The message of Christ is one of tremendous irony. The irony is that God’s promised Servant is going to have the most-supreme exaltation of any man who ever lived, but this supreme exaltation will not come without supreme suffering as well. Here in Isaiah 52:13 we read about the supreme exaltation: “Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” Isaiah uses four expressions to tell about the supreme exaltation of God’s Servant, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not for no reason that the Bible calls Jesus The King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). One day when He returns to this world, He will bring the kingdom of God to this world and He will rule over God’s kingdom forever and ever and ever. The Book of Revelation tells us that His kingdom will first come through 1,000 years of rule on this present earth (Rev. 20), but then His kingdom will extend eternally in a New Heavens and New Earth (Rev. 21-22). In that day, the whole world will know that Jesus is Lord (Zech. 14:9), just as Paul described in Philippians 2: “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11). There is only One Lord, and His name is Jesus.
The great irony comes about when the Bible tells us that not only will God’s Servant have supreme exaltation, but also that He would suffer the worst misery and ruin one could ever imagine (Isa. 52:14-15). Isaiah tells us that His appearance would be marred more than any man and His form would be marred more than the sons of men. The idea here is that His ruin would be so great, that He would hardly even be recognizable as being a human being. Indeed, both the Jews and Romans beat Jesus Christ so severely that all people could do was to look in horror at this disfigured man. Beyond the physical ruin, we also know that Jesus experienced a physical ruin that was even more torturous than the physical beatings. Psalm 22 predicted that the Messiah would cry out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me,” and this is exactly what happened (Matt. 27:46). The daytime sky went dark and Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” because God the Father had turned His burning wrath against sin upon His only Son. Jesus paid for our sin by giving His life in our place. That is why Isaiah tells us that He was pierced through for our transgressions (Isa. 53:5). Imagine that, the King of Kings laying down His life for wretched sinners, me and you.
What an irony! Yes, He is the most-exalted One in the whole universe who will be worshipped and served forever and ever, but all of this came at the cost of the greatest suffering any man has ever known. Dear friends, this is the cost of our soul. There was other way for sins to be forgiven except Jesus Christ pay the price. May this truth stir us to love God and obey Him as we should.
Love, Pastor Tim