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Chinese8/18/2006English
經文:以賽亞書五十三至五十四章
鑰節:「……認識我的義僕得稱為義,並且祂要擔當他們的罪孽(53:11)
提要

        五十三章是預言書中最令人驚奇感動的,它真確的描寫上帝救贖人類的計畫,藉耶穌基督的死,代贖了人的罪;腓利講解聖經給衣索比亞的太監,他因相信耶穌而得救(徒8:32~35),是最好的例子。當我們讀到以賽亞對耶穌受難的描述時,我們或許會以為他就在事件發生的現場;以賽亞的預言許多人不能接受,因為人們不能明白,耶穌如何能降卑到釘死又被高舉(52:13~15;53:12;腓2:5~11)。在猶太人想像中盼望的彌賽亞,是以大有權能的王的樣式來到人間,但這是發生在祂第二次的再來,因此以賽亞問到「我們所傳的有誰信呢?」從問題中顯示出人們對上帝偉大的顯現和神蹟及耶穌基督救贖工作,沒有一點信心(53:1;約12:38;羅10:16)。

        接著以賽亞又預言,耶穌生長如嫩芽,又像根出於乾地,象徵了祂是救世主,是應許的王,是大衛後裔殘枝中發出的新枝,從這可知彌賽亞來到人世間是如此的謙卑,而這種謙卑的樣式,並不像人們所期待的榮耀,祂來竟是如此平凡,不引人注意的統領全地(53:2)。

        上帝的子民拒絕祂,不將祂當得的尊榮歸祂(約1:10~11),祂不僅受到殘酷的凌辱,祂也受肉身的痛苦,靈裡也哀傷,祂被誤解、離棄、背叛和否認,甚至是祂最親近的人也對祂如此。在這些經節中以賽亞清楚的描寫到,耶穌的代贖使全地的罪都落在祂身上(53:6;太8:17),祂本是完全無罪的代罪羔羊成為罪的祭物,成為上帝最終能接受完美無瘕的贖罪祭(53:10,11),並且祂也應驗了舊約中的犧牲祭(利1~7)。耶穌的受苦取代了我們的死罪,使我們的靈得醫治,得釋放,也只有耶穌能做成這工(53:5、11;彼前2:22~24;來7:26;9:14、28;林後5:21)。

        以賽亞預言了耶穌的死,也預言了祂的復活,祂的年日永不止息;受苦僕人耶穌,要活著見到祂撒下屬靈的種子,成為得勝者,也就是祂藉福音贏得回來的寶貴靈魂(53:12)。

        五十四章,上帝國度延伸到外邦的教會;上帝召喚外邦的國度,以往曾是被遺棄,和上帝相爭的,現在因耶穌救贖的緣故,與上帝合好,且歡喜歌唱讚美上帝,他們信主得救的人數多過以色列悔改的人(54:1)。新約使徒保羅向加拉太教會(外邦教會),解釋他們的成長及地位,只要相信耶穌的人,都要成為從撒拉而出的應許之子,反觀不信主的猶太人死守西乃舊約,是從猶太和外邦人而出,上帝國度的帳幕擴張,為要容納更多的人進來,不僅要讓不信的猶太人歸回,也讓其他各地的人進來充滿它(54:2~3)。

        上帝的榮耀要在耶路撒冷恢復,耶路撒冷就像是祂的新婦,年輕時受許多邪惡王的欺壓,使她蒙羞,又在巴比倫侵入時成為寡婦,遍地荒蕪(60:10,15),但上帝說這只是暫時的分離,祂將再一次得回她成為自己所有,愛她保護她,用最美的珠寶裝飾她(像天上的耶路撒冷,啟21:18~21),賜給她公義的子孫。為什麼上帝要如此行呢?因為上帝選擇她成為祂的聖城,並成為無瘕疵耶穌基督的新婦,他們在上帝的教導下有完全的平安(54:13;約6:45)。從新約教會開始到彌賽亞的千禧年國度,因上帝公義的同在,沒有仇敵能攻擊祂的教會,也沒有任何控告可以成立(54:17)。

禱告

        主耶穌,我們知道以賽亞對您的預言,在許多地方,但在五十三章中是如此的清楚,求您幫助我們比以前更深了瞭解您的受苦,如此我們會比以往愛您更多。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Isaiah 53 &54
Key Verse:"...My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities."(Isaiah 53:11)
Overview

