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The Suffering Servant
Isaiah was a prophet. He was God's spokesman to the people. Isaiah prophesied in Jerusalem during the reign of several kings of Judah-Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh. Isaiah told the people that someday God would send the Messiah to save them from their sins, change their hearts and establish his kingdom. He told them how the coming Messiah would be born, suffer and die. This section of the prophecy is about the Messiah's suffering and death.
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.
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.
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.
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]a 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.
JUST THE FACTS
1. How did Isaiah describe the Messiah? (v. 2)
2. How would the Messiah suffer in place of his people? (vv. 4-5)
3. What animal did Isaiah compare people to? (v. 6)
1. Based on what Isaiah said about the Messiah, what would the Messiah be like?
2. What would the Messiah's reward be?
WHY THIS MATTERS
God has always had a plan to deliver people from sin. He began this plan after Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20). As the years unfolded, God gave his people glimpses of hope about Jesus' coming.
POINTS OF INTEREST
53:1 Isaiah lived in Jerusalem and was most likely a scribe in the king's palace. He was married and had two sons, Shear-Jashub (Isaiah 7:3) and Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Isaiah 8:3). He lived at the same time as the prophets Amos, Hosea and Micah.
Excerpted from The Easter Story from the Family Reading Bible by Jeannette Taylor Doris Rikkers Copyright © 2010 by Jeannette Taylor and Doris Rikkers. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted March 28, 2013