By Pastor Ted R. House


Isaiah 53 was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit more than 700 years before Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross of Calvary. This chapter is the prophetic account of Christ's crucifixion. I encourage you to read the entire chapter, but because of space I will cover just a few verses. Isaiah 53:3 says: "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." Isaiah 53:5-6: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." 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."


Picture Christ as He was nailed to the cross. Augustus Montague Toplady was born in England in 1740 and died in 1778. He was a preacher and a hymn writer. He wrote the hymn "Rock of Ages". Let us consider the lyrics of this hymn today because they go right along with our text in Isaiah. But first can you picture Christ as He was nailed to the cross? "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." He was dying there to pay for our sin, and when the soldiers came by to break the legs of the transgressors to ensure their death they found that Jesus was already dead. They ran a sword through His side to make sure that He was dead. The Bible tells us that blood and water came out (John 19:34). The hymn writer wrote: “Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.” Let me declare unto you today that the blood of Christ is a double cure! It saves us from the wrath of God, and it makes us pure. When we get saved, we will never have to go to Hell. We are saved from the wrath of God, and He imparts to us His goodness and His righteousness!


The second verse of the hymn says: “Could my tears forever flow, Could my zeal no languor know, These for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone: In my hand no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.” If we could cry day and night forever, it still would not be enough to pay for our sin. If our zeal for the work of God was inexhaustible, if we could do our good works and never get tired, it still would not be enough to atone for our sin. The only One that can save us is Jesus Christ. The hymn writer was expressing that there was nothing that he could do that would satisfy the wrath of God. God could not accept his sin, his wickedness, and his ungodliness. He boiled it down to: “Simply to Thy cross I cling.” It cuts through all the fog of religion and humanism and all the other "isms". Christianity is not an "ism"! No, it is faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary's cross. Isaiah 53:12 says: "...he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." It is no wonder that a Christian's life focus is on the cross.


There are two reasons that is so. The first reason is that we are completely bankrupt of any goodness or righteousness to deserve eternal salvation. One song writer put it this way: “Nothing good have I done to deserve God's only Son.” The second reason is that the cross is the only thing that we can completely put our hope and trust in. There is no other way to Heaven other than the blood of Christ (I John 1:7) which was shed on the cross of Calvary. “Simply to Thy cross I cling."