        Isaiah 53 is truly one of the most amazing and moving prophecies that portray so accurately the suffering and vicarious atonement through the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was in the plan and purpose of God for the redemption of mankind. Through this prophecy, the Ethiopian eunuch came to believe on the Lord Jesus when Philip explained its meaning (Acts 8:32-35). One might almost think that Isaiah was standing at the foot of the cross when He described so vividly the suffering Servant. He foresaw that the message of this prophecy will be rejected, since the natural man cannot understand how it would be possible for the Servant to reach such a depth of humilation and then rise to the height of exaltation that is due to God alone (52:13-15; 53:12; Phil. 2:5-11). The Jews' expectation of their Messiah was that He would come as a mighty king, but this will occur at His second coming. Therefore, Isaiah's question, "Who has believed our report?", shows their lack of faith in God's greatest revelation and miracle — the redemptive work of Jesus Christ (53:1; John 12:38; Rom. 10:16).

        Isaiah identifies the Servant as the tender shoot that will sprout from the "root out of dry ground". This indicates that He is the Messiah, the promised King, who will arise from the cut down stump of the House of David ("Jesse"; compare 11:1). From this we understand that the Messiah will have a humble beginning. Unlike the splendour involved in the arrival of a great king, Jesus will come like a commoner and therefore lack the grandeur that attracts the admiration of the world (53:2).

        Isaiah appropriately describes Jesus' rejection by His own people. He was shunned and not given the honour due Him (John 1:10-11). We not only read of the cruel abuse and physical pain He endured, but also the sorrow and anguish of His soul, as He was misunderstood, abandoned, betrayed, and denied, even by those closest to Him. In these verses, Isaiah makes very clear the vicarious atonement of Jesus, for God laid on Him the sins of the world (53:6; Matt. 8:17). He was the perfect and blameless sacrificial lamb, "an offering for sin" which was the ultimate, perfect, complete, and final sacrifice that was acceptable to God (53:10-11). He fulfilled all the sacrifices and offerings of the Old Testament (Lev. 1-7). As our substitute, He suffered the punishment of sin and death that we deserved so that we might have the spiritual healing and justification that only He could give (53:5, 11; cf. 1 Pet. 2:22-24; Heb. 7:26; 9:14, 28; 2 Cor. 5:21).

        Isaiah not only tells of Jesus' death, but also of His resurrection. God "shall prolong His days", for they will be without end. The suffering Servant was to live to see His spiritual seed and be an exalted
Conqueror who would "divide the spoil" of the precious souls that would be won through the preaching of the Gospel (53:12).

        The Servant's work of redemption, as described in chapter 53, resulted in the extention of His kingdom by the growth of the Gentile Church, as portrayed in chapter 54. The Lord calls upon the Gentile nations to sing with rejoicing, for they who were once barren and desolate, having been previously estranged from God, have now been united with Him because of the atonement of Jesus; they have produced more of His children (believers in Jesus) than the married woman, who represents the nation of Israel (54:1). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul explains to the Gentile church of Galatia that this passage refers to the growth of the Church, wherein they, as believers in Jesus, are now the children of promise from Sarah; but the unbelieving Jews, who still cling to the Old Covenant of Sinai, are the children of Hagar, the bondwoman (Galatians 4:22-31). Therefore, the Church, which houses children of promise from both the Jews and the Gentiles, must become enlarged like a bedouin's tent, that it may take in more children of promise to not only fill the places left desolate by the unbelieving Jews, but also to claim more nations for the Lord (54:2-3).

        The Lord, through Isaiah, foretells of God's gracious restoration of Jerusalem, pictured as His covenant wife. In her youth, Jerusalem, under many wicked kings (especially Manasseh), was put to shame, and in her widowhood was left desolate after the Babylonian invasion (60:10, 15). But the Lord explains that this was only a temporary estrangement, for He would once again claim her as His own, lovingly restore her, build her up with the most precious of jewels (like the heavenly Jerusalem, Rev. 21:18-21), give her righteous children, and defend her. Why? The Lord chose her to be His Holy City, the inheritance of all His saints, the spotless Bride of Christ. They will have wonderful peace while being "taught by the Lord" (54:13; cf. John 6:45). From the birth of the New Testament Church even until that day in the Messiah's Millenial Kingdom, no attacks of the enemy shall prosper against His Church nor will any formal accusation stand, since the Lord has imputed righteousness to her (54:17).

Prayer

        Lord Jesus, we recognize that Isaiah speaks of You in many places in his prophecy, but never so clearly as here in chapter 53. Help us to understand, more deeply than ever before, the depth of Your suffering, that we might love You more than ever.


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