Mercy Reigned, Isa. 53:6 | Out of Tomes

Out of Tomes

The writings of theologians and pastors who have come before us can serve as an invitation to think more prolongedly and with greater specificity on God, and His glorious works and ways. In this ongoing series, I cull quotations on passages of Scripture from Christian Classics Ethereal Library to help spur your consideration, discernment, mediation, and worship. You can link to the full sources below or start your own search on a biblical text here.

Series

Isaiah 53:5-6

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All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
— Isaiah 53:6 ESV

Quotations

What then was the burden that our Lord Jesus Christ felt and bare for us, upon whom the whole weight of all the sins of all God's elect lay! Isa. 53:6. "He has made the iniquities of us all to meet on him." Our burden is heavy, but nothing to Christ's. O there is a vast difference betwixt that which Christ bare, and that which we bear. We feel but the single weight of our own sins; Christ felt the whole weight of all our sins. You do not feel the whole weight that is in any one sin; alas, it would sink you, if God should let it bear in all its aggravations and effects upon you. Psal. 130:23. "If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand!" You would sink presently, you can no more stand under it, than under the weight of a mighty mountain. But Christ bare all the burden upon himself; his understanding was deep and large; he knew the extent of its evil, which we do not: we have many reliefs and helps under our burden, he had none; we have friends to counsel, comfort, and pity us; all his friends and familiars forsook him, and fled in the day of his trouble: we have comforts from heaven, he had frowns from heaven: "My God, my God, (saith he in that doleful day) why hast thou forsaken me?" There is no comparison betwixt our load and Christ's.

John Flavel

I like the confession of the text because it is a giving up of all pleas of self-righteousness. It is the declaration of a body of men who are guilty, consciously guilty; guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse; and here they all stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces, saying unanimously, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”

I hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It is the most grievous sentence of the three; but it is the most charming and the most full of comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned, and where sorrow reached her climax there it is that a weary soul finds sweetest rest. The Savior bruised is the healing of bruised hearts.

Charles Spurgeon

So when wandering sinners are compared to wandering sheep, we have a striking image of the danger of their state, and of their inability to recover themselves. Sheep, wandering without a shepherd, are exposed, a defenceless and easy prey to wild beasts and enemies, and liable to perish for want of pasture; for they are not able either to provide for themselves, or to find the way back to the place from whence they strayed. Whatever they suffer, they continue to wander, and if not sought out, will be lost. . . As wandering sheep are liable to innumerable dangers, which, they can neither foresee nor prevent, such is our condition, until, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are stopped, and turned, and brought into the fold of the good Shepherd. Oh! the misery of man while living without God in the world! He is exposed every hour to the stroke of death, which would at once separate him from all that he loves, and plunge him into the pit, from whence there is no redemption. And at present, he is perpetually harassed with cares and fears, with wants and woes, without guidance or refuge; and yet so blinded as to think himself safe, and that his crooked, wandering ways, will lead him to happiness!

JOhn Newton

Like sheep we went astray,
And broke the fold of God,
Each wand'ring in a diff'rent way,
But all the downward road.

How dreadful was the hour
When God our wand'rings laid,
And did at once his vengeance pour,
Upon the Shepherd's head!

How glorious was the grace
When Christ sustained the stroke
His life and blood the Shepherd pays
A ransom for the flock.

Isaac Watts

Then cast your sins from yourself upon Christ, believe with a festive spirit that your sins are his wounds and sufferings, that he carries them and makes satisfaction for them, as Is 53:6 says: “Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;” and St. Peter in his first Epistle 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree” of the cross; and St. Paul in 2 Cor. 5:21: “Him who knew no sin was made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” Upon these and like passages you must rely with all your weight, and so much the more the harder your conscience martyrs you. . . . For upon Christ they [sins] cannot rest, there they are swallowed up by his resurrection, and you see now no wound, no pain, in him, that is, no sign of sin.

Martin Luther

Christ the Life of all the living

Christ, the life of all the living,
Christ, the death of death, our foe;
who Thyself for me once giving
to the darkest depths of woe,
patiently didst yield Thy breath
but to save my soul from death;
praise and glory ever be,
blessed Jesus, unto Thee.

Thou, O Christ, hast taken on Thee
bitter strokes, a cruel rod;
pain and scorn were heaped upon Thee,
0 Thou sinless Son of God;
only thus for me to win,
rescue from the bonds of sin;
praise and glory ever be,
blessed Jesus, unto Thee.

Thou didst bear the smiting only
that it might not fall on me;
stoniest falsely charged and lonely
that I might be safe and free;
comfortless that I might know
comfort from Thy boundless woe;
praise and glory ever be,
blessed Jesus, unto Thee.

Then for all that wrought our pardon,
for the sorrows deep and sore,
for The anguish in the garden,
I will thank Thee evermore,
thank Thee with my latest breath
for Thy sad and cruel death,
for that last and bitter cry,
praise Thee evermore on high.

Ernst C. Homburg (1659)

 

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