The Astonishing Messiah: An Exposition Of Isaiah 52:13-15 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.
EMJ 20:2 (Winter 2011) p. 169
The Astonishing Messiah:
An Exposition Of Isaiah 52:13-151
Lewis Johnson served as a teaching elder and regularly ministered the Word at Believers Chapel in Dallas, Texas for more than thirty years. During his academic career he held professorships in New Testament and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. At the time of his death in 2004 he was Professor Emeritus of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Dallas Seminary. Both MP3 files and printed notes of Dr. Johnson’s sermons and theological lectures may be downloaded from the website of the SLJ Institute «www.sljinstitute.net». His recordings may also be downloaded from the Believers Chapel website «www.believerschapeldallas.org/temp/online.htm».
The most critical problem of life is not the universal prevalence of war and nuclear armaments, nor the increasing violence of the age and its support now from world powers, such as Syria, Libya, and Russia, nor terrorism by militant Islamists, nor the rampant immorality and license of our sex-mad 21st century with its pornography, the AIDS problem, and divorce. It is not the economic problems of the day, such as the national debt, the chronic deficit, and energy shortages. And it is not even the drift to an almost totally consumeristic society, characterized by a pervasive avarice and greed. It is the age-old moral and spiritual problem: How can a just God declare sinful man righteous (cf. Job 9:2)?
The prophet Isaiah, the Old Testament evangelist in Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth of the Suffering Servant Songs, called “The Mount Everest of Messianic Prophecy” by a modern Old Testament professor2 and “the Golden Passional of the Old Testament Evangelist” by an
EMJ 20:2 (Winter 2011) p. 170
ancient church father (Polycarp),3 provides a key to the problem. He finds the solution to the problem in the ministry of the Suffering Servant of Jehovah, whom the New Testament identifies as the Lord Jesus Christ.
This identification, however, is not undisputed. Mr. Spurgeon found no problem in seeing the Lord Jesus in the song. He said, “If the Man of Nazareth, the Son of God, be not right visible in these three verses (52:13-15), they are dark as midnight itself.”4
Modern scholarship, however, in its...
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