By Nathan Jones
What does the Messiah do in His role as Intercessor?
In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" TWave Radio episode, Pastor Vic Batista of Miami's Calvary Chapel Aventura and I will study the "Suffering Servant" prophecies found in Isaiah 53 that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
Vic Batista: There are two words there in Isaiah 53:7-9 that I kept noticing, and it's the words "cut off." The Suffering Servant was cut off. I believe there's a prophecy in Daniel 9:26 which talks about the Messiah being cut off?
Nathan Jones: Yes, the Messiah was cut off from the land of the living. In other words, He came as a human so that He could relate to mankind and we in turn could understand God, but also to bear the punishment for our sins. He was the perfect God and man who was cut off from humanity. He was cut off from life here on earth. But, He beat death by being resurrected back from the dead. Because of Jesus' victory over death, we too can have that victory over our sins and our death sentence.
Vic Batista: Hallelujah! That is the Good News right there. As we look at the cross, it is a horrific thing. But Jesus had to die in order to pay for our sins. Justice is served. We then have to recognize that sin is damaging, right? It is nothing to play around with.
Nathan Jones: Not at all. People like to enjoy a little bit of sin here and there, but that is a sad thing because eventually sin becomes our master. Sin takes control of our life. The fun that initially started becomes a burden, and soon our sin becomes unbearable. People kill themselves because they are so burdened down by the sin in their lives. They become so unhappy and miserable.
But, God doesn't want us to be burdened. He wants us to be rescued from our sins. He wants to clean us and make us whole. He wants to give us eternal life. He made that possible by crushing His own Son, as verse 10 reveals: "Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand."
So, it was God Himself who sent His Son to die for our sins. What love!
Vic Batista: That's why every time we see a cross, it should remind us of God's love. His hands are extended out, showing us how much He loves us. I want people to know that God loves them and has a plan for them. Even though we've failed at times, and maybe we've sinned and messed up, a person can always turn around and repent. The Bible is clear that God forgives us of our sins when anyone truly repents, right?
Nathan Jones: Exactly, for verse 11 I think is the best part, because it says that after He has suffered, "He will see the light of life and be satisfied…," in other words the Messiah would be resurrected, and "…by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities."
When you study the other religions of the world, their god or gods demand that their followers work hard and do good things and earn their ways into the favor of the god. And maybe the god will give them forgiveness and allow them to join him up in Paradise or Nirvana or wherever, or maybe not. But, only in Christianity do we have the God who sent His one and only Son because He loved us so much, to come and die for our sins and in so doing take the punishment of our sin upon Himself. When we in faith trust in God and accept Jesus Christ as Savior, we will be saved. That is a love like no other!
Intercessor for the Transgressor
Vic Batista: There is so much in Isaiah 53 that we can learn, and it's only 12 verses long. The chapter is short, but packed with prophetic information.
Nathan Jones: Yes, verse 12 is one of the best. I believe it is the greatest verse in this prophecy. It reads, "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great," "I" meaning Jesus Christ, "and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
Jesus Christ is the King of the world. He just needs to come and take the world back. On the cross Jesus already beat Satan and He beat sin, so all He needs to do is return and set up His Kingdom. Christ earned the throne because He defeated evil and He defeated death. Through the Messiah's suffering and through His death we have salvation.
The Messiah makes intercession for us as well. He intercedes between God and His children. Through Christ we can be seen as pure and holy and so stand before God. Wow, what love! God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins, and when we believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Savior, we will be saved. In the meantime as we await Heaven, Jesus acts as our intercessor.
Vic Batista: Nathan, that is the word of encouragement. Jesus died, but He also rose again, and He is coming back. He was cut off, according to Scriptures, but the best for Him is yet to come.
Nathan Jones: Exactly. Jesus came first as a Suffering Servant. He's compared to a defenseless lamb. That's where we get the name for our ministry, Lamb & Lion Ministries. Jesus came first as the Lamb of God. But, when Jesus returns, He is coming back as a Conquering Lion to defeat evil and set up His Kingdom on Earth. That is what true believers in Christ are anxious to see. Jesus came as the suffering, sacrificial Lamb, but He is soon returning as the Conquering Lion. Praise the Lord He is coming soon!
Vic Batista: Amen, that is awesome! We want people to know that this hope, this grace, is available freely to all. One simply must open up their heart to the Lord in order to receive it.
Nathan, give an invitation to anyone who doesn't have a relationship with the Suffering Servant. Could you share briefly how someone can start that wonderful journey today?
Nathan Jones: As we just read in Isaiah 53, Jesus loves you very much. He was willing to give up His life and die for you. How are you going to respond to that tremendous sacrifice? Jesus said that if we believed in Him, we shall be saved. Believe in Jesus Christ. Accept Him as Savior.
Pray from your heart something like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." Jesus promises to forgive you of your sins, give you a whole clean and new life here in this life, and the promise of life forever with Him in Heaven.