2827. The Redeemer Described By Himself

by Charles H. Spurgeon on September 16, 2019
The Redeemer Described By Himself

No. 2827-49:181. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, July 1, 1877, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, April 19, 1903.

Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or do I have no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die from thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of the learned, so that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary: he awakens morning by morning, he awakens my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away. I gave my back to the strikers, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting. {Isa 50:2-6}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1486, “Shame and Spitting, The” 1486}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2827, “Redeemer Described by Himself, The” 2828}
   Exposition on Isa 49:24-50:11 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2832, “Christ’s Yoke and Burden” 2833 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 50 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2335, “Three Texts, but One Subject — Faith” 2336 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 50 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2738, “Redeemer’s Face Set Like a Flint, The” 2739 @@ "Exposition"}

1. We spent this morning at the foot of the cross. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1362, “Mourning for Christ” 1353} I hope that some of us, at least, were helped by the Spirit of grace and of supplication to look at him whom we have pierced by our sins, and to “mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son.” I thought that, since we then found it so good to be there, we would go there again, the more especially since we are afterwards to gather around the communion table where we shall be again reminded of the sacrificial death which the sacred supper so clearly symbolizes. Let us come, then, under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, very near to our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that the Spirit of Christ may aid our meditations while I try once more to speak about his glorious and matchless person, and the amazing condescension which made him undertake such gracious offices on our behalf, and bear for us such awful and shameful griefs.

2. I shall need no further preface to my discourse except to say that in my opinion, these verses run on without any break, so that you are not to separate them, and ascribe one to the prophet, another to the Messiah, and another to Jehovah himself; but you must take the whole thing as the utterance of one Divine Person. That Jehovah-Jesus is the One who is speaking here, is very clear from the last verse of the previous chapter: “I the Lord” (“I, Jehovah,” it is,) “am your Saviour and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” It is Jehovah, as the Saviour and Redeemer of his people, who is revealing himself to us here; and we must take the whole chapter as being uttered by him.

3. I. So, then, to begin with, let us BEHOLD THE MESSIAH AS GOD: “I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.”

4. I ask you again to link this third verse with the sixth: “I clothe the heavens with blackness and I make sackcloth their covering. … I gave my back to the strikers, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.” He, then, who suffered like this, and whom we regard as redeeming us by his death, and as saving us by his life, is no less than the Almighty God who clothes the heavens with blackness, at whose rebuke the sea is dried up, and the rivers become a wilderness.

5. I think the first reference, in these words, is to the miracles which were performed by the plagues in Egypt. It was Jehovah-Jesus who was then plaguing his adversaries. It was he who stood by the border of the Red Sea, and dried it up. In a later chapter, Isaiah says that “the angel of his presence saved them”; and who is that great “Angel of his presence” but the Angel of the covenant in whom we delight, even Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour? It was he who struck the rivers of Egypt until they began to stink, and the fish died from thirst. It was he who called for an unusual darkness, — even darkness which might be felt, — and which lasted three days and nights, a supernatural darkness such as had never been known before. Think of the greatness of that God who can darken the great orb of day. The strongest eye of man cannot bear to gaze on the sun, for fear of producing blindness; yet Jehovah-Jesus does not only look the sun in the face, but he lifts his hand, and shuts out the light of the sun from the face of the earth; and tells the sun — “which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race,” — to take off his bridal attire, and to put on the garments of mourning, for thus says the Lord, “I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.” This mighty miracle, which was performed of old, was performed by that same Jesus who, in the days of his flesh, was despised and rejected by men. Learn this lesson, and adore the Lord who is so great in power, and as gracious as he is great.

6. But we must not restrict the text to what happened in the land of Egypt, for it has a far wider reference than that. All the great wonders of nature are to be ascribed to him on whom we build all our hopes for time and for eternity. There are channels of great rivers to be found that are now perfectly dry. Travellers tell us of vast lakes and river-beds that have become mere pans of salt. Why did they dry up? “By the action of the laws of nature,” some people say. But laws have no power to act by themselves; they need force behind them to make them operate, and whose force is that? It is the energy of God; and that very same energy dwells in the adorable person of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When the storm-clouds come hurrying up, driven by the winds, and the crash of heaven’s dread artillery is heard, and the flashes of forked lightning follow each other in rapid succession, we tremble at the power of the Lord who makes the earth to quiver before him. But who is he who is driving in his conquering chariot? It is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. All the elements of nature are under his control, and he rules all things according to the good pleasure of his own will. He sits at the right hand of God, even the Father, being himself very God of very God.

