Isaiah 53 is one of the truly spectacular passages of Scripture. It has been called ‘the forbidden chapter’. If you visit a Jewish bookstore and ask for a copy of the Tanakh (Old Testament), you may find this chapter has been removed. Why would they do that? Isaiah 53 clearly described the crucifixion of Messiah, both physically and theologically, seven centuries before it took place. Psalm 22, written around one thousand years before the death and resurrection of Messiah is even more descriptive. I have found that if you read Isaiah 53 to a Jewish person he may think you are reading from the New Testament. Jewish friend, below, the prophet Isaiah is going to tell you how to identify your Messiah. I believe that at some point in the not too distant future, a false messiah is going to be presented to the world who will fool many Jewish people with signs and lying wonders. Yeshua said so. (1) Carefully consider the words of the prophet Isaiah. Do not let yourself be deceived.
Father, thank You for your Son. We can never repay all He has done for us. Thank You in his holy and precious name. Amen.
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm [strength] of the LORD revealed?
This is something to ponder. Who knows about this? To whom has the strength of the of the LORD been revealed? Paul gives us the answer: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Cor 1:18)
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
The cross is an instrument of torture and death. When Yeshua was nailed to the cross any beauty He had was taken from Him. (Isa 50:6; 52:14)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
To this day, the nation of Israel still rejects their Messiah. This is why the apostle John wrote He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:11)
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah, the fifth evangelist, is speaking to all of us, Gentiles included.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. [Cf Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9]
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Isaiah was, of course, Jewish. There are those who teach that Yeshua was the Messiah of the Gentiles only, while the Jews will have a different Messiah. According to Isaiah, however, Yeshua was crucified for the transgression (sins) of the Jews.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yeshua was crucified between two thieves, then buried in a rich man’s grave, just as Isaiah predicted. (Matt 27:38, 60)
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
There have been many so-called ‘Christians’ throughout history who have blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Christ and have even called them ‘Christ-killers’. Rose Price, who was a Holocaust survivor, told me that when she was a little girl a nun once called her by that slur and then hit her over the head with a large crucifix. People who say this do not know the Bible or the God of the Bible. For one thing, Yeshua was crucified by Roman soldiers. However, it was not necessarily their fault either. As we can see here from our text, it was his Father’s decision (and his, and the Holy Spirit’s). Everything was decided beforehand, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). Yeshua died for the sins of the world. If there is anyone to blame, it is you and me.
11 He [God] shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge [ie knowing Yeshua through faith in his word] shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
The death and resurrection of Messiah satisfied the justice that the Law of Moses demanded. The Torah spelled out the requirement of a blood sacrifice (eg Lev 16). The book of Hebrews explains how the Old Testament sacrifices were given to show the meaning of the one true sacrifice that the Messiah would give with his own flesh. For us to ever be forgiven, somebody had to pay the penalty for our sins. Yeshua is that Somebody.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Love is the universal desire of everyone on earth. Everyone wants to be loved and there is no greater love than the love offered by Yeshua. I believe that to even begin to understand this love, one would have to be a parent. Only then could you begin to understand the pain of giving your only son on a bloody cross for someone else’s benefit. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) This love is available to all because Christ died for all (2 Cor 5:14). Yeshua said Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) Have you ever loved someone who did not love you back? How did that make you feel? If you want to reciprocate and show Yeshua the love that He has shown you, the Bible tells us how: For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12) Besides loving our fellow believers, Yeshua commanded us to love God and love our neighbor (Matt 22:37-39), as well as our enemies (Matt 5:44). If you teach the Bible, you can show your love to Yeshua by feeding his sheep. (John 21:15-17) In closing, consider these other ways one can show Messiah one’s love for Him.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Finally, if you have any doubts as to whom Isaiah 53 was written about, we have both Philip and Paul (Acts 8:35; Rom 10:16) as well as Yeshua Himself (John 12:38) to tell us exactly who Isaiah was writing about.
Father, thank You for your Son. Help us to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses and follow Him, that we may in some small measure give Him the love He so rightly deserves, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(1) I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)