‘Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!'” ‘ Matt. 3:1-3
The prophetic utterances of the Old Testament prophets were meant to be understood in (the) light of Jesus Christ and ultimately the New Covenant.
That’s why it’s important that we’ve embarked on the study of Old Testament passages that are quoted or alluded to frequently in the New Testament. Four previous passages we’ve probed already (refer to earlier bulletins at www.newcreation.us). It’s no coincidence brethren, that all four have been directly related to our understanding of Jesus Christ as the Scripture intends for us to understand Him (someone did say that the “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”; Rev. 19:10b). No surprise here, number five on the list will concern our Lord and Sovereign (although not all “theologians” agree the following passage is about Jesus) as well. ” He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” (Isa. 53:7 NAS) Approximately eleven times parts of this verse are alluded to within the New Testament. Seven times (isn’t that a perfect number?) in the gospel accounts (Matt. 26:63, 27:12 & 14, Mark 14:60-61, 15:4-5; Luke 23:9; John 19:9) and once in the letter of the apostle Peter (1 Pet. 2:23) in reference to Jesus when accused or questioned He “did not open His mouth”; and three times in the revelation of John (Rev. 5:6, 12, & 21:22) concerning a lamb slaughtered. The entire chapter of Isaiah 53 is a great proof text for the Bible being the only true inspired word of the Almighty. Back to our verse though. You should note that it was because the Christ remained silent was the primary reason He was led like a sheep to slaughter. Was there ever a man who could have defended His innocence better? Absolutely not! But He choose to remain silent and accept His predetermined fate as laid out in Isaiah chapter 53. Why? Well, Jesus knew His purpose and the ultimate outcome of not only His actions but His “non actions.” One excellent passage that the adopted children of God should never forget is 2 Corinthians 5:21: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (NAS) How about a little lesson for His brethren? If the Lord could hold His tongue in the face of false accusations and questions laced with traps, can we, as His spiritual siblings, hold our tongue when the same verbal poisoned darts are slung in our direction? Yes, if you too know your purpose. Christ was willing to die to self (knowing He was the Son of God) in order that we individually would have that opportunity to “become the righteousness of God in Him.” What about that lost soul you work with or live next to that has falsely accused or slandered you? Let your pride be led to slaughter and entrust yourself to Him who judges righteously that they too might have a chance to “become the righteousness of God in Him ” because you chose the divine right to remain silent and did not revile in return. Amen.