It’s almost our Easter Day, and I can’t think of any more poignant O.T. text that speaks to the suffering of our Lord than Isaiah 53.
Let’s look at verses 3-7, only, as this is certainly not an exhaustive study. 3.“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; he was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”
The world rejected Christ then even as they reject Him now. He knew the sorrow of rejection like no other, being rejected by the very ones He came to save. We hid our faces from Him. Shame or being ashamed is at the root. He’s an embarrassment to His people, therefore rejected and scorned. Paul was able to say in Romans 1:16 that he was not ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ.
4: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”His mission was to bear the sins of the world, and literally our sickness and pain. Yet because he was viewed as being cursed it was right that God would strike Him, that He might be smitten even unto death. It’s even said that he was spat upon, blindfolded, beaten in the face and told if he were a Prophet to prophesy and tell them who was striking Him. Isaiah also prophesies in chapter 50 that His beard was ripped from his face.
5: “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” Nails pierced, blood flowed. The crushing of both body and soul. A beating of 39 stripes with a cat-o’-nine tails - sharp bones or metal barbs attached. Unimaginable suffering, all to redeem a people thru an act of love so fierce that He would receive even those who once mocked and hated Him, and for those who would believe, procure an everlasting peace with God.
6: “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” A picture of humanity. Each of us going his own way, without regard for His great sacrifice. And God took that very act of rebellion and placed it on His Son. And thru this one act, He reconciled us to God.
7: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is lead to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before his shearers, so He did not open His mouth.” His attitude: Complete and total submission to His Father's will. Imagine yourself suffering an ignominious death and never defending yourself. It’s simply unimaginable.
A sacrifice so complete, so perfect that it satisfied the wrath of God and procured eternal salvation for those who would by faith receive this supernatural work of grace. As the cross was His death, and the resurrection His victory, so the cross can be your death to sin and self and the resurrection a picture of your new life in Christ.
If God should speak to you don’t harden your heart; but by faith thru an act of repentance receive His sacrifice and the grace He offers.
Jesus still saves my friends~