7. 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. We read that, at high noon, the sun was veiled, and there was darkness over all the land for three black hours. Wonder of wonders, he who hung bleeding there had performed that mighty marvel! The sun had looked on him hanging on the cross, and, as if in horror, had covered its face, and travelled on in tenfold night. The tears of Jesus quenched the light of the sun. Had he been wrathful, he might have put out its light for ever; but his love not only restored that light, but it has given to us a light a thousand times more precious, even the light of everlasting life and joy.

8. I cannot preach worthily on so sublime a doctrine as this, so it is of no use for me to attempt to do so. I always feel, when I begin to speak of the deity of our blessed Lord and Master, as if my heart were too full for me to give utterance to my deepest feelings and convictions. My heart is indeed overflowing with a good matter when I am speaking like this concerning the King; but I cannot say that my tongue is as the pen of a ready writer when it has so vast a theme to dwell on. What I want to bring before your minds most clearly is the blessed truth that you are not depending for your salvation on a mere man. He is man, — certainly man, — man of the substance of his mother; but he is just as truly divine. In trusting him, you are resting your souls on One who is infinite and almighty. Nothing can be too difficult for him to do. It is he who asks these questions in the second verse: “Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? Or do I have no power to deliver?” You may depend on it that you are absolutely safe in his hands. What you commit to him, he will securely keep, rest assured of that. Even when you draw nearest to him in the familiar communion which he graciously permits to those whom he loves, never think of him as being less than the Eternal God; so worship him, so trust him, and so rejoice in him.

9. II. Now let us turn to the next verse of our text, and BEHOLD THE MESSIAH AS THE INSTRUCTED TEACHER: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, so that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary: he awakens morning by morning, he awakens my ear to hear as the learned.”

10. Our Lord veiled his Godhead in the robe of manhood, and he came and lived here, among men, so that he might proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who were bound. He came, in fact, as it was foretold concerning him, that he might save his people from their sins. But before he began to teach, it was necessary that, as man, he should be prepared for his work. I call your special attention to the condescension of our Lord in coming here on purpose to care for the weak, — to speak consoling and sustaining words to them; and also to the fact that, before he performed that service, — he learned the sacred art from his Father. It seems, according to this verse, that his chief work was to speak words in season to the weary ones. How sweetly he has learned that blessed lesson, and how graciously he has turned it to practical account! Have not many of you found his words to be very seasonable to you when you have been weary? When you have been most depressed, have not the consolations of Christ been more precious to you than at any other time? Have you not, often, in times of sorrow, wiped away your tears at the sound of his cheering voice? As for you, who have beat your breasts in deep contrition of heart because of the burden of your sin, has not Jesus removed your load from you when you have heard him speak? We do well to treasure up every sentence that he has uttered, for there is not even a word that has fallen from his dear lips, by way of promise and encouragement, but exactly suits our experience at some time or other. Whatever our distress or difficulty may be, he knows how to speak a word in season to everyone who is weary. To us he says, as he said to his disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.” He knows, even to perfection, the blessed art of consoling the sad and sorrowful.

