29 Prophecies & Fulfillments, Part 5. Our Lord’s Face Was Set Like A Flint.


June 2, 2021

Isaiah also prophesied the scourging and mocking and physical abuse that He would suffer.

Prophesied: ISA 50:6

Fulfilled: MAT 26:67, MAT 27:26-30

 

Isaiah also prophesied in Isaiah 50:6 – the scourging and mocking and physical abuse that the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, would suffer as recorded in Matthew 26, and 27.

 

In this passage, Isaiah 50, one of the principles we will note is:

  1. The Messiah’s steadfast obedience in Isaiah 50,

setting His face like a flint.

 

ISA 50:1 This is what the Lord says:

“Where is the certificate of divorce

By which I have sent your mother away?

Or to whom of My creditors did I sell you?

Behold, you were sold for your wrongdoings,

And for your wrongful acts your mother was sent away.

 

ISA 50:2 Why was there no one when I came?

When I called, why was there no one to answer?

Is My hand so short that it cannot redeem?

Or do I have no power to rescue?

Behold, I dry up the sea with My rebuke,

I turn rivers into a wilderness;

Their fish stink for lack of water,

And die of thirst.

 

ISA 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness,

And make sackcloth their covering.”

 

ISA 50:4 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,

So that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

 

ISA 50:5 The Lord God has opened My ear,

And I was not disobedient,

Nor did I turn back.

 

ISA 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me,

And My cheeks to those who pull out My beard;

I did not hide My face from insults and spitting.

 

ISA 50:7 For the Lord God helps Me,

Therefore, I am not disgraced;

Therefore, I have made My face like flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

 

ISA 50:8 He who vindicates Me is near;

Who will contend with Me?

Let us stand up to each other.

Who has a case against Me?

Let him approach Me.

 

ISA 50:9 Behold, the Lord God helps Me;

Who is he who condemns Me?

Behold, they will all wear out like a garment;

A moth will eat them.

 

 

Here we have the Lord’s question to Zion and we will see that God does care and will lovingly confront those in Zion who doubted His care for them.

 

We are going to look at these prophecy and fulfillment verses in detail, beginning with the first part of ISA 50:1:

Isaiah 50:1 Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce,

 

Essentially, God speaks to a doubting Zion,

 

“You say I don’t care about you anymore.

You say I have divorced you.

Very well then, produce the document.

But there is none because I have not divorced you.

You will see that for your iniquities you have sold yourselves.  It is your own fault, and no one else’s.”

 

The people of Israel in exile are relating themselves to a divorced wife, forgotten and forsaken of God.

 

The Lord interrupts this kind of thinking, and challenges His people, saying:

‘Where is the bill of divorcement?

Produce it.

Produce the bill and show Me where I divorced you.’

 

But Israel cannot do it.

Of course she cannot find it, because He has never given it to her.

 

God cannot divorce those whom He has taken into His sovereign covenant relationship.

 

In this situation – what divorce does is

Divorce accuses unfailing love of failure; slavery accuses God’s power of weakness and God’s resources of inadequacy.

 

God cannot break His promises, it goes against His Sovereignty.

 

The truth, however, is very different, just as DJM brought out for us, – for it was all a matter of due reward of sins. (Romans 6:23 ) of our own choices…

 

The Lord goes on to ask in verse 2: Why, when I came, was there no man?

ISA 50:2 “Why was there no man when I came? When I called, why was there none to answer?

 

Seeing that Zion’s troubles come from their own disobedience, where is the man who will stand up for Israel?

Who will contend their case before God?

 

In this passage, Isaiah 50, the Lord compares Himself to a man and father of a household who is treated shamefully by his own wife and children.

 

When he came home, there was no one to welcome him and when he called, no one answered him.

Hence, he who had the right to all their respect was treated as one without any rights.

 

Then we see in the next few verses that God does care and reminds Zion of His power in Isaiah 50:2b-3.

 

He asks in Isaiah 50:2b-3 – “Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?

Or have I no power to deliver?

Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea,

I make the rivers a wilderness;

Their fish stink because there is no water,

And die of thirst.

I clothe the heavens with blackness,

And I make sackcloth their covering.”

 

Here in verse ISA 50:2b the Lord asks

Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?

 

And now, in verse 3, the Lord answers His own question.

 

The answer to this rhetorical question is a definite, “No.”

 

Despite the doubts of Zion, 2. The Lord’s power and authority are beyond question.

 

Isaiah 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness

But why, why would God cover the heavens with blackness?

 

The reason Heaven is in mourning is because of the sin and unbelief of God’s people.

 

“Oh, the sorrow in the heart of God – the pang, the pain, the agony, the suffering – when His children sin!….

