Isaiah 53 part 2 –
Let’s take a deeper look at Chapter 53. The last submission was just a nutshell.
52:13-15 God the Father introduces the Servant. Behold, look, my Servant shall act wisely (Sakal - He will prosper, He will succeed. (Jeremiah 23:5) He will be raised up, lifted up, and highly exalted. Think of this in terms of Jesus. Why did He come? What was His purpose? Did He succeed? After His death on the cross what happened? He was raised up. After He was risen what happened? He ascended. After He ascended what happened? He is seated at the right hand of the Father. The Servant in a nutshell.
53:1“Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
Message - (shemuah – think shema – hear, O Israel, the Lord our God the Lord is one. It is a report that has been heard) They heard the report but did not believe. In fact, when this prophecy is fulfilled they not only heard, but saw what Jesus was doing and still didn’t believe. John 12:37-38, Romans 10:16 It seems incredulous that the arm of the Lord would come and no one would notice. What do you mean God was here and I missed it?
Vs. 2 “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Going back to Isaiah 11:1 When the Messiah comes the house of David would be reduced to what it was during Jesse’s day. Out of a lonely stump a tiny branch begins to grow. This verse shows us the Messiah’s humanity. He wasn’t a person of wealth, fame, beauty, or political power. Nothing about His outward features would attract people to Him.
Vs. 3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
Mankind - ish/eesh, more often than not this word indicates a champion or a man of power or rank. However, the Messiah was rejected by people of all ranks.
A man of Suffering – makob = pain. And familiar, yada = to know, with “choli” sickness. This is a man who understands both pain and sickness. He knows its origin. He knows how to deal with it.
“and as it were we hid our faces from Him.” Does this tell us something about Jesus visage? (Check out The Gospel According to St. Matthew, film, 1964, this was the first film I remember Jesus not being an attractive white male.)
He was despised (repeated) and we esteemed Him not. Has there ever been a name more despised than Jesus? We have turned it into a curse word. There are Hebrew word plays that shorten his name and use the first three letters (In Hebrew) to stand for may his name memory be blotted out. He is also referred to as “the hanged one” and so on.
Vs. 4 “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”
Israel is speaking here. The Messiah’s suffering is substitutionary. The term “bore” which is the same word for “took up” is “nasa.” It is a sacrificial term. Leviticus 16:22 refers to the scapegoat which “bore” the sins of Israel. This one also “bore” the sins of Israel.
The word punished or stricken is “naga” like “stricken with leprosy.” What this is saying is that, at the time of his suffering, Israel looks at him like he is being punished for his sins. Matthew 8:17 Jesus quotes it.
Vs. 5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
This is substitutionary suffering and death. “Pierced” is chalal. It means both “to bore” and “to pierce.” Crushed, “daka,” can also mean bruised, but it is beaten down. Why? He does it for “our” iniquities. It was for us. Substitutionary for us. The punishment that brought us peace with God was on Him. If he did these things for himself there would have been no spiritual benefit. He was already at peace with God. By His wounds we are healed or have been healed. This is often used by Christians relating to physical wounds or illnesses. I don’t dispute that. In fact, I encourage us to think that physical healing should be possible if spiritual healing is possible. However, the strictest context is in spiritual healing. This is related, again, to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and Jesus being the final scapegoat.
Vs 6 “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Israel turned their own way and walked away. God laid the iniquity of Israel on the servant. 1 Peter 2:21-25.
Vs. 7 “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
Matthew 26:62-63, Matthew 27:12-14
Vs. 8 "By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished."
Matthew refers often to “this generation.” He was cut off from the land of the living. We have judgment, a call for witnesses, and the language of the Mosaic law (cut off is common). The oppression that the Messiah suffers includes legal trials and judgment. He was tried under Herod and Pilate. However, for whom was he cut off, punished, and killed? He was judged and punished for “the transgression of my people.” All of the judgment and punishment should have fallen upon Israel, but Jesus was the substitute. Acts 8:33. It was Israel’s covenant responsibility to bless the nations. They didn’t do it. When Jesus is judged and punished and dies He not only substitutes Himself for Israel, but for all nations, all peoples. It is in keeping with the Abrahamic Covenant and in the New Covenant in His blood.
Vs 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.”
John 19:38-42 Jesus was crucified with criminals and was to have been buried in a “cut off” grave for blasphemers. However, He was buried in a rich man’s tomb. There was proof of His death, which he died as a completely innocent man.
Vs. 10 “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.”
This was God’s will and plan. It is irrelevant whether the Jews killed Him or the gentiles killed Him. Blood was the price for sin and God’s plan was reconciliation with us. God the Father bruised and killed Him. The will of the Lord will prosper and His the product of His sacrifice will be offspring in Covenant. “And cause Him to suffer” – the word for suffer is chalal again. It can mean to make weak, but it means weak with sickness. On the cross, Jesus took the sins of the entire world. Yahweh caused His servant to suffer carrying the sin sickness of the world. That is why His life/soul is “an offering for sin.” That word “sin” isn’t the typical word for sin. The normal word is hote. The offering for hote is for unintentional sin. This word is Asham. It is for trespasses, intentional sin. Asham covers all sins, unintentional and intentional. He will see his offspring. How can He see his offspring or prolong his days if he is dead? He rose again. His death is not a failure, but a victory in providing salvation for all who believe.
God will be satisfied by the death of the servant. His trespass offering will be accepted. The second half of the verse can go two ways. The servant knows who He is. He does what He does on purpose. He bears our iniquities willingly. But this is also the way we come to salvation. It is by believing in Him that we enter into the New Covenant in His blood. This again goes to Yom Kippur. Jesus fulfills all sacrifices on Yom Kippur. He sheds His blood for sin and carries their iniquities.
Vs. 12 “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Because the servant did what He did, poured out His soul unto death, was numbered with transgressors (Luke 22:27), and carried our sins away, He fulfilled everything we need for justification, salvation, and eternal life.