Who is Jesus? The final book in God’s Word, Revelation, is concerned with our reaction to this question. Seven churches are addressed in Revelation 2-3 giving the context for the mixture of letter, prophecy, and apocalypse incorporated into the book. The visions seen in Revelation are a stark reminder to the church to trust and follow Jesus. God’s people were in bondage to sin, oppression, poverty, etc. These realities held back these men and women from fulfilling their destiny. Too often we suffer this same self-imposed bondage. The Lord knew his church needed a vivid reminder of freedom! Revelation 1:4-6, 17b-18 reminds,

“…from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings on earth. To him who loves and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen… ‘I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.'”


We are free from sin! Jesus declares, “I have the keys of Death and Hades” (Rev. 1:18b). Keys represent authority. The holder of a key is able to lock or unlock a door. In essence, they have authority over the one who enters or exits or who is kept in or out. This authority is highlighted by Christ being “the living one” (Rev. 1:18a). On the cross Jesus fully took God’s wrath towards sin. In doing so he defeated death and the grave! His sacrifice served as a ransom payment freeing us from the bondage of sin (Mark 10:45). This freedom is experienced by everyone who chooses to follow him (John 3:16). The Suffering Servant was promised in the Old Testament. Isaiah 53:2-3 reads,

“For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from who men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”


“‘Man of sorrows!’ What a name for the Son of God who came. Ruined sinners to reclaim, ‘Hallelujah, what a Savior,'” declares the old hymn! A “man of sorrows” was not what was expected by God’s people in need of a Savior. They anticipated an earthly, conquering king. Earlier Isaiah had prophesied “the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). Surely this meant the nation of Israel would regain its social and political prominence! But the prophet clearly states he would have “no form or majesty” commonly desired and would be “despised and rejected” by his very own (Isaiah 53:2-3). Isaiah 53:4-8 continues,

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteem him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?”


Jesus didn’t just free us from the sickness of sin, he carried our pain. He was “cut off out of the land of the living” for you and for me (Isaiah 53:8)! This language symbolizes the exile God’s people endured as punishment for their sin and disobedience (see 2 Kings 17:6-23 and Jer. 32:23-24). This Suffering Servant bears the exile we deserve shifting our identity to righteousness instead of wrath! Paul wrote we “where by nature children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3) but now through the love of Christ “we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Isaiah 53:9-11 continues,

“And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.”


Restoration is here. His name is Jesus! Indeed, his grave was made with the wicked (Isaiah 53:9). He was crucified on a sinner’s cross between guilty criminals (see Isaiah 53:9, Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27-28, Luke 23:33, or John 19:18). Our Guiltless Savior became the ultimate guilt offering (see Lev. 5:14-6:7 and 2 Cor. 5:21). Paul writes, “For the death he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:10-11). We were bought with a price, paid for by Christ! Isaiah 53:12 concludes,

“Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”


The final verse in Isaiah 53 serves as an epilogue to the entire prophecy of this Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ. This King now enjoys the spoils of victory! Earlier Isaiah prophesied, “Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted” (Isaiah 52:13). Our King is worthy of all praise (see Philippians 2:9-11). However, this Glorious King continues to make “intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12b). Paul echoes in 1 Timothy 2:3-6a,

“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”

Follow Jesus today. 1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is who Jesus is!

#RestorationIsHere #JESUSis

  • Written by: Dean Ross (11/19/20)
  • This blog is part 5 of 7 based on the “Jesus Is…” series by Family Church NOLA. For more resources visit: http://www.JoinTheFamily.Church
  • Hymn quoted: “Man of Sorrows (What a Name)” written by Philip P. Bliss (1875, public domain)
  • All scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (Crossway)