Who is Jesus? A Look at Isaiah 53 (Part 2)
The Old Testament is full of prophecies about the coming of a King who will save the world. With Easter around the corner, I want to take a look at what Isaiah Chapter 53 says about this coming Savior. I love this chapter of the Bible. In fact, every time I read it I am brought to tears. Let's take a look...
Isaiah was an Old Testament Hebrew prophet who lived 700 years before the birth of Christ. In his book, Isaiah wrote about many things including proclaiming the holiness of God, revealing the fall of Satan, and the uncovering of the coming Messiah.
Isaiah chapter 53 only has 12 verses and each verse gives us a look at who Jesus, the coming Messiah is. In Part One we reviewed Verses 1-6. (Click here to read Part One).
In this post we will look at verses 7-12 after a short review of verses 1-6.
In Isaiah chapter 53 verses 1-6 we saw that the prophet Isaiah was given a word about the coming Messiah and details that would lead us to believe that this Messiah is Jesus Christ. There are several prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to the first coming of Jesus, and Isaiah gives us one of these prophecies.
Isaiah starts by asking who in fact, believes the reports of the prophets in which the salvation of the Lord was revealed.
Isaiah goes on in the subsequent verses to describe in detail what the Messiah would look like, how the people would perceive Him and exactly what He would endure, simply because of who He was.
Isaiah Chapter 53, Verses 1-6:
1Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Now that we have reviewed verses 1 through 6, let's continue with verses 7 through 12.
Isaiah goes on to describe the reaction that Jesus had to the accusations against Him in verse 7:
"He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth." (V7)
The word "oppressed" here means "exploited" - in essence, Jesus was held responsible for our sins. God called for for the payment of our sin debt and Jesus voluntarily paid this debt. He was afflicted both in body and mind, and yet, He did not speak, He did not complain, He did not speak out against those who were condemning Him. We see here that Jesus was submitting to God's will for His life.
In fact, Jesus calls out to His Father God in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Even as Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked the Lord to forgive the people who put Him there.
In verse 8, Isaiah asks a very important question:
"He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken." (V8)
Before we get to the question, let's look at the first line of verse eight: "He was taken from prison and from judgement." This line reveals that Jesus was judged under the law. The religious leaders of the time followed the law completely, actually to a fault. In fact, they added so much more to the law that they made it impossible to follow.
Luke 5:21 tells us exactly what "crime" they were accusing Jesus of committing: "And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
In short, the Jews could not believe that Jesus was claiming to be God. They did not accept Him as their Messiah and therefore believed that He was blaspheming God.
With that information given, Isaiah asks, "And who will declare His generation?"
This is really a question for all of us, even today. Who is going to proclaim Jesus? Who is going to teach others about Him? Who is going to do everything they can to spread the gospel of salvation? Jesus DIED FOR US! Who will tell others about the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf?
Jesus was dragged to His death, a violent death, simply because of who He was. The sins of the entire world were placed upon His shoulders. Imagine what that burden must have felt like. There is no one who can understand the pain that Jesus endured - for people who were lost.
Many of us have a hard time dealing with simple things that happen in life - imagine having the weight of every single burden in the world on your shoulders. Imagine if you can, being convicted of a crime that you did not commit....and being PUT TO DEATH for it - a death so horrific that the body can barely endure it.
(Click here to read my post about The Description of the Crucifixion of Jesus)
In Chapter 53, verse 9 we read:
"And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth." (V9)
Because Jesus was deemed a criminal, He was placed on the cross between two wicked men; and because He was a "criminal", He was to be buried dishonorably as the wicked were buried.
However, Jesus was buried in a tomb that was intended for the corpse of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, who had requested to have the body of Jesus so that he could place Him in his own tomb. This fact just adds to the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the coming Messiah.
Old Testament Jewish law was clear about crucifixion. In Deuteronomy 21:22-23 it says:
“If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God."
Verse 10 tells us that Jesus would be exalted to the highest level of honor.
"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand." (V10)
Jesus voluntarily offered Himself to the sorrows that revealed the evils of sin. God did not spare Jesus from suffering, but made Him the sacrifice for all of us. His sacrifice is what reconciles us back to the Lord, our Father.
When we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are immediately given eternal life. Our redemption was placed in the hands of Jesus Christ - this was His purpose and it was successful.
Verses 11 and 12 summarize the death of Jesus and what that means for those who accept His death for payment of their sins.
"He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities." (V11)
"Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors." (V12)
Jesus knew that in the end He would see the result of His sufferings and count it all good. He knew that His death would lead to the salvation of many souls. His death is our justification. His death is our redemption. On the cross, Jesus was victorious and death was defeated! Hallelujah!
Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is no name above His name. He is love, He is peace, He is strength, He is God.
Acknowledge Jesus today. Thank Him for giving up His life for you. Thank Him for always being there. For loving you so much that He died for you.
He has been with us since the beginning, He will be with us until the end. He was prophesied hundreds of years before His birth - He is the promised Messiah. And He will come back again.
This Easter, and everyday, I pray that you will reflect on what your Savior has done for you. If you do not know Him, you are missing out on the best relationship you will ever have.
If you want to know Him, but do not click to read my post Eternity is a Breath Away: Where Will You Spend It?
"The Lord has risen indeed!" (Luke 24:34)