In my last post, we began to examine The Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12. In this post, I want to discuss who the Suffering Servant might be as we have been looking at the Servant for the last several posts. Is it the nation of Isra’el or the Messiah or both?
Identifying the Servant
52:13 “See how My Servant will succeed! He will be raised up, exalted, highly honored!
We have been seeing the word servant used since Yesha’yahu 41 and will continue to see it through Yesha’yahu 61. Consequently, we need to get a handle on what or who the Servant is. The two most likely candidates are the nation of Isra’el or the Messiah Yeshua.
As we have previously seen, the nation of Isra’el has been identified in Yesha’yahu 41:8ff, 43:10ff, 44:26ff, and 48:20ff. On the other hand, a reading of Yesha’yahu 42:1-9, 49:1, 5-9, and our current passage in this mini-series all seem to refer to the Messiah Yeshua. There is little doubt that Yeshua fulfills the description of the self-sacrificing Servant who was willing to lay down His life so that all who believe would be redeemed.
Verse 13 is one of the richest and most unmistakable prophecies of the entire Tanakh. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. ~ Isaiah 52:13 (KJV) The Hebrew word translated extolled means “lifted up.” Although this is the only place in the Tanakh this word is used, it was picked up by Yeshua in John 12:32 (CJB) when He said, as for me, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself. But John 12:33 says He said this concerning the manner of His death. Therefore, when Yeshua talked about being lifted up, He wasn’t talking about being lifted up in praise or worship. He was talking about the Execution Stake.
52:14 Just as many were appalled at Him because He was so disfigured that He didn’t even seem human and simply no longer looked like a man, 15 so now He will startle many nations; because of Him, kings will be speechless. For they will see what they had not been told, they will ponder things they had never heard.
The suffering of the Servant will so disfigure Him that He will not appear human. Anyone who has seen the movie “Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson can attest to that image. By the time His beating and scourging were complete, by the time the Execution Stake had its effect, He was marred more than any other man.
When we finally understand what took place on the Execution Stake, we’ll fall at His feet, singing, “Thou art worthy to receive glory and honor and riches and power forever and ever.” People say the idea of worshiping the Lord in heaven for thousands of years sounds boring. But that’s because we don’t understand the unspeakable price He paid to get us there.
In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 3 in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12. I will also be quoting extensively from the Brit Hadashah stating how Yeshua is the only logical Suffering Servant. Come back tomorrow for more on the Suffering Servant.