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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2275

 The Fifth Gospel

Not Isaiah 53 alone but actually Isaiah 52:13-53 through Isaiah 53 the entire chapter.

13 Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.

14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of men.

15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.

Ch 53

1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should [b]be attracted to Him.

3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.

11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

The great Scripture we are considering has sometimes been called "the fifth Gospel." "Methinks," said Augustine, "Isaiah writes not a prophecy but a gospel." This he said of the whole book, but is especially true of this chapter (ch 53). Polycarp, the disciple of John, called it "the golden Passional of the Old Testament"; and a great German scholar writes: 'It looks as if it had been written beneath the cross of Golgotha and was illuminated by the heavenly brightness of the "shebh limini" ('Sit Thou at My right hand'). It is the unveiling of Psalm 22 and 110. It forms the inmost center of this book of consolations (as the Rabbis called the second half of Isaiah), and is the most central, the deepest, and the loftiest thing that Old Testament prophecy, outstripping itself, has ever achieved." Luther said that every Christian should ought to be able to repeat it by heart.

"It is prelude to much that is most distinctive in New Testament doctrine, and is the root from which not a little of the thinking of Christian ages has grown. Its phraseology has entered largely into Christian speech, and it has supplied more texts to the gospel preacher than any other portion of the Old Testament. There are individual phrases in it resembling peaks, from which we faintly descry vast realms of truth which we cannot yet explore, but which shine with a mystic light whose source is Divine. Beyond question, this chapter is the heart of the Hebrew prophetic writings. It embraces and harmonizes the ideas contained in such seemingly distant predictions as Psalms 2, 22, 72, and 110; and from the standpoint which it furnishes we are enabled to see the consistency of Messianic prophecy throughout.

"Elsewhere, indeed, we find greater splendour of language, force of passion, wealth of imagery, and imaginative elevation, but nowehere so full, minute, and vivid foreshadowing of God's purposes. Truths elsewhere seen in twilight and transitory glimpses here stand forth for calm inspection in the light of day. Elsewhere we find line or touch or feature in keeping with what is here; but nowhere so finished and complete a portraiture. It is as if the prophet had shaded and filled up with colours the outlines elsewhere given. The hints of One passing through shame and suffering to victory, which elsewhere appears as 'dark sayings,' here kindle into a great life-filled picture, in which we see not only His surpassing sorrow, but also the mystery of its meaning, and the glory which finally comes to it. Not merely is there broad outline, but those more delicate lines and contours which give perfect individuality to the portrait.

"This chapter holds much the same place in Old Testament prophecy that the narrative of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection holds in New Testament history; and with this chapter all Hebrew prophecy as a Divine things stands or falls.

(David Baron - "The Servant of Jehovah - The Sufferings of the Messiah And The Glory That Should Follow" - Ch 1 - "The Prophetic Gem And Its Setting" - copyright 1922 - 3-4)

David Winter

 2016/7/5 15:53Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2275

 Re: Spurgeon on Isaiah 53


This is a chapter which you have read hundreds of times, perhaps, I am sure it is one that needs no comment from me. I shall read it through with scarcely a sentence of comment.

Isaiah 53:1-9. "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he hath done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth."

A strange reason for making his grave with the wicked, and yet remember if it had not been that he had done no violence, he would not have been fit to be a substitute for sinners, and so he was numbered with transgressions-so to redeem men.

Isaiah 53:10-12. "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

How clearly you have before you here our blessed Redeemer, and how strong are the expressions used by Isaiah to set forth his substitution. If he did intend to teach us the doctrine that Christ suffered in the place and stead of his people, he could not have used more expressive words; and if he did not intend to teach us that truth, it is marvelous that he should have adopted a phraseology so likely to mislead. Yes, we believe and hold it fast, that Christ did take the sins of his people verily and truly upon himself, and did in proper person make a complete expiation for the guilt of all his chosen, and in this we find our hearts’ best confidence: —

“Our soul can on this doctrine live,

Can on this doctrine die.”

Have you and I an interest in this atonement, or must the complaint be made concerning us: “Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”? While I was reading just now, could you say by faith, “Yes, surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows Have you an appropriating faith, which takes the sufferings of Christ to be its own? Do you now humbly, but yet confidently, look to Jesus Christ, the great Burden-bearer on yonder tree, and know that your guilt was there? If so, rejoice, and walk worthily of your calling. If not, soul, you do not know the first letters of the alphabet of religion? May the Lord teach you, for his name’s sake.

