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Isaiah 53

This chapter in Isaiah has been called the “gospel of Isaiah.”

(Isa 53:1) Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

That this is a prophesy about Jesus is clear from John 12.37

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

The arm of The Lord” being the miracles of healing as in Acts where the disciples prayed “make bare your arm so signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus”. Acts 4.30

(Isa 53:2) 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.

Jesus early life was in obscurity unnoticed by the world and even though he was the Son of God there was nothing in his appearance to show it. He was like those around him.

(Isa 53:3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Held in contempt by the Jewish leaders, the world did not recognise him.

John 1.10 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

(Isa 53:4) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

Jesus willingly took upon himself our sicknesses, he took the cup of sorrows. Then this amazing statement the sinless one, the beloved son was smitten (struck) as if by God himself.

Callous brutal men put him to death with the agreement of the political and Religious authorities but it was as if his Father in heaven wielded the rod.

(Isa 53:5) But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Written centuries before the time the way Christ died is set out here. “He was pierced,” the nails, the thorns, the spear. Our punishment put on him. Our sins and our sicknesses.

(Isa 53:6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

All stand in need of forgiveness we are all rebels.

(Isa 53:7) 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 her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Before Pilate Jesus offered no defence.

Mat 27:13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single chargeto the great amazement of the governor.

(1Pe 2:23) When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

(Isa 53:8) By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.

(Isa 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.

Crucified between two bandits yet buried in a rich man’s grave.

(Isa 53:10) Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

His seed? No natural descendants but a great host of redeemed men and women.

(Isa 53:11) After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

(Isa 53:12) 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.

He is now King of kings and Lord of lords.

– John Edwards

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