by Mike Ratliff
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 ESV)
As we have seen in the last two posts in our examination of the Word-Faith movement, one of the teachings from their leadership is that Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross was insufficient to accomplish the salvation of His people. They teach that Jesus then had to go to Hell to suffer as a lost person by being tormented by Satan. If that were true then what did Jesus mean when He said, “It is finished”? (John 19:30)
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30 ESV)
The Greek verb that is translated “finished” carries the idea of fulfilling one’s task and in religious contexts has the idea of fulfilling one’s religious obligations. Christ’s sacrifice as the Lamb of God completed the entire work of redemption. This Greek word that is translated as “It is finished” has been found in the papyri being placed on receipts for taxes meaning “paid in full.” What does this tell us? God is Sovereign. Jesus’ death and resurrection were all according to plan. Also, Jesus’ death on the cross was a great victory because through it He purchased or redeemed His people.
Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind– 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. (Isaiah 52:13-15 ESV)
This prophecy from Isaiah tells us that our Lord was beaten and tortured so badly that his appearance was horribly marred. However through that Christ earned the victory that caused Him to be high and lifted up, and exalted. Also, this victory is felt world-wide. It affects not only His believers; it will also cause Kings to submit to His authority.
Who has believed what they heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 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. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:1-4 ESV)
Jesus of Nazareth was a normal looking man. His attraction was not based on his looks. In fact, most despised and rejected him. He did not come fully arrayed in the robes of a ruler. Instead he arose from a lowly condition. He did not come as the conquering King the Jews wanted. Instead, he came as the suffering servant. Why? His true identity could only be discerned with the eye of faith. People despised and rejected him causing Him much grief. Most people still reject Him today. Oh, they may be following a Jesus of their own choosing, but it is another Jesus. The only ones who see the real Jesus and follow Him are His sheep whom He calls and they respond in faith to that call.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, 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 has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:5-7 ESV)
This parallels perfectly with the Gospel accounts in the New Testament. Jesus’ suffering and death was that which brought us peace and healed us of our spiritual death. In other words, through the washing of regeneration Christians are brought into saving faith that brings them into right relationship with God through the Son and they are given eternal life. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, all we like sheep have gone astray. God the Father laid our sins on Him then He suffered and died on our behalf. Through it all, He never complained or defended Himself. He was slaughtered to redeem His people.
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, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:8-12 ESV)
Who crushed our Lord? God did that. He poured out His wrath against our sin onto His beloved Son. Jesus died and was buried in a borrowed tomb. He was sinless, yet was treated, on our behalf, as a sinner. What does it mean that “His soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see His offspring?” Christ’s sacrifice for our sin was completely sufficient. No other sacrifice is needed. Out of His anguish on the cross, Christ saw the result was satisfied. His death accomplished everything God intended. The Righteous one, Christ, made many to be accounted righteous by bearing their iniquities. Whose sins did Christ bear? He bore all the sins of those who are to be accounted righteous. Who killed Christ? No one killed Him; He laid down His life and poured out His own Spirit to death in bearing the sin of many. God saves sinners not those who think they are sinless.
Did Jesus’ death on the cross not accomplish what God intended? The Word-Faith teachers say that is true. How anyone can come up with that myth that Jesus went to Hell to suffer more for our sins is beyond me. Of course, the whole concept of the Word-Faith movement is to elevate Man and demote God. After what Jesus did for His people in His suffering and death then to have people treat Him this way with their heretical teachings, is beyond belief. Of course, the Jesus they teach and preach is one of their own making. Only the eyes of faith can see the real Jesus, fall in love with Him, then die to self as His bond servants for eternity.