judgment, and who will declare His generation? He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people He was stricken." It's talking about an individual who is punished not for a man-- I might--you might think that one man might die for the sins of one man, but this is someone who dies for the sins of people. Many. He died for the sins of all the world. "They made His grave with the wicked." He was crucified between two thieves. "But in the rich in His death because He had done no violence nor was any deceit in His mouth."

Now, if you have your Bibles, if you have any doubts about what this means, you go to Acts chapter 8, verse 30; Acts 8, verse 30. And so Philip is told by the Holy Spirit to go down to the deserts of Gaza. And while he's there, he sees that there's this wealthy Ethiopian treasure for Queen Candace. And he's maybe riding along slowly or he's parked in his chariot and maybe have an umbrella over him, and he's reading from the scroll of Isaiah. And God tells Philip, "Go near to him." "So Philip ran to him, and he heard him reading from the prophet Isaiah. And he said, 'Do you understand what you're reading?' He said, 'How can I?'" He's frustrated. He said, "This seems deep." "How can I unless someone guides me?" This is a wise man. He's not too wise to have someone else instruct him. "And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in Scripture where he read was this: 'He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent."

Now, we're reading New Testament, right? In the New Testament, it's telling us about this Ethiopian treasurer who's reading from Isaiah 53. He's wealthy. He's got a scroll. Not everybody could afford a scroll back then. "'So He opened not His mouth, in His humiliation His justice is taken away. And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.' So the eunuch answered Philip and said, 'I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?' Then Philip opened his mouth, beginning at this Scripture, and he preached Jesus to him." Philip found this was a perfect Scripture to preach Jesus. Because doesn't this passage talk about the sufferings of Christ for the sins of the world? That's what it's all about. And it says He kept silent as a lamb before her shearers.

Look in Matthew chapter 26, verse 62. "And the high priest arose and said, 'Do you answer nothing? What is it that these men testify against you?' But Jesus kept silent." Matthew 27, verse 57: "Now when evening had come, there was a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who himself also had become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in clean linen, cloth, and he laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out of the rock. And he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb and departed."

Now, how could you ever prophesy so specifically that this person would be beaten for other people's sins, He'd be counted with the wicked, he dies with two thieves, and yet He's buried with the rich? It's kind of hard to plan that, but this is what happens here. He's buried in a rich man's tomb. Jeremiah 11:19: "But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter. I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, 'Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut Him off from the land of the living, that His name may be remembered no more.'" It's not just Eze--Isaiah. Even in Jeremiah, he talks about that same passage.

Now go to verse 10, Isaiah 53. "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief. When you make His soul an offering for sin--" Now this is what we do. We actually choose to consciously say, "Lord, I am accepting the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins." "When we make His soul an offering for sin, He," God, "will see His seed. He will prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hands." He will bless those who make the soul of Jesus our Lamb that takes away our sin. Says it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. Jonah 1:14: "Therefore, the sailors cried out and said, 'We pray, O Lord, please do not perish for this man's life and do not charge us with innocent blood; for you, O Lord, has done as it pleased you." Saying they--the Lord was pleased that Jonah would die, that they might have peace.

What Jesus said is an allegory for His own sacrifice. And then it just makes a beautiful statement here at the end. You go to Isaiah chapter 53:12. "Therefore, I will divide for Him a portion with a great, and He will divide the spoil with the strong because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered--" Christ said, "It is finished" and then He died. "He was numbered with the transgressors." It says that twice. "He bore the sin of many." That can only mean Jesus. "And He made intercession for the transgressors. He even interceded from the cross, saying, "Father, forgive them. They do not know what they do." He made intercession through His whole life.

John chapter 17 is the great intercessory prayer of Jesus. This is a perfect picture of the Messiah and His sufferings here in this passage, and--you know, anyone who wonders about the inspiration of the Bible, we know Jesus lived, we know He died. You read this prophecy in Isaiah, and it's just hard to deny that the Bible is an inspired book. But you've got the whole gospel in this prophecy, in this passage. Amen?

Now, for those who have joined us a little late, I want to remind you we do have a special offer. It's a book called "Down from His Glory," and we'll give this to you for free. All you've got to do is call 866-788-3966. That's really 866-Study-More. Might make it easier to remember. And ask for offer number 154. And you can even read the book now. We can send it to you via download if you simply text the code SH139, SH139. Text that to 40544, and you can read the book now. Or go to the Amazing Facts' website. Under our free library, you'll find "Down from His Glory" inspiring book. Thank you very much for joining us. God bless you, friends, and Lord willing we'll study His Word together again next week.

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Announcer: Amazing Facts. Changed lives.

Christine Vanodor: I was born into a family of criminals. When I got older and I started breaking the rules, no one ever taught me about "Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not lie. Thou shalt not commit adultery." Anything like that. When I became a runaway at 14, I was just a wild and lost child. I had somebody tell me, "Hey, you want to earn some money cleaning this guy's kitchen?" So I went to this house on a different side of town than I was used to. Someone kept giving me alcoholic drinks. And being 115 pounds and 14 years old, it really didn't take much time before I was so inebriated that I had no control over what was going on around me.

He took me to another location, another town, and I was put in isolation. I would come out to be abused between three and eight times a day. I was degraded. I was humiliated. I had no value as a human being, and I learned very quickly that what I felt and what I thought and how this made me feel did not matter to him at all. If I even thought about not doing what he wanted me to do, I would have a gun to my head, a knife to my throat.

