Thomas Cosmades




The Son Become Servant



By Thomas Cosmades

Agur (gatherer) – unknown to anyone – could be an inspired non-Hebrew writer.  He introduces himself as ‘too stupid and without understanding of a man’. There is probably no other person in the Bible who so demeans himself (cf. Proverbs 30:1-3).  Following some thought-provoking marvels he suddenly lifts his survey to the metaphysical realm with the question, “What is his name, and what is his son’s name?” (cf. 4c).  He immediately proceeds to supply a profound affirmation: “Surely you know!”   This person who calls himself ‘stupid’ is one of the wise writers in the Old Testament who knew God and His Son.  The prophet Isaiah who probably lived a few hundred years after Agur and a few hundred years prior to the advent of the Son joyfully celebrated the unique verity (9:6).  Antecedent to both writers, the Psalmist conveyed another inspired truth regarding the Son who was ordained to redeem men and ultimately reign over the whole human race (45:6; cf. Heb. 1:8, 9). 

 Isaiah refers to him also as God’s servant in six places (cf. 42:1, 9 (2x), 49:6, 52:13; 53:11).  While there are disagreeing views on these passages, the reality of one person making atonement for many is quite obvious.  It pleased God the Father to allow the humiliation of his everlastingly begotten only Son to the status of servant.  This one is the foremost servant in history who served the whole of humanity.  In the N.T., Paul lays before his readers the most striking account about the ‘doulos’.  Christ described his ministry on earth in the most concise manner.  “Even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).  The Son of God became Son of man to serve his fallen kin by offering that perfect life as a ransom for many.  He never lost his eternal identity of being one with the Father and yet became identified with the low estate of servant: “God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin” (Romans 8:3).  Such an unthinkable mission made it necessary for him to assume the humblest and utterly despised classification of servant. 

 The Old Testament is replete with Messianic prophecies, all of which point to the coming of Christ to redeem men and women from their bondage to sin.  This event is beyond comparison with any other single act in all eons.  The Incarnation reveals the puzzle of the eternal Son’s metamorphosis into the extraordinary status of the God-sent Servant. 


I.  The Righteous Servant is Humbled on Behalf of Sinners, 52:14, 15; 53:1-4


Man’s unbelief in God’s most amazing act strikes Isaiah profoundly.  Unbelief is probably the greatest    barrier to the God-ordained grant of free salvation.  The writers, John and Paul, quote Isaiah to remind their readers regarding human unbelief toward God’s mighty provision (cf. John 12:38; Romans 10:16). Probably the greatest tragedy in the realm of religion is the de-sinning of sin, particularly evidenced in these turbulent times.  When sin is jettisoned, naturally he who came to make atonement for it is discarded in the same way.  The Jews rejected Him outright (John 1:11). Throughout history men and women everywhere spurned the One who came to redeem them.  Christ often lamented for man’s unbelief (cf. Mark 6:6; Luke 24:25, 26).   The sin committed against the Holy Spirit was primarily the same rejection (cf. Mark 3:28-30).  The irony is that human unbelief is directed toward Him who willingly became identified with us humans in order to rescue us.


Man’s wrestling with unbelief reaches into four areas: 

·         Scientific – “I cannot believe in anything that cannot be proved in the laboratory.”

·         Deliberate – Man’s hardheadedness is extremely difficult to change.  (John 8:24, 45; Acts     14:2; Hebrews 3:12)

·         Wavering – “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

·         Ignorance – “…because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief” (I Timothy 1:13) 


The Son became servant to activate faith in your inmost being and reveal to everyone the transcendent riches of God.  The Holy Spirit is in continuous operation to destroy human unbelief toward Christ in these areas.  Those of us who received superlative satisfaction from believing in Christ, God’s servant who came to redeem us, are under obligation to pray.  We need to plead that the Holy Spirit will universally break human unbelief in all these areas.  We also need to examine ourselves and remove the slightest trace of unbelief toward Christ, who demands total commitment.


II. The Righteous Servant was judged on behalf of sinners (7, 8, 10)


There is an inescapable divine judgment awaiting every unrepentant sinner whether he/she anticipates it or not.  This judgment is fully just – above all other judgments.  The guilty person will encounter all his sins at the end.  There will be no excuse or getting out of it.  Christ often mentioned this.  The judgment to come carries a forceful warning by Christ himself.  These are the most authoritative and solemn alarm signs.  Millions who never stood before a temporal judge will find their final destiny to be determined by the Eternal Judge.  Philip the evangelist illuminated the Ethiopian treasurer who was wrestling with a passage from Isaiah.  The official —acquainted with court procedures— was struck by the harsh judgment of the innocent servant.  The faultless Judge who was tried and executed by faulty judges under the cloud of injustice mystified the Ethiopian nobleman.  Immediately convinced, he believed and sought baptism.


One night the Servant of God was praying in the Garden.  Suddenly a band of soldiers and officers led by the betraying disciple stormed him with lanterns, torches and weapons.  They seized and bound him after which they took him to the religious hierarchy.  Anna the high priest interrogated him harshly.  The Benefactor was tried by those he had come to make beneficiaries.  Their verdict was unmistakable.  They had to have the death sentence pronounced by the timid, indecisive, compromising governor the next morning. God’s Servant was tossed between Pilate and contemptuous King Herod, followed by a jeering crowd. In an atmosphere of derision, he was led to Golgotha, assisted with the weight of the cross by Simon of Cyrene.  After a mock trial during which he was slapped, flagellated and denigrated not opening his mouth like a dumb sheep, the Judge of individuals and nations was sentenced to the harshest form of death.


III.  The Righteous Servant was Tortured on Behalf of Sinners (5)


The sinless-deathless Christ was identified with our race in his Incarnation.  He was born to suffer and die for our redemption.  John’s introduction to the crowds was, “Behold the Lamb of God”.  He assumed the equitable deserve for sin.  Job said, “Man born of a woman is full of trouble” (5:7; 14:1).  Man born of a woman is born to die (cf. 2 Samuel 14:14; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:27).  Only one person since Adam died for others.  It was the most protracted and agonizing death.  The spiritual distress surpassed the physical.  Sinful people’s death is the consequence of sin.  Sinless Christ’s death was consequence of our sin. His death was followed by His gracious descent into Hades to lead captivity captive.  His death immediately opened the door to Paradise, where he took the penitent criminal as well as the saints of the Old Testament who were longing to see the Savior’s face.  His torture became the herald of deliverance from all agony to those who believed in His substitutionary sacrifice, surrendering their destiny to Him.


IV. The Righteous Servant will usher Sinners to Eternal Glory (11)


He fulfilled perfect service to Adam’s helpless race.  He forgave all those who disliked and hated Him.  He alone gave us the example of how to forgive our enemies, and love them.  He alone offered the example of serving our fellow-humans, seeking their welfare.  He alone unfolded the ‘why’ of suffering which buffets our race to this day.  He alone established His Church from the blood-bought multitude, once shackled by sin’s power.  He alone made Paradise a certainty.  He alone gave mankind unfading hope.  He alone provided to all generations the tangible message of true brotherhood.  He alone validated life’s purpose and goal.  He alone gave the reality of resurrection.  He alone calmed troubled hearts with utmost serenity.  He alone in His absence is the Giver of the mighty Comforter.  He alone taught us to expect the brightest future where evil will exist no more.  He alone will wipe away all tears from our eyes, converting them to joy.  All these and a host of other blessings because the Righteous Servant came from heaven to serve us.  Have you received the benefit of His unparalleled service?  If so, how do you serve Him? 


Thomas Cosmades – 2010