11. The most condescending part of this truth is that he received from his Father the power to deliver such words of consolation. He says, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, so that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” He became a disciple, sitting at his Father’s feet. For thirty years, he was learning much in Joseph’s carpenter’s shop. Little do we know how much he learned there; but this much we do know, for Luke records the fact, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” And afterwards, when he entered into his public work among men, he spoke with the tongue of the learned, saying to his disciples, “All things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” All through his time of teaching, he was still listening and learning. Notice the words in the fourth verse: “He awakens (me) morning by morning, he awakens my ear to hear as the learned.” The Lord Jesus was often up early in the morning; — even when he had not been all night in prayer; — that seemed to be the special time in which he communed with his Father. He first went, and enjoyed most intimate fellowship with the Lord, refreshing himself by talking about heavenly things, and receiving new strength for service; and then, with the dew of heaven fresh on him, he came out, and taught the people. They, very likely, were still sound asleep; but he was awake early, receiving renewed inspiration in prayer and fellowship; and then he came out, fragrant with the savour of his communion with his Father, and the sweet odour of his consecration was shed abroad among the sons of men through the blessed truth that flowed from his lips. I ask you again to think of this amazing condescension, that he, who clothes the heavens with blackness, and makes sackcloth their covering, should, for our sake, stoop to learn in his Father’s school. “Though he was a Son, yet he learned obedience”; and though he was “over all, God blessed for ever,” yet he increased in wisdom and stature, as a boy and as a man, and he condescended to be a learner so that he might speak as the learned, and know how to utter words that should be in season to us when we are weary.

12. III. Now I want you to go down a step lower, to the next verse, in which we BEHOLD JESUS CHRIST AS THE SERVANT OF THE LORD: “The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away.” He stood on earth, not like a prince, but as the servant of God. He was made to be under the law, and in all things to be subservient to the Father’s will.

13. Notice that, first of all, he speaks of himself as being prepared by grace; for he says, “The Lord God has opened my ear,” as if there had been a work accomplished on him to outfit and prepare him for his service. Yes, and so it was; and the same Spirit, who rested on Christ, must also open our ears. It often amazes me that our Lord should have been willing to be baptized in Jordan; even though that baptism was attended by the descent of the Holy Spirit on him; for, albeit that he was truly human, we know that he was also just as truly divine. Being found in the form of a man, he received from God the Holy Spirit the same anointing which is now bestowed on his people. God forbid that our tongue should ever speak a word concerning him that should confound his deity and his humanity; but, still, we assert that he required that the Spirit should rest on him; for, otherwise, the Spirit would not have come, for he never does anything unnecessarily. This is matchless condescension on his part, that he should, voluntarily, put himself into such a condition of necessity for our sake.

14. So being prepared by grace, he was consecrated in due form, so that he could say of himself, “The Lord God has opened my ear.” Brothers and sisters, there was never another such an ear as Christ had. He heard the faintest whispers of his Father’s voice. He never neglected the will of God, nor needed to be reminded of it, or to be pressed and persuaded to do it. See how different it is with us. Our ears are dull of hearing; or, if the precept is plain to our apprehension, we often do not yield obedience to it. There are some professors who do know their duty; they have been awakened to know it morning by morning; but, nevertheless, they pretend not to be aware of what is required of them. The sound of God’s voice has only reached their outward ear, it has never penetrated as far as the inward ear; their heart has not perceived its divine force and power. But it was never so with our blessed Lord. Whatever his Father willed, he at once rejoiced to do. He could always say, “I always do the things that please him.”

15. That is the next point, for he not only heard his Father’s voice, but he was obedient to it in all things. He says, “I was not rebellious.” I cannot find anything in the life of Christ that even looks like rebellion. From the day when, as a child, he said to his parents, “Do you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” until the hour when, on the cross, he cried, “It is finished,” he was always obedient to the will of God. “Being found in the form of a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” His obedience was absolutely perfect in all things. Think of this, and remember that this is the same Divine Being who clothes the heavens with blackness, and makes sackcloth their covering when it pleases him to do so.

16. In that obedience, he was persevering through all trials. He says that he did not turn away. Having begun the work of saving men, he went through with it. He steadfastly set his face to go up to Jerusalem, though he knew that he was going to his death. He did not ask that he might be delivered from completing the work that he had undertaken. There was a time when, in the horror of his spirit, he cried, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me”; yet he never flinched from any suffering that was necessary for our redemption. It was human weakness that spoke for a moment, but his innermost soul was fully set on the work of redeeming his people to himself. He set his face like a flint, and he would not turn away. Even in his direst agonies, his thoughts were all for others. He saved others; he could not save himself, for it was impossible for him to recoil from the work which he had once undertaken.

