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THE SMITING, PLUCKING, SHAME AND SPITTING

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 31, 2010

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).


This is the third of the Servant passages in Isaiah that so perfectly prophesied the sufferings of Christ. It was to this text, among others, that Jesus made reference when He said to His Disciples,

“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again” (Luke 18:31-33).

The remarkable prophecy of Isaiah 50:6 cannot refer to anyone but Jesus. It was literally fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ.

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

I will bring out three great truths from this text tonight.

I. First, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures!

Dr. Strong (number 5414) tells us that the Hebrew word “nâthan” means “to give.” Indeed, Jesus “gave” His back to the smiters. He “gave” His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair. He “gave” His face to the “shame and spitting.” Jesus said,

“I lay down my life…No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:17-18).

Again, in the Garden of Gethsemane, when they came to arrest Him, Jesus said to Peter,

“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Matthew 26:53-54).

Even as the soldiers came to drag Him away, Jesus could have called 72,000 angels to prevent it. But He deliberately refused to do so. Yes, the Saviour “gave” His back and His cheeks and His face to the “smiters.” He “gave” Himself to those sufferings to fulfill His purpose for coming to this earth, to save His people, to redeem all those who come to Him. He,

gave himself a ransom for all” (I Timothy 2:6).

He,

gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4).

He,

gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity”
       (Titus 2:14).

He said,

“I lay down my life…No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:17-18).

He gave Himself to be tortured, shamed and crucified because He loves you! He said,

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Jesus came down from the throne of Heaven for this purpose: to give His life to those tortures and that shame so we might live! Oh, what a thought! He says, “I gave my back to the smiters because I love you. I gave my cheeks to them that pluck off the hair because I knew this was the only way I could redeem you. I gave my face to the shame and spitting to save your face from shame at the Last Judgment!” He laid down His life under those horrors because He loves you and is your friend! “Jesus is the Friend of Sinners!” Stand and sing it!

Jesus is the friend of sinners,
   Friend of sinners, friend of sinners;
Jesus is the friend of sinners,
   He can set you free!
(“Jesus is the Friend of Sinners,” author unknown).

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

II. Second, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures to heal your soul of sin!

He “gave [His] back to the smiters.” Do not take that lightly! The Bible says,

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him”
       (John 19:1).

Spurgeon said,

Pilate, the governor, gave him up to the cruel process of scourging…the lash…was made of the sinews of oxen…in it were twisted the hucklebones of sheep, with slivers of bone, in order that every stroke might more effectually tear its way into the poor quivering flesh, which was mangled by its awful strokes. Scourging was such a punishment that it was generally regarded as worse than death itself, and indeed, many perished while enduring it, or soon afterwards. Our blessed Redeemer gave his back to the smiters, and [they] made deep [wounds] there. O spectacle of misery! How can we bear to look thereon? (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Shame and Spitting,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1972 reprint, volume XXV, p. 422).

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

Why have you given your back to the smiters, Jesus? Again, it is Isaiah who gives us the answer,

“with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

With the “stripes” on His back our souls are healed from sin! The Apostle Peter made that very clear when he said,

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24).

Our souls, which are mangled and ruined by sin, can be healed by the stripes that Jesus bore!

Great crowds came to Him while He was at the Sea of Tiberias,

“and he healed them all” (Matthew 12:15).

As He healed them, so He can heal your sinful heart, “desperately wicked” though it be (Jeremiah 17:9). Charles Wesley, in his great Christmas hymn “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” said that Christ has “Risen with healing in His wings…Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.” Come to Jesus and the wounds of sin in your soul will be healed by His stripes, and you will be born again!

III. Third, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures as a substitute for
you, a sinner!

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

Nothing could be clearer than this:

“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” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

Jesus went through all of those tortures in your place, to save you from the tortures of Hell!

“Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands” (Matthew 26:67).

“And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands” (Mark 14:65).

“And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head” (Matthew 27:30).

“And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him” (Mark 15:19).

“And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him” (Luke 22:63-65).

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him”
      (John 19:1).

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

Joseph Hart said it well,

See how patient Jesus stands,
   Insulted in [this awful place]!
Sinners have bound the Almighty hands,
   And spit in their Creator’s face.
(“His Passion” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768; altered by Dr. Hymers).

Jesus went through all of that suffering. And then they nailed His hands and His feet to a Cross! He went through all of that horror and pain as your substitute. He suffered and died on the Cross in your place, to pay the penalty for your sins and bring you, healed and clean, to God!

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (I Peter 3:18).

Dr. Isaac Watts said,

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
   Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
   Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
   That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
   Demands my soul, my life, my all.
(“When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

And William Williams said,

The enormous load of human guilt,
   Was on the Saviour laid,
With woe as with a garment, He
   For sinners was arrayed.
For sinners was arrayed.
   (“Love In Agony” by William Williams, 1759).

Jesus paid your sin-debt by His suffering and death on the Cross! Come to Jesus and He will pardon your sins and save your soul! May you say with all your heart,

I am coming, Lord!
   Coming now to Thee!
Wash me, cleanse me in the blood
   That flowed on Calvary.
(“I Am Coming, Lord” by Lewis Hartsough, 1828-1919).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 18:31-34.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Love in Agony” (by William Williams, 1759;
to the tune of “Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned”)


THE OUTLINE OF

THE SMITING, PLUCKING, SHAME AND SPITTING

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting” (Isaiah 50:6).

(Luke 18:31-33)

I. First, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures! John 10:17-18;
Matthew 26:53-54; I Timothy 2:6; Galatians 1:4; Titus 2:14;
John 15:13.

II. Second, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures to heal your soul
of sin! John 19:1; Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24; Matthew 12:15;
Jeremiah 17:9.

III. Third, Jesus “gave” Himself to those tortures as a substitute for
you, a sinner! Isaiah 53:5-6; Matthew 26:67; Mark 14:65;
Matthew 27:30; Mark 15:19; Luke 22:63-65; John 19:1;
I Peter 3:18.