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A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., Pastor Emeritus
and given by Jack Ngann, Pastor
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, September 3, 2023

“But 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” (Isaiah 53:5; p. 760 Scofield).

Two Greek words in Romans chapter one can be used to show the difference between knowing about something and having a full knowledge of it. We are told in Romans 1:21 that the ancient people “knew God.” The Greek word for “knew” is “gnosis.” It means that they knew about God. But Romans 1:28 says that they did not “acknowledge God.” The word for “acknowledge” here is “epignosis.” It denotes a strengthened form of gnosis [knowing], expressing a full knowledge with a more powerful influence (see W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Revell, 1966, volume II, p. 301). Although the ancient peoples knew about God [gnosis], they did not have personal knowledge of Him [epignosis]. They did not know God personally.

When we observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, I think those two Greek words in the first chapter of Romans describe some of you who watch us take the bread and the cup, but are not able to participate yourselves because you are not saved. You know outwardly and mentally what the Lord’s Supper means, but you do not know by experience the Christ that it portrays. You have a “knowledge” about it (a “gnosis” about it), but you do not have a full knowledge (epignosis) of Christ. You don’t know Jesus Christ Himself.

And so it is with our text. You may know the outward form of the words and their meaning, but you have not grasped the inner meaning, the full understanding of it in a way that “powerfully influences” you (ibid.). Therefore, it is my purpose to draw your attention to the deeper meaning of the text, with the hope that your mental knowledge of these words will be deepened to a personal experience with Jesus Christ.

“But 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” (Isaiah 53:5).

This is a verse that must grip your heart if you hope to be converted. I pray that it will move you from head knowledge to a real trust in Jesus Christ – who died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. There are three main points in the text.

I. First, Christ was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5).

The first word “but” shows the contrast between the false idea described at the end of verse four, that Christ died as a result of His own sins and follies, and the true fact that He died to pay for our sins. Dr. Edward J. Young was an Old Testament scholar. He was a personal friend of my Chinese pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin, who was also a great Old Testament scholar. Dr. Young said, “Another emphasis is found in that the pronoun he is placed first, thus to show that, in contrast to those who really had deserved the punishment, he bore the sins of the guilty” (Edward J. Young, Ph.D., The Book of Isaiah, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972, volume 3, p. 347).

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5).

The word “wounded” is very important. Dr. Young said that the Hebrew word means “pierced through, and there accompanies this thought usually that of a piercing through unto death” (Young, ibid.). The Hebrew word means “pierced through,” “perforated” (ibid.). That word also appears in Zechariah 12:10,

“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced”
     (Zechariah 12:10; p. 977).

This is an obvious prophecy of Christ, whose scalp was pierced by a crown of thorns, whose hands and feet were pierced with nails on the Cross, whose side was pierced with a Roman spear. As the Apostle John tells us,

“One of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water…that the scripture should be fulfilled…[which] saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced” (John 19: 34, 36, 37; p. 1143).

And, then, the text says, “he was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). The Hebrew word for “bruised” means “crushed” (Young, ibid.). The crushing and bruising of Christ began in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before He was crucified, when Jesus was

“in an agony…and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44; p. 1108).

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was crushed under the weight of our sin, which was placed on Him there.

A few hours later, Christ was bruised and crushed by the beatings and scourgings He received directly before He was nailed to the Cross, and then pierced with a spear. But the deeper meaning of the crushing is that it speaks of the load of our sins placed on Him, as the Apostle Peter said,

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree…”
     (I Peter 2:24; p. 1313).

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5).

Dr. Isaac Watts made that clear in his famous hymn,

Was it for crimes that I had done
     He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
     And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
     And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man the creature’s sin.
(“Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed?” by Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748).

II. Second, Christ was chastised in our place.

Notice the third clause in our text,

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him…”
     (Isaiah 53:5).

I read that verse for many years without knowing what it meant. Dr. Delitzsch translates it, “the chastisement which leads to our peace” (C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973 reprint, volume VII, p. 319). “It was our peace…our general well-being, our blessedness, which these sufferings…secured” (ibid.). The word “chastisement” means “punishment.” Dr. Young said, “One is not reading into the text if he asserts that the chastisement [punishment] that fell upon [Christ] was for the purpose of propitiation” (Young, ibid., p. 349). The justice of God fell on Christ – propitiating and appeasing God’s wrath against sin. Dr. John Gill went where many modern commentators fear to go, and was right to do so, when he said,

The chastisement of our peace was upon him; that is, the punishment of our sins was inflicted on him, whereby our peace and reconciliation with God was made by him… whereby divine wrath is appeased, justice is satisfied, and peace is made (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, vol. I, p. 312).