17. You know all this, beloved. I only remind you of what has been familiar to you ever since you have believed in Jesus; but please think of it again and again, for it must have been a matter of the utmost amazement to the angels to see their Lord acting as a servant, — to see him, without whom was not anything made that was made, here below, dressed in a peasant’s garb, and, as a humble, way-worn son of poverty, sitting on a well to talk to a poor sinful woman about the water of life. You know what lowly service he rendered, even to the washing of his disciples’ feet. There was nothing too menial for him to perform; yet, all the while, he was truly divine. Oh, this is a truth that needs to be mused on for hours on end, and to be considered again and yet again. This is one of the things which angels desire to look into; and we may try to look into it as long as we wish, for, above and beyond all controversy, great is this mystery of godliness, God revealed in the flesh.

18. IV. The last step in this wonderful ladder is revealed to us in the next verse: “I gave my back to the strikers, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.” BEHOLD THE MESSIAH AS THE PEERLESS SUFFERER. And this Sufferer, on whom man spat, was the Eternal God.

19. Scripture sometimes speaks concerning Christ in such a way that fastidious critics seek to correct it. There is a hymn, by Dr. Watts, in which there is this verse, —

    Well might the sun in darkness hide,
       And shut his glories in,
    When God, the mighty Maker, died
       For man, the creature’s sin.

It has been asked, “Did God really die?” No; for God cannot die, yet he who died was God; so, if there is a confusion in your mind, it is the confusion of Holy Scripture itself, for we read, “Feed the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” He who purchased the Church with his own blood was indeed God. There are clever men, who could draw up this particular truth as clearly as Athanasius drew up his Creed, and finish it up with a curse as loud as his; yet those men, nevertheless, might make a great blunder; while another, who might not speak exactly according to logic, would nevertheless hit the mark which they missed. How are we to speak on such a wondrous theme as this? How can we speak on it? It does not belong to mortal man to comprehend Deity, and if Deity complicates its own incomprehensibility by taking into alliance with itself our humanity, who is he who may not be made an offender for many and many a word, and yet, for all that, may not have offended against the truth? He who was a prisoner in Pilate’s hall, accused of sedition, was the King of kings; — he who was taken from that hall, and covered with an old red cloak, and set up in a chair as on a mimic throne, — he who had a reed put into his right hand, was none other than the Almighty Lord who said, “Light be,” and the light flashed out of the darkness. And he, on whose sacred shoulders fell the cruel flagellation of the Roman scourge, until the ploughers made deep scarlet furrows down his blessed back, — he was that God who created, and who still sustains, the heavens and the earth, and all things that exist, or ever have existed. He was a suffering man; but, at the same time, he was the Son of God, and he is the Son of God today, and God the Son, too. As you think of his pain, couple with it the thought that he bore all that agony voluntarily so that we might be saved: “I gave my back to the strikers, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.” Even if God becomes incarnate, yet no one can touch him unless he permits them to do so; but Jesus said, “I lay down my life for the sheep. … No man takes it from me, but I lay it down by myself.” No man could have scarred that blessed back of his unless Christ had been willing, out of mighty love, to suffer like this on his people’s behalf. No one could have pulled out his hair unless he had put himself into the position to have it pulled out, in order that he might redeem us from all our iniquities. Many a martyr has suffered much, but he could not avoid it; for he was bound, and he was not able to strike his foes, or to escape. But here sat One, to be spit on, who could, if he had willed it, have withered into nothingness all who stood around him. With one glance of that eye of his, had he only grown angry, as he well might have done, he could have burned up their very souls, for it was he who dried up the river, and who clothed the heavens with blackness, who was so despitefully used. Blessed be the majesty of that omnipotence which controlled omnipotence, — that mighty love which bound the Godhead so that it did not come to the rescue of the manhood of the suffering Saviour!

20. In addition, however, to the pain, we are asked, in this verse, to notice particularly the contempt which the Saviour endured. The pulling out of his hair was a proof of the malicious contempt of his enemies, yet they went even further, and spat in his face. Spitting was regarded by Orientals, and, I suppose, by all of us, as the most contemptuous thing which one man could do to another; yet the vile soldiers gathered around him, and spat on him. It is almost too terrible to think of or to speak of; but what must it have been for Jesus to endure it? I think you can understand the utter uselessness of human speech in, trying to describe this scene. If the divine thought of the text could leap out among you, like some mystical fire, then you might feel it; but as for our poor words, they cannot convey the sacred flame to you. But there stands the mysterious truth. Enlarge on it as we may, we can never fathom it, nor half fathom it, — that he, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, here declares that he did not hide his face from shame and spitting.

