Sermon #1810                                                                     Miscellaneous Sermons

 

Title:                                             Iniquity Laid upon

The Substitute

 

Text:                     Isaiah 53:4-6

Subject:               Substitutionary Redemption

Readings:           Bob Duff and Joe Blakely

Introduction:

 

I had planned to preach to you tonight from Exodus 34; but every telephone call I’ve received, and everything I’ve read for the past two days has directed my thoughts, once more to our Savior’s great, glorious work of redemption, particularly as it is set before us in Isaiah 53. The title of my message is Iniquity Laid upon The Substitute

 

(Isaiah 53:1-3) "Who hath 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 a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (3) He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

 

(4) "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded (Profaned, Broken, Stained Defiled, Polluted, Tormented!) for our transgressions, he was bruised (Made to Crumble, Beat to Pieces, Crushed!) for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid (Made to Meet) on him the iniquity of us all."

 

(7) "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) 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 was he stricken. (9) 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."

 

(10) "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

 

Isaiah’s next word to us (54:1) is “Sing!” Truly, that which we have read makes glad the heart of every poor sinner who has tasted that the Lord is gracious! Now, let’s look at the prophet’s words in verse 6. May God the Holy Spirit be our Teacher, and show us this hour the wondrous things here declared. — “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”

 

Three Gospel Truths

 

In this passage of Holy Scripture the prophet Isaiah speaks as the representative of God’s elect. And in this one verse of Scripture he plainly states three gospel truths experienced, believed and confessed by every person who is born again by God’s almighty grace. Here are three doctrines held in common by all true believers.

 

Original Sin“All we like sheep have gone astray.” This is the doctrine of original sin. It is called original sin, because it was the first sin. We all went astray from God in the sin and fall of our father, Adam.

 

Psalm 14:3 — “They are all gone aside, they are altogether become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

 

Romans 5:12 — “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

 

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 — “By man came death (That’s all! Nothing else!)...in Adam all die.”

 

Illustration: “I’ve seen better days!”

 

This is the doctrine of original sin as it is set forth in the Word of God.

Š      Adam was the federal head and representative of all men.

Š      Adam’s sin was imputed to all men.

Š      Adam’s depraved nature is imparted to all men by natural generation.

 

Personal Depravity — In Adam we suffered a great fall and a great loss. We fell from God’s favor into condemnation. We fell from sinlessness into sinfulness. We lost original righteousness, fellowship with God, access to God and all spiritual life. We fell from life into death, from liberty into bondage, from peace into enmity, and from light into darkness. But that is not all. We are sinners by imputation, by birth and by nature (Psalm 51:5; Matthew 15:19). But we are all sinners by personal choice too.

 

This is the doctrine of personal depravity.We have turned everyone to his own way.” Because the heart of man, at birth, “is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5), we are all “estranged from the womb” and go astray as soon as we are born, speaking lies (Psalm 58:3). “We have turned everyone to his own way.”

 

God’s elect are like all other men by nature, ever going astray from God. Like sheep, foolish and ignorant, we ever stray from the Good Shepherd and the fold of grace, ever stray from the path of peace and the way of life. Until we were looked up, sought out and brought back by the Shepherd, we would never have returned. We had neither the will nor the ability to return to our God. Rather, we “turned everyone to his own way,” the way of his own choosing.

 

We would never turn to the good way, but always to the dark, crooked, slippery way. Some turn to this way of sin, and some to that, but all to his own way. Sometimes it is the way of profligacy, and sometimes the way of morality, and sometimes the way of self-righteous religion. It is always a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Whatever the way is which you choose, “destruction and misery” are in your way.

 

None will ever return from “his own way” until Christ, the Good Shepherd, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, by an act of almighty, efficacious grace causes him to return. Only omnipotent grace will cause a sinner to turn from “his own way” to Christ, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” May God be pleased to lay hold of some straying sheep this hour by his almighty grace, and cause you to turn to Christ.

 

This is original sin“All we like sheep have gone astray.” This is personal depravity“We have turned every one to his own way.” Yet, there is hope. There is hope for straying sheep! There is hope for helpless, ignorant sinners. Our text gives hope to the hopeless, because it reveals the glorious gospel doctrine of...

 

Substitutionary Redemption“And the Lord hat laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Can you grasp this glorious truth? God the Father, against whom we have sinned, from whom we have strayed, whose law we have broken, whose justice must be satisfied, has laid upon the Lord Jesus Christ, his own dear Son, all the sins of all his elect. The Son of God was made sin for us, so that he might be justly punished for sin in our stead, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

PROPOSITION: Our sins have all been laid upon Christ, our great Substitute, by whose death justice has been satisfied and our sins forever put away.

 

Now, I want to show you seven things from this verse of Scripture, for the comfort and edification of all who believe and for the conversion of you who yet believe not. May God the Holy Spirit speak through these lips of clay to your hearts by his grace. What do those words teach us: “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”?

 

1.    Our iniquity itself was laid upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Not only was the Lord of Glory punished for sin, he was made sin. Not only did Christ bear the wrath and indignation of God against sin, he was made sin. The Son of God was made sin for us because there was no possible way for God’s elect to be discharged of their sins, but for Christ to be made sin.