The Apostle Paul spoke of Christ “propitiating” the wrath of God when he wrote,

“Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood” (Romans 3:24-25; p. 1194).

Albert Midlane explained what the Apostle meant by “propitiation” in a hymn he wrote,

No tongue can tell the wrath He bore,
     The wrath so due to me;
Sin’s just desert; He bore it all,
     To set the sinner free.

Now not a single drop remains;
     “‘Tis finished,” was His cry;
By one effectual draught, He drank
     The cup of wrath quite dry.
(“The Cup of Wrath” by Albert Midlane, 1825-1909).

Christ was chastised, punished in your place, thus appeasing the justice of God’s wrath against your sin.

“The chastisement of our peace was upon him” (Isaiah 53:5).

III. Third, Christ heals our sin by His stripes.

Please read the text aloud, paying careful attention to the last clause, “And with his stripes we are healed.”

“But 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” (Isaiah 53:5).

“And with his stripes we are healed.” The word for “stripes” in Hebrew means “wounds” (Strong). The Apostle Peter quoted this verse in I Peter 2:24. The Greek word, used by Peter, is translated “stripes.” It means “blow-marks” (Strong). I believe that the words, “with his stripes we are healed,” in Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24 refer mainly to the scourging of Jesus. I am convinced that those words are a particular reference to Christ’s flogging, done by the soldiers, at the command of Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, shortly before Christ was crucified. The Bible says,

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him”
     (John 19:1; p. 1141).

“Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified”
     (Matthew 27:26; p. 1041).

Commenting on the Greek word translated “scourged,” W. E. Vine said that it speaks “of the scourging endured by Christ and administered by the order of Pilate. Under the Roman method of scourging, the person was stripped [naked] and tied in a bending posture to a pillar…The scourge [the whip] was made of leather thongs, weighted with sharp pieces of bone or lead, which tore the flesh of both the back and the breast [the chest]. Eusebius (Chronicles) records his having witnessed the suffering of martyrs who died under this treatment” (W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966 reprint, volume III, pp. 327, 328). The word “scourging” was also used by Jesus in His prophecy concerning His coming suffering, when He said,

“Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man [Christ] shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him…”
     (Matthew 20:18-19; p. 1027).

Spurgeon gave these comments on the scourging of Christ:

Stand still, then, and see [Jesus] fastened up [tied up] to [a] Roman column, and cruelly scourged. Hear the terrible strokes [of the whip], mark the bleeding wounds, and see how he becomes a mass of pain even as to his blessed body. Then note how his soul also was flagellated [beaten]. Hark how the whips fall upon his spirit, till his inmost heart is wounded with tortures, all but unbearable, which he endures for us…meditate upon this solemn theme without a single wandering thought, and I pray that you and I may be able to think together upon the matchless sufferings of [Jesus] until our own hearts melt within us in grateful love to him (C. H. Spurgeon, “Christopathy,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1976 reprint, volume XLIII, p. 13).

Again, Spurgeon said that it was for our sins that He suffered scourging and crucifixion. It was for you and me that Jesus experienced those stripes when He was scourged, and crucified on the Cross. Spurgeon said,

We certainly had a share in his sorrows. Oh, that we were equally certain that “with his stripes we are healed.” You smote him [you beat Him], dear friend, and you wounded him; therefore, do not rest until you can say, “with his stripes I am healed.” We must have a personal [knowledge of] this suffering One [Jesus] if we are to be healed [from sin] by his stripes. We must…lay our own hands upon this great sacrifice, and so accept it as [done for us]; for it would be a wretched [terrible] thing to know that Christ was [beaten], but not to know that “with his stripes we are healed”…There would be no need to talk of healing if sin had not been regarded by God as a disease (ibid., p. 14)…”With his stripes we are healed.” This is not a temporary remedy; it is a medicine which [brings] therein health that shall make [your] soul perfectly [well], so that at last, among the holy ones before the throne of God [in Heaven], that man shall sing with [many others there] “with his stripes we are healed.” Glory be to the bleeding Christ! All honour, and majesty, and dominion, and praise be unto him for ever and ever. And let all [those healed from sin] say, “Amen and amen” (ibid., p. 21).

“But 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” (Isaiah 53:5).

But merely knowing these facts will not save you! Unless the truths of Christ’s suffering in this text grip your heart you will not be converted! Let the text get ahold of your heart. Let these words move your soul to long for Christ.

“But 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” (Isaiah 53:5).

May those words move you to trust Christ, and be healed from every sin, so that you can say, “With his stripes I am healed from the torment of sin, now and forever more.” Amen.