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The Mt. Everest Passage


For nearly 60 years, Haddon Robinson taught thousands of seminary students how to preach. His textbook on homiletics sold more than 300,000 copies in many languages. Recently, he went to be with the Lord, but his legacy on evangelical homiletics continues. Before he passed, Robinson chose to have Isaiah 53 read at his memorial service. He called it “The Mt. Everest Passage of the Bible.”

In his sermon on today’s passage, Robinson notes that we see the “other- side” of God. Throughout the Old Testament, God expresses His power, might, strength, and dominance. In this passage, however, we see the other side of God, portrayed here as meek, humble, and a silent sheep being led to the slaughter. This is what Robinson means by the “other-side” of God. The ruler and commander of the universe is portrayed as a suffering servant.

At first glance, you were probably able to pick out several verses that are fulfilled by the life and death of Jesus. However, the entire chapter summarizes Jesus’ life, death, and reaction caused by His suffering: From the initial prophecy in verse 2 of growing up as a tender root in the midst of a hostile environment (Roman rule and reign) to the final verse describing the suffering servant as bearing the sin of many and making intercession for the transgressors (v. 12). Even details of His suffering and burial are predicted here (vv. 8–9). Jesus Christ fulfills all the prophesies in our passage.

The prophet Isaiah wrote these words some 700 years before the birth of Jesus! Here we read about Jesus, whose life was “an offering for sin” (v. 1). Isaiah gives us a behind-the- scenes look at what the God of the Universe would endure through His life and death. He enables us to see the “other-side” of God.

>> Reread today’s passage and meditate on the sacrifice Christ made on your behalf. Ask God to allow the Spirit to speak to you through the Word.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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