The Resurrection of Christ: Part 7
Dr. Rafat Amari
Isaiah prophesied that the Redeemer-Messiah would rise from the dead and become the head of a new spiritual movement, the church
The story does not end with Christ’s redemptive death. Isaiah prophesied that the Redeemer-Messiah would rise from the dead and become the head of a new spiritual movement, the church. This would satisfy God’s heart.
We return to the 10th verse of Isaiah 53:
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When you 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.
Here we see Isaiah prophesying that the Messiah would die as a sacrifice for sin, then “He would see His seed and prolong His days.” This is a clear reference, to the resurrection, which occurred three days after the death of Christ. The seed of which Isaiah spoke are people who believe in Christ. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus, who died for the sins and iniquities of men, became the head of a new seed. Although we are born from the seed of Adam who died in sin, Christ died and rose again to become the head of a new seed. Therefore, those who believe in His atoning death for their sins are born spiritually from Him. They take on a spiritual nature through the work of the Spirit of the risen Christ.
Isaiah prophesied the success of God's kingdom in the hands of Christ after His resurrection. Isaiah says, “And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” The good pleasure of the Lord is to call souls from every nation and tribe to spiritual fellowship with His Son. This good pleasure was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost and the church was founded in Jerusalem. Today, the work of the Lord continues to prosper and spread throughout the earth. Because of God’s wisdom and leadership, His kingdom will experience success on earth and in eternity.
In the 11th verse, Isaiah predicts that Christ, because of His atoning death, will see great fruits, “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.” This means He will see souls trust in Him and love Him. These fruits are “the labor of His soul” because He sacrificed himself unto death in order to redeem those souls.
Isaiah prophesied about the justification before God for those who will believe, and have a spiritual relationship with the Messiah as their redeemer.
Isaiah continues in verse 11:
By His knowledge, my righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
Justification means the one justified is seen by God as being without sin and therefore, without blame. How can a sinner who is wanted before the justice bar of God be considered righteous and be justified although he knows he is guilty? The answer is found in that Jesus paid for our sins. Jesus is righteous and without sin, defect or blame. Nevertheless, He paid the penalty for our unrighteousness when He died on the cross.
All the requirements of divine justice were met when the righteous Jesus was punished. He lay on the altar of the cross as the substitute for humanity. Therefore, the one who believes in Jesus the redeemer is seen before the court of heaven as one whose sins were placed on Jesus when Jesus died on the cross as the substitute. This is the justification that Isaiah spoke about.
When Isaiah says, “By His knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many,” he intimates that the one who died on the cross was not the deity but humanity, since deity cannot die. Though he has the divine nature as one person of the Triune God, yet He died as a man who was an obedient servant of God, a vicarious atonement. He became the representative before the justice of God. Isaiah tells us that we obtain justification through knowing the Messiah. When he says, “By His knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many,” he implies that justification comes by knowing Jesus personally and not just through an intellectual faith, without spiritual relationship with the redeemer who died and rose again to justify sinners.
The second part of the verse, “For He shall bear their iniquities,” confirms that Jesus paid for the sins of the world when He died on the cross. He hung there voluntarily as a representative of humanity in order that He might receive in His body the punishment which every sinner had to encounter.
Isaiah prophesied that the Father would grant honor to the Son, by making the fruits of His atoning death to be found among the richest and the greatest nations of the earth
The Father granted honor to the Redeemer- Messiah. The fruit of His atoning death can be found among the richest and the greatest nations of the earth. Isaiah said:
Therefore, I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The heavenly Father placed the fruit of the cross in powerful nations and among great people, as we saw in verses 10 through 12. History testifies to the veracity of Isaiah’s prophecy. Many citizens of the greatest and most powerful nations in history have believed in Christ, and trusted His great work for their redemption. What was the reason for this honor? Isaiah says, “Because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors.” Jesus voluntarily accepted death because He knew He was the substitute for transgressors, and had to be treated as if He were a sinner. Though He was righteous, He bore the penalty for the sins of the world.
Isaiah prophesied about Christ’s intercessory role.
Isaiah finishes His prophecy in the last part of verse 12:
And He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Christ died for the sins of whole world. But more specifically, His sacrifice is applied to those who place their trust in His great atoning death, especially for them. For those who fail to place their trust in His great redemptive work, but commit to another way, the death of Christ is ineffectual. The non-believer will face the divine justice, the wrath and the ire of God in the Day of Judgment. But whoever believes in Christ is saved and will not pass through judgment.
The 53rd chapter of Isaiah concludes with Jesus interceding for sinners who believe in His atoning death for their sins.
He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Though Isaiah prophesied these words in the 8th century B.C., they express the Gospel declaration today. When Christ died on the cross and was resurrected, He justified everyone who believes in Him, and He makes intercession for them before the throne of God.
Since the resurrection has a solid foundation in Scripture and history, it provides a basis for believing.
The book of Isaiah in its entirety, including the prophetic words of chapter 53, is found in the Qumran manuscripts that date back to the second century B.C. These early manuscripts add to the integrity of the Bible.
Another thing to consider is that the Old Testament was in the custody of the Jewish people, who did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. They expected the Messiah to be a king who would liberate them from the Romans, not a redeemer who would die for their sins as He is portrayed in Isaiah. So how is it that the Jewish people would change their sacred books in favor of Jesus of Nazareth? This is evidence that they were faithful in keeping the Old Testament without deliberate tampering and modification.
The atoning death and the resurrection of Christ have a solid foundation in Old Testament prophecy. In particular, the Isaiah passage has its fulfillment in the New Testament and points to Jesus as the Messiah. The historical facts are attested to by first century writers.
Seeing Jesus as the Messiah predicted in Isaiah is more than an intellectual exercise. The church was strengthened by the fact they believed that Jesus rose on the third day, was seen by many including one group of believers numbering more than 500, and appeared to other well-respected people such as James, Jesus’ half-brother, and Saul, who had been an antagonist of the Christian faith. The resurrection has a solid foundation the seeker can believe in.
Copyright 2006 by Dr. Rafat Amari. All Rights Reserved.