The Cross – Isaiah 53 & Matthew 27:45-66 – Bible Study Notes

These are notes from the fourteenth part of a Bible overview series.

Read Isaiah 53. Amazing prophecy about Jesus’ death made 700 years in advance.

1. In pairs/threes, how does this passage describe Jesus? How does the passage describe us?

We are all guilty of turning away from God.

Read Matthew 27:45-66.

2. Why is the detail about darkness included?

It should’ve caused the enemies to understand that he was the light of the world and that because they didn’t walk in it, it was now taken away from them.

3. What did Jesus mean when he quoted from Psalm 22?

The trinity is as broken as it ever could be. Different ways of translating the phrase. Necessary to make sufferings worthy of praise.

4. What does the curtain represent?

It tears at the point Jesus dies because his death deals with our sin that meant we couldn’t enter the temple. It’s no longer necessary.

5. What evidence is there to suggest that Jesus was really dead?

Joseph prepared the corpse, which would’ve shown the normal evidences for death.

6. Matthew includes some interesting detail about the request made of Pilate by the chief priests and Pharisees that isn’t in the other gospels. What does this show about the Jewish leaders’ perception of Jesus?

They knew that he had staked his whole ministry on his ability to rise from the dead.

7. How do the religious leaders unwittingly help fulfil the purpose of God?

In their efforts to protect Jesus’ body from theft, the enemies provide irrefutable evidence for the resurrection.

8. What difference should Jesus’ death make to our lives?

It deals with our separation from God and we can approach him with confidence.

Holy, Holy, Holy – Isaiah 6:1-13 – Sermon Notes

Can you live somewhere with unanswerable questions? Why doesn’t God open everyone’s eyes? They will all hear and not perceive.

Isaiah wasn’t facing these questions academically. He sees The Lord. His glory blows him away. His glory means wait. Everything else is going to fade in comparison. If God is just a concept it can’t shape you. We won’t have a God at all. When God comes in everything moves. Isaiah’s job was to pronounce woe up to this point. He starts to tremble. When God becomes a reality to us, God becomes so much bigger. Our image of God is often far too small.

Only once in the entirety of scripture is something repeated three times. We think holiness is boring. We feel that God would cause us to do something we hate. We always point the finger at others. Isaiah enters the throne room of God and realises that all people including himself are unclean.

The fire in the temple is just a picture of God’s holiness. We see the burning wrath of God in one place. As Jesus dies we see in vivid agony what God’s holiness means. We need to admit that we are as guilty as everyone else.

Isaiah realises he hasn’t let God be the God of his life. Are you more concerned with his glory or yours? When we grasp just how huge his grace is, our hearts start to be rewired. The moment we think we fully understand God the moment we’ve made God into something we want him to be. God is glorified when his nature is upheld.

We’re called to be available for God but the results are up to him. God stands at the centre of everything and the purpose of the whole earth is for his glory. He is glorified by people turning over to their sinful choices and judgment on rebellion against him. Israel was destroyed but something small was left. A few of them returned to the land they lived in. Out of that stem grew Jesus. God has a right to be glorified through judgment.

Statues – Isaiah 23:9-28 – Sermon Notes

God is driving home the fact that he’s the one and only God who can rescue Israel. Why should we keep ourselves from idols?

Idols will ruin your life

The world says that idols offer us fulfilment and happiness. They promise us much but give us nothing. They’re just stuff that offer us pretend glory. They don’t enhance our lives. Isaiah says you can’t put glory into stuff. Pretending something has lots of glory doesn’t mean that it does. Whatever it is, it doesn’t love you and cannot save you.

Idols are the ultimate time wasters

The carpenter is really precise. He does everything until he’s happy. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s taking their time, energy and money. It takes effort to serve idols.

Idols are out of our control

We think we can control our idols and that they’re within our grasp. Even the carpenter can’t make the trees grow. If you live for a relationship, it’s not in our control.

Idolatry is stupid

Isaiah thinks idolatry is stupid. He says all who make idols are misguided. They are nothing. From God’s point of view they are worth nothing. Idolatry traps you. If you worship something, you become like it.

Only the Lord redeems lives

The Lord comes in at the end of the passage and says he’s amazing. He is a God of real power. He is a God of immense grace. A redeemer. He is the only master who won’t trap you. He wants them to remember how good and kind he is.

For Our Sake He was Crucified – Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – Sermon Notes

We need to recognise that we aren’t perfect. That’s a problem. If God is perfect, imperfect people can’t be part of the new heaven and the new earth. We place other things higher than God. It is that wrong attitude that leads to our sinful actions. We can’t fix things by ourselves. All sin is serious. We need someone to rescue us.

The servant of The Lord:

  • Appears ordinary. Looks like an ordinary person. Becomes disfigured
  • Is rejected. He’s despised and rejected by mankind
  • Is killed even though innocent
  • Does not protest. Doesn’t complain
  • Takes the sins of the people. Bought our suffering. Chooses to die
  • Is exalted by The Lord. This sacrifice is far from ordinary.

Jesus is the servant of The Lord who was crushed for our rejection of God. By his wounds we are healed.

This has always been God in Trinity’s plan. God has revealed more and more of his plan since the beginning. Jesus said this is what he came to do.

Jesus really died on a cross under Pontius Pilate. He doesn’t come to merely give an example of how we should live. We’ve already failed. He really did die for our sake.

We can do nothing to save ourselves. God came and died to deal with sin. It’s serious. He wouldn’t have done anything so costly if it wasn’t necessary.

God is absolutely gracious. He could’ve left us exactly as we are. It is for our sake that Jesus was crucified.