Christ: Smitten by God

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“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried out sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (KJV, Is. 53:4).


Here we see the assurance Isaiah expressed in what he would convey. The Christian must also be equally assured in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Scripture says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). The Christian is a man of faith. The Bible tells him that he is to walk by faith and not by sight. But this is not to say that the Christian cannot be assured of the work of Christ simply because he lays hold of it by faith.


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If the work of Christ was merely carried along by the wind and based upon impressions and imagination, then the Christian could not be assured. But it is not. Christian faith and assurance are based, first and foremost, on the Word of God.

Isaiah was a prophet of God, and thus he spoke the words of God. God put words in Isaiah’s heart and mouth, and what he said was exactly what God desired for him to speak. The speech was infallible and divinely inspired. Thus, he could say, “Surely,” regarding what he would say next.

The Christian must not view faith as something in a separate category from all his other activities. For instance, when the Christian gets angry, he realizes he has sinned and must repent. Then he confesses his sin and repents. However, it would appear as though faith gets placed in a special category. When someone carries on in a state of unbelief regarding what has been said in God’s Word, he does not see that what is taking place is sin. He needs to repent and believe what God has said.

In Hebrews 11:1, the author said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…” (Heb. 11:1). The word translated substance is the Greek word hupostasis, which denotes confidence and assurance. Thus, while Isaiah was “sure” about what he would soon say, the Christian must also be “assured” in the words of Isaiah.


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“he hath borne our griefs, and carried out sorrows”

Isaiah speaks in such a way that what he has said is a sure event. Isaiah says Jesus “hath borne our griefs, and carried out sorrows.” Here one can see the perfect tense of the prophet. He was assured of the events and spoke of them as though they already had happened.

Jesus came to take upon himself the sin of man. Jesus did not come only to offer forgiveness but to reverse the fall. Isaiah later says, “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” (Is. 53:11). Before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, things were “good.” However, after the fall, it is said in both the Psalms and Romans, “…there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:12). A shift occurred after the fall.

But after the fall, God promised that the Messiah would come and crush the head of the serpent. The crushing of the serpent’s head would not simply mean casting Satan into the burning lake of fire. The victory which God had in mind was absolute. Christ would come and ultimately undo the work of Satan.

However, before Christ would undo the work of Satan, man needed to be reconciled to God. In the Garden, man was at peace with God. There was fellowship between God and man as God walked through the Garden in the cool of the day. God desired to dwell with man and always has. But the sin of man brought about separation between God and His creation.

God is just, holy, and righteous. His nature demands justice, and therefore sin requires His attention. He cannot simply turn His back and look the other way. Sin must be dealt with. As a result, God devised a plan which was founded in eternity past before God created the heavens and the earth. God knew that man would sin against Him. He knew that by giving man the opportunity to choose Him or sin, man would decide to eat from the fruit of the tree. But He made man anyway.

Even so, Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God slain before the foundations of the earth. In the heart and mind of God, Jesus was always the Lamb of God. Nevertheless, Jesus entered into time and the world of man to take upon Himself the sin of mankind. The pinnacle of God’s redemptive plan was manifested two thousand years ago in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the guilt, iniquity, sorrows, griefs, and consequences of sin. He died in the believer’s place to reverse the effects of the fall.

Matthew said, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and care our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:16-17). Here we see that Matthew spoke of the healing ministry of Jesus as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Nevertheless, it is safe to assume that what Matthew spoke of was only a partial fulfillment.

In Revelation, one can see the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy and Matthew’s claims. Jesus took upon Himself the guilt of man so that man could be reconciled to God. Now that the Christian is reconciled to God, God can make all things new at the proper time. Scripture says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea… And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:1, 4). The effects of the fall are being reversed. Jesus has “… borne our griefs, and carried out sorrows…” (Is. 53:4)

“yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”

Nevertheless, when Jesus died, His death was viewed as deserved. In the book of Job, Job was said to be blameless before the people. Job walked uprightly and honored God in his life. However, a day came when the will of God lay heavy upon Job, and the watching world gave their opinions on why Job endured such suffering. His friends looked at Job and told him he suffered because of his sin. They were not keenly aware of the work of God in their midst and the desire of Satan to bring Job to ruin. So it also was with Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ came to His own, but His people did not receive Him. Instead, Isaiah tells the reader that Israel would look upon Christ with the belief that the sufferings of Christ were deserved. They would look upon the affliction and see it as coming from a God of wrath Who was punishing the sin of Jesus.

The Father struck Jesus, but it was not for His sin. God crushed Jesus, but it was not because of His guilt. Instead, it was for the sin of the people. Jesus came and lived a perfect life; therefore, nothing in His life merited punishment. He obeyed the law perfectly and was guiltless under its watching eye. Jesus was the spotless Lamb of Calvary. He was the Lamb of God without blemish.

He Who had no sin became sin so that the Christian might become the righteousness of God, but it was not because he deserved it. It was because He loves the lost.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for the love of Christ displayed in Isaiah’s words. Jesus did not deserve punishment, but He took my sin upon Himself anyway. He deserves to be praised, honored, worshipped, and adored. Work in my heart and help me to cherish my Savior this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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