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Isaiah 53


May 29, 2021

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

"Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him and made Him sick. When You make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days..."

Isaiah 53

“Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him and made Him sick. When You make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will succeed by His hand. He will see it out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him the many as a portion, and He will receive the mighty as spoil, because He submitted Himself to death, and was counted among the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:10-12

Certain Bible passages are of great importance concerning understanding Jesus. Perhaps, no other passage from the Tanakh (Old Testament) is as important as Isaiah 53. Jesus Himself quoted Isaiah 53:12 and applied it to Himself.

“It is written: ‘And He was counted among the transgressors.’ And I tell you that this must be fulfilled in Me.” Luke 22:37

On other occasions, when Jesus declared that He “must suffer many things” and that He had not “come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 8:31; 10:45), He was also alluding to Isaiah 53.

Of great significance is that the major contributors to the New Testament refer to at least eight different verses from Isaiah 53. Verse 1 is quoted by John and applied to Jesus (John 12:38); Verse 4 is cited by Matthew about how Jesus healed (Matthew 8:17); and verses 5, 6, 9, and 11 are picked up by Peter (1 Peter 2:22-25).

Others have suggested that the various statements in the New Testament, to the effect that Jesus should be “rejected” and “taken away,” are taken from Isaiah 53. His being “buried” like a criminal without any preparatory anointing, the parable of the stronger man who “divides up the spoils,” His silence before the judges, His intercession for the transgressors, and His laying down His life for others – all these are rooted in Isaiah 53.

Every verse of today’s chapter, except verse 2, is directly applied to Jesus in the New Testament, some verses several times. There is good evidence that Jesus’ whole public ministry: His immersion, healing, teaching, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension - are all seen as a fulfillment of the pattern foretold in Isaiah 53.

Today, if I were to share the gospel with a Jewish non-believer, I would begin with Isaiah 53 (then move to Micah 5:2, Psalms 22 & 69) before entering the New Testament.

I chose today’s passage because many of us are facing struggles during this difficult season. God is not ignorant of our suffering, nor is He a sadist, as some have put forth. He does not take pleasure in our pain. Rather, He is pleased when we are faithful to honor and worship Him despite the pain. Seasons come and go. This one, too, shall pass. True shalom is not the absence of conflict; it is peace from and with God in the midst of it.

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