Sadly, sin in the lives of God’s people clothes heaven with blackness and sackcloth.”

 

That was Charles Spurgeon and I think your going to really love how relates this to the crucifixion:

 

“The last miracle recorded here, namely, that of covering the heavens with sackcloth, was performed by our Lord even when He was in His death agony.” (Spurgeon)

 

It was our Lord who created this illustrious formation of mother nature…

 

We saw this recently:

We read that, At high noon, the sun (the sun in the sky) was veiled, and there was darkness over all the land for three black hours.

 

Wonder of wonders,  – Here is our wonder of wonders:

He who hung bleeding there had fashioned, or formed that mighty marvel!

 

The sun had looked upon Him hanging on the cross, and, as if in horror, had covered its face, and travelled on in tenfold night.

Yes, even the sun in the sky hid its face!

 

And it was the tears of Jesus that quenched the light of the sun.

Had He been wrathful, — He might have put out its light forever; but His love not only restored that light, but it, His love, has given to us a light a thousand times more precious, even the light of everlasting life and joy.”

 

And there we have it, there we have our very own Shekinah Glory!

It is the light that is living inside of every single church age believer, — let us not hide our light.

 

This is all in the light of the steadfast obedience of our Lord, the Messiah.

The Lord Jesus Christ set His face like flint.  – And we are going to get into that word flint tonight.

 

Even through unjust times He was obedient — and let us never forget and encourage each other – it was for a great purpose that He paid this price.

 

Now we move onto Isaiah 50:4-5 where we will note our 3rd principle that:

  1. God’s care is dramatically shown in the Messiah’s submission to God. (Isaiah 50:4-5)

 

Isaiah 50:4 The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned

Remember this is our Lord speaking through the prophet Isaiah.

 

The Messiah now prophetically speaks again, explaining that The Lord God has given Him the ability to speak wisely.

 

But for what purpose?

 

ISA 50:4 tells us Isaiah 50:4… To speak a word in season to him who is weary.

 

What a brilliant and glorious use of the tongue of the learned – to build up and edify the body of Christ!

 

He goes on in verse 4Isaiah 50:4… He awakens Me morning by morning

 

The Messiah prophetically speaks of His daily, wonderful, deep fellowship with God the Father.

This we to share in as Church-Age believers.

 

It is in these times that Jesus heard from His Father, that He could say as in verse 5 of Isaiah chapter 50:

Isaiah 50:5 He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.

 

The Messiah could speak with the tongue of the learned because in His daily time with God, the time He took and set apart to learn from His Father, — He learned to hear as the learned.

 

The point is that our Lord took in bible doctrine daily, He is always our example and we are always learning from our Lord as He Himself learned from the Father through the daily intake of bible doctrine.

 

Isaiah 50:5…The Lord God has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious

 

The Messiah, speaking prophetically, looks back to A custom described in Exodus 21:5-6, where a servant became a willing bondslave to his master.

 

The sign of this willing servant was the ear opened by the piercing of an awl, done against the entry doorway of the master.

 

This is not an owl gnawing at an ear…according to “Easton’s Bible Dictionary”

 

Awl = An instrument only referred to in connection with the custom of boring the ear of a slave (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17), in token of his volunteering perpetual service when he might be free. (Psalm 40:6; Isaiah 50:5). (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

 

Let’s take a look at Exodus 21:5-6 together:

EXO 21:5 But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not leave as a free man,’

 

EXO 21:6 then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

 

This brings out a few important principles about our Lord:

  1. This not only speaks of the total submission of the Messiah to God the Father but it also points out His willingness and His motivation which was love.

 

The ancient theory was this:

If, after the six years of servitude, a servant wished to make a life-long commitment to his master – in light of the master’s goodness and his blessings for the servant – he could, through this ceremony, make a life-long commitment to his master.

 

In the ceremony, the servant’s ear would be pierced – opened – with an awl, in the presence of witnesses – then, he shall serve him forever.

We just saw that in Exodus 21:5-6.

 

This was a commitment not motivated by debt or obligation, only love for the master. Love was His motivation.

 

We actually looked at this passage, Psalm 40:6, recently when we were noting some similarities between David and Jesus Christ…

but there is even more to it, — and this always seems to be the case when learning the Word of God, — there always seems to be more…

 

During this time in David’s life he is especially appreciative.

 

Psalm 40:1–10 delivers a steady stream of thanksgiving, as David recounts the Lord’s deliverance of him from his enemies.

 

He is grateful for giving him a new lease on life.

 

He commits himself to doing the Lord’s will and to telling others about how the Lord delivered him from his enemies.

