Forensic Friday — E. J. Young's Turn

ej_young

This verse (Is 53:6) is a veritable compend of life-giving theology. Here is the doctrine of total depravity – we had gone astray, we had turned each one to his own way. These words set forth the fact of our sinfulness. We had already sinned and were gone out of the way. This is to say that we were in no condition to save ourselves. If one has gone astray, he is lost and needs to be found.

Here too is the doctrine of God’s sovereignty – for He is the ultimate cause in the Servant’s suffering. Up until this point the LORD is not explicitly mentioned in Isaiah fifty-three. Now, however, it appears that it is He who causes our iniquity to strike upon the Servant. It is well to consider the thought carefully. The Servant was a righteous One, with no sin of His own. His death therefore must have been the work of evil men. It was an unjust death, for He did not deserve to die. Yet even this unjust death could not have occurred apart from the Lord’s so decreeing. The LORD does reign supreme in the heavens, and He foreordains all things that come to pass upon this earth.

In this verse there is also found the doctrine of salvation by grace, for the Lord, by causing our iniquity to light upon Him, has done that which was necessary to save His people. This verse, therefore is in perfect harmony with the remainder of the Bible, for everywhere throughout the pages of Scripture, salvation is set forth as the work of God and not of man. It is His free gift and all of grace. Here too is the doctrine of a vicarious punishment, for the terrible wrath of God which we deserved, struck Him in the stead of us. How clearly the Scripture sets before us the vicarious or substitutionary nature of the Servant’s death! If we do not believe, it is because the blindness of our hearts which is a result of our fall in Adam, still remains, and the veil has not been taken from our eyes.

Here too are the doctrines of satisfaction and expiation. It is the Servant who by His death offers a sacrifice to put away sin. It is He who sprinkles many nations. The iniquity which meets in his Soul is expiated by His death and that death satisfies every accusation that can be brought against the sinner, for it is because of His suffering that we are made right with God. And lastly, here is the comforting doctrine of Divine Providence. The Servant’s suffering was not accidental. It was brought about by God Himself who ordereth all things according to His own will. (E. J. Young, Isaiah 53: A Devotional and Expository Study, pp 57-58)

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