 

God’s eternal determination to redeem was a matter of pure, free, sovereign grace.

Š      God did not have to redeem anyone.

Š      There was nothing in us to compel God’s favor.

 

But once God determined to redeem and save an elect people, he could do it only by the satisfaction of justice, only by making Christ to be sin for us. — If righteousness could come by law, by anything we could do, then Christ died in vain (Galatians 2:21).

 

Illustration: Darius’ Dilemma (Daniel 6:4-17).

 

Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

 

Be sure you understand this — God almighty could not justify his people unless he found a way to make them righteous; and he could not punish his Son unless he made him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

God the Father looked upon Christ as the Surety of his elect in the covenant of grace, and said, — “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). — And he “Laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

All the sins of all the elect were gathered together as one huge hideous, obnoxious load, and made to meet upon Christ. He was made to be sin for us and punished as the sinner in our place (Psalms 40:12; 69:5; Zechariah 13:7).

 

Illustration: When our Lord made the water wine (John 2), he did not make the water look like wine, or taste like wine, he made the water wine.

 

Psalms 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.

 

Psalms 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

 

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

 

By this means “the law and justice of God had full satisfaction and our recovery from ruin and destruction is procured” (John Gill).

 

2.    Our iniquity really did become our Substitute’s iniquity, when the Lord God laid it on him.

 

Speaking as our Substitute, the Son of God cried, “Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me...My sins are not hid from thee” (Psalms 40:12; 69:5). Jesus Christ never knew sin. Yet, he died as the greatest sinner who ever lived, for he was made sin for us, and was made to bear in his body all the sins of all his elect.

 

Christ really did bear all our sin, just as a Surety is really the debtor when he willingly puts himself in the room of another.

 

Illustration: Grider’s Experience

 

Christ gave his bond as our Surety in the covenant of grace. God the Father, having accepted Christ as our Surety, cannot look for payment from us. If he will have payment for sin, he must have it from him upon whom the debt has been laid (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

 

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Payment God cannot twice demand,

First at my bleeding Surety’s hand,

And then again at mine!

 

3.    It is the Lord God himself who made his darling Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to be sin for us.

 

“The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” — The triune God agreed in covenant love to lay all our sins, all the sins of all his elect, upon the Son. Sin, the greatest burden in the world, the most loathsome thing in the universe, the load that must have crushed our souls into hell’s eternal misery, has been laid upon the God-man by God’s own hand! Look at verse 10 of Isaiah 53.

 

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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.

 

This great, mighty transfer of sin, from the sinner to the sinner’s Surety was...

Š      Sought By Infinite Love.

Š      Conceived By Infinite Wisdom

Š      Ordained By Infinite Grace.

Š      Executed By An Infinite Mystery — The Mystery of Redemption — A Mystery of Mercy — A Mystery of Justice.

 

4.    None but God could do it!

 

Who but God could lay sin upon God? Who but God could punish God for sin? Who but God could dispose of sin for the salvation of his people?

 

Some think we lay our sins upon Christ! You cannot even lay your hand upon him, much less your sin! If you imagine that your prayers, tears, mournings, fastings and confessions can lay your sins off yourself and onto Christ, you are just beating the air! Your wisdom is ignorance! And your religion is blasphemy! To lay iniquity upon Christ is the work of Jehovah alone.

 

God the Father laid sin upon Christ that his own justice might be satisfied in the slaughter of his own dear Son (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

God the Son laid sin upon himself for the redemption of his people (1 Peter 2:24).

 

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

God the Holy Spirit lays sin upon Christ in the revelation of the gospel (John 16:8-11).

 

John 16:8-11 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

 

We do not lay our sins upon Christ by faith. We see our sins laid on him, punished in him and removed by him by faith; but faith does not lay anything on Christ.

 

5.    I want you to see that this is the most soul comforting truth in all the world. — “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

 

Blessed are those people who have this gospel published to them. Blessed are those who have ears to hear this good news. The transfer of sin from you to Christ is not something that must be done. It is something already done. The text does not say, “The Lord shall lay the iniquities of us all upon Christ if we will meet certain conditions and terms.” It says, — “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all!” (Read Romans 10:6-8!).

 

Romans 10:6-8 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.

 

The Lord has done it! There is nothing for you to do! Faith simply receives, believes and rejoices in what the Lord has done. It adds nothing to it.

 

Romans 5:10-11 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

 

Illustration: A Prisoner Receiving Pardon

 

When did the Lord do this? It is true, God applies the pardon of sin at conversion; but our sins were laid upon Christ and put away by him long before we believe.

 

God the Father laid our sins upon his dear Son, our Surety, in his eternal decree (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-21).

 

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

1 Peter 1:18-21 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; (19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

 

God executed his decree, laying sin upon his Son when he hung upon the cursed tree; and he will never make another transfer of sin!

 

Psalms 32:1-2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

 

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

 

There is not a moment in time, or a condition possible, in which God will transfer sin back from Christ to his people. Sin, once laid upon the scapegoat, is carried away into the land of forgetfulness, never to be seen, or brought back, again! Our message is “DONE!” not “DO.”