 

Psalm 37:1–7 emphasizes the fact that 5. The Lord delivers those who wait on Him and commit themselves to His will. (Psalm 37:1–7)

 

One thing that keeps popping up in our studies is the very principle that we must not hold back when the Holy Spirit brings things in view that we can’t ignore, even when we don’t know the end result, sometimes we must wait and have patients.

Sometimes We must set our face like a flint and trust in the Lord God.

 

We recently noted how Hebrews 10:5–9 quotes the Greek version of Psalm 40:6–8 and applies the passage to Jesus the Messiah.

 

Psalm 40:6 also speaks of this ceremony taking place between the Father and the Son, where the Psalmist, David that is, speaks prophetically for the Messiah:

 

PSA 40:6 “You have not desired sacrifice and meal offering; You have opened my ears; You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.”

 

We see that over and over again God does not want our sacrifice and offerings, He wants our HEARTS, He wants our ears, He wants our voice!

He wants your voice, He wants my voice, He wants DJM’s voice… and He wants DRT voice leading us in the Lord’s supper this Sunday!

 

He wants us to go tell it on the mountain!!!

That Jesus Christ is Lord!!!

 

But – In order for God’s thoughts and God’s ways to be in our minds, to be our ways, we must use our body parts that He has so graciously supplied for us.

 

And we do this – by hearing, by looking, by searching –  we must listen daily, we must look to Him daily —and yes —-we must even speak at times,

—but we will only know when to speak by seeking and by hearing and then we will discover with discernment whether or not God wants you to be silent or to speak.

 

So remember – sacrifice and offerings, You did not desire; my ears You have opened. (Psalm 40:6a)

 

One of the things we can look for and keep our ears open to is “opportunity” and we have so much opportunity with the Lord, — and we have so much opportunity within this ministry.

 

When you look at Opportunity as a way to show your gratitude, it’s amazing how it comes your way, because now your listening for it, your seeking for it.

 

Jesus taught in one of the Sermons on the Mount in

MAT 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”

 

The point here is that:6. Motives matter, and only by sincerely putting God first can we pursue righteousness.

 

Our Lord listened and we are so grateful for all that His opportunity has accomplished…

 

Here in Psalm 40:1-5, David ponders how he might show his gratitude for all the wondrous things God had done for him. (Psalm 40:1–5).

 

Certainly, David knew that God accepted and even commanded certain physical sacrifices under the Old Testament law.

 

However, David has enough wisdom to understand that God looks at the worshiper’s heart and not simply at his sacrifices and offerings.

 

King Saul had learned the hard way what David knew: The Lord delights in obedience and not in the ritual of offering sacrifices while the heart is not in tune with His will.

 

Samuel reprimanded Saul for disobeying the Lord by not slaying Agag and all that pertained to Agag and by offering sacrifices after disobeying the Lord.

 

1SA 15:22 “Samuel said, ‘Does the LORD have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice, And to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.”

 

Truly, we saw that mistake come back to haunt them as in the story of Esther…with one of Agag’s descendants Haman.

 

David testifies that the Lord had given him an open ear; that is, David listened to hear what the Lord commanded him.

 

The phrasing used here is, again, what is referred to as A Hebrew idiom, a figure of speech, which in many literal translations implies “digging ears.”

 

The meaning of the phrase is God forming the body such that a person has the privilege of hearing from God.

 

The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament, takes this approach, which is why Hebrews 10:5 speaks of God preparing a body.

 

HEB 10:5 “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED SACRIFICE AND OFFERING, BUT YOU HAVE PREPARED A BODY FOR ME;”

 

God’s own Word promised to replace the system centered on the priests and the temple.

 

Whether in the poetic form of Hebrew or the literalized version of Greek, the point is the same:

The Lord has “dug out,” or “opened,” or “created” the ears of David so he can hear from God.

 

Isaiah 50:5 is pointing out our 6th Prin:  6. Jesus was a perfect bond-slave to the Father. (Philippians 2:7)

 

Rather than coming to earth to demand others serve Him, — Jesus “emptied himself.”

 

This does not mean Jesus stopped being God.

 

Rather than coming the first time as a king, — Jesus chose not to exhibit His unlimited powers.

 

Jesus came to serve rather to be served (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).

 

Matthew tells us this in Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'”

 

Jesus has told His ambitious disciples a shocking thing.

 

If they would be great, they must become a servant to the others.

If they would be first, they must become slaves to each other (Matthew 20:25–27).

 

Is Jesus just spiritualizing the idea of greatness to mean something religious?

Who would willingly lead the life of a servant or slave if they really wanted greatness?

 

Christ points out that this is exactly the life He has been living among them.

 

Using the title He often applied to Himself, He says the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others.

 

In fact, Timothy tells us: He came to voluntarily give His own life away as a ransom for many, 1 Timothy 2:5–6.

