— Brother Phil Enlow: The Word reminds us that God sent Somebody who could understand us…Somebody who experienced all of the wounds that this world can dish out, not just the physical stuff but the stuff that gets in here. I don’t care what you’ve experienced in your heart and your life and your mind, we have got a Savior who’s been there and experienced that and gets it.
And He alone has the heart and the power to do something about it! We need healing at the heart level and Jesus is somebody who has been here in a place where He can do it! It’s not just…yeah, I see you down there, I see what you’re going through…He’s been here and experienced every sorrow, every hurt, every rejection, everything that could possibly touch your life or mine! He’s experienced it in spades.
So, when I identify with Him, it’s not just that I’m joining Someone who the world hates, I am joining Somebody who is capable of looking into the depths of my soul and loving me anyway and helping me because He understands. Praise God!
I want to put my hand on that, on the head of that sacrifice! Oh, praise God! Isn’t God good to give us Someone like that? “He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” (NIV). But the center of it is certainly what he comes to here. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.” That goes into the same thing, doesn’t it?
So, men interpreted that, of course, with the wisdom of the enemy, they saw the things that He went through, they saw the rejection, and all of that. How did they interpret that? What conclusion did they draw, based on what they saw and how He was rejected by the religious establishment of that day? He’s getting what He deserves. “We considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.” We thought He was a sinner that God was punishing and taking Him out of the way so we could be free of Him.
Boy, you talk about blindness! We have no idea. We think so highly of ourselves. We don’t get it. And here God was sending somebody who could come right down into the depths of where we live and experience everything that we experience and bring us hope. And we thought He was getting what He deserved. He got what I deserve!
But, in contrast to the world’s estimation of this, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Oh God, that should cause everyone to run to Him!
But it doesn’t because men will not own their sin! We judge as humans judge. Well, I’m not as bad as everybody else…I’m like that one preacher that said, I’m 99 percent good. Oh yeah. That’s the blindness of the human heart. We have no idea what goodness really is.
Isaiah knew, didn’t he? God took him to a place where that’s all he saw and he immediately knew what he was. In fact, he saw…think about the fact that he didn’t understand what was coming. He saw the very One that he’s talking about back in chapter 6 when he went and saw Him on a throne! That was Jesus that he saw, that was the Son of God. He’s the only form of God you’ll ever see. He is the full, perfect representation of the Father.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions…crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Now a lot of people talk about the physical side of that, and that’s fine. But I’ll tell you, the wounds that I need are not just the ones in my body, they’re the wounds in that part of me that lives apart from this body. They’re the wounds of the spirit, wounds of the heart, wounds of the soul.
But we have Somebody who can heal every single one of them, if we’ll just come to Him and seek Him and look to Him. He has the power to change it all! But in order for that to happen, in order for that to do us any good, we are going to have to come to God, not based upon anything else, except, oh God, I own my sin, I deserve what this sacrifice is taking in my place. I’m placing my hand on His head! That’s my only hope! He represents me. I am laying down my life. That’s what it means.
This is not just, take my sins away so I can go live my life, and then come and bless me, bless my plans. This is, oh God, I surrender. We see in Him the value of human life, which is nothing! Nothing in this world is worth preserving into eternity, except what God builds into the hearts and lives of His people. I’ll tell you, when He comes in and He begins to change, now you’ve got something that can last and is worth something. Everything here leads to corruption and sin and death and sorrow and suffering!
( congregational amens ).
That’s what He came to deliver us from. He laid down His life as my representative! Do you seriously think I’m gonna just take that and run with it and live my life? No! That’s not what it’s about! My hand is on His head! That means my heart is engaged in what He…in everything that He stood for on that day!
Is your hand on the sacrifice? Praise God! There’s more to this that just coming to Christ in the first place. You know, the people that sinned, they didn’t just come once, did they? And while we live here, we don’t live perfect lives, do we? We need that sacrifice. We don’t bring a different sacrifice, though. We bring the one.
But do you know, that same sacrifice that enabled us to enter the door of salvation, enables us to come at any time and say, oh Lord, I have sinned. Lord, I’m in need but You provided my sacrifice. I’m laying my hand on that sacrifice and I come to You based upon Your provision and Your promise! This is the way You’ve told me You will accept me, and I come Your way! I’m not gonna try to pretty it up or rearrange it. I’m coming Your way, period! No compromise! Jesus is my representative and I trust in Him 100 percent!
You think this doesn’t…you don’t think this applies to you somehow? We ‘all’…that’s a big word, isn’t it? “We all, like sheep, have gone astray….” Every single one, there’s no difference. I don’t care if you went into a place that was a den of iniquity, every kind of wrong and sin you could think of, you could not look at those people and say, I’m better than you in God’s eyes.
