From Suffering to Glory
Adult 1 Sunday School Class Isaiah 53: 5-8, Luke 24:25-27, 44-47 April 27, 2014
Theme: Confusion, disappointment, and sorrow often result from not understanding fully what has happened. After Jesus explained His life, death and resurrection within the context of Hebrew Scriptures, the two travelers on the road to Emmaus understood better what had occurred.
Understanding and Interpreting the Scriptures (answers are in bold print)
Please explain the meaning or significance of the following verses:
* Isaiah 53:5-6 " But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6. All of us like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." These verses depict Jesus, the Suffering Servant, who being sinless himself, takes on the sins of mankind. A sinless Christ undergoes several events for a sinful world: wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was placed on Him, and finally by His stripes (wounds or scars) we are healed. This means for our sins, He was punished. In short, for all that He suffered, He brought salvation to the sinful and reconciliation with God to those who believe in Him. This is confirmed in 1 Peter 2:24. v.6. Metaphorically speaking, all sheep (i.e. humankind, especially Israel) have gone astray, and have turned everyone to his own way (have selected the type of sin which they wish to indulge). The Lord has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all (i.e. God has given punishment to Christ as if He had done the sinful deeds of mankind, and has given a pass to mankind to let Jesus suffer in our place on the cross). The debt for sin due to God for our transgressions was paid with the blood of Christ. The Sacrificial Lamb that was heretofore slain for atonement of sins by the Israelites was no more. Christ was the last sacrifice, the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world.
* V.7 "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth." Unlike v.6, the lambs (i.e. Israelites) were going every which way seeking their selfish desires. Contrary to v.6, Jesus portrays a lamb who has direction and submits to the will of His Master; He says not a word , does not protest, as He is lead to the slaughter. (Luke 23:9; Matt 23:63, 27:12-14; Mark 14:61,15:5)
* v.8 "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." "Prison" and "Judgment" used in tandem reflects the wrath that God has placed on Jesus, who is innocent, takes the rap ( in today's vernacular) for the sins of the Israelites. By substitution of Jesus for the Israelites, the Israelites will receive salvation and the righteousness of God imputed to them.
* v. Luke 24:25-27, "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into glory? 27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Just prior to these verses, beginning in v.13, two disciples, one named Cleopas were walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem on Resurrection Sunday, and discussing what they had seen. A man started walking beside them and questioned them about the events of the day. The man was Jesus, but they did not recognize Him. After questioning them, He began to enlighten them about their misunderstanding of what had happened that "Day". Jesus, "took them to church" (colloquially speaking), and imparted the wisdom of the Scriptures, which was prophesied in the Old and fulfilled in the New Testaments, that Jesus would be arrested, crucified, and resurrected on the third day. In Luke, we are reminded that the human capacity to understand the purpose of Jesus' life and ministry is fragile. Therefore, we as Christians require constant reminders of the significance of His life. Now beginning in v. 25, when he says, "O fools, and slow of heart…" He is demonstrating their lack of human capacity to understand the significance of Christ. "Slow of heart", is similar to a lack of understanding, and the heart is metaphorically, the seat of human emotion and intellect, so it was and is central to a person's whole being. To call someone "slow of heart" indicated that their intellectual and emotional response was not what it should be.
v.26 "To enter into His glory", may refer to either His resurrection or ascension or possibly both. In Greek, glory refers to light and radiance. For example, the Transfiguration scene of Jesus, Moses, and Elijah on the mountain (Luke 9:32-33) with Peter and the other disciples. Another example: Moses on the mountain with God, where the appearance of God's glory was like fire (Exodus 24:17). One thing is for sure, Christ came into his glory following His suffering, arrest, crucifixion and burial. v.27, "Moses and all of the prophets", meant that Jesus connected the prophets from Moses in the OT to Jesus in the NT. Jesus interpreted the law of Moses first, and then followed by the rest of the Scriptures.
*v.44, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." After Jesus abruptly left the two disciples after their meal; shortly thereafter the two disciples left for Jerusalem to tell others of their meeting with the risen Jesus. When Jesus appears again in v.36, He encounters other disciples including the two He met on the road to Emmaus and showed them that He was not a spirit. In v.44 He tells them that the Scriptures were fulfilled as written in the Law of Moses (i.e. The Pentatuch, the first 5 books of the O.T.), in the Prophets, and the Psalms which represented the three major divisions of the Hebrew Bible. Now Jesus explains to a wider audience of disciples what He had explained to the two while on the road to Emmaus (24:25-29). Between the Resurrection and the Ascension, Christ made about 10 appearances on earth.
*v.45, "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures." We as Christians have had the advantage of several millenniums to learn and understand the Scriptures, however, the disciples did have Jesus and the Hebrew Bible; but like them, many of us who have read and heard still do not grasp the total understanding of God's plan for His people. "Opened" refers to revealing the significance and the connection between the O.T. prophesy and the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The process of opening begins with a dull mind, and through teaching the subject matter it becomes clearer. In verse 31, Luke wrote that the disciples', eyes were "opened". Theologians write that disciples need repeated revelations to understand the Scriptures.
v.46 and 47, " And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: v. 47, And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem." Again we see the interjection of O.T. prophesy and N.T. fulfillment.
The O.T. passages speak of the Suffering Servant (Ps 22 and Isa 53). The O.T speaks of the Messiah's resurrection cited several times in the N.T. in Psalm 16:10. Some O.T. passages that Jesus may have had in mind about repentance being preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem are Isa 2:1-4; 49:6. Luke's version of the Great Commission is Luke 24:47; Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; and John 20:21-22.