 

Jesus’ death on the cross, which will happen quite soon, is the ultimate act of service by the greatest human ever to live (Mark 8:31).

 

In Philippians 2:5–8, Paul explains it this way:

 

PHI 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

 

PHI 2:7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

 

This unimaginable act of service to humanity led, in the end, to Jesus becoming the greatest of all for all time:

TLJC is the true GOAT!

 

PHI 2:9-11, “Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

 

Jesus is calling the disciples, — and all who are in Christ, to follow the same path to greatness: humble, sacrificial service to each other.

 

Mark puts it like this in Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'”

 

While Jesus calls us to be servants (Mark 10:43) and slaves (Mark 10:44), the position is not reciprocal; the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 acts for our benefit, but He is God’s servant, not ours (Isaiah 53:11).

 

Our attitude is like His, but where we literally put ourselves in the position of servant or slave for others, He takes the “form of a servant” to God, not to us (Philippians 2:7–8).

 

Mark also points out that  For us to usher in and be a part of the kingdom of God, we must live out our understanding that we are ultimately powerless (Mark 10:14–15).

 

God has the real power, regardless of our lot in life.

 

Even if we are recognized as leaders in the church, that role is still in essence a servant. — And we have some of the best of the best servants in this ministry.

 

“Ransom” is from the Greek root word lutron and refers to the price paid to redeem a slave or captive (Leviticus 25:51–52) or a firstborn (Numbers 18:15), or recompense for a crime (Numbers 35:31–32) or injury (Exodus 21:30).

 

Jesus is able to “proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound” (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18–19) because He is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 who came to bear the iniquities of many, so they can be accounted righteous (Isaiah 53:11).

 

Hearing these words for the first time, the disciples think the “captives” are the Jews who live under Roman rule.

 

Jesus says the true captives are those who are slaves to sin (John 8:34).

 

According to Romans 6:18 by Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be set free from the sin nature that separates us from God.

 

This freedom from sin is complete (John 8:36), but it transfers our slavery from sin to righteousness (Romans 6:16–18).

 

  1. Our freedom releases us from selfishness, arrogance, fear, and the desire to control.
  2. Our slavery to God frees us to love others and experience eternal life (Romans 6:23).

 

This freedom is the manifestation of the kingdom of God in us.

 

However, it is also a terribly foreign concept for Jews whose mission has been to maintain a segregated nation of God-followers.

 

In Jewish history, great leaders were those who condemned their subjects for idol worship and led their armies in defense of their borders.

 

Jesus’ leadership anoints a new age, the Church-age, the Royal Family of God.

 

Why is that?

 

It is because His Jesus’ leadership is built on submission to God and sacrifice for others.

 

More often than not, Those “others” will be the rejects of the world, defenseless women (Mark 10:1–12), powerless children (Mark 10:13–16), and the bold but helpless broken (Mark 10:46–52), not the rich leaders the disciples find so easy to respect (Mark 10:17–31)

 

When I was going over this message with my dad, he kept mentioning something to me and that is “it all comes down to one thing, or one word, … “volition”…

 

So we thought it was important to press upon the very fact that Jesus chose the “form” of a servant rather than the “form” of God (PHI 2:6).

 

Philippians 2:6 “Who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,”

 

The beginning of this verse refers to Jesus as being “in the form of God.”

 

In other words, Jesus and God are equal.

 

The second part of this verse, PHI 2:6, notes the stark contrast between how Jesus could have behaved, and how He actually lived.

 

He could have come to earth to demand every person grovel in front of Him.

 

Instead of treating others as His servants, — He became a servant to the very people He had created.

 

The emphasis on “equality with God” clearly shows Paul’s belief that Jesus is equal with God the Father.

 

Yet Jesus did not “grasp” or hold on to His positional authority.

 

He instead came humbly as a servant, giving His life to serve others.

 

PHI 2:7 “but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men.”

 

Of course, taking on the limitations of a human body was one of the ways Jesus came as a servant.

 

Though eternal, Jesus entered earth as an infant.

His birth was common, yet His life was anything but common.

 

  1. Jesus’ humility that is emphasized in Philippians 2:7 is the example believers are to follow.

 

This all leads us to our #7 prophecy verse

  1. Isaiah also prophesied the scourging and mocking and physical abuse that He would suffer.

Prophesied: ISA 50:6

Fulfilled: MAT 26:67, MAT 27:26-30

 

In Isaiah 50:6-9 we see our 10th point:

  1. The care of the Lord is shown in the courageous greatness of the Messiah’s submission to the Lord.

 

Our prophecy verse:

ISA 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me,

And My cheeks to those who pull out My beard;

I did not hide My face from insults and spitting.

