Aloha Friday Message – October 16, 2015 – The LORD was pleased

1542AFC101615 – The LORD was pleased

Read it online here, please.

Isaiah 53:10a Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. *

Here are some alternate translations: {Check this link for more resources.}

NLT Isaiah 53:10a But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and fill him with grief.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

KJV Isaiah 53:10a Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him;
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

NIV Isaiah 53:10a – Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Aloha ʻŌmea! Many blessings upon all of you today! Let’s begin by listening to this very popular piece of music. I heard it in Shrek. You may have also heard it on America’s Got Talent or American Idol. It’s played on radio stations often. It was written by Leonard Cohen over 30 years ago. It has been covered by dozens of artists. There are reportedly as many as 15 verses of the finished piece and originally as many as 80 verses in the draft. Everyone recognizes at least some of the verses, especially the first one:

“I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?”

David did please the Lord because, no matter how many times or how gravely he sinned, he turned back to God through repentance. God had chosen him to be king because he was a man after God’s own heart (See Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22). Perhaps David’s many compositions also pleased the Lord as well. But why would Isaiah prophesy that God would be please to see his Messiah suffer? What kind of father wants to see his son die a horrible death? What kind of God determines that crucifixion the way to fulfill his plan of Salvation? Once again, if we turn to the original words, we can get a clear understanding of this passage.

Many of us have heard this verse dozens of times. We’ve heard it in sermons, homilies, and Bible-study lessons. It comes from Isaiah’s prophecy of The Suffering Servant. Perhaps the most quoted verse from this passage is Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have all turned to our own way,
and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all.

This verse, I think, holds the key to better understanding what follows in verse 10 about God being pleased to see Jesus suffer. There are myriad paths we can take to analyze this connection, but I’d like to keep it simple. When Adam sinned, God’s plan for salvation, already prepared since before Creation, was activated. It required the shedding of blood and death. For millennia, that was accomplished through the sacrifice of animals in place of humans. But at the right time, God gave us the Christ to die for all the ungodly souls in all of time (See Romans 5:6-8 and Galatians 4:4). The first step in unraveling this mystery of Christ’s suffering is that it was part of the Plan so that he could take on “the iniquity of us all.”

Whose plan was it? God’s plan. And just to check our understanding of what that means, what should be our understanding of who GOD IS with regard to that plan? Was it God the Father who said, “Son, I’ve got some Good News and some bad news.”? Was it God the Son who said, “Father, I think I have an idea that will clear up this whole mess.”? Was it God the Holy Spirit who said, “How long should we wait before we proceed with our plan?” You have guessed the correct answer! It was ALL of the above! God has always been a community of Love. There wasn’t any “imposition of will.” There was only congruity of will! If, then, “everybody” in the Trinity was in agreement, we still need to know why God was pleased. Let’s look at three words in the Old Testament that mean “pleased.” The first one to look at is the verb used in Isaiah 53:10.

isaiah-53-10-he-was-crushedThe word is חָפֵץ (chaphets) {khaw-fates’}. It is to delight in something, to receive that which is desired, or be pleased to do. Another word used frequently is יָאַל (ya’al) {yaw-al’}. This carries the connotation of being content, aiming to please, willingly make a beginning, agree to, resolve to, be determined to. See for example Genesis 18:27, Judges 17:11, and/or 1 Samuel 12:22. Another word in this sense is רָצָה (ratsah) {raw-tsaw’}. This one connotes favorable acceptance, to satisfy or feel satisfaction, to be determined, or to make oneself acceptable. All three of these word carry the meaning of being pleased or satisfied. It was חָפֵץ (chaphets) that Isaiah used to express God’s inspiration as he wrote this incredible prophetic poetry about The Suffering Servant.

We could never have chosen Christ to suffer and die for us. It is not our privilege to do so; it is a privilege assigned only to God. And Christ, as God, chose to suffer and die for us – even for us who sin greatly! All who are called are justified by his willing sacrifice. He willingly laid down his life for us because that obedience pleased God and that means it pleased Christ to do it. Why? God saw with satisfaction the obedient and willing sacrifice of the Christ.

Here we need to look at two nearly antithetical aspects of Jewish law regarding sin. The Hebrews made sacrificial offerings of many kinds. Some were “guilt offerings.” These were temporal actions for dealing with the consequences of sin. The goal was to accomplish satisfaction for the errors committed. Some were “sin offerings.” The sin offerings were made for the expiation – amends, penitence, punishment, reparation – for sins. In his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, Jesus accomplished both. He provided the temporal satisfaction for the consequences of sin as well as the full atonement for all sin. And Jesus was pleased to do this because it was God’s plan.

In Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah writes:

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
    crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
    and by his bruises we are healed.

Here the Suffering Servant is portrayed as a Guilt Offering and in Isaiah 53:10, he is further portrayed as a Sin Offering. Jesus did it all – willingly, completely, perfectly – just as God (The Trinity) had planned it. It pleased God to do that because it was The Plan.

“The plan for what?” you might ask. For our Salvation. God’s Plan of Salvation was not for his benefit – although as we have seen it pleased him to formulate it and bring it to fruition – but while God was pleased to create this Salvation, he is all the more pleased to bless and approve this plan for our benefit. He is especially delighted, joyous, pleased-as-punch to see that we are redeemed by this plan. “By his stripes we are healed.” What kind of language is that for prophesy? Shouldn’t prophesy be future tense? Yes, you are right again! God has no future tense, no past tense, only present tense all the time everywhere. That pleases God who are always happy to destroy the barriers between God and Man. He who gave himself as a ransom for us all, he who paid in full all the debts of our sins, including death, he who willingly sought to please God so that God might be pleased to welcome us back into fellowship with Him – HE is pleased that WE are once again fully HIS.

That certainly pleases me. It also blesses me because it blesses God. It pleases us because when we say “God Bless YOU,” we mean that blessing to be in present tense in the same way that God is in present tense – all the time and everywhere. We have been given the remarkable Gift of Free Will so that when we finally hear and understand that “he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (See Isaiah 53:12), we will know why Isaiah says, “through him the will of the LORD shall prosper,” (See Isaiah 53:10c).

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

Share-a-Prayer

Please be vigilant and persistent in prayer for these intentions:

  • For the people across our nation suffering from the onslaught of terrible weather events including fire and floods that they may be able to recover and return to their homes, even rebuilding those that were destroyed.
  • For the victims of violence associated with mass shootings, deaths, and injuries caused in erroneous shooting incidents. Pray that peace and civility will prevail.
  • For all friends and all families and all persons everywhere affected by cancer, pray for diminished suffering, restoration of health, and finally a cure for cancer.
  • For those who murder in the name of their god so that they will see and understand they are ruled by heresies, and for all those who are murdered by such terror and violence, pray that El Yeshuati – the God of Salvation (See Isaiah 12:2) – will be recognized by all as the One, True God.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

* Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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