There was one time in particular where he had been tormenting me psychologically, and one day he said, "Oh, you'll never kill yourself. You'll never do it." And almost defiantly I was like, "Yes, I will." And he handed me a big old handful of pills, and I took them. While I was overdosing and I had been overdosing all night, I cried out to a God that I didn't even believe in. And at that very moment in the most powerful way, God shone his light on me and he gave me peace of mind like I never had; and he let me know right then and there while I was on that bathroom floor that he was real, and that he was love, and that I did not know how at that time but he was going to help me.

A little less than a year later, I became pregnant, at 15. I loved my son with my whole heart. He also became something that my abuser could use against me in order to pump more fear and coercion. I had finally got away from my abuser, and I had finally built up a support system to help me stay on the move and stay on the run. And I was at my grandmother's house, and on my son's third birthday he took my son. And when I called the police, said, "My son's just been kidnapped," they said, "He's the father. We can't do anything about it."

After my son was gone, I lost my mind. I started doing drugs, and within a month of it and a half I robbed a convenience store. So I was sentenced to 70 months; 5 years, 10 months in prison, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I started attending the church services in prison 7 days a week. It blew my mind. I was hooked. And then we went through--it was "Millennium of Prophecy" and "Net 99" that just solidified my faith in such a powerful way, and I knew God--that God was leading me. Even the guards there commented on how much I had changed.

And since I started doing the studies on Amazing Facts, I was so excited about what I was learning that I was coming back from there and trying to convert my hardened criminal friends with storacles of prophecy. Every question I ever had, every worry, everything that I ever wondered about, the Bible answered everything, and it was so clear and so easy to understand.

It's been 11 years since I've been out of prison. I am married to an amazing, wonderful man, my first non-abusive relationship in my whole entire life. Before we got married, we watched the "Millennium of Prophecy" series together and it was just such a blessing to be able to see him learn and see him grow. And I feel like my life now is just a gift that every single thing that happened to me bad in the past is nothing compared to the joy and the happiness and the stability that I have now. My name is Christine Vanodor, and my life has been changed by Jesus Christ and Amazing Facts.

Announcer: Amazing Facts. Changed lives.

Sue: I felt like I was receiving some angel messages in around my son's death. My son Jesse was just 31 years old, so I didn't expect him to die before I did. But in November of 2009 we decided to have Thanksgiving with him, and we won't normally go to a family to have Thanksgiving. I didn't know that was going to be the very last time that I would see my son alive. And in April of 2010, I was urged to call him on the day that he died. I didn't make that call. I was too busy. I thought I had till the next morning to call him, and it turns out that I didn't. And then my husband's father was passing away in a nursing home slowly, not eating, taking his medicine. Just wasting away.

Male: We were putting out Amazing Facts' Bible study guides. And we had sent out cards, and we had this card. But when I knocked on Sue and Kirk's door by mistake.

Male: And we were convinced that this was the right house, and it obviously turned out to our surprise to be the wrong house.

Kirk: When they came by, we weren't expecting them. They told me about these pamphlets, this Amazing Facts that explain their doctrine.

Male: Well, to our surprise, when they answered the door, the gentleman, when he saw what we were doing, he said, "Well, we would like to take these studies."

Kirk: Anything about the Lord increases my faith. I'm always open. Sue: These lessons came at a time when we didn't know what were searching, we didn't know what we needed. We were just hurting from the grief that we'd been through. When I saw the studies by Amazing Facts about the Sabbath, it struck a chord with me because I remembered when I'd talked to my mother as a child about the Sabbath, about seeing that truth when I was only 8 years old and asking her why we didn't honor the Sabbath day, and she told me that it was just not the way they did things.

Well, that wasn't a good enough expression, a good enough explanation. There was no scriptural basis for what she told me. She just said to forget it. And I'd went through all of the studies that we had gotten and I wanted more. So I decided that, "Well, if they put out these Amazing Facts' Bible studies, there must be something online about them." So I decided to check it out. I went on the computer to Amazing Facts, and it said it right down the bottom of the Bible studies amazingfacts.org. I checked it out, and there was free Bible studies there. It was the very same ones that we had been studying.

After finding the Amazing Facts' Bible studies online-- and I did them all. I think there were 27, 28 Bible studies. I felt like I was finally seeing the truth after all these years. We ordered the Amazing Facts DVDs, like "The Cosmic Conflict," and "The Final Events," "Prophecy Foundations," and different materials like that. Went through them, enjoyed all of them, and they impacted our lives even more.

Female: Well, I worked at the post office. I knew Kirk and Sue for a very long time. And she--I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone about the Bible and Bible studies and things like that because they told us not to. But anyway, when Sue came in and talked about it, she talked about the Sabbath. And I told her, I said, "Sue, I go to church on Saturday."

Sue: So I invited myself. She was excited, of course, to have me go. My husband and I both started going that very next Sabbath, and it wasn't but just four months after that that we were baptized in this church and it felt like the most glorious experience I could have ever had.

Male: The thing that touches my heart the most is--and I have been doing this for--over the last year and a half for two years, and Sue is not the only one that has responded to Amazing Facts. We've had several others that have responded and had been baptized. So this is what really makes it exciting. There's times it's discouraging, but the bottom line is every time you see somebody in the water being baptized, it's a thrill.

Sue: I know that Jesus loves me. After all of the tragedy that I've been through, HHe made sure that the two men came and brought the Amazing Facts' Bible studies to me and my husband. My life will never be the same. It is forever changed, and I am forever part of the family of God.

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