Isaiah 53


Today’s verses are one of the most beautiful sets of verses in all of Scripture. It’s probably fitting since we’re coming up on Easter.

I don’t want to clutter these verses up with commentary, so I’m going to keep it brief.

Isaiah 53:3-4

3 He was despised and rejected—
      a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
   We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
      He was despised, and we did not care.

 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
      it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
   And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
      a punishment for his own sins!

Yes, this is about Jesus. And, yes, it’s in the Old Testament, which was written centuries and centuries before Jesus was even born. Like Genesis 3:15 or Psalm 22, it’s talking about something that hadn’t happened. And sometimes I wonder if the people of the day realized what this was when they read it. That it was talking about the Person who was coming to save us all.

I don’t think I have anything to add that’s going to make this clearer. What more is there to say? Jesus suffered, and we figured He was simply being punished for something He had done, when in reality He was being tormented for everything wrong I’ve ever done.

If you have time (and even if you don’t) you should read all of Isaiah 53. Actually . . . here it is. You should read it:

1 Who has believed our message?
      To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?
 2 My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
      like a root in dry ground.
   There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
      nothing to attract us to him.
 3 He was despised and rejected—
      a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
   We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
      He was despised, and we did not care.

 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
      it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
   And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
      a punishment for his own sins!
 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
      crushed for our sins.
   He was beaten so we could be whole.
      He was whipped so we could be healed.
 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
      We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
   Yet the Lord laid on him
      the sins of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
      yet he never said a word.
   He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
      And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
      he did not open his mouth.
 8 Unjustly condemned,
      he was led away.[b]
   No one cared that he died without descendants,
      that his life was cut short in midstream.[c]
   But he was struck down
      for the rebellion of my people.
 9 He had done no wrong
      and had never deceived anyone.
   But he was buried like a criminal;
      he was put in a rich man’s grave.

 10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him
      and cause him grief.
   Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
      he will have many descendants.
   He will enjoy a long life,
      and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
      he will be satisfied.
   And because of his experience,
      my righteous servant will make it possible
   for many to be counted righteous,
      for he will bear all their sins.
 12 I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
      because he exposed himself to death.
   He was counted among the rebels.
      He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

I can’t say it any better than that. This is grace. And it’s love. And I don’t deserve it. But I’m so thankful for it.

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