Reading For Wednesday Isaiah 53:1-12

Isaiah begins with a rhetorical question about who would believe the prophets regarding the Servant or recognize the power of God displayed in his life. The Servant would be despised and rejected because of his humble origins and his appearance. This rejection would be accompanied by deep sorrow. The reason for his suffering would be misunderstood, with most believing that he suffered for some terrible crime or sin in his own life, but nothing could be further from the truth. His suffering was vicarious and redemptive. Only through that suffering could all the straying sheep be recovered. The contrast in these verses is both striking and moving. The servant took our grief and bore it. The servant has carried our sorrows. It was our transgressions pierced him. It was our iniquities which crushed him and his chastisement secured our peace. Through his wounds, we are healed. Through all of this, Isaiah describes the Servant as silent during the abuse of his trial. From the oppressive trial, he would be taken away to die, and most would not give a great deal of thought to the significance of his death. Though innocent of any crime, he would be sentenced to be buried with evil men. His grave, however, eventually was with a rich man. The scandal of the gospel is that the Servant's suffering was part of the plan of God. He was to be a sin offering, but the Servant would live after death. God’s purposes would then prosper in his hand, and many would be justified before God when they learn of what he had done. For this reason, the Servant would be able to look upon his work with satisfaction. The Servant, having completed his work, would be the one as conqueror to share the spoils of victory with his followers. However, victory would come only through the fact that the Servant was willing to suffer as a sin-bearer and pour out himself in death. It is through the death and resurrection that Jesus Christ makes intercession. 

Things To Consider:

  • Why would this be hard for the people to believe?  
  • Why does Jesus' appearance matter?  
  • How gracious is the exchange between Jesus and us? 
  • What does this passage tell us about humanity and sin (vs.6)?  
  • How does the sacrifice metaphor help us understand the work of the servant?  
  • Why would God crush his son?  
  • Why is Jesus' work as intercessor so important?