The Compelling Message of Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53 is one of those profound passages in the Bible which speak clearly to our need for God’s grace and His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ . This summer I focused on this passage with our children, because I wanted them to understand it’s message.   Here’s what we see in Isaiah 53, including the verses leading up to it: 

1)      It paints a picture of Jesus Christ, the person:

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

2)      It begins with Christ exalted:

He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.

3)      …and reminds us that before His exaltation, He suffered: 

His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.

4)      It brings into clarity the intensity of His sufferings: 

He was oppressed and afflicted… he was cut off from the land of the living.         

5)       It explains the reason for His suffering: 

But he was pierced for OUR transgressions, he was crushed for OUR iniquities.

6)      It points out why we need his intercession on our behalf: 

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.   

7)      It calls attention to the reality and depths of my sin, for an innocent man suffered for it:

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter…and numbered with the transgressors.

8)      It teaches me that God’s grace is not cheap, it cost Him dearly:

And by his wounds we are healed.

9)      I find hope and peace in the Gospel:

The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.

10)   It explains God’s purposes in His suffering:  

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 [“justify” means to declare not guilty].

11)   It highlights the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

He will see the light of life and be satisfied.

12)   It reminds us of God’s great love for us:

Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him [Christ] and cause him to suffer [for us].

Isaiah 53 shows the unity of the Bible, which was written over a period of 1500 years by over 40 authors, with the same theme from beginning to end.   As the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures prepare the reader for the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53 is a laser beam which brings clarity to His life and ministry…almost 800 years before His birth.   

I encourage you to know and understand this extraordinary passage.  If you know the Lord, it will encourage you to see how He has planned and executed our salvation.  If you are critical or curious of the Christian message, consider how clearly this message is announced in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

-  Pastor Colin