 

This prophecy speaks in chilling detail of the sufferings of the Messiah. – And later we are going to see that these chilling details are fulfilled.

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that our Lord anticipates it all… setting His face like a flint.

 

We know that Jesus was beaten on the back (Mark 15:15).

We know Jesus was beaten on the face (Luke 22:63-65).

We know that Jesus was mocked and spat upon (Mark 15:19-20).

 

Such terrible agony Jesus endured!

 

Isaiah gives us a detailed description of what our Savior endured here in these passages and it is even much more than what the gospel writers explain to us!

 

Charles Spurgeon puts it like this:

“We have before us the language of prophecy, but it is as accurate as though it had been written at the moment of the event.” (Spurgeon)

 

According to Near-Eastern concepts, the most humiliating suffering that could be inflicted upon a man was to pluck out the hair (of the beard) and to cover someone’s face with spit,  and this was just what our Lord endured as He suffered this deepest humiliation.

 

Notice it carefully in verse 6 of Isaiah 50:  Isaiah 50:6 “I gave My back” means that Jesus did it voluntarily.

Notice the willingness of our Lord. Notice the volition of our Lord.

 

Can we still think that God does not care for us?

 

Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord God will help Me…

 

In the midst of all this suffering, humiliation, and pain, the Messiah has an unshakable confidence in the help of God our Father.

 

Indeed, we can have this same confidence in God.

Trust in the Lord and proclaim, for the Lord God will help me.

 

Isaiah 50:7 … Therefore, I have set My face like a flint,

 

Before we go further I want to note for us this word  “flint”.

In the case you are not familiar with what a flint is, here is a definition – illustration:

Flint, a very hard, dark rock, is used figuratively in the Bible to express hardness, as in the firmness of horses’ hoofs (Isaiah 5:28), the toughness of an impossible task (Deuteronomy 8:15; Psalm 114:80), and the inflexibility of unwavering determination (Ezekiel 3:8–9).

 

There is so much to this passage and that is why we are taking our time with it.

 

Isaiah is continuing to prophesy the scourging, mocking and physical abuse the Messiah would suffer.

 

However, Despite knowing the agony awaiting Him, the Messiah will have a steadfast determination to obey His Father and follow His way.

 

His face will be set as hard as a flint, and nothing will turn Him aside.

 

This was exactly fulfilled in the life of Jesus, who was determined to go to Jerusalem, even knowing what waited for Him there.

 

In Luke 9:51 LUK 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

 

There are two kinds of courage – 1. The courage of the “moment”, which requires no previous thought…

 

And then there is 2. A “planned” courage, which sees the difficulty ahead and steadfastly marches towards it.

 

Jesus had this kind of courage; He could see the cross on the horizon, but still set His face like a flint.

 

I keep quoting Charles Spurgeon because he has a wonderful text titled, The Redeemer’s Face Set like a Flint.

 

These are his headings and points in which our Lord set His face like a flint:

  1. How the steadfast resolve of Jesus was tested.
  2. How the steadfast resolve of Jesus was sustained.
  3. How to imitate the steadfast resolve of Jesus.

 

The steadfast resolve represents Jesus setting His face like a flint.

 

Let’s take a look at them individually and maybe we can relate to a few…

1st how our Lord was tested:

  1. How the steadfast resolve of Jesus was tested:

By offers from the world.

By the persuasions of His friends.

By the unworthiness of His clients.

By the bitterness of the first few drops of suffering in Gethsemane.

By the ease at which He could have backed out if He had wished to.

By the taunts of those who mocked Him.

By the full stress and agony of the cross.

 

How our Lord was Sustained:

  1. How the steadfast resolve of Jesus was sustained:

By His divine schooling, daily intake of Bible Doctrine.

By His conscious innocence.

By His unshakable confidence in the help of God.

By the joy that was set before Him.

 

And then thirdly, how can we imitate our Lord and set our faces like a flint towards His word:

  1. How to imitate the steadfast resolve of Jesus:

When there is something right, stand for it.

When you have a right purpose that glorifies God, carry it out.

 

Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from fulling your calling or your place in plan of God.

 

Isaiah 50:7… And I know that I will not be ashamed.

 

The courage of the Messiah isn’t a passive resignation to fate.

It is a confident assurance in our Lord God.

He can set His face like a flint because He can say, “I know that I will not be ashamed.”

 

So To “set your face like flint” is the figure of speech the prophet uses to describe the Messiah’s unwavering determination to persevere in the excruciating task set before Him.

 

And then wrapping up this part of our prophesy in verse 8 of Isaiah 50.

 

Isaiah 50:8 He is near who justifies Me; who will contend with Me?