21. I must again point out to you the beautiful touch of voluntariness here: “I did not hide my face.” Our Saviour did not turn away, or seek to escape. If he had wished to do so, he could readily have done it; but he did not hide his face from any of the contempt that the most malicious and wicked of men wished to heap on him. Even when he came to die, and they brought him a drink which was customarily given to criminals, — a strong, stupefying draught, which would have somewhat assuaged the pain; when he had tasted it, he would not drink it. He tasted the vinegar; but that wine mingled with myrrh he would not drink, because he did not come here to escape any pain or any shame that his people deserved to suffer. He must go through with it all to the bitter end; and, therefore, he will not, in any sense or way, endeavour to escape. “I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.” Oh, splendour of voluntary condescension, and of marvellous love, on the part of him before whom the nations are as a drop in the bucket, who takes up the isles as a very little thing, and to whom time is only a span compared with his own eternity! The express image of his Father, yet he bows to shame and spitting; blessed be his holy name for ever and for ever!

22. I will close when I have noticed three combinations which the verses of my text will make. I will only mention them and ask you to meditate on them at your leisure.

23. First of all, put the first and the last together, as I have already done: “Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die from thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering. … I gave my back to the stickers, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the hair: I did not hide my face from shame and spitting.” Those verses together show you the full ability of Christ to save. Here we have the God and the Sufferer. What a wonderful Christ he is, — divine, and therefore able, — human, and struck and suffering, and therefore full of compassion! “It behoved him in all things to be made like his brethren”; and see how like his brethren he is, yet he is God. The ladder that Jacob saw had its foot on the earth, and its top reached to heaven. It would have been of no use if its foot had not been on the earth, for what man on earth could have climbed it? It would have been of no use if, with its foot on the earth, it had not reached to heaven; there would not have been any connection after all. Behold, then, in the humanity of Christ, how the foot of this ladder rests on the earth; and see, in his deity, how the top reaches to heaven. Happy are the feet that tread the rungs of this celestial ladder; they shall climb into eternal rest. Glory, oh believers, in the divine and human person of your Lord, and rest in him in confidence and peace!

24. Now put the two middle verses together: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned,” and so on; and then, “The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious.” Here you have the Teacher and the Servant, and the two together make up this truth, — that Christ teaches us, not with words only, but with his life. What a wonderful Teacher he is, who himself learned the lessons which he would have us learn! Let us take his yoke on us, and learn from him. Let us study his precepts, but also imitate his example. I see his track; I have not merely a map of the road, but his footsteps show me which way I am to go. Watch in all things that you follow Christ; for he still says to his redeemed ones, “Follow me.”

25. Now put the whole text together, and think of Jesus Christ in all those various views which I have so feebly set before you; and I think the result will be — at least, for God’s people, — that they will say, “This God shall be our God for ever and ever; and it shall be our delight to do his bidding at all times.” It is a high honour to serve God; and Christ is God. It is a great thing to be the servant of a wise teacher; and Christ has the tongue of the learned. It is a very sweet thing to walk in the steps of a perfect Exemplar; and Christ is just that. And, last and best of all, it is delightful to live for him who suffered and died on our behalf. Those wounds of his have marked us as his own. That scourge, those bleeding shoulders, and that face so marred, have won us altogether to him; and, henceforth, for us to live shall be Christ, so that to die may be eternal gain. May the Lord grant that it may be so, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Isa 53}

This is one of the chapters that lie at the very heart of the Scriptures. It is the very Holy of holies of Divine Writ. Let us, therefore, take off our shoes from our feet, for the place where we stand is especially holy ground.

This fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is a Bible in miniature. It is the condensed essence of the gospel. I thought that our beloved friend, Mr. Moody, answered with extreme wisdom a question that was asked of him when he came to London some years ago. A number of ministers had come together to meet Mr. Moody, and they began to discuss various points, and to ask what were the evangelist’s views on certain doctrines. At last, one brother said, “Would Mr. Moody kindly give us his creed? Is it in print?” In a moment the good man replied, “Certainly; my creed is in print, it is the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.” It was a splendid reply. How could a man come closer to the very essentials of the faith than by saying, “My creed is in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah?” I trust that many of you, dear friends cannot only say, “This is my creed,” but also, “This is the foundation on which I have built all my hopes for time and for eternity; this is the source of my sweetest consolation; this is the sun that makes my day, and the star that gilds my night.” In these twelve verses there is everything that we need to teach us the way of salvation; God, the infinitely wise Teacher, has revealed to us, within this short chapter, all that is necessary to bring peace to troubled Spirits.

First, the prophets speak: —

53:1. Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

This is a cause for sorrow upon sorrow, — for the prophets to have God’s message to deliver, and yet for men to reject it, — for them to have to tell it, but to tell it in vain. Yet, dear friends, this has been the lot of some of God’s most faithful servants in all ages, and we must not complain if it should be our lot also. I should not have voluntarily chosen to be Jeremiah, the weeping prophet; yet, I think, not one of God’s servants deserves greater honour than he does, for he continued bravely to deliver his Master’s message even when no one believed him, and everyone rejected his testimony. Isaiah links himself with all the other prophets who had been rejected, and he says, “Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”

2. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground:

This is why Christ was not received by those to whom he came, — and why the testimony of the prophets concerning Christ was rejected by those to whom it was delivered, — because he was not revealed to them as a towering palm tree or widely-spreading cedar: but, like the humble yet fruitful vine, he was “as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground.”

2. He has no form nor beauty; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

To carnal eyes, there was no beauty apparent in Christ, — nothing of the aesthetic, as men call it, and nothing of the pompous, nothing outwardly attractive. He came here in the utmost simplicity. Remember the angel’s message to the shepherds: “And this shall be a sign to you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” There was nothing of pomp or show about him: “no form nor beauty.” He made no display of scholarship, no pretence of deep philosophy, nothing that the carnal mind hunts after; but the all-glorious Deity, revealed in human form, spoke simple but sublime truth, and therefore men rejected him.

3. He is despised and rejected by men;

This was written long before he came to earth: “He is despised and rejected by men,” and, truly, though he is now in heaven, I need not alter the tense of the verb. I do not say, “He was despised,” though that would be true; for, alas! it is still true, “He is despised and rejected by men”; —

3. A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:

What an amazing expression that is! Our blessed Lord had made the acquaintance of grief; he knew it, understood it, was familiar with it, — slept with it, — rose up with it, — walked the whole day with it; and, hence, my brother or my sister, he knows your grief, and he can assuage it; he is such a master Comforter because he was such a mighty Sufferer.

3. And we hid as it were our faces from him;

Shame on us that we, who have been redeemed by him, — we, whom he has loved from eternity, — we, who now delight in him, — “we hid as it were our faces from him”; —

3. He was despised, and we did not esteem him,

Even we, to whom now he is all our salvation, and all our desire, — we, to whom he is now most precious, — “we did not esteem him.”

4. Surely he has borne our griefs, —

Can all of you say this? Can every one of us unite in the reading of this sentence, “Surely, he has borne our griefs?” If you have truly learned that he bore your griefs, you may indeed bless his name, for it is the best news that ever reached your ears. Go and tell it to your fellow sufferers: “Surely he has borne our griefs,” —

4. And carried our sorrows: yet we esteemed him struck, struck by God, and afflicted.

They thought that God had struck him, and so he had; but they wrongly supposed that there was something of sin in him that caused God to strike him, whereas he was “holy, harmless, undefiled”; and he was only struck because he was bearing the sins of his people.

5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed. Milton, Shakespeare, Cowper, and all of the poets that ever were or are, all put together, could not write four sentences like those in this verse. There is more meaning, more deep philosophy, more music, more to charm and satisfy the human heart, in those four sentences, than in the sweetest of merely human language. Let me read them again; and as I do so, let every one of us take each line for himself: — “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

6, 7. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone 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 did not open his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he does not open his mouth.

