Isaiah 53-54

is53.jpgGreetings!  These are some of the most important passages in the Bible.  They reveal much about Jesus, the Messiah, and how He would come.  Yet they defied what the Jews had been expecting.  Who would have thought God would come as a humble servant?  It seems to be the opposite of what one would expect. 

53     Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

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.

Our culture worships beauty and appearance, yet the Messiah was so humble that He didn’t bring those qualities.

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.

4 Surely he took up our infirmities

and carried our sorrows,

yet we considered him stricken by God,

smitten by him, and afflicted.

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.

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.

As Christians in the 21st century it is easy to think we would have treated Jesus differently, but the truth is that we would have rejected him like all the rest.  It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we believe him now.

He took our punishment, as painful as it was, so we could stand before God the Father.  What an endlessly incredible and wonderful thing to meditate on!

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.

Jesus was silent before his accusers, including Pontius Pilate, in that He didn’t try to defend himself.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

We are justified not by what we do but by what Jesus did for us, if only we put our trust in him.

The Future Glory of Zion

54     “Sing, O barren woman,

you who never bore a child;

burst into song, shout for joy,

you who were never in labor;

because more are the children of the desolate woman

than of her who has a husband,”

says the Lord.

2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,

stretch your tent curtains wide,

do not hold back;

lengthen your cords,

strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

your descendants will dispossess nations

and settle in their desolate cities.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.

Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth

and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

5 For your Maker is your husband—

the Lord Almighty is his name—

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;

he is called the God of all the earth.

6 The Lord will call you back

as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—

a wife who married young,

only to be rejected,” says your God.

7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with deep compassion I will bring you back.

8 In a surge of anger

I hid my face from you for a moment,

but with everlasting kindness

I will have compassion on you,”

says the Lord your Redeemer.

9 “To me this is like the days of Noah,

when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again

cover the earth.

So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,

never to rebuke you again.

10 Though the mountains be shaken

and the hills be removed,

yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken

nor my covenant of peace be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

11 “O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,

I will build you with stones of turquoise,

your foundations with sapphires.

12 I will make your battlements of rubies,

your gates of sparkling jewels,

and all your walls of precious stones.

13 All your sons will be taught by the Lord,

and great will be your children’s peace.

14 In righteousness you will be established:

Tyranny will be far from you;

you will have nothing to fear.

Terror will be far removed;

it will not come near you.

15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing;

whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith

who fans the coals into flame

and forges a weapon fit for its work.

And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc;

17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,

and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

and this is their vindication from me,”

declares the Lord.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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