Introduction: Ever feel helpless? Ever feel hopeless? Ever wish
someone would help you? Do you try to get help when you feel like
that? Who do you call? In our lesson today we learn that we are
helpless and hopeless without God. Not only is God willing to help
us, but the extent to which He has already helped us is, frankly,
unthinkable. Let’s take a journey into God’s incredible love for
hopeless humans!

  1. The Need for Ransom

    1. Read Isaiah 50:1. The Lord is speaking to someone. Based
      on the questions the Lord is asking, what is this person’s
      situation? (Not only has this person become “motherless,”
      but this person has been sold into slavery.)

      1. What caused this person to be a slave and motherless?
        (His sins.)

    2. Read Isaiah 50:2. How many people have helped this person?
      (None. No one was there.)

      1. Why has no one helped? (This person had not asked God
        for help. God says, “Here you are, all alone in
        slavery without even your mother. Why didn’t you
        answer your phone? Why didn’t you call? Did you think
        I was unable to help?”)

      2. Do you have times when you feel all alone and no one
        is there to help?

        1. What is God’s answer to this situation? (“Call
          Me,” God says, “I can help.” Actually, God says
          something even better, “I called you. Why didn’t
          you answer?”)

  2. Our Ransom

    1. Read Isaiah 50:4-5. What is an “instructed tongue?” (One
      educated by God. This person knows what to say to help the

      1. Would you like an instructed tongue?

      2. What kind of attitude does the person with the
        instructed tongue have? (A teachable attitude. Recall
        last week we discussed ( Isaiah 43:8) people with ears
        who could not hear, eyes which could not see? This
        person has open ears to God’s instruction. This
        person is not rebellious. This person is willing to
        step up to God’s will.)

    2. Read Isaiah 50:6. What kind of reward is this for having
      the right attitude?

      1. You know the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished?”
        Well, here we have the proof, right?

    3. Seriously, step back a minute and retrace the “where we
      have been” with these texts. We started out with a person
      who is hopelessly in slavery because of sin. We have God
      saying you are all alone, you need help – why didn’t you
      answer the phone? We then find this unnamed person has a
      great attitude, but is getting beat up. What are these
      texts all about? (This is a prophecy about Jesus. We are
      the hopeless, helpless, motherless slaves to sin. God says
      He can (v.2) rescue and ransom us. Jesus, who has the
      “right attitude” comes and suffers on our behalf.)

    4. Read Isaiah 50:7. Who do you think is speaking here? (This
      is Jesus speaking.)

      1. What attitude does this text say Jesus had when He
        was being tortured for our sins? (He relied on His
        Father. He relied on God for His self-worth. He was
        determined to fulfill his work (set His face like

    5. Read Isaiah 52:13-14. We have skipped many verses to
      continue our theme. What part of Jesus’ life do you think
      about when you read the phrase, “raised and lifted up?”
      (Jesus’ crucifixion.)

      1. Notice verse 13 starts out “My servant will act
        wisely.” Was Jesus “acting wisely” in His
        crucifixion? (Jesus’ arrest, torture and crucifixion
        was a choice. He could have turned away. But, praise
        Him, He did not.)

      2. What does verse 14 say about the extent of the
        beating that Jesus’ took on our behalf? (His face was
        so beaten that you could not recognize Him. My
        readers will recall that a few weeks ago I was in a
        debate with another Bible teacher over whether Mel
        Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ was too violent.
        The other teacher argued that the Bible minimized the
        violent aspect of the crucifixion and that the movie
        was overdone. I think this text settles that
        argument: “His form was marred beyond human
        likeness.” You had a hard time telling it was a human

    6. Read Isaiah 52:15. How does Jesus’ crucifixion “sprinkle
      many nations?” (Leviticus 3 and 4 repeatedly mention that
      in the sanctuary services blood must be sprinkled on the
      altar for the various ceremonies dealing with the
      forgiveness of sins. Isaiah is creating a word-picture
      that Jesus’ crucifixion is the fulfillment of the
      “sprinkling” done in the temple service for the removal of
      sin from the sinner.)

  3. The Report

    1. Read Isaiah 53:1. Who is the messenger? (Those who are
      sharing God’s message.)

      1. What does it mean to reveal the arm of the Lord? (A
        reference to the arm of God is a reference to His
        power. Verse 1 is asking, “Who has heard and accepted
        this report about the power of God?”)

    2. Read Isaiah 53:2. Who is being described here? (Jesus.)

      1. Look at all of the descriptions of Jesus in verse 2.
        If you had to summarize them, or make a conclusion
        based on them, how would you describe Jesus?

        1. What does a “tender shoot out of dry ground”
          suggest about Jesus? (He was fragile in a
          hostile environment.)

        2. Would you naturally be attracted to Jesus if He
          were in this room in human form? (No. He was not
          someone who you would gravitate to because of
          His appearance.)

    3. Read Isaiah 53:3. What kind of life did Jesus lead? Would
      you trade yours for His?

    4. You need to explain something to me. We decided that verse
      1 meant that the power of God was being revealed. In
      verses 2 and 3 the revelation is about a tender fellow who
      is not good looking and is not having a “good day.” How is
      this a revelation of God’s power? (This is a critically
      important point: God’s power is not about what we value in
      humans. It is not about beauty, intelligence or wealth. It
      is not about pleasant surroundings. Jesus’ power arises
      from God alone. God’s message is that He works through
      human weakness. Jesus emptied Himself of earthly
      advantages so that we could see that the power in His life
      was the naked power of God.)

    5. Read Isaiah 53:4-5. Whose infirmities and sorrows did
      Jesus take? (Ours.)

      1. Which infirmities and sorrows are we talking about?
        (Those described in verses 2 and 3. This gives us
        another view of the reasons why Jesus was poor, not
        handsome, not born of influence and was beset by
        sorrows – He wanted to show us that He went through
        the same kind of things we go through. He “carried”
        our problems in life.)

      2. Verse 4 says we blamed God for what happened to
        Jesus. Who does it suggest we should blame? (It is
        our fault Jesus suffered, not God’s fault.)

      3. What do all of these bad things that happened to
        Jesus on our behalf bring us? (Peace and healing.)

        1. What kind of peace? (At least peace in the face
          of trouble.)

        2. What kind of healing? (At least healing from

    6. Read Isaiah 53:6. Is there anyone who does not need Jesus?
      Anyone who can (and has) handled sin on their own? (All of
      us have gone astray. Jesus carried the sins of all of

    7. Read Isaiah 53:10-12. What was the reason for Jesus to go
      through all of this? To suffer all of this? (He paid the
      penalty for our sins. He bore our sins. He justified us
      and He intercedes on our behalf.

      1. Why does verse 12 say that Jesus bore the sin of
        “many” and not “all?” (Because it is our choice to
        accept what Jesus has done on our behalf.)

    8. Friend, the ultimate answer to all of our problems in life
      is Jesus. Jesus agreed to suffer in our place. He agreed
      to pay the penalty for sin so that we could live forever
      with Him. How about answering God’s phone call to you?
      How about repenting and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for you

  4. Next week: Desire of Nations