These words have been the means of the conversion of multitudes. You remember, in the Acts of the Apostles, what that rich Ethiopian said to Philip when he read these words: “Please, of whom does the prophet speak? of himself, or of some other man?” If we read this chapter over and over again, and so read it as to find Christ there, it will indeed be a blessed thing for us.

8, 9. 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 he was struck. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

All that he suffered was not because he was guilty, but because he was innocent. The only crime which I have ever heard properly laid to his charge is what the poet sweetly describes as “found guilty of excess of love.” It was indeed so. He loved us beyond all measure, and because of that love he died for us.

10. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief:

The Lord was behind it all. Not Pilate, nor Herod, nor Judas, nor the Jews, nor the Romans, but Jehovah bruised him.

10. When you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Here the strain changes altogether. From the depths of woe, we begin to rise with hopes of a glad result of all the suffering and sorrow and shame. Glory be to the name of Christ, he has a mighty right hand, into which God has placed that work which is according to his own good pleasure, — even the work of saving guilty men; and that work, in his prolonged days, until the end of time, shall prosper in the hand of the Christ of God.

11. He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:

Christ did not die haphazardly, as some seem to think. A sure and glorious result must come from “the travail of his soul.” Such precious blood as his could not fall to the ground randomly. Whatever the purpose of his cross was, it shall be accomplished. I could imagine failures in creation, if it so pleased God; but never in redemption.

11. By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

That is the top and bottom of it all: “He shall bear their iniquities,” The red line of substitution runs through the whole chapter.

12. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death — Crucifixion To The World By the Cross” 282}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death — A Place Called Gethsemane” 269}

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. VOL. XLVIII.

Sermons by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and published during the year 1902.

Price 7s.

Press Notices

“Surely no preacher has ever accomplished such a stupendous feat as to issue with unbroken regularity 2,000 weekly sermons during his lifetime, and leave behind him another thousand or two for publication after his death. The present volume continues the series up to 2,811. There are no signs of exhaustion in the quality. They contain all those characteristics which mark the previous volumes, — plainness of speech, rugged phrasing, directness of appeal, and Evangelical teaching, — in a word, those qualities which made the Metropolitan Tabernacle one of the greatest Gospel forces of Christian England.” — The Daily News.

“The large type and good paper enable even the oldest to read with ease and comfort these messages of genuine sympathy, burning zeal, and whole-souled devotion. The sermons in this book are as fresh, vivid, and stimulating as any that ever proceeded from the great preacher’s earnest and eloquent lips.” — The People’s Journal, Dundee.

London: Passmore and Alabaster, 4, Paternoster Buildings. and from all Booksellers.

Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death
282 — Crucifixion To The World By the Cross
1 When I survey the wondrous cross
   On which the Prince of Glory died,
   My richest gain I count but loss,
   And pour contempt on all my pride.
2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
   Save in the death of Christ, my God,
   All the vain things that charm me most,
   I sacrifice them to his blood.
3 See from his head, his hands, his feet,
   Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
   Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
   Or thorns compose so rich a crown!
4 His dying crimson, like a robe,
   Spreads o’er his body on the tree,
   Then am I dead to all the globe,
   And all the globe is dead to me.
5 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
   That were a present far too small;
   Love so amazing, so divine,
   Demands my soul, my life, my all!
                           Isaac Watts, 1709.

Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death
269 — A Place Called Gethsemane <7s., 6 lines.>
1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
   Ye that feel the tempter’s power;
   Your Redeemer’s conflict see;
   Watch with him one bitter hour;
   Turn not from his griefs away;
   Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
2 Follow to the judgment hall,
   View the Lord of life arraign’d;
   Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
   Oh, the pangs his soul sustain’d!
   Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
   Learn of him to bear the cross.
3 Calvary’s mournful mountain climb
   There, adoring at his feet,
   Mark that miracle of time,
   God’s own sacrifice complete.
   “It is finish’d!” hear him cry;
   Learn of Jesus Christ to die.
4 Early hasten to the tomb,
   Where they laid his breathless clay;
   All is solitude and gloom:
   Who hath taken him away?
   Christ is risen: — he meets our eyes;
   Saviour, teach us so to rise.
                  James Montgomery, 1825.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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