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Wicked is to Violence as Rich is to Deceit

Posted by undergroundchurch on April 9, 2009


Isaiah 53:9 – He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Strange how this verse categorizes the wicked and the dead. Using a familiar Hebrew poetic structure, it finishes up with the corresponding violence and deceit. Another way of saying it is, “Wicked is to violence as rich is to deceit”.

Another word for deceit is fraud.  Someone who pulls a poncy scheme. In Jesus day (and in some ways today as well), people got rich on the backs of others. They cheated, stole, betrayed and in the end, bribed their way to riches.  One particular practice was using false weight on a scale so that you could receive more than you paid for, a practice the God expressly forbid. The outlook on rich people was pretty bleak.

Jesus once said that it was more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. (Mat 19:24)

Riches have a way of changing people.  It’s not that the money has any real power, but the love of it is intoxicating (Ecc 5:10, 1 Tim 6:10). You have to be extremely careful around it or it will destroy you like the ring in Lord of the Rings.

We just had an auction here in Indianapolis for an estate of a person that won the lottery.  They lost it all and had hundreds of thousands of dollars of items sold off to pay the debts.  The millions they won were not enough to feed the beast. If you seek riches, you will never be satisfied.

I remember as a teen thinking that if I ever made $25,000 a year, I’d be set for life. Yeah, right.

So when Jesus is buried with the wicked and rich – they were probably one and the same.  

Two things in life are sure – we all die, and we can’t take anything with us when we die except people. 

That burial of Jesus with the wicked is similar to what happens to us when we are confess Jesus as Lord and are baptized into Christ.  We are buried with him in death and raise to new life.  Notice that none of the wicked buried with Jesus rose to life – they were all still dead.

When Jesus saves us, we cross from death to life – from wickedness to righteous. 

As the song says, “I once was lost, but now I’m free.”

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