239: Isaiah 53:3d


COPYRIGHT WARNING

365 Prophecies: Prophecy 239

The men who were nearest the Messiah will “hide their faces from Him” when He is arrested.

Old Testament Prediction:

Isaiah 53:3d …And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

New Testament Fulfillment:

Luke 22:56-57 And a certain servant girl, seeing Peter as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Jesus.” But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.

Mark 14:46-50 Then they laid their hands on Jesus and took Him. And one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then they all forsook Him and fled.

Application:

This Prophecy from Isaiah 53:3 is similar to Prophecy 99 and Prophecy 127.

Prophecy 99: The friends and family of the Messiah will stand at a distance and watch Him die.

Psalms 38:11 “My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off.

This 99th prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament.

Luke 23:48-49 “And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”

Prophecy 127: The suffering of the Messiah: Abandoned by God, Born to Die, the wrath of God upon Him, Friends abandon Him.

Old Testament Prediction:

Psalms 88:14-18 “LORD, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth; I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off. They came around me all day long like water; They engulfed me altogether. Loved one and friend You have put far from me, And my acquaintances into darkness.”

This 127th prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament.

Mark 15:34 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths…

Hebrews 10:5,10 “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me… By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Romans 5:9 “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Luke 23:49 “But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”

Matthew 26:58 “But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard.

Luke 22:54 “Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance…”

Mary’s sorrow

No mother should have to watch her son die. Crucifixion was the most brutal of executions—described as agony and horror, the mother of Jesus undoubtably found it unbearable to behold.

It is for certain that Mary was well acquainted with the emotions of her Son. She knew when He was happy and she could tell, even from a distance, when He was suffering. Jesus’ mother had been with Him on many occasions when He had fallen and scraped is knees. She had mended His cuts and held Him in her arms when He was in pain. When Jesus was giving His life for all of us, Mary stood at the foot of His cross, and it is certain that she suffered personal torment as she watched her son die such a horrible death.

Many years ago, when I was getting older, my dear mother informed me that although I was 47 years old, I was still her little boy and she always worried about me. A mother has a special place reserved in her heart for her children which allows her to feel the emotions and suffering that they feel, as if she were being hurt herself.

When David wrote, My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off, in Psalm 38:11, he was predicting the abandonment which the Messiah would feel when all those who had claimed to love Him were nowhere to be found during the time He was suffering and dying. This verse was not written for Mary. She was standing at the foot of Jesus’ cross, and she never left His presence while He suffered.

John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother

The affliction of Mary’s soul while she agonized, as her Son endure hours of torment, was certainly greater than any of the others who watched Him die.

There were those who stood closely by Jesus’ cross, not to watch the spectacle of His death but to be there with Him as a source of comfort. There were other acquaintances who watched from a distance, caring, but not enough to be identified with His suffering. There were those who watched, only to see Him suffer and die, with a sense of satisfaction that this one who had called them a sinner was finally going to be silenced by death.

Here, we see that although there were a few family members and close friends who stood by Jesus’ cross, they remained conspicuously uninvolved.

Let us remember who it is that David is writing about

Psalms 38:11 “My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, And my relatives stand afar off.

Stand afar off from who, from what? The object of this prophetic Psalm was the crucifixion of the Messiah. The fact that this prediction states that the family and friends of the condemned would be watching His death aloof and far off gives us a hint. Some, such as Mary the mother of Jesus and Mary the sister in-law of Jesus’ Mother, as well as John, were close by the cross.

Mary as our co-redeemer

Theologians in the Catholic Church have stated that because Mary also suffered during Jesus’ crucifixion, she became a “co-redeemer” with the Lord. The Catholic church has specified that because Mary suffered along with Jesus, she also participated in His efforts to bring salvation to all people; therefore, she is called a “co-redemptrix” with Jesus.[1]

Pope Leo the 8th said this regarding Mary:

Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother.”[2]

The Bible nowhere describes Mary as participating in the work of salvation, but calls her Blessed or happy that she was given the great honor of serving God by being His maidservant.

For detailed information on this important subject, please see: Prophecy 99

This is a very tragic position to take in the redemption which Jesus paid such a high cost to purchase for us. Although Mary truly suffered herself for her Son’s death, she took no part in the redemption of all mankind. That work and the supreme sacrifice which was made, can only be credited to Jesus. No human being, including Mary, can ever claim that they had anything to do with the salvation that Jesus died to make possible for us.

Hebrews 1:3 …when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…

Although His mother, John, and two other Mary’s were present at Jesus crucifixion, they were not participants in the suffering that He endured which purchased our salvation. The rest of Jesus’ friends and followers were afar off, watching Jesus die, in apparent embarrassment for His condemnation and death by the Romans.