David Winter

 2016/7/6 15:24Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2275

 Re: Questions on the bruising

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. (Gen 3:15)

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; He hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleaseure of the Lord shall propsper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:10)

In the very first prophecy in the Bible in Genesis 3:15 we see:

- One was to come who would bruise Satan on head
- The serpent Satan would bruise the coming one on the heel

The bruising of Satan on the head speaks of a mortal life taking wound yet we read,

"Yet IT PLEASED THE LORD TO BRUISE HIM; He hath put him to grief;" (Isaiah 53:10 - KJV)

The One to come who would bruise the serpent on the head and because of this bruising of the head would cause enmity between the serpent's seed and the woman's seed is now THE ONE RECEIVING THE BRUISING whereas the very first prophecy forecast He was to be the One who would do the bruising.

I don't feel completely in the dark here but does anyone have any comments or thoughts on the above verses? How are the bruisings to fit together as they appear in contradiction to a degree? I know there's no contradiction in the word of God of course but the One who was to do the bruising is now receiving the bruising because it PLEASED THE LORD TO BRUISE HIM and put Him to grief. What is the meaning and significance of this in your opinion? How does it relate to the bruising of the serpent on the head? This as not a trick or gotcha question but I want to try and plumb this a bit for meaning and significance.

Comments welcome. I'm thinking this can be edifiying to all maybe if folks would throw in a bit and comment. That's all. I'm aware of Romans 16:20.


David Winter

 2016/7/7 9:05Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5675


I certainly don't think that it pleased God (in the sense that he was happy about it) to bruise his son but it fulfilled his will so He saw fit to do it.

In one of Oswald Chambers devotions he says something to the effect that "if it was God's will to bruise his own son, why shouldn't He bruise you?"


 2016/7/7 11:39Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2275

 Re: It pleased Him

/I certainly don't think that it pleased God (in the sense that he was happy about it) to bruise his son but it fulfilled his will so He saw fit to do it./

I understand what you mean by that. It didn't overly delight God to bruise His Son yet His eternal love for mankind and His foreordained plan was part of His will. The Father's motivation came from love.

/In one of Oswald Chambers devotions he says something to the effect that "if it was God's will to bruise his own son, why shouldn't He bruise you?"/

I would think because the only Son was bruised on our behalf - once for all time. Christ bore the bruising we deserved. As sons and daughters we undergo chastening meant for our good resulting in righteousness but we don't undergo the type of bruising Christ underwent for us so as "to render Himself a guilt offering on our behalf" (53:10) so that when God saw "the anguish of His soul He was satisfied" (53:11). In this sense, I believe it fully pleased God to bruise His Son on our behalf and in so doing to bruise the head of the serpent.

David Winter

 2016/7/7 14:05Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5675


I think Oswald was responding to the sentiment that the Christian life is a cakewalk. It was not a cakewalk for Jesus and the apostles and many Christians around the globe so we should not expect it either.

Ultimately of course Jesus did take our beating, so to speak.


 2016/7/7 14:38Profile


We are also allowed to be mishandled by the Enemy through men as a testimony of God's love and grace to fallen humanity. Richard Wurmbrand and Prem Pradhan are such examples.

 2016/7/8 10:57

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2275


Being mishandled by others for our testimony, unique and peculiar for Christians as it is, is yet not the same as the bruising Christ endured when He rendered His soul as a guilt offering which the Lord saw and was satisfied. That's not to diminish the plight of those who have suffered but the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 fulfilled a role never to be duplicated. I know that's Basic 101 yet Isaiah 53 stands alone because it describes the One who suffered in a unique way unlike any others. If Scripture be true it pleased the Lord to do it this way.

Was it foreseen and understood that One to come who was to bruise the serpent's head would also be bruised in such a way? Was this an agreed upon anticipation for Israel or was it a stumblinglbock that the glory the Messiah was to bring in His day would first be preceded by suffering?

David Winter

 2016/7/8 11:27Profile


I am just saying it pleases the Lord to bruise us, too. It doesn't please Him to hurt us (He is not sadistic), but He is looking at the fruit it produces in us and around us. He uses our lives as an example of His love and the reality of a living God. Of course, we are not atoning for anyone's sin, let alone the whole world. The "bruising" we experience is also a tool of the Lord's to test our hearts, purify us (shaking of God, Hebrews) and conform us to Christ. Christian suffering (apart from sin) according to the wisdom of God fulfills many things in God's overall plan for the individual and the Church as a whole. In many ways, we are as Martin Luther mentioned, "Little Christs" on earth (yet without the mission to atone).

We are "bought with a price and not our own."

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

 2016/7/8 11:36

Joined: 2017/3/26
Posts: 4

 Re: The Fifth Gospel

I read an article titled The Fifth Gospel, by Sandoz. His contention is that the great majority of believers today are familiar with the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark & Luke) and especially John’s gospel, but few have ever heard of the fifth gospel even though Paul calls his message "my gospel" in his epistles to the Body of Christ. "… according to my gospel" (Rom. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:8&9). The late W.R. Newell wrote: "He that remaineth ignorant of Paul’s epistles or readeth them lightly, will not become established."


 2017/3/26 11:31Profile

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