-This passage on the Suffering Servant is the clearest Old Testament indicator in the foretelling of Christ Jesus’ suffering for the sins of the world, the substitutionary atonement that we read of in the New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Let’s break down this passage. First, the prophet states that this will be a situation that is difficult to believe for the populace. The message must be received by faith because it goes against the grain of a typical savior of the world. The arm of the LORD (go back to Isaiah 52:10) will be revealed to those who are seeking true righteousness from the heart. They will be the ones who have eyes to see the remarkable plan and action of the saving God (Isaiah 53:1). He (Jesus, the Messiah) will grow up (fleshly incarnation) before Him (the Heavenly Father) like a tender shoot, like a root out of parched ground (i.e.- the state of Israel at the time of Messiah where the prophetic word had dried up and Gentile authority ruled because of their turning away from the God of their fathers). This Messiah will have no stately form or worldly majesty (humble birth and beginnings) that would be attractive to the world. He would be “despised and forsaken of men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He would not be esteemed and virtually discounted (Isaiah 53:2-3). “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced (wounded) through (think of the nails and the crown of thorns) for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15-20, John 19:1-2, 1 Peter 2:24-25).” “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused (by His Divine will) the iniquity of us all to fall on (upon) Him (Isaiah 53:6).” Isaiah 53:7 states that the Messiah would not open His mouth to defend His position during His oppression and affliction in being led away as a lamb to the slaughter, which Jesus faithfully completed (Matthew 26:62-63; 27:14, Mark 14:61; 15:3-5, Luke 23:8-11, John 19:9-11). He, the King of the universe, was taken away by oppression and judged by His own creation. This was the price that Jesus paid for our redemption. Isaiah also prophetically considers that none of the religious establishment would have even considered that the Christ would be “cut off out of the land of the living (in other words suffer physical death).” This reason for this was that He was covering the transgression of the people, to whom the just stroke of indignation was due (Isaiah 53:8). He was killed inconspicuously along with thieves and murders, yet Isaiah rightly predicts He would be buried in a rich man’s grave in His death “because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His Mouth (Matthew 27:16, 38, 57-61, Mark 15:7, 27, 43-47, Luke 23:19, 32, John 19:38-42, 1 Peter 2:21-23).”
-God was actually pleased to crush Him (His Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ) by putting Him to grief as a guilt offering, the One for the many, the Just for the unjust (Romans 5:19, 1 Peter 3:18). The Messiah would be God’s accepted sacrifice for the sins of mankind. This is His wonderful and miraculous plan for salvation! But, that’s not all. He will see offspring, a righteous harvest of believers who will inherit eternal life. His days will be prolonged. This is resurrection language by the prophet and foretells Christ’s coming back to everlasting life in the flesh. He will justify the many as a Suffering Servant. Out of anguish, satisfaction and completion of the mission. He is the One with the knowledge of the Divine and totally righteous who can bear the iniquities and be allotted a portion with the great as the Intercessor (Isaiah 53:10-12).
-*Application* This is the most incredible chapter in all of the Old Testament to me. It is remarkable to think of the price that Christ paid for our atonement and justification. It clearly shows the design and purpose of God to redeem the lost and dying. Have you accepted the fact that His arm is reaching down to you with humility and love to rescue? We have all gone our own way and need His salvation. Thankfully He has wondrously provided His Son as our personal Lord and Savior. Trust in Him, the Great Intercessor of our soul.
Verse to Memorize: Isaiah 53:6