Isaiah 53:1-12 … THE HUMILIATION AND SUFFERING OF GOD’S SERVANT FOR SINNERS.
Q.1. Do people recognize the Saviour naturally? How was He treated by sinners generally? Why was the Messiah wounded? What made such treatment necessary? – (Isa.53:1-6) =
Q.2. How did the Servant of the Lord respond to this suffering for us? What would be unique about His death and burial? Did He deserve to die for His own sins? – (Isa.53:7-9) =
Q.3. What is the meaning of the Servant’s sacrifice? Who was responsible for His offering? How do we know this Servant was Jesus? Would His death be the end? – (Isa.53:10-12 c.f. Mk.15:28; Lk.22:37) =
Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men,
a man of sorrows[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
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 pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds 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.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;[g]
when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j]
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[k]
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Q.1. Do people recognize the Saviour naturally? How was He treated by sinners generally? Why was the Messiah wounded? What made such treatment necessary? – (Isa.53:1-6) = Sinners do not naturally accept the gospel message any more than they accept the seriousness of sin. Believing the Good News and our new life in Christ comes by revelation of God – Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Isa.53:1 c.f. Jn.3:3-8). In His incarnation, God’s Son – emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and was made in the likeness of men (Phil.2:7). Isaiah revealed that there was nothing out of the ordinary about Him for – … He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him (Isa.53:2). That explains how it was that the Jews made such a monumental mistake – He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him (Isa.53:3 c.f. 1 Cor.2:8). Hundreds of years before Jesus came, Isaiah revealed that the Messiah would be a suffering Saviour, Sin-bearer, and Substitute for sinners – 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through 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 (Isa.53:4-5). God then showed His prophet why such a sacrifice was needed – All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (Isa.53:6). The reason the gospel is hard to accept, is that it is hard for fallen sinners to be honest about their sin, and hard to understand that God could be so gracious and wonderful.
Q.2. How did the Servant of the Lord respond to this suffering for us? What would be unique about His death and burial? Did He deserve to die for His own sins? – (Isa.53:7-9) = Like a sheep being shorn, Jesus meekly endured the ignominy of the cross – He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth … (Isa.53:7). In a remarkable prophecy about the generation of this Suffering Servant, God predicts that most of His own would reject Him – By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? (Isa.53:8 c.f. Jn.1:11-12). It also described what Jesus could not have orchestrated about His death and burial – His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death … (Isa.53:9 c.f. Mt.28:57-60; Lk.23:50-53; Jn.19:38-41). By inspiration of God, Isaiah revealed that the Suffering Servant was blameless of any offences – … Yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth (Isa.53:9). Moreover, His sinlessness was recognised by the owner of the burial tomb (c.f. Mt.28:57-60; Jn.19:38).
Q.3. What is the meaning of the Servant’s sacrifice? Who was responsible for His offering? How do we know this Servant was Jesus? Would His death be the end? – (Isa.53:10-12 c.f. Mk.15:28; Lk.22:37) = The Suffering Servant’s sacrifice is declared to be a ‘guilt offering’ (Isa.53:10 c.f. Heb.9:14). Though His death was inflicted by sinful people, it was ultimately God’s doing – Yet we esteemed Him smitten of God and afflicted … the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief … as a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied (Isa.53:4, 10-11). It was revealed that His substitutionary death would bring justification to many – the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him … By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify many, as He will bear their iniquities … He Himself bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors (Isa.53:6, 11-12). This prophecy was clearly fulfilled by Jesus in His death upon the cross. He was – pierced through for our transgressions (Isa.53:5 c.f. 1 Pet.2:24-25). Speaking of Jesus, the Gospel writers claim that when Jesus died between two criminals at Calvary, that He fulfilled this prophecy – He was numbered with the transgressors (Isa.53:12 c.f. Mk.15:27-28; Lk.22:37). Jesus knew this would happen before Gethsemane, and it came to pass outside of His control. But Isaiah foretold that this Servant’s substitutionary atonement for sinners would not be the end – 10 … He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand … 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong … (Isa.53:10 & 12).
(Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
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