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THE SOURCE OF CHRIST’S GLORY

(SERMON NUMBER 14 ON ISAIAH 53)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, April 21, 2013

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).


John Trapp was a Puritan preacher who lived in the 17th century (1601-1669). It has been said that he was a “most industrious and an excellent preacher. [His] fame rests upon his Commentary on the Whole Bible, which [gives us an example] of Puritan Bible study at its best; it is characterized by quaint humor and profound scholarship” (Elgin S. Moyer, Ph.D., Who Was Who in Church History, Keats Publishing, 1974, p. 410). Trapp’s commentary was highly recommended by Spurgeon. Concerning the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, John Trapp said,

Here every word hath its weight, and it is very sure that the apostles and evangelists, in describing the mysteries of our salvation, have great respect as to this whole chapter of Isaiah…And it must needs be that the prophet, when he wrote these things, was indued with a very great Spirit, because herein he so clearly setteth forth the Lord Jesus Christ in his twofold state of humiliation and of exaltation, that whereas other [writers] of the Old Testament borrow light from the New [Testament], this chapter lendeth light to the New in several places (John Trapp, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Transki Publications, 1997, volume III, page 410).

Indeed, our text this morning “lends light” and gives depth to our understanding of what we read in the New Testament. Instead of the New Testament explaining Isaiah 53, it’s the other way around. Isaiah 53 helps to explain the New Testament! which is highly unusual.

Dr. Jack Warren said, of our text, “This last verse [of Isaiah 53] closes the chapter on an interesting note: it honors the Savior for pouring out his soul and for being numbered with the transgressors” (Jack Warren, D.D., Redemption in Isaiah 53, Baptist Evangel Publications, 2004, p. 31).

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

Right now, this morning, Christ is enjoying the reward His Father granted to Him – “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great.” No one in Heaven despises or rejects Christ. The whole host of Heaven adores Him! All glory is displayed around Him on His throne, at the right hand of the Father. What has Christ done to deserve this honor and glory? Why is He entitled to receive “a portion with the great, and…divide the spoil with the strong”? The answer is that He has done four things.

I. First, He poured out His soul unto death.

“He hath poured out his soul unto death…” (Isaiah 53:12).

Christ did that deliberately. He did it with thought and care, not by a sudden emotional impulse. Deliberately He poured out His soul, little by little, until at last He emptied it all out, and cried,

“It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”
       (John 19:30).

Remember that Christ did this voluntarily. He said,

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

That is an important point. We must understand that Jesus did not die by accident. He deliberately went to His death; He deliberately gave up His life to pay the penalty for our sins. “He hath poured out his soul unto death” on the Cross, not because He needed to do so, but for your sake, and for mine – for the salvation of all those who put their trust in Him.

Trust Him, then, and don’t hold back. Pour out your soul, fully trusting Him, even as He poured out His soul unto death for you. Come, and rest in Christ, and then you will see why He is crowned with honor and glory. He has an honored position because He

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

His death on the Cross, which brought Him so much shame, has now brought Him such honor and glory that He receives “a portion with the great,” and divides “the spoil with the strong.” Thus, God gives Him “the heathen for [His] inheritance” (Psalm 2:8). Thus, God says, “I will give him to conquer, plunder, and spoil the evil spirits… and this he shall have for a reward of his ignominious [shameful] death” (Trapp, ibid.).

“Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).

“The Powers of Death.” Sing it!

The powers of death have done their worst,
   But Christ their legions hath dispersed:
Let shouts of holy joy outburst. Alleluia!
   Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(“The Strife is O’er” translated by Francis Pott, 1832-1909).

He has been given honor and glory because He poured out His soul unto death to save sinners. Come, and trust Him! Come, and trust Him wholly! Come, and trust Him now!

II. Second, He was numbered with sinners.

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors…” (Isaiah 53:12).

Christ took His place among sinners. Throughout His earthly ministry, He was associated with sinful people. That was one of the main complaints of the Pharisees. In derision, they called Him,

“a friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34).

And, in His death on the Cross, He was crucified between two criminals.

“He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

That is, He was “counted” (Strong) with them. “Not that He was a transgressor, but was treated as such when crucified with thieves” (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, volume 2, p. 733). Mark’s Gospel says,

“And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors” (Mark 15:27-28).

Dr. Young said, “These were not merely sinners, but actual criminals” (Edward J. Young, Ph.D., The Book of Isaiah, 1972, volume 3, p. 359). They were “transgressors.” The Greek word is “anomos,” which means a person who flagrantly defies the law (Vine). Thus, Christ was numbered with the worst kind of sinners! Anna Waterman’s lovely song says,

For He saved the worst among you, When He saved a wretch like me.
   And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean;
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
   (“Yes, I Know!” by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).