 

“Nothing, either great or small,

Nothing, sinner, no;

Jesus did it, did it all,

Long, long ago.

 

Weary, working, plodding one,

Why toil you so?

Cease your doing; all was done

Long, long ago.

 

Till to Jesus’ work you cling

By a simple faith,

“Doing” is a deadly thing,

“Doing” ends in death.

 

Cast your deadly “doing” down,

Down at Jesus’ feet,

Stand in Him, in Him alone,

Gloriously complete!”

 

6.    Christ Jesus our Lord, the one upon whom sin has been laid, is mighty to save.

 

Read the text once more, laying all the weight and emphasis of the text on one word. The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all.” This is of infinite importance. That One upon whom sin has been laid must have a back strong enough and shoulders broad enough to carry the horrible load of iniquity, without sinking beneath it. Were it possible for our Surety to fail we would be utterly without hope. The comfort and hope of the gospel depends entirely upon the ability of Christ to bear our sins, satisfy justice and execute his gracious will. Therefore, it is written, — The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all.”

 

Psalm 89:19 — Then spakest thou in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

 

And of this mighty One it is written, — “He shall not fail, nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” (Isaiah 42:4).

 

Who is this great “HIM” upon whom iniquity has been laid? He is...

 

Š      Jehovah’s Servant (52:13).

 

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

 

Š      The Root Out of Dry Ground (v. 2).

 

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

 

Š      The Despised and Rejected Man of Sorrows (v. 3).

 

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

Š      The Innocent, Holy Substitute (vv. 8-9).

 

Isaiah 53:8-9 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 was he stricken. (9) 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.

 

Š      The Successful Savior (vv. 10-11).

 

Isaiah 53:10-11 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

Š      The Sovereign Lord (v. 12).

 

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Here is the most wonderful, astounding, amazing thing ever performed by our great God. — The Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all.” Sin is the most hateful thing in the world to God. It is the only thing in the world God abhors. It is horrible, abominable, hideous in God sight. Yet, God made his lovely Son to be sin for us! I am amazed to think that God made his Son to be a man, to be a poor man, to be a suffering man, to be crucified man. But when I read that “he hath made HIM to be sin for us, who knew no sin,” I am altogether astonished! This is too wonderful, too sublime, too mysterious, too divine for our puny brains to apprehend.

 

Surely, such extraordinary work as this is designed to accomplish extraordinary things. What are they? Why is it that “the Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all”? I cannot begin to answer such a question. We will, I am sure, spend eternity discovering the answers to this great question. But there are a few answers plainly revealed for our comfort, encouragement, faith and hope. God made his Son to be sin for us...

 

Š      That He Might Be Satisfied! — To Satisfy His Purpose Of Grace. — To Satisfy His Inflexible Justice.

 

Š      That He Might Show The World The Exceeding Horrid Loathsomeness Of Sin!

Š      That He Might Commend To Us His Infinite Love!

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

1 John 4:9-10 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

Š      That We Might Be Made The Righteousness Of God In Him!

 

God was determined to have a people as pure, holy, clear, and righteous as himself, in whom to show forth the glory of his grace (Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:7).

 

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

 

Š      That Believing Sinners Might Have A Strong Consolation In This World! — In The Midst Of Trial. — In The Midst Of Temptation. — In The Midst Of Sin. — In The Prospect Of Eternity.

 

Š      That His Elect Might Be Freed From All Fear Of Condemnation! (Romans 8:1, 32-39).

 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

Romans 8:32-39 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Š      That At The Appointed Time Christ And His People Might Eternally Enjoy The Purchased Possession Of Heavenly Glory And Bliss!

 

There is no possession laid up for God’s saints in glory, but by the laying of our iniquity upon Christ.

Š      Not By Our Works!

Š      Not By Our Faithfulness!

Š      Not Even By Our Faith!

 

Tobias Crisp wrote: “No unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of heaven. When we attain to the height of sanctification, we remain yet unclean, for there is pollution in the best of it. When we die, suppose we are more holy in life than any that went before us; yet, there is not so much holiness of life in us, but that there remains still some uncleanness, and unmortification of life in thoughts and practice, some deadness and indisposition in our hearts and affections to holiness. And with this unholiness, we lie down in the dust, if all our uncleanness were not laid upon Christ, that so we might enter into rest, as perfect and complete in him.”

 

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

 

Colossians 2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (10) And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

 

7.    This great transaction of wisdom, justice and grace was made for a specific people here called us all!

 

I must stop, though I have not yet begun to declare the depths of our text. — “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Š      “Us all,” for whom the Son of God obtained eternal redemption.

Š      “Us all,” to whom it is revealed.

Š      “Us all,” who were chosen by grace.

Š      “Us all,” who are called by the Spirit.

Š      “Us all,” who believe.

Š      “Us all,” who are now made free from sin and death.

Š      “Us all,” whom he calls “MY PEOPLE”.

 

The Lord hath laid on

him the iniquity of us all!”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

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