The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 42 of 249
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The quotation from Isaiah is introduced in answer to the question put by the Lord
concerning "purse" and "scrip" and "sword". Up till that moment, the Lord's personal
protecting care had been sufficient, but a change was imminent, introduced by the words
"but now". If Christ Himself was to be reckoned among transgressors, His followers
would necessarily be reckoned among them too. True, He was to "fulfil" this great
prophecy in a sense that no sinful man ever could fulfil it. He was holy, harmless,
undefiled and "SEPARATE from sinners", yet was "reckoned among them". "He Who
KNEW NO sin, was made sin for us"; He "died the JUST for the unjust".
The gathering point of the age was near. This that is written must yet be accomplished
(teleo). The things concerning Him have an end (telos). Here we have an anticipation of
John 19: 28, 30, "all things were now accomplished . . . . . it is finished (teleo)".
He Who was born at Bethlehem and given the name Emmanuel, God with us, now
faced the cross, and was numbered with us transgressors.
The quotation from Isa. 53:, is made in Mark's Gospel at the crucifixion itself. It
comes after a long and dreadful series of indignities, cruel treatment and bitter spite.
How was it that an earthly governor like Pilate could sit in judgment upon the Son of
God? The answer is He was numbered with transgressors, and stood in their place.
How was it that the Son of God permitted the Roman soldiers to handle Him, mock
Him, spit upon Him, and crucify Him? The same answer will suffice. He, Emmanuel,
was numbered with the transgressors. He was treated exactly like any other criminal.
The accusation and superscription were put over His sacred head, and on either side of
that cross, there were crucified WITH HIM two thieves. The verb sustauroo "to crucify
with" occurs nowhere else in the N.T. than in the records of the actual crucifixion of
Christ (Matt. 27: 44; Mark 15: 32; John 19: 32) and in the two great passages of
Paul's epistles:
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live" (Gal. 2: 20).
"Our old man is crucified with Him" (Rom. 6: 6).
We shall learn upon examining the epistles of Galatians and Romans, that this
crucifixion with Christ, is by "reckoning" and we now perceive the Divine reason why
He, the Substitute and Sacrifice, should be "reckoned" with transgressors. At the cross
we not only see that Emmanuel means "God with us" in wondrous love, but that by
amazing grace, it contains the doctrine expressed in the words "with Him", with Him in
His death right on by a series of steps until manifested with Him in glory.
Our path therefore is indicated, we must follow these steps that link the cradle, the
cross and the crown as the great name Emmanuel is fulfilled before our wondering eyes.