Luke’s Gospel tells us that one of the two thieves believed in Jesus and was saved (Luke 23:39-43). Dr. John R. Rice said, “One thief was saved that the vilest sinner may not despair…” (John R. Rice., D.D., The King of the Jews, Sword of the Lord, 1980 reprint, p. 475). Dr. McGee said,

What was the difference between [the two thieves]? There wasn’t any – both were thieves. The difference lies in the fact that one thief believed in Jesus Christ and one did not (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson, 1983, volume IV, p. 354).

“He was numbered with the transgressors.” This shows that Jesus voluntarily put Himself in the place of even the worst sinners. Sinners can be saved because He was numbered with them. But you must trust Him to be saved.

Christ is now honored because He condescended to stand in the place of sinners, and take their sin upon Himself, making it possible for them to be saved. Thus, He is honored because He “was numbered with the transgressors.” “Yes, I Know!” Sing the chorus!

And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean;
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
   (“Yes, I Know!” by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).

III. Third, He bare the sin of many.

Let us stand and read the text aloud, ending with the words, “sin of many.”

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many…” (Isaiah 53:12).

You may be seated.

“He bare the sin of many.” As the Apostle Peter put it,

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”
       (I Peter 2:24).

This is salvation by substitution. Christ takes your sin “in his own body” to the Cross. He pays the penalty for your sin by taking it on Himself and dying in your place. Without atonement through the substitutionary death of Jesus there is no Gospel. His vicarious death for sinners is the very heart and essence of the Gospel. Spurgeon said,

Now, these three things – that he poured out his soul unto death, and bore the sinner’s penalty; that he was numbered with the transgressors, and so stood side by side with sinners; and next, that he actually bore their sin…which did not defile him, but which enabled him to put away the sin which defiled men – these three things are the reasons [for] the glory of our Lord Jesus. God, for these three things, and one more, makes him to divide the spoil with the strong, and divides him a portion with the great (C. H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1975 reprint, volume XXXV, page 93).

“Yes, I Know!” Sing the chorus!

And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean;
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.

IV. Fourth, He made intercession for the transgressors.

The text ends with the words,

“and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

On the Cross, Christ prayed for sinners, making “intercession for the transgressors,” when He cried out,

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

Thus He prayed for sinners as He hung upon the Cross.

Yet, even now in Heaven, Jesus prays for sinners,

“Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for [us]” (Hebrews 7:25).

He made intercession for sinners as He died on the Cross. He continues to pray for sinners today, seated on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven.

Notice that those four things that Jesus did are the reason He is now exalted in glory, at the right hand of the Father. And all four reasons for Christ’s present glory are connected with what He did to save sinners!

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:8-11).

But also notice, that with all Jesus’ saving power, He will not save those who think they don’t need to be saved. As Spurgeon put it,

If [you] have no sin he cannot cleanse [you] from it. Can he?...you are very good, respectable people, that have never done anything wrong in all your lives; what is Jesus to you? Of course, you go your own way, and take care of your own selves…Alas! this is folly…If you look within, your heart is as foul as a black chimney that has never been swept. [Your] hearts are wells of defilement. Oh, that you could see this, and quit your false righteousness! [But] if you will not, there is nothing in Jesus for you. He derives his glory from sinners, not from self-conceited folks like you. But, you guilty ones, that will…confess your guilt, may cheerfully remember that those four things which Jesus did, he did in connection with sinners, and it is because he did them in connection with sinners that he is this day crowned with glory and honour and majesty…[Therefore] how heartily would I [appeal to you] to trust the Son of God, made flesh, bleeding and dying for guilty men! If you will trust him, he will not deceive you, but you shall be saved, and saved at once and forever (Spurgeon, ibid., page 95).

Amen! “Yes, I Know!” Sing it one more time!

And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean;
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
   (“Yes, I Know!” by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).

If you would like to speak to us about being cleansed from your sin by Jesus, please step to the back of the auditorium now. Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet place where we can talk. Go quickly as Mr. Griffith sings the chorus again.

And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean;
And I know, yes, I know, Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.

Mr. Lee, please come and pray for those who responded.

(END OF SERMON)
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write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Isaiah 53:6-12.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Yes, I Know!” (by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE SOURCE OF CHRIST’S GLORY

(SERMON NUMBER 14 ON ISAIAH 53)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

I.   First, He poured out His soul unto death, Isaiah 53:12a;
John 19:30, 10:17; I Peter 3:18; Psalm 2:8; Colossians 2:15.

II.  Second, He was numbered with sinners, Isaiah 53:12b; Luke 7:34;
Mark 15:27-28; Luke 23:39-43.

III. Third, He bare the sin of many, Isaiah 53:12c; I Peter 2:24.

IV. Fourth, He made intercession for the transgressors, Isaiah 53:12d;
Luke 23:34; Hebrews 7:25; Philippians 2:8-11.