As we continue with the story of the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip, our attention is now drawn to their conversation; more specifically, what Philip talked about. Being presented with the question from the eunuch, “I ask you, of who does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” (Acts 8:34), he begins to “preach Jesus to him.” (Acts 8:35) When we think about Jesus, seeking to understand who He is, is at the core of the hope we are to share with others. So let us reflect for a moment, starting right where the eunuch found himself as he journeyed home from a time of worship in Jerusalem.
He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life was taken from the earth.
These two verses found in Isaiah 53 are only a small portion of what the prophet says about the Christ. The chapter itself is filled with agonizing truths. So much to say about the One who has come in the person named Jesus: but time doesn’t permit us to examine them all. Our attention will focus on Isaiah 53:4-8.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
John the Baptist, when he first saw Jesus, said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Jesus would provide what was needed to take those sins away, but it would be a painful journey for Him and others. Consider for a moment Herod, after being deceived by the wise men concerning the whereabouts of the baby Jesus, “put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts” that were two years old and younger. (Matthew 2:16) He was “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3) before his ministry even started. The griefs and sorrows that should be ours, He carried for us. He was wounded and bruised willingly so He could carry our sins to the cross. (Isaiah 53:5; 1st Peter 2:24) All of sinful man’s iniquities “the Lord has laid on Him.” (Isaiah 53:6) Yet, the Righteous One, the one who could call on the Father for legions of angels (Matthew 26:53), He who “knew no sin” was made “to be sin for us.” (2nd Corinthians 5:21) Beaten, shamed and ridiculed, Jesus kept silent. (Matthew 26:63)
As the trial of Jesus drew to an end, Pilate asked Jesus a question, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Few words He has shared during this trial, but now it was time to say something. What he says echoes throughout history to this day, “It is as you say.” (Matthew 27:11) He is not just the King of the Jews! He is the Messiah, the Anointed One. He is Lord of Lord and King of Kings! (Revelation 19:16) He is the only answer for our sin problem.