You have the same nature! And if the circumstances were different, and you gave yourself over to that stuff, you’d be worse! Not one of us can look in the mirror and say, this doesn’t apply to me. It does! I’ll tell you…was it Brother Thomas or John B. that used to say…I guess it was John B…he wished some people he knew would go steal a hog or do something so they’d have something to repent of.
( laughter ).
He felt like there was a certain amount of self-righteousness in some that he knew. And I’ll tell you what, I don’t care if you’ve grown up in church and you’ve lived a ‘moral life’ so called, you have the same need.
( congregational amens ).
I happen to have been born into a preacher’s family. I have the same need. I’m no better than anybody else. I couldn’t go into a prison or into any place in the world and tell people that I’m any better than they are. We need the same Savior! And there’s only one way! Put your hand on the sacrifice and come. From your heart, put your trust in what He did.
( congregational amens ).
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each one of us has turned to his own way.” That’s the problem, it’s my way! You can’t make a way and define your own way and say, but it’s moral. Oh, no it’s not! It’s you! It’s a spirit of rebellion.
But oh, the next part, “…and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” (KJV), John the Baptist said.
“He was oppressed and afflicted…” (NIV). Now oppressed, I think the sense of that, if you look at various translations, it had to do with the injustice of His being accused when He wasn’t guilty of anything. They arrested Him and He wasn’t guilty, but they arrested Him anyway! “…And afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open His mouth.”
How do you react when you’re faced with something that you did that was wrong? It’s kind of quiet. What is the human spirit, what is the natural response to that? Self rises up, and it’s not this, or it’s somebody else’s fault, I didn’t do it. You know, whatever it is, there’s gonna be some sort of resistance to that.
And here He is, going there with my sin upon Him and He’s not arguing! What right do we have to argue and justify self when we’re wrong? And here He is, silent! No self-defense! No, I’ll get you for this, this is unjust! I mean, He really was guiltless! And we’re not! May God help us to have a humble sensitivity and a willingness to take ownership of what’s really true. But He faced it. He knew what we were, and He didn’t open His mouth.
“By oppression and judgment He was taken away…” injustice again, “…and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.”
There are several ways that that’s translated and the thought that makes the most sense, is basically that his generation didn’t understand what was going on. They didn’t get it. You look at several…I think the one you have, the NLT, puts it somewhat like that, if I’m not mistaken. But anyway…it’s basically that the generation that saw all this happen, had no idea what was going on. But boy, He did, didn’t He? He went into it with His eyes wide open.
“He was assigned a grave with the wicked….” In other words, basically this is a criminal who needs to be now disposed of in the ground and we’re gonna forget about Him. That was the spirit behind what he’s talking about there. But He also had a grave, “…with the rich in his death….” God had provided Him a tomb. There was a follower who stepped up to Pilate and said, may I have His body? I have a place to bury Him. So, the Lord even provided that, didn’t He?
“…Though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth….” Now here’s the amazing thing: “…yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer….” That’s incredible!
Do you want to see the heart of God, the heart that longed to show us mercy but had to uphold justice? I was guilty. There was nothing I could say. I had no answer. I deserved to die. But because God desired to show me mercy, He took my sins, charged His own Son, who willingly took them. There is no other definition of love that comes close to the willing sacrifice that took place on that day.
But it wasn’t just Jesus trying to placate His Father. This was God’s plan from the beginning. They were 100 percent united in what they sought to do. And remember how Jesus said, Father, if there is any other way, let this cup pass, but not my will but yours be done. That’s what was done.
Do you remember how the disciples prayed after they had been rebuked by the Sanhedrin? Lord, it was by Your determined will that they crucified Him. We know that they rose up in rebellion against You but it was by Your will that it happened! You determined ahead of time what was gonna happen. And they prayed to that same God who was in charge, God, empower us not to be intimidated by the spirit of this world that would shut us up.
So. “…it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” Praise God!
See, that brings us to the resurrection! His death for me was not the end. It was the beginning! But oh, how we need to have our hands on the sacrifice. That is the one pathway to life that is ‘life.’ There’s a scripture that says that. I don’t remember where it’s at. There’s only one life that really is life.
Do you want life? I pray for anybody who doesn’t get this, that God will open your eyes to see that what we call life here is not life. You can’t keep it! It’s worthless in the end! But God has opened a way to impart the life that is life.
And it comes…and Jesus partook of that life by laying down His earthly life and He came forth with a life that cannot die—the very life of God. But not only did He come forth for Himself and just for His own glory, but now He was able to share. Now He’s able to share all that He is with us.