What is shocking about this description from the 38th and 88th Psalms, as well as Isaiah 53:3, is that we are not told in the Gospels how far away from the cross those who watched Jesus suffer and die, truly were from Him—in their hearts. They may have been in close proximity to Jesus; but, in their fear and the unbelief which flooded their hearts while Jesus was dying, they were quite distant from Him.

Sidebar: Before we condemn these unfaithful friends and family members for their lack of commitment to the Lord, we should understand that we are no more committed to Jesus ourselves. We might think that we would never deny the Lord or betray Him. The truth is that at some point in all of our lives, we will show by our actions and words just how unfaithful we can be. The last time that you went through a terrible trial or suffered a great loss, did you ever doubt the goodness of the Lord? Many people often have questions during moments of stress and anxiety. Afterwards, when He has brought us through the trial, we always feel a sense of shame that we had not been more faithful to the Lord when we were in the midst of our trial.

Notice that Jesus never condemned or scolded these friends who abandoned Him in His hour of greatest need. The Lord knew ahead of time that when He was suffering and dying, there would be few companions to be found.

Today, there are three groups of people who observe Jesus’ suffering, much like those who were present when He suffered at the cross two thousand years ago.

1. Those who love the Lord and stand near Him to be identified with His suffering.
2. Those who stand at a distance, who admire Jesus, but not enough to be identified publicly with Him.
3. Those who hate Jesus and want Him to go away, and leave them alone.

We may think that we would be amongst those who would have stood close by Jesus as He suffered, but would we really? When our life is in danger and we fear that people might put us to death, even our best intentions and greatest declarations of commitment will quickly fade. It has been said that true character is seen when we are all alone and in our greatest moments of stress and anxiety. Those who abandoned Jesus represent all of us, in our own hour or testing. We should be careful in our public promises of faithfulness to Jesus. Instead, we should pray that when our faith is tested, the Lord might grant us the strength and courage to abide in Him, no matter what might happen to us.

The wrath of God is a place of stumbling

Psalms 88:14,18 speaks of the Messiah being ready to die from my youth. It was the purpose of Jesus’ birth that He should die for the sins of the world. He suffered the terrors of God’s fierce wrath for all of us, as He took upon Himself the punishment and death we deserved.

Very often, when critics of the Bible or those who scoff at the notion that God exists, negative comments are made regarding the wrath of God which is described in the scriptures. These observations are not only incorrect but unsupported by facts. We should realize first that because we are earthbound creatures, our knowledge of God and His universe is very limited.

When it comes to God, we know almost nothing. Everything that we have learned about God thus far is what we read in the Bible. He is presented to us as an eternal being with no beginning and no end. He has power and the wisdom to use this great power in ways that are beyond our abilities of comprehension.

It is laughable to read some of the comments made by atheistic astronomers who believe that the idea of God is impossible.

“Who made God?”

In their peripherally limited understanding, many scientists today state that everything which exists must have a first cause. Nothing can exist unless it has a cause. This premise is true of all temporal objects but untrue of those things that are eternal. Anything which is eternal by its existence outside of time would have no beginning and is therefore not created. God is before all things and is outside of the conventional rules which apply to the material universe or the beings which inhabit it. God was not made by a God before Him, and that God by another before Him, and so on. These are human observations, and they are not based on facts.

In order that God could exist, He would have to be before and above all other things. He would permit no other god’s and in reality, no other God could exist if there was One all powerful, eternal and perfect God. This is the claim made by the God of the Bible.

The pagan concept of many gods is ludicrous, when we consider that a God with the power to create the cosmos must Himself be the only one. It is impossible that there could be competing gods for the title of God. From the naturalistic mind of today’s scientists and astronomers, if there were a God, He would necessarily have come from a God before Him, and so on. If we follow this line of reasoning, what do we do when we get back to the beginning? Where did the first God come from? Who created Him?

This is the paradox that many of the great and educated men and women are presented with, when they consider the concept of an all-powerful God.

If we can, for just a moment, drop the idea that God would need a first cause, we may be able to comprehend how His existence is possible.

If we can accept in our mind the fact that God has always existed and had no beginning, no place where God began to exist, then we can accept that He has always existed. He has always been and always will be—this is the essence of what God says of Himself in the Bible.

Isaiah 45:22 …For I am God, and there is no other.

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

The God of the Bible is unique and singular.

