Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong…
I. To the sinner, troubled and alarmed on account of guilt, there will be much comfort in the thought that CHRIST IS ENROLLED AMONG SINNERS. "He was numbered with the transgressors."
1. In what sense are we to understand this?
(1) He was numbered with them, in the census of the Roman empire.
(2) Years rolled on, and that child who had been early numbered with transgressors, and had received the seal of transgression in the circumcision, which represents the putting away of the flesh — that child, having come to manhood, goes forth into the world and is numbered with transgressors in the scroll of fame. Ask public rumour "What is the character of Jesus of Nazareth?" and it cannot find a word in its vocabulary foul enough for Him. "This" they sometimes said; and our translators have inserted the word "fellow" because in the original there is an ellipsis, the evangelists, I suppose, hardly liking to write the word which had been cast upon Christ Jesus. They called the Master of the house, Beelzebub!
(3) But to make the matter still more forcible, "He was numbered with transgressors in the courts of law." The ecclesiastical court of Judaism, the Sanhedrim, said of Him, "Thou blasphemest;" and they smote Him on the cheek. Written down among the offenders against the dignity of God and against the security of the Jewish Church, you find the name of Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified. The courts civil also asserted the same.
(4) Then, the whole Jewish people numbered Him with transgressors; nay, they reprobated Him as a more abominable transgressor than a thief and a murderer who had excited sedition.
(5) His name is written in the calendar of crime by the whole universe; for He is despised and rejected of men; of all men is He accounted to be the offscouring of all things, and is put to grief.
2. Why was Christ numbered with transgressors?
(1) Because He could the better become their advocate. I believe, in legal phraseology, in civil cases, the advocate considers himself to be part and partner with the person, for whom he pleads. You hear the counsellor continually using the word "we;" he is considered by the judge to represent the person for whom he is an advocate.
(2) That He might plead with them. Suppose a number of prisoners confined in one of our old jails, and there is a person desirous to do them good, imagine that he cannot be admitted unless his name is put down in the calendar. Well, out of his abundant love to these prisoners he consents to it, and when he enters to talk with them, they perhaps think that he will come in with cold dignity; but he says, "Now, let me say to you first of all that I am one of yourselves." "Well," they say, "but have you done aught that is wrong?" "I will not answer you that," saith he; "but if you will just refer to the calender you will find my name there; I am written down there among you as a criminal." Oh, how they open their hearts now!
(3) That sinners may feel their hearts drawn to Him.
(4) That we might be written in the red roll of His saints.
II. We are taught in the next sentence, that Christ "BARE THE SINS OF MANY."
1. Here it is as clear as noon-day that Christ dealt with sinners.
2. As He did bear their sins, other texts tell us that He did bear them away.
3. There is now no sin abiding upon those for whom Jesus died.
III. Our third sentence tells us that JESUS INTERCEDES FOR SINNERS. "And made intercession for the transgressors."
1. He pleads for their forgiveness.
2. He next prays that those for whom He intercedes may be saved, and may have a new life given them.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
WEB: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, 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 made intercession for the transgressors.