Faithlife Sermons

The Song of Salvation

Pre-service Psalm: Psalm 81
Scripture Reading: Romans 3:22b-26
GMC! I was glad when they said to me let us go and worship in the house of the Lord!
In the 17th century there was a rise of the thought that Human intellect, human reason was the ultimate source of our truth and thought in the universe. This movement was called “rationalism” for its reliance on reason and logic. People like Descartes paved the way with thoughts like “cogito ergo sum”: “I think, therefore I am”. And with the rise of rationalism came the decline of what we would call “supernaturalism.” Here’s the thought, If human reason is king, if cold hard logic rules then things like miracles, thoughts like a supernatural God intervening and working in creation (and actually lets throw out that thought “creation” and replace it with nature, or the world or universe) are not acceptable. So later you get people like Thomas Jefferson who sought to edit out all the supernatural thoughts from scripture leaving less than a third of the text in tact.
Because here is the point, Christianity is a religion that believes strongly in the supernatural. We believe in miracles, we believe that there are things that cannot be reasoned away, there exists a god outside of creation and when he moves and works within creation that is often unexplainable. But now I want to push us Christians to ask a question: what is the most incredible miracle that God has ever performed?
And man we have a lot of options that we could submit for your approval. we could start in the Old testament moving from Noah and Abraham to Moses and the countless miracles in the Exodus: the Crossing of the red sea, the Mana from heaven, water from a stone and miraculous healing of a nation. We could fast forward the the countless miracles during the leading of Joshua as he took over the promised land and we still haven't gotten to the ones performed in the ministry of Elijah and Elisha. But then we would argue all those compare to the miracle of the incarnation the virgin birth, any of the miracles of Jesus starting with water to wine or the countless healings. He even calmed the storm that's a big one. But David, you are missing the foundational miracle to all our faith, the one that without it we would have no hope, the Resurrection. and you have a good point, is this the greatest miracle of All, well kinda, but I would argue we are still not there.
the greatest miracle, I would argue is the tile of our series through Isaiah, it is the reason for the incarnation and the reason for the Resurrection, it was the motivation behind the exodus and the thought that pushed Elijah and Elisha to perform the miracles that they did. And is the miracle that I look at in my life each and every day in awe and wonder. It is the miracle that, in many ways defies all logic and explanation. God Saves sinners!
And this miracle becomes very personal. Because it is not JUST a thought: God saves sinners, but the true thought is this: God saved THIS sinner. I know my heart, I know the sin that dwells there, and I tell you with full conviction and honesty, it is an unfathomable miracle that God saved THIS sinner. I can imagine that God can do a lot of other miracles, but that he would love me, that he would save ME?!!? this I am at a loss of words for.
but it is critical we start here. that God saves sinners. Because today we are looking at the Fourth Servant Song In Isaiah, the song I have called the Song of Salvation, and if we start with the wrong object of salvation we will be led to wrong conclusions. Hear me clearly, God does not save the self-righteous, he does not save the “good people” (because there are none), he does not save the wise, the strong, he saves sinners. and that is the greatest miracle of God.
Isaiah 52:13-52:12 known as the fourth servant Song is beautiful because it tells us HOW God can and will perform such an incredible miracle. Lets read our passage today:
these are the words of the Lord for us this Morning, Lets PRAY
So as we see the nature of the Servant song tells us the HOW of salvation, but in this there is an issue. In my first planning of this sermon I had entitled this week “Penal Subsitutionary Atonement”, because Theologically that is what this passage is all about. But then I had an epiphany this week. Isaiah gives us all this information not in some sort of Theological masterwork. He does not write like Paul, this is not a logical argument with a therefore and so that chain of thoughts that you need to follow. He gives us the heart of the work of the servant in the form of a song. And I realized that to be faithful to the message and heart of Isaiah I needed to try and keep some of the poetry, we cant boil down the pictures and thoughts to some dry and hard theological concept. If you want to explore the concept come on Thursday, come to grace group and we will talk about that. This passage of Scripture has literally books upon books written on it, if you want to dive into the ins and outs you can do that, but today I would like to look at a few thoughts given us in the song that Highlight and inform us who the servant is, and what and why he does what he does. The hope is that at the end, even if we don’t have the phrase we understand the concept of what the atonement, what the salvation of Christ is like!
this song is broken pretty cleanly into five stanzas each with three verses, and since we don’t have time to dive deep into each of these we will just be looking at one main thought, one really verse in each stanza to help us get a deeper understanding.


