As D. A. Carson notes, everyone in this chapter speaks better than they know. What do they say, about Jesus? He is . . .
- The King of the Jews, of Israel, of God’s people. 2, 16-20, 26
- Like a sheep led to the slaughter, opening not his mouth – see Isaiah 53. 5
- The substitute, under the wrath of God, for the worst of men. 11
- Sinless. 14
- By his stripes, we are healed – see Isaiah 53. 15
- The King also of the Gentiles – the king of all, to whom all will bow their knee, now or later. 16-20
- Our leader, in dying to sin. Our King now lays claim upon our whole lives. 21
- The temple of God, in whom we become the temple, by union with him, through the power of his resurrection. 29
- The sacrifice for sin, who chooses to not save himself, that he may save others. 30
- The Christ, the Messiah, the anointed Servant of the Lord, who chooses the cross, that God’s people may truly see, and believe. 32
- The greater King David, the fulfillment of all that David pointed to. 34
- The one who is forsaken by the Father, so that those who have seen and believed never will be. 34
- Our access to the very presence of holy, holy, holy God. He breaks down the wall of separation between mankind and God. 38
- He does this as THE Son of God, the God-Man, THE link, THE connection between God and man. He knows the weight of mankind’s sin better than mankind. More than that, he knows the weight of simply being human, in error, fallible – even more than we do. Because all our error and guilt has fallen on him. 39
- The head of the reconstituted family of God, joined together not by physical birth, but by spiritual rebirth. 40-41
- The One who died – really died – under the weight of all our guilt and sin. And who would be raised again three days later. 42-47
The theme throughout the chapter: he is King, over all. But left to ourselves, we don’t see it, even when we speak it. We need God’s power to even “see and believe”, and this requires dealing with our sin, and giving us new life. The dead cannot see. So Jesus executes His Kingly rule in the most counterintuitive way, by coming as the God-man, dying for us – that we might reign with him, forever. The King does all, and all his subjects must do is see him, and believe him.
Which orients us to today’s real battle: to believe Jesus and follow him, a little more, in real life.