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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

2020.04.21 Hopewell @Home ▫ Isaiah 53:1–6

Questions from the Scripture text: What two questions do Isaiah 53:1 ask? With what word does Isaiah 53:2 begin? So, what is this report that is the revelation of God’s saving arm? Like what kind of plant would the Messiah grow (verse 2a)? Out of what kind of ground (verse 2b)? What does verse 2 assure us would not be true about the Messiah physically? How would men treat Him (Isaiah 53:3a)? What would He experience (verse 3b)? How would we respond to His sorrow and grief? But whose grief and sorrow is He actually carrying (Isaiah 53:4)? And who, would men think, was punishing the Messiah? But for whose transgressions was He wounded (Isaiah 53:5a)? For whose iniquities was He bruised? For whose peace was He chastised? Whom did He heal by His stripes? What had we done (Isaiah 53:6)? And who was it that laid our guilt upon the Messiah instead?
Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and reading of the Gospel come from Isaiah 53:1–6 in order to sing God’s thoughts after Him with Man of Sorrows! What a Name.

For a few reasons, this passage lends itself well both to crying out to God for help and for confessing our sin to Him. It is easy to see why these verses work so well for both of those purposes.

First, Isaiah 53:1 is a perfect verse for a prayer for help in worship. It reminds us that in worship, when God’s Word is announced, His strong arm of salvation is being put on display. But it also reminds us that the ability to believe the Word as it is taught and preached is not something that we automatically have. In fact, God has to supernaturally give us the ability to believe!

Then, Isaiah 53:2-6 are some Scripture verses that perhaps, of the entire Bible, lend themselves most easily to a confession of sin. Look at how great our sin is, in what it cost. Sorrow! Grief! The striking and wounding and bruising of God! Chastisement! Stripes!

But don’t just look at what our salvation from sin cost. Look at Whom it costed those things!! Here is the ugliness of our sin best seen—

And what a rich mercy that we get to see our sin most clearly, precisely in the very picture of the love and salvation of Christ for sinners. For, we may gaze at this picture without minimizing the greatness of our guilt upon the one hand, but also without despairing over that greatness on the other. The Lord has laid upon Him our iniquity!
How does the cross help you face your sin? When was the last time you consciously did this? 
Suggested songs: ARP22A “My God, My God” or TPH352 “Man of Sorrows! What a Name”

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