Isaiah 52:15 ESV
so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
Why is this passage so important? each of the four lines carries an immense weight.
Line one, Sprinkling. This goes back to the Law. TO be sprinkles was a symbolic act of washing. and by washing I mean to be made clean and righteous. and so for the Servant to “sprinkle, means he will cleanse, he will wash, he will take away the sins. It has to do with the sacrificial system in the law, there is a lot to it, but This is why John the Baptist, when he saw, Jesus said
John 1:29 ESV
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
note also here what both John and Isiah say, John it is the “sins of the world” in Isaiah he sprinkles “many nations” when we see the redemption, the redeeming work t of the Lamb we note that it is global, world wide in it’s scope. This goes beyond any nation, creed or people to reach and save all who would call upon the name of the savior!
in his redemption we see that “kings shut their mouths. The Servant of the Lord, in his redeeming work has the final say. The last word of authority does not come from some king, it comes from the servant. He sprinkles, they are clean and that is it. This speaks to the Permanence of the redeeming work of the servant.
and the last tow shows the calling work that occurs on behalf of the servant. that which they have not heard or seen they will be given understanding and insight into.
It is a mystery, it is profound, but to those whom are cleansed by the servant there is a deep and abiding understanding. We might say that we will see with eyes of faith. .
This song opens with redemption because we need redemption but redemption only comes at the “sprinkling” of Jesus, only he can cleanse, only he can redeem, only he can save! But even in this first section there are more than hints that something is amiss here. verse 14 speaks of the servant as being “marred, beyond human semblance” to say that his “form is beyond that of the children of mankind” means that he is so disfigured that he doesn't even look like a hum,an anymore. What has happened? Well the next stanza pulls the curtain back on why this is the case, it is because, though he is doing the work of REDEMPTION, he is REJECTED


The second stanza talks of the peoples reaction to the servant. Verse 1 asks who has sen the arm of the Lord? who has known the working s of God? Te answer is that it is only those to whom these truths have been revealed. he grew up among people verse 2 tells us, but was seemingly normal, he wasn’t the most handsome he wasn’t the most intimidating presence, not the most beautiful. But instead of just living his life in obscurity, instead of just living then an average life he was hated.
Isaiah 53:3 ESV
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
this is what makes the work of the servant here so incredible. Here is our savior, the one that WE claim to love with all our heart soul and mind and he is hated, despised and rejected. but lets be careful. there is a temptation to think: they rejected him, I would never! But that is not what Scripture tells us. Just looking at the life of Jesus we see that rejection and misunderstanding was Jesus’ modus operendai.
Reading the Gospels we see that when Jesus would perform great miracles this would either cause men to hate him more or misunderstand the nature of Jesus’ message. His own family misjudged Jesus, the people that knew him best on this earth began to think he was a raving lunatic. His disciples over and over again showed that they did not get it to the point that Jesus had to rebuke them. over and over again Jesus talks to people and they have no idea who Jesus is. then, finally the masses, the crowds because they hated this man who had hurt no one, who had done no wrong, they killed him. They abused him to the point of hideous disfigurement. So devastating was their abuse that no one would even want to look at him he became, in the words of Isaiah, one from who men hide their faces. they despised and hated him.

Shows the servant’s REPRESENTATION

-As representative we get dual imputation -guilt for righteousness
-careful with representation because we might miss SUBSTITUTION
-Penal substitutionary atonement

Though our conduct was REPREHENSIBLE

-Procession/Execution/Burial in Motyer p 432 is a beautiful way to understand why it was so reprehensible.
-the greatness of the servant is magnified in this: not that he did not deserve to die, though that is evident, but that though he did not deserve to die he went willingly.
-Motyer - “Sin as failure needs no more than pity; sin as moral defect is distressing but leaves it arguable that what cannot be helped cannot be blameworthy; but sin as willfulness is the thing that God cannot overlook
-Romans 1

So We can be RIGHTEOUS

-SO how does Jesus feel about his work, his suffering? “He shall be satisfied” (isa 53.11) he sees those wretches made rightness and is satisfied! he saw you and was satisfied!
-Motyer - the servants death is never a bare event, but a purposeful act!
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