If He’s Silent Like A Lamb And Slaughtered Like A Lamb, He’s The Lamb Of God Who Takes Away The Sin Of The World (Isaiah 53:7-9)

“Jabba, this is your last chance. Free us or die”

Luke Skywalker’s confidence was remarkable considering he didn’t have his light saber and was walking a precarious plank over the Great Pit of Carkoon and its hungry inhabitant, the Sarlaac.

No worries. He was in complete control. (I thought the strangulation death of Jabba was a little over-the-top).

Jesus was in complete control when the mob came to arrest Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  • Jesus asked, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am.” Now when He said to them, “I am,” they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:4-6).
  • He said to them, “Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).

He felled His enemies by merely speaking to them, with 72,000 angels mustered & ready to engage. This must be the moment His disciples and followers were waiting for – when Jesus would “restore the Kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6).

As the night progressed and dawn gave way to day, things weren’t going well for establishing the Kingdom. In a short time its King would be dead.

What happened? Salvation happened!

Jesus died on the Cross as your substitute so that you could be saved. “He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Dr. Michael Svigel reminds us, “Preaching the Gospel that Christ died for our sins without also proclaiming His resurrection from the dead is like baptizing by immersion without lifting from the water.”

The first century Jews were expecting the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to deliver them from Rome and inaugurate the Kingdom of God on Earth. They understood from the OT book of Malachi that Elijah would return just prior to the coming of the Messiah. He would announce that the Kingdom was at hand.

He wasn’t Elijah but a forerunner did come in the spirit & power of the mantled prophet. He baptized multitudes in the wilderness in preparation for the Kingdom. One day Jesus came to be baptized.

How did John the Baptist announce the Lord? Pick one:

✏❍ “Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who has come to rule the world!”

✏❍ “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!“ (John 1:29).

Second question. Which of the following best describes the current mood among believers:

✏❍ Christians must become more Lion-like in order to have an effect on the evil surrounding us.

✏❍ Christians must remain more Lamb-like in order to have an effect on the evil surrounding us.

I’ll organize my comments around two questions: #1 Are You Silent Like The Lamb?, and #2 Are You Slaughtered For The Lamb?

#1 – Are You Silent Like The Lamb? (v7)

The category is Historical Figures who had Animal Nicknames.

Who was called:

  1. “Cunning as a fox.” Napoleon. (Not to be confused with the Desert Fox, General Rommel, or Herod, who Jesus called a fox).
  2. “Sly as a serpent.” Cleopatra.
  3. “Bulldog.” Winston Churchill.
  4. “Wily as a coyote.” FDR.

Jesus is called the Lamb of God about 29 times, with 27 of them in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

What is your guess as to how many times He is called the Lion of Judah? That particular wording only occurs one time, in Revelation 5:5.[1]

Yes, it was prophesied that the future Messiah would descend from Judah and be lion-like. But obviously He is a lot more Lamb-like. At least that is what we ought to concentrate on.

Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12 is a song, the Song of the Suffering Servant. It is structured as five three verse stanzas. We have slowed down in our journey through Isaiah because this song, these verses, are considered by most believers to be the Mount Everest of the Scriptures.

Isa 53:7  He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

Eight hundred years before He went to the Cross, Isaiah predicted that the Suffering Servant would go submissively to an undeserved death.

Isaiah says twice that the Lord “opened not His mouth” and added He would be “silent.” In fact, Jesus did speak a few words leading up to the Cross:

✎︎ Mat 26:62  And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?”

Mat 26:63  But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”

Mat 26:64  Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

✎︎ Luk 22:66  As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying,

Luk 22:67  “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe.

Luk 22:68  And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.

Luk 22:69  Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”

Luk 22:70  Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.”

✎︎ Mat 27:11  Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”

God the Holy Spirit didn’t contradict Himself when He had Isaiah write that the Savior “did not open His mouth.” Ken Lyons explains: “To prophesy that the Suffering Servant ‘opened not His mouth’ is to use a Hebrew idiom which means that Jesus refrained from giving an exhaustive legal defense on His own behalf.”

Isaiah further described the Suffering Servant, “And as a sheep before its shearers is silent…” In some translations “silent” is translated “dumb.” We say a person who cannot talk is dumb. Here it is being used to describe the Lord controlling the dialog. It’s a good thing.

It is a great discipline to communicate in as few words as are necessary. In doing so, you end up saying more than you would have. If you want to encourage me about a teaching, come up and say, “Pastor Gene, that was really dumb.”

I found this account by a sheep shearer: “We ended up shearing 5,321 sheep altogether. During the entire fortnight of shearing, there were only two sheep that made any noise as they were shorn.”

The Messiah would comport Himself as you would expect from the God-Man who was on mission to substitute Himself for the salvation of the human race.

If you ‘speak your mind,’ you say firmly and honestly what you think about a situation, even if this may offend or upset people.

We need to quit speaking our minds.

When the apostle Paul penned the passage we quoted earlier, about Jesus submitting to God, he said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” A believer has the mind of Christ.