Is your hand on the sacrifice? Man, it better be 100 percent, from the heart. And it’s not being strong, it’s not being worthy…it’s being just the opposite most of the time. The people that heard Jesus were the ones that life had wounded, that were the guiltiest, that were the lowest of the low, the tax collectors, the prostitutes! They were the ones who came and felt the love and the mercy that God desired to show.
And God took care of the problem that had separated them from a holy God. God took care of it! God…that same God is here today! I don’t care who you are or where you’ve been or what you’ve done. There’s a God who is able to blot out your sins as if they had never happened because they were placed upon Him! But I’ll tell you, your hand needs to be on the sacrifice, 100 percent. This is the sacrifice that I am offering to You, Father, based upon Your heart and Your promise.
“…It was the Lord’s will to crush Him…the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” That brings us right down to today. Everything God has purposed, right down to what He’s purposed in our lives, and going forward, and finishing the job, and presenting the church to Himself, without spot, wrinkle or blemish or any other such thing, all of that will prosper in the same way in which this prospered! The same God who, by His will was…crushed His Son, is going to bring that to pass. Everything that God has put in His hands…all authority in heaven and earth has been put in His hands. He will finish what He started.
( congregational amens ).
Is your hand on the sacrifice? Man, do you want to hitch your wagon to something, to Someone and something that’s gonna last, something that’s gonna mean something in eternity? There will come a day when people will be screaming in terror and regret…screaming for another chance! And on that day, there will be no other chance. The Word of God is going out today.
One of the words that it says here, after the suffering…verse 11. I’m gonna stop with this, I think. “After the suffering of His soul, he will see the light of life, and will be satisfied.” Hebrews 12 tells us, “…for the joy set before him endured the cross…,” despised the shame, didn’t make any difference to Him what He had to go through. Oh, that’s worth everything!
Well, it’s worth everything for us to be 100 percent identified with that sacrifice! Say, this is my hope! “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” The same God who brought Him out of the tomb has power to make us into His children, to transform us from the inside out, to blot out our sins, to impart new life.
For the message is two-fold. Have you come to God with all your heart and your hand on the sacrifice? That’s the challenge today. If you stop short of that, you’ve stopped short of everything! You have missed it all! I don’t care what happens in this world, don’t care what you accomplish, it means nothing when we stand before Him.
But that picture that the Lord painted in the Old Testament of how they were to bring their sacrifices…if you read on, it wasn’t just that they put their hand on it, they actually participated in preparing the sacrifice. This was very participatory! This is me, 100 percent aligned with that sacrifice and all that it stands for! My death, my resurrection, my burial, my resurrection, my new life, my eternity. I’ll tell you, I’m aligned with Him. I don’t care what the world says. I don’t care what they do, what it costs. It’s worth everything to know Him!
( congregational amens ).
So, the question is, have you ever, from your heart, irrevocably put your hand on the sacrifice? If you stop short of that, you have missed everything! But for the believer, that becomes…God wants that to become the default setting, if you will, of our life. My hand is always on that sacrifice. This is always how I stand before You. This is always where the resources come for everything that I need in this life. It’s all provided through Jesus Christ. It is mine because of Him.
I’m never gonna get to the point where I say, ok, I’m past that now, let’s get to the good stuff. There are a lot of people who preach it like that. Okay, I believe in Jesus, my sins are gone and I’ve got a ticket to heaven. Now, Jesus, give me a better life. It’s Jesus all the way. It’s laying down our life and taking up a new one, all the way.
I’ll tell you, that’s something you and I…wherever you’re at today, you have the privilege of coming to God with your hand on that sacrifice, spiritually speaking. And it is the answer to every issue, one way or another, without having to spell out all the details. God has to lead us through these things. We’re all different.
But I’ll tell you, I want to be…I want to be one that has my hand on the sacrifice. Never allow anything to move your hand from it! He is the answer to destiny! He is the answer to everything! He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! He sits on a throne and He reigns and He prays for His own! He stands for us and He will finish what He started! Just as He triumphed in the cross and rose from the dead, He will return and His plan will be finished. God’s plan and purpose will be finished.
The only question is, who will participate in that? And that’s the message of the Gospel. If your hope is in something else or you think you can manage your life some other way, but that really true heart surrender, whew, you have drunk the Kool-Aid of this world. And if that doesn’t change, you will perish with it.
But let the name of Jesus be lifted up. Let His name be lifted up as the only name among men whereby we must be saved! To Him be the glory! Let’s have our hand on the sacrifice, folks. Praise God!