Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life, and be satisfied…
(Isaiah 53:10-11, NIV84)
The prophet Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, prophesied about the substitutionary death and bodily resurrection of the Messiah. For those of us who follow Jesus Christ, this is one of the most powerful passages of Old Testament Scripture. For in it we see more clearly the sorrowful life, complete obedience, intense suffering, substitutionary death and ultimate triumph of God the Son. We begin to comprehend the righteousness, justice and resurrection power of the One to whom Isaiah refers as The Lord. It is true that this passage does not call Jesus by name, nor does it specifically mention any person of the Trinity. Yet when compared with the narrative of the New Testament, we understand that the man of sorrows is Jesus Christ, and The Lord is the Triune God.
The Gospel of John reveals that God the Father motivated by love, sent his Son into the world, not to condemn it, but to save it. God the Son came willingly in the person of Jesus Christ as described in Philippians 2. Jesus himself said that no one took his life, but rather he willingly laid it down. Not only did he have the power and authority to lay his life down as a ransom for many, but he also had the authority to take it up again (John 10:18). By his own power and strength God the Father kept Jesus’ body from seeing decay in the three days after his death. By his own power and strength God the life-giving Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. Luke broke it down for us in the book of Acts. “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keeps its hold on him (Acts 2:24, NIV). That’s right – IMPOSSIBLE! Death and the grave did not stand a molecule of a chance at prevailing against the Son of God. The disciples learned that when Jesus called himself “the Resurrection and the Life” he meant it. He was not only the “first-fruits” of our resurrection, He IS the Resurrection.
Because Jesus lives, those who have embraced Him as Lord and Savior shall also live eternally with Him. Isaiah described us as “his offspring.” This, followers of Jesus, is our HOPE, our JOY and our VICTORY! Because the man of sorrows humbly and silently offered himself as our perfect substitute, God the Father forgave us our sins, cleansed and made new creations out of us by the Holy Spirit, and offered us eternal life as joint heirs with the Son, Jesus Christ.
Friends, this is the reason we celebrate Easter! We serve a risen Savior! Don’t be afraid to say, “Happy Easter!” in a politically correct world. It was by far the happiest moment in history when Jesus rose from the dead, folded the grave clothes that bound him, and walked out of his tomb, leaving it empty and conquered! Celebrate and rejoice in your King! HE LIVES!
Keith West is the founding President of Latitude GLC, a non-profit ministry in Rockwall, Texas. Keith believes his calling is to be a "Barnabas" to the next generation of spiritual leaders.