 

Point 11  11. Isaiah 50:8  is the Messiah’s way of anticipating the truth of Romans 8:31 – If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

And if that isn’t clear enough, He says it again in the last part of verse 9: Isaiah 50:9 Surely the Lord God will help Me; who is he who will condemn Me?

 

In fact, the reason why Romans 8:31 applies to us is that it first applies to Jesus, and we are in Christ.

 

Here’s your positional truth once again.

If Jesus stands in this place of victory, then all those who are in Christ stand there also.

 

Also consider this, In light of the fact that God foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified us, and will glorify us (ROM 8:30), Paul comes to an undeniable conclusion: God must be for us.

 

God must be for all of us who are in Christ by faith.

 

What an amazing and life-changing thought.

 

The One, true God, the Creator of all things, is for you and for me and for all of us.

 

With Him for us, who could ever possibly be against us?

 

The question we have to ask ourselves is — do you believe God is truly for you, for us – His children?

 

Paul offers a definitive answer to that question in the following verse.

 

Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

 

Sadly, it is possible, and even common, that a believer might remain unconvinced that God is for us.

 

This is more likely when facing hard things in life, or our own sinfulness, or just a lack of being in fellowship with Him. Simply not executing the spiritual life.

 

To combat this discouragement, Paul provides the ultimate evidence: God didn’t spare His own Son!

 

God the Father sacrificed His sinless, righteous Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty price for our sin.

 

He gave Him up for us all because of His great love for us (Romans 5:8; John 3:16).

 

Now Paul asks us to be convinced.

 

If God did that for us, how could we ever think He is not for us?

 

More than that, — if He would not withhold His Son, how would He not give us all things, along with His Son?

He gave us His own Son, His own Son must have been His most prized and precious offering… Yes, He was!

 

Paul uses the word “graciously” to describe God’s giving.

 

Ever and always, what God gives to us is not about what we have given to God.

It is not about our sin or lack of sin.

 

The God who is for us, who loves us, gives to us all good things based on His goodness and not on ours.

 

They are truly gifts.

 

 

 

So now with all of that we move along to our fulfillment passages Isaiah also prophesied the scourging and mocking and physical abuse that He would suffer.

Prophesied: ISA 50:6

Fulfilled: MAT 26:67, MAT 27:26-30,

 

Matthew 26:67

This passage in Matthew 26 describes Jesus’ sham trial before members of the Jewish ruling body.

 

Here is a preview of what we will see:

False witnesses accuse Jesus of crimes worthy of a death sentence; their attempts are so transparently false that the effort fails.

 

Finally, the high priest challenges Jesus to state that He is the Messiah and the Son of God.

 

Jesus agrees, and even adds to the declaration.

 

The high priest and council agree Jesus is guilty of blasphemy and condemn Him to death.

 

(Mark 14:53–65, Luke 22:63–71, John 18:12–14, and John 18:19–24 explain different perspectives on the same events.)

 

Matthew 26:67 Then they spit in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,

 

The high priest and the council have achieved what they had long since set out to do (John 11:48–53).

 

They have crossed the legal barrier they could not previously overcome (Matthew 26:57–60).

 

In the previous verses:

Based on His own words—true though they are—Jesus has just now been proclaimed guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death (Matthew 26:61–66).

 

The trial itself has not been legal in several ways.

 

It has taken place in the middle of the night in the home of the high priest instead of during the daytime in the temple, and its outcome was decided before the trial even began.

 

False witnesses were used.

 

None of that really matters, though, — because what was needed has been accomplished.

 

Jesus has revealed Himself as the Christ to Israel’s religious leaders and He has been officially rejected and condemned (Matthew 16:21).

 

Just as it was prophesied, speaking of the Jews They have been given the opportunity to receive God’s Son, and they have decided instead to kill Him (John 5:39–40).

 

At this point, abuse of Jesus begins to get more serious.

 

Either the members of the Sanhedrin themselves or their servants or guards begin to spit in Jesus’ face and strike Him.

 

The word “struck” here is from a Greek term which is often translated as “beat,” and often refers to use of fists.

 

Christ is now being beaten and mocked.

 

According to the Jewish leaders, He is a “false Messiah” who will soon die.

 

While Scripture does not say so directly, this abuse may also serve another purpose.

 

Jesus’ enemies may feel that their ability to mock and mistreat Him is more evidence that He is not really the Son of God.

 

In their minds, the real Messiah would immediately put an end to such things.

 

He would lash out and strike down all who strike Him.

As DJK pointed out to us, they really didn’t pay attention to their own scrolls…

 

They do not know that He is choosing not to resist, not to defend Himself, so He can carry out the will of His Father (Matthew 26:42).