I should speak His mind, not mine.

Search-out the Lord’s mind on all things involving life & godliness. Do it in the Word, praying, with God the Holy Spirit teaching you, leading you into His truth. Focus especially on the character of God so that you don’t end up rigid and legalistic.

Do you realize how freeing it is to speak the Lord’s mind and not your own? It promotes boldness, and you can be authoritative. More than all that, in every conversation I will exalt the Lord and those listening to me will hear & see the joy and transformation of the Gospel received into the heart.

#2 – Are You Slaughtered For The Lamb? (v8-9)

Procedural cop shows have exposed us to the vocabulary of Law Enforcement.

My absolute favorite is petechial hemorrhaging. I still don’t know what it means, but I try to pepper my conversations with it.

Let’s say you are a Jew in the first century. You regularly hum or sing the Song of the Suffering Servant. You hear about what is being done to Jesus. It sounds a lot like the person in Isaiah.

Isaiah released a BOLO in v8-9. Be On the LookOut for the Lamb.

Isa 53:8  He was taken from prison and from judgment… This summarizes Jesus being arrested, tried, then brought to “judgment.”

The Lamb they are waiting for would be a condemned criminal.

Isa 53:8  … And who will declare His generation?… Some translate it, “Who will declare the length of His life?” There would be no end to His existence, implying that though He would be cut off, yet He would be raised again, and live forever. Is there someone who in the first century raised the dead and spoke of permanent resurrection?

Isa 53:8 …For He was cut off from the land of the living… The words suggest an extremely violent death. More than that, they suggest that you ‘turn to’ the book of Daniel 9:26. It is the famous Prophecy of the 70 Weeks in which Israel’s future is revealed.

He said, “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off… That’s exactly what Isaiah said! …but not for Himself… The Jews were all about substitution. Every lamb they brought to be sacrificed was a substitution. The lamb took their place. Jesus would die at the exact moment that the annual Passover lambs were being offered in the Temple. The clues are really piling up that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

Dan 9:26 …And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.”

That’s the antichrist, in the future Time of Jacob’s Trouble, persecuting the remnant of the Jews. In Revelation 12:15 we read, “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.” No worries; God delivers them from the flood.

Isa 53:8 …For the transgressions of My people He was stricken… God’s “people” is the chosen nation of Israel. Jesus died in their stead, one man for the nation.

In the Gospel of John we read, “Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “It is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation” (11:49-51).

A discerning Jew could put this together. Caiaphas prophesied about the one man who would die. Could Isaiah’s Suffering Servant be the one man who died for the nation and for all nations?

Isa 53:9  And they made His grave with the wicked – But with the rich at His death… He went to the “grave” as if He were “wicked.” He was, however, entombed as if He were “rich.”

That’s a really hard prophecy to fulfill! The Gospels record Joseph of Arimathea asking for the Lord’s body. Instead of being buried with the wicked, He would occupy this rich man’s tomb. But not for long.

Isa 53:9 …Because He had done no violence… This would be admittedly confusing to a Jew in the first century. How do you establish a kingdom without violence? You come twice, and the second time you overcome your enemies by force.

Isa 53:9 …Nor was any deceit in His mouth. Of what other dweller on the earth can it be said that there was never deceit found in his mouth? Who else has lived who has always been perfectly free from deceit? His character would set Him apart from all other men.

Why did Jesus do it? The writer to the Hebrew believers gave one reason: “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

You are the joy that set before Jesus

Charles Spurgeon said,

“The joy which Christ felt! It was the joy of feeding us with the Bread of Heaven – the joy of clothing poor, naked sinners in His own Righteousness – the joy of finding mansions in Heaven for homeless souls – of delivering us from the prison of Hell and giving us the eternal enjoyments of Heaven! But why should Christ look on us? Why should He choose to do this for us? Oh, my Friends, we never deserved anything at His hands!“

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:35-37).

Albert Barnes paraphrases this, “Simply for being Christians, we are subject to, or exposed to death. We endure sufferings equivalent to dying. There is no intermission to our danger, and to our exposure to death. Our enemies judge that we ought to die, and deem us the appropriate subjects of slaughter, with as little concern or remorse as the lives of sheep are taken.”

We could be talking about actual martyrdom, losing our lives for the Lord. If that were to occur, the Lord would give you superabundant grace to go to your death with joy unspeakable and full of glory. “An entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (Second Peter 1:11).

Our daily life on Earth in hostile territory is like a slaughterhouse. When you are reviled, maltreated, made to suffer, do you fall back on the fact that you are being slaughtered for Christ? Or do you defend yourself?

Ask yourself, “What kind of ‘dumb’ am I?”

Are you the dummy who fights his or her own battles in the energy of the flesh while convincing yourself it’s OK because you are in the right?

Or are you the kind of dumb that is willing to be slaughtered in order to show your persecutor(s) what it’s like to be crucified & resurrected with Jesus Christ?