December 4, 2019

Redeeming the Lost Sheep

Isaiah 53

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  Who has believed what he has heard from us?1
    And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
  For he grew up before him like a young plant,
    and like a root out of dry ground;
  he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
    and no beauty that we should desire him.
  He was despised and rejected2 by men,
    a man of sorrows3 and acquainted with4 grief;5
  and as one from whom men hide their faces6
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
  Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
  yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
  upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.
  All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to his own way;
  and the LORD has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.
  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
  like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.
  By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
    and as for his generation, who considered
  that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
    stricken for the transgression of my people?
  And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death,
  although he had done no violence,
    and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10   Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
    he has put him to grief;7
  when his soul makes8 an offering for guilt,
    he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
  the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11   Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see9 and be satisfied;
  by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
    make many to be accounted righteous,
    and he shall bear their iniquities.
12   Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,10
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,11
  because he poured out his soul to death
    and was numbered with the transgressors;
  yet he bore the sin of many,
    and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Footnotes

[1] 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?
[2] 53:3 Or forsaken
[3] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4
[4] 53:3 Or and knowing
[5] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4
[6] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us
[7] 53:10 Or he has made him sick
[8] 53:10 Or when you make his soul
[9] 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light
[10] 53:12 Or with the great
[11] 53:12 Or with the numerous

Redeeming the Lost Sheep



Key Verse | Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

 

Bio | Ben Pollard

Hello, I am Bentley (Ben) Pollard. Husband to Leslie for 33 years, father to Harrison (wife Jessi), Melissa (husband Tyler), and Everett. For about 29 years I was known as "Coach P."

My family might tell you that I was somewhat of a Grinch when it came to the American Holiday Celebration. I am thankful for the mercy of my savior, Jesus Christ, who brings true joy to my Christmas celebration!

Central Truth

Lost sheep need the good shepherd! "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:10-11, emphasis added.)

Devotional | Isaiah 53

Scripture is very clear about the problem that exists between God (Creator) and His greatest creation (mankind). "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way...

Scripture is very clear about the problem that exists between God (Creator) and His greatest creation (mankind). "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way . . . . " (Isaiah 53:6a) We forfeit the green pastures and still waters (Psalm 23:2) for uninhabited salt land (Jeremiah 17:6).  

In Romans 3:10b-12, the apostle Paul quotes Psalm 14 and 53. 

"None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one."

Really, no one? I don't think I truly understood that. I was sure that I was good—God was pleased with me, and He would bless me. Ultimately, I wanted God's provision, not Him.

Isaiah 53 offers a thorough picture of God's plan for redeeming the "lost sheep" through the picture of a suffering servant, "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3a). For man to be restored to right relationship with a Holy God, a sacrifice was necessary. "Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief, when his soul makes an offering for guilt . . . . " (Isaiah 53:10a). 

It was Jesus who submitted to the will of His Father (Luke 22:42). In doing so, Jesus became an acceptable sacrifice for the world (1 John 2:2). "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Lost sheep need the good shepherd! "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:10-11, emphasis added) That is the shepherd we sing about, leaving the 99 to rescue us (Luke 15:3-7)! I rejoice during this Advent season that He is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1). I am part of His flock!

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Discussion Questions

1. Was there a time when you realized you were a lost sheep? Think back on how God pursued you and give Him thanks!

2. Advent is a period of spiritual preparation when Christians should ready themselves for the coming, or birth, of the Lord Jesus Christ. What steps are you taking to celebrate Advent?

3. What can you do during this Holiday season to keep Christ at the center of your celebration?

5 Comments available

Michael Scaman 3 days ago

God raises a rhetorical question in Isaiah 51:1. And that question was how did Abraham become righteous? Good question - answer ‘by faith’. He believed God and he was counted righteous.

God’s question is part of how He leads into the most famous servant song in Isaiah 53:1-12. The servant will be rejected, suffer for sins, die and overcome death (each point made at least 7 times).

Here Jesus work repeated not twice but at least seven times.

Joseph told Pharaoh that the ruler’s pair of dreams showed God’s certainty. Strange as it seems, there’s been a run on crazy dreams and Joseph had two pairs of other repetitive dreams to ponder. Later, Daniel saw ‘mene mene’ repetition on the wall as a sign of God’s firm decision as well.

Jesus work repeated more.

Michael Scaman 3 days ago

Even people who know the law very well can be lost, an example being Psalm 119:176. “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”

Michael Scaman 3 days ago

The high and holy one seen in Isaiah 6 , Isaiah 52,53 and Isaiah 57.

In Isaiah 6, the Lord is high and lifted up. The prophets mouth is shut at the vision. Isaiah 6:5

In Isaiah 52:7, good news is announced Kings will have their mouths shut because of God’s suffering servant in Isaiah 52:15 as God’s servant suffers but is high and lifted up in Isaiah 57:15-21 His work of sacrificially sprinting nations, includes the picture of Isaiah chapter 53 summed up in Isaiah 53:10

In Isaiah 57:15-21 the high and holy one dwells with the humble and contrite. Their mouths made pure are opened. The high with the low.

Sue Bohlin 3 days ago

Advent blessings, Ben! Loved how squishy with scripture your devo is!

I was so glad to come across the ESV’s translation of verse 10, “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him,” because so many other translations use “pleased,” which makes the Father sound like He got sadistic enjoyment from punishing the Son on the cross. What kind of mean, awful God would take pleasure in hurting anyone, especially His beloved Son? Something can be God’s will without it being His pleasure.

Hugh Stephenson 3 days ago

GM Ben!

Love your Central Truth! I AM a lost sheep that DESPERATELY needs the Good Shepherd!!

Great pull on my leaving the green pastures & still waters for the salt land. I would add mud pies. (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/we-are-far-too-easily-pleased).

I note that the Messiah is to have “…no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Constable quotes Delitzsch -

“There would be nothing about His appearance or His conduct that would attract people to Him as a distinctive, special person (cf. David, 1 Sam. 16:18).”

The direct link between this aspect of David and Jesus is amazing. From a shepherd boy comes a Shepherd King.

I note David’s anguish in Psalm 22:1 and Jesus quoting this verse on the cross.

More than the physical pain it’s the spiritual separation from God that drives the anguish of both.

And me.

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