Who has believed what he has heard from us? Isaiah 53:1
Every major doctrine of the Christian faith has come under attack, and this will continue until Jesus returns in power and glory and puts a stop to it. The truth found in the first six verses of Isaiah 53 lies at the heart of the gospel, so it should not surprise us that it has been the focus of a sustained attack. The assault comes in three waves:
The first wave is to deny the severity of sin
“He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (53:5). The biblical doctrine of sin says there is something wrong with us. We have sinned. But that does not sit well in our world of affirmation. Some people say, “Doesn’t the Bible say God made everything good? Sure, none of us is perfect, but aren’t we are all essentially good?”
The second wave is to deny the reality of judgment
“Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace” (53:5). This points to the disturbing reality that there is a hell, as well as a heaven, and people who reject Jesus will go there. It is tempting to ignore what the Bible says about punishment and replace God’s judgment with God’s acceptance. You may have heard someone say, “The Bible says God is love. Surely, we all need some sorting out, but won’t God welcome us all into heaven in the end?”
The third wave is to deny substitution
You may hear someone say, “The idea of Jesus as our substitute, bearing our sins, and paying our penalty is just a theory. And since it relates to sin and punishment, which we no longer believe, it is a theory we can discard.” But Isaiah says, “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (53:5). Isaiah spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and he states it as a fact, not a theory.
Which of these assaults on the gospel are you most tempted to believe? Why?