Addison Street Community Church

He is Our Suffering Servant




Advent Series in Isaiah Review- Week#1 (Isaiah 7)–‘Immanuel’- Our impossibilities are God’s possibilities, and God’s possibilities become our practicalities; Week#2: Righteous Ruler (Isaiah 9 & 11)- Our disasters are the fertile ground from which God’s dominion of peace emerges; Week#3: Glorious Hope (from Isaiah 40; the turning point in the book)- God comforts destitute people with the good news of his glory.  

  • Servant Theme in Isaiah (42, 49, 50, 53)

o   While it is especially pronounced in Isaiah, it is all over Scripture (just ‘anointed’) especially in reference to people designed for a special mission. In one sense, however, we all are servants of God. We exist for him; not the other way around.

o   Servant is chosen (42:1; 45:4.

o   Some of the servants have to be redeemed (48:20).

o   Servants must glorify the LORD (49:3).

o   One of the servants must be obeyed (50:10).

o   Servants have a mission, namely, to be a “light to the nations” (49:5-6)

o   Has various referents: Israel/Jacob, Messiah. Therefore, like how many prophecies in Scripture work, you have to be paying attention because it can switch back and forth.


  1. He Substitutes Himself (53:3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11b, & 12b).

His Self-Identity

  • ‘Arm of the LORD’- God
  • His Profile (52:14; 53:2, 3)
  • Humble
  • Unattractive
  • Rejected— The little babe in a manger eventually grew up to be a ‘man of sorrows’. If you want the babe in the manger, you must embrace the man on the cross, too.

His Sympathy (53:3)

  • He experiences grief and sorrow.
  • (53:12b) He makes intercession. Note his words from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they do know what they’re doing.” And, Hebrews 7– “he

His people (the ‘unsuccessful’ sheep, 53:2b, 3b, 6, ). Sheep get lost. Sheep have their own ideas and without the grace of God, 10 of 10 times they are self-destructive.
The bottom line is that this Servant is uniquely qualified to do something on behalf of a people towards someone else. He’s the only one that can do it. He is a Substitute.


  1. He Satisfies God’s Justice (53:4-6, 10a, 11a).
  • Penal Substitutionary Atonement

            Penal- Disciplinary, punitive. The whole OT sacrifice system was built on the premise that sin deserves a punishment

            Substitutionary- In our place

            Atonement- to make amends

o   Expiation- the process of covering sin (53:10- his soul makes an offering for guilt)

o   Propitiation- appeasing an offended party, and that offended party was God. B/c the Son is God, he is also technically the offended. He wasn’t a neutral party in the heavenly council.

  • The atonement entails human injustice (53:7-9).
  • The atonement entails the universal presence of humanity (look at all the ‘our’s and ‘we’s).
  • The atonement entails suffering (53:7-8, 11. There is no other way!
  • The worst thing about the cross was not the 40 lashes, the crown of thorns, the starvation or the nakedness. It wasn’t even the mockery.
  • The worst thing about the cross was the rejection by the Father.


  1. He Secures Our Justification (53:5b, 11b).
  • Righteousness (53:11)
  • Peace (53:5)



Section 7. Justification.  We believe that justification is that great blessing of the gospel, which consists of the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. It is not earned by works of the law but is given by faith alone to the one who believes in Jesus Christ alone. It brings us into a state of peace and favor with God, and it secures every other blessing needed for time and eternity.

(Romans 3:21–26; 5:1)


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