 

Jesus flattened a group of soldiers with a mere word earlier that evening in John 18:4–7; — if any of them were there, one can only imagine what they thought of this moment.

 

John 18:6 “Now then, when He said to them, ‘I am He,’ they (soldiers) drew back and fell to the ground.”

 

Here, the ‘I am He,’ claim is made as a blatant show of divine power.

 

When a band of heavily-armed men arrived to arrest Him, Jesus actively engaged by asking who they had come for (John 18:4–5).

 

His self-identification, recorded in the prior verse, literally knocks these men to the ground.

 

Christ has always been clear that He knows what will happen, and is choosing to cooperate with God’s plan (MATn20:18; JOH 12:32–33; 13:26–27).

 

This moment highlights His sovereignty, reminding everyone that Nothing happens to Him which is beyond His own control (John 10:17–18; Matthew 26:53).

 

Until now, Jesus has controlled both how and when He interacts with others.

 

This overt demonstration of power is the last fully active deed in His earthly ministry.

 

From this point forward, Jesus will submit to His own fallible creations as they condemn and murder Him (JOH 19:15–16).

 

 

In Matthew 27 we are going to see the play out of the Roman soldiers abusing Jesus inside the governor’s headquarters.

 

Matthew points out to us that most of this mistreatment occurred before His final sentencing which leads some to think that maybe this was Pilates attempt to avoid an execution.

 

Matthew tells us how the soldiers strip off Jesus’ clothes and dress Him as a mock king.

 

They place a robe on Him, along with a crown made of thorns, and a reed for a scepter.

 

Then the soldiers kneel before Jesus and sarcastically praise Him as the “King of Jews!”

 

Finally, they spit on Jesus and hit Him with the reed before putting His own clothes back on His tattered body and leading Him off to be crucified.

 

(Further details are found in John 19:1–6.)

 

I have this passage on the board for us:

MAT 27:26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

 

Now we see Jesus Is Mocked

MAT 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort to Him.

 

MAT 27:28 And they stripped Him and put a red cloak on Him.

MAT 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

 

MAT 27:30 And they spit on Him, and took the reed and beat Him on the head.

 

Beginning with verse 26 of Matthew 27:

MAT 27:26 Then he released Barabbas for them; but after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

 

The Jewish religious leaders, and the crowds they roused to call for Jesus’ death, —  have seemingly won (Matthew 27:11–25).

 

Pilate, against clear evidence, his own judgment, and even his wife’s dream (Matthew 27:19), has calmed the frenzied crowd by giving the order to release a convicted murderer (Mark 15:7), Barabbas, and for Jesus to be crucified.

 

Jesus had already been scourged, as noted by John, in another failed effort to play on the crowd’s sympathy (John 19:1–5).

This was a form of torture itself.

 

Jewish law often considered 40 lashes to be the equivalent of beating someone to death (2 Corinthians 11:24), using a standard whip.

The Romans had no stroke limit.

 

The person being punished would be stripped and tied to a post.

 

They would then be beaten by a professionally, trained soldier, using – A flagrum: a multiheaded leather whip braided with weights, bones, metal, hooks, or glass.

 

Aggressive use of a scourge could strip flesh from bone and expose organs.

 

Some scourging victims died from injuries, others from resulting infections.

 

Flogging was sometimes used before crucifixion to weaken the victim but was more often a drastic punishment needing no other measures.

 

Despite the brutality and unfairness, it’s important to remember that God’s plan is succeeding through all of this (Matthew 16:21; 26:39).

 

Philippians 2:8 tells us the Father sent the Son to the earth to suffer and die as the sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

 

Jesus is quickly moving toward that step, and soon after to resurrection from the dead (John 2:19–22).

 

Now in verse 27 we begin to see Jesus being mocked:

MAT 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort to Him.

 

All of Pilate’s soldiers gather into the Praetorium to participate in mocking Jesus as the King of the Jews.

 

A full battalion of Roman soldiers would have included 600 men at full strength.

 

It’s unclear whether that many were stationed there at this time.

 

Given the crowds coming into Jerusalem for Passover (Matthew 26:17), that’s entirely possible.

 

To have that many soldiers present in this mockery adds to the list of those who could be held directly responsible for Jesus’ torture and death.

 

The list begins with Judas and the Jewish religious leaders.

 

It includes, as well, Pilate, his soldiers, and all the people in the crowd who called for Jesus’ crucifixion.

 

On a larger scale, though, those responsible for Jesus’ death include you and I, and everyone who has ever lived.

 

Jesus became the sacrifice for human sin, something of which every person is guilty (Romans 3:23).

 

Everyone who comes to faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sin benefits from His death, as well.

 

We would be lost without it.

