“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 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 53:8-12).
The 53rd chapter of Isaiah is all about the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was rejected, wounded, reviled and bruised for us. He paid the highest possible price to save us from sin; this is why there can be no other Saviour.
Christ’s suffering and death on the cross was God’s plan to save the lost. Though we know He had to turn His face away from His Son, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him”, there was no mistake in God’s purpose. The cross was not “plan B” if the Messiah was “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus gave all of Himself to redeem the world.
The death of Christ was not the end of the story. This is the reason we do not have a cross with a dead Saviour on it. Therefore His death was not a failure of God’s plan, but the greatest victory of all time. It was His Father’s pleasure to raise Christ up on the third day and “prolong his days.” Both His death and resurrection were the fulfilment of God’s plan to restore fallen man to true fellowship with Himself. This is the true gospel of Christ. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Mankind only deserves the undiluted wrath of God for sin, but the Lord Jesus Christ satisfied the righteous demands of the law in and by Himself. His death on the cross is sufficient to save everyone who comes to Him. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25).
Justice had to be done. We could not do anything to pay the price ourselves; therefore we could never be justified in the sight of God. Christ’s sacrifice tells us that God is both just and the justifier of all who simply believe. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:24-26). The fulfilment of the plan was sealed when the Lord cried out “It is finished” (John 19:30). Redemption is complete and justification has been imputed. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
There is no greater news than this, Jesus is not dead, instead “He ever liveth to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25). He had “made Himself of no reputation” (Philippians 2:7), obediently went to the cross (Philippians 2:8), and now He reigns forever as Lord, Saviour and God. “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, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
This is the reason we can believe that Christ is our “Advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1). We believe that He makes intercession for us. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). No wonder Stephen saw “Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). We do not seek a Saviour on a cross or in a tomb, instead He is alive and reigning on the Throne of Glory as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).
The debt has been paid. The risen Saviour is willing to save all who accept Him by faith alone. Only then can He represent us in Heaven.