The unique qualities that allow Him the title of God:

1. He is eternal, with no beginning and no end.
2. He knows all things.
3. All things were made by Him.
4. All things belong to Him.
5. All beings are subject to Him.
6. All true laws originate from Him.
7. All Judgement belongs to Him.

Because He is the only God, and He created everything that exists, all judgement rightly belongs to Him. Because He is perfect, He would rightly demand that all other beings are also perfect in their moral behavior.

Everything that He does is always good, and it is always perfect.

When the Bible speaks of the wrath of God, even this wrath is always perfect.

As human beings, we think of wrath as being wrong. A person who is full of wrath is most often viewed as incorrect in his behavior. We seem to have developed the idea that anger is always wrong. Actually, anger or wrath are emotions that God gave to us as a part of our being, for a good purpose. Anger is not sinful or wrong in itself; it is what often happens as a result of anger which is sinful. People get angry; they carry out their anger in acts of violence or destruction. Equally at fault is the fact that most of the time, our anger is the result of us not getting what we want, or having our pride stepped on by someone else.

An example of correct anger is the depiction of Jesus in the temple, driving out the money changers. These men had set up tables in the area of the temple that was built for the Gentiles of the nations to come and worship God. Instead, it was filled with tables that were used to exchange foreign currency with Jewish currency. Jesus’ anger was correct and justified in removing these men who were preventing others in their desire to worship the true and living God.

See Prophecy 116 for a graphic illustration of the area where Jesus drove these men out.

If you should see a person being hurt or taken advantage of, and you found yourself becoming angry, this would be the correct use of anger. If you should then overreact and kill this person who was committing the abuse, you would likely be guilty of wrongful action. It takes a great deal of wisdom when it comes to understanding correctly how to make use of our anger, in an appropriate way.

These things being said, whenever God is said to be angry or filled with wrath, He is always justified in this action because He can never do anything wrong. Not because He is God but because He is always good; and by His very nature, He is without error. If God were capable of doing anything that was truly wrong, He would not be God. The fact that He is given the title of God means that all His behaviors and actions are always right.

If we should ever think that God was wrong or unjustified in any of His actions, it would certainly be us who was wrong—either in our understanding of what has occurred or the reasons why God acted. It is impossible that God could ever do wrong or commit sin. We must understand that any being who has the nature, character and capacities attributed to the God of the Bible must be perfect. It is impossible that an evil God could exist, for God by His very nature must be absolutely good and morally perfect. Evil, sin, and wrongful actions are the result of imperfection and defect. Any being which would possess these imperfect attributes would not have the ability to be God.

When God pours out His wrath, He is always justified in doing so. We might question why, or feel that perhaps He has overreacted. We would be wrong in our assumption.

God is perfect; we are flawed. All of His judgements are always right. Our understanding of His ways, His character and nature are extremely limited. In order to correctly understand God, we must first understand that He can do no wrong and that everything He does is always good. If we do not believe this, then our view of God’s actions and behavior would be incorrect.

If God exists in the universe, then He must be singular, and He must be perfect.

If this perfect being created the universe, the universe itself would also be perfect. The only cause of an imperfect universe would come from a flaw which occurred after God made the universe, not in the creation itself.

A truly magnanimous God that would create beings with the capacity of choice, would by the imparting of this free choice, make possible the ability of sin, by choice. God did not create human beings as robots, who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner. God made us like Himself, with the ability to choose whether or not we will love and obey Him or turn aside after our own way.

It was by this ability to make choices, be they right or wrong, that sin or imperfection entered the universe. God would be justified in feeling anger for sin because of the destructive power that is unleashed by acts of sin in human life. Would any of us disagree that everyday on the earth people use their free will to choose evil and hurt or kill other people with this power that God has given to us?

God has the right to expect perfection and the obligation to eliminate imperfection when it exists, because its presence would eventually ruin all the rest of His creation.

The purpose of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is to return the earth and mankind to its perfection and beauty, in eternal life, that God intended.

God knew that those who had promised devotion and faithfulness to the Messiah would, in His great hour of suffering, abandon Him. He shows us His power and advanced knowledge of all things by writing through David and Isaiah the details of the Messiah’s death by crucifixion and abandonment by His family and friends, in this 239th Prophecy.


NOTES:
[1] 1. Mark Miravalle, 1993 “With Jesus”: the story of Mary Co-redemptrix ISBN 1-57918-241-0 page 11
2. Schmaus, Mariologie, München, 1955, 328
[2] Leo XIII, encyclical Octobri Mense 4. Ott, Dogmatics, Mariology § 7 even thinks that, in spite of uncertain evidence in the Sources of Faith, a dogmatic definition does not seem impossible.

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