 

Even knowing this, it is still difficult to imagine Him being mistreated with such profound cruelty by the vicious Roman soldiers in the following verses.

 

Matthew 27:28

MAT 27:28 And they stripped Him and put a red cloak on Him.

 

 

Now they strip off the clothes He is wearing and drape a robe over His shoulders.

 

Bible scholars suggest the robe was one of those worn by Roman military and civilian officials.

 

The purpose is to dress Jesus in a deliberately silly mockery of a king.

 

By giving Jesus a shoddy version of royal robe and crown, the soldiers can even more thoroughly mock Him for His “crime” of claiming to be the King of the Jews.

 

MAT 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and put a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”

 

 

The idea that a battalion of Roman soldiers would come together to so elaborately mock one prisoner may be hard to imagine.

 

And yet, these are Gentiles stationed in a predominately Jewish area, over which Rome has control.

 

Their commander, Pontius Pilate, is noted by history for his cruelty and derision towards Jews.

 

They may well be bored, being stationed in Jerusalem only because it’s a major religious holiday for Israel (Matthew 26:17; 27:15).

 

Pilate’s act of handing Jesus over to them is almost like throwing a toy in front of a dog.

 

Taking full advantage of the opportunity, the soldiers have stripped off Jesus’ own clothes and have draped a cloak on Him to represent a king’s robe.

 

Now they twist together a wreath made of stems with thorns on them, perhaps palm spines or similar.

My dad has a study on how the thorns all have spiritual meanings.

 

When the crown is complete, they force it down onto Jesus’ head.

 

Finally, they put a reed in Jesus’ hand to represent a royal scepter to complete the look.

 

The point of the entire cruel joke was to mock Jesus for His “crime” of claiming to be “king of the Jews” (MAT 27:11).

 

To hammer the joke home, the Roman soldiers kneel before Jesus and sarcastically pretend to honor Him.

 

Jesus had already been flogged at this point (John 19:1–4).

 

Our Lord would have stood before them as a bloody, bleeding mess of a human being, now dressed in a robe and crown and with a scepter.

 

It is remarkable that a Being — who could have called for angel soldiers of His own at any time — simply refuses to do so (Matthew 26:53–54).

 

He remains resolved to endure any suffering to see His mission through. His face was set like a flint.

 

And then finally

MAT 27:30 And they spit on Him, and took the reed and beat Him on the head.

 

The abuse of Jesus by a battalion of Roman soldiers was not complete even after they had sarcastically hailed Him as King of the Jews (Matthew 27:27–29).

 

After torturing Jesus (John 19:1), they laughed at Him.

 

They piled on more and more mockery.

 

And then they gave Jesus one last beating, hitting the Lord with the very same reed they’d made Him hold as a mock scepter and spitting on Him.

 

Pilate brings Jesus out before the crowds dressed as a mock-king and presents Him to the people with the words, “Behold the man!” (John 19:4–5).

 

It’s likely Pilate hoped that when the people saw a ragged, mutilated, shamed figure, they would decide further cruelty was unneeded.

 

Instead, it only seemed to increase their blood lust (John 19:6).

 

All of this corresponds to Jesus’ predictions (Mark 10:34; Luke 18:32).

 

Mark 10:34, “And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him; and three days later He will rise from the dead.'”

 

While Mark and Matthew’s accounts end here, Luke adds some insight as to the disciples’ misunderstanding: “But they understood none of these things.

 

Luke 18:34 The disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

 

God hid the full meaning of Jesus’ words from the disciples, but we aren’t told why.

 

We know the disciples understand something; as Jesus left Perea, Thomas fatalistically said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16).

 

Still,  Luke 24:6–8 tells us the disciples didn’t remember and understand Jesus’ words until after the resurrection.

 

God does this to us as well.

 

As much as we think we would like to know what will happen in our lives or what decisions we should make, we’re not always ready to hear the truth.

 

Sometimes we need to grow a bit first, in knowledge, maturity, or faith.

 

Sometimes we don’t understand how strong we are and how well we will be able to handle what’s coming.

 

When God doesn’t answer our prayers for clarity, we can always pray that He will prepare us for the future.

 

Knowing we need to trust Him — may be all the preparation we require.

 

 

These prophecies have, in fact, played out as a poetic description of Jesus’ willingness to humble Himself for our sake.

 

Rather than coming first as God and King, Jesus freely took on the form of a human being.

 

He was humiliated and oppressed, following the will of the Father, in order to be the sacrifice for our sins.

 

As a result, ”Jesus” will be given the ultimate glory and honor.

 

Eventually, all people, whether they want to or not, will admit that Jesus Christ is, in fact, Lord.

For some, this will happen too late.