The Suffering Servant Part ~ 10 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:8-9

In my last post, we continued to examine the Accomplishments of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53:5-6. In this post, we continue to examine the Accomplishments of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53:8-9.

The Servant Suffered a Humiliating Death

8 After forcible arrest and sentencing, He was taken away; and none of His generation protested His being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of My people, who deserved the punishment themselves. 9 He was given a grave among the wicked; in His death, He was with a rich man. Although he had done no violence and had said nothing deceptive… ~ Isaiah 53:8-9 (CJB)

For the first time, the passage reveals that the Servant’s suffering culminated in death. The death destined for the Servant was not only to be sacrificial and redemptive but also humiliating. This is consistent with the rest of the prophecy, which describes in detail the rejection of the Servant by the people of Adonai. He had come to serve.

Adonai is the Stricken One. After a mock trial, Adonai was brought before temple guards who blindfolded Him and then punched Him in the face. He could have called down angels and sent His attackers to hell. Instead, He absorbed their blows until His face was marred more than any man. And He did it for you. Before you fault those guards, who struck the face of Adonai realizes that perhaps your apathy toward Him is even a crueler blow.

Adonai is the Sincere One. His enemies could find no fault in Him (see Luke 23:4); the thief dying beside Him recognized He had done nothing amiss (see Luke 23:41); and so sure of His innocence was Joseph of Arimathea that he risked his standing in the community to provide Adonai a tomb. With Adonai, there is no fine print. He is exactly who He declared Himself to be and He does exactly what He says He’ll do.

Again, the writers of the Brit Hadashah have a lot to say about these two verses:

23 and they gave Him wine spiced with myrrh, but He didn’t take it. 24 Then they nailed Him to the execution-stake; and they divided His clothes among themselves, throwing dice to determine what each man should get. 25 It was nine in the morning when they nailed Him to the stake. 26 Over His head, the written notice of the charge against him read, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 On execution-stakes with Him, they placed two robbers, one on His right and one on His left. 28 [He was counted with transgressors.] [1] 29 People passing by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! So, you can destroy the Temple, can you, and rebuild it in three days? 30 Save yourself and come down from the stake!” 31 Likewise, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers made fun of Him, saying to each other, “He saved others, but He can’t save himself!” 32 and, “So He’s the Messiah, is He? The King of Isra’el? Let Him come down now from the stake! If we see that, then we’ll believe Him!” Even the men nailed up with him, insulted him. 33 At noon, darkness covered the whole Land until three o’clock in the afternoon. 34 At three, he uttered a loud cry, “Elohi! Elohi! L’mah sh’vaktani?” (which means, “My God! My God! Why have you deserted Me?”) [2] 35 On hearing this, some of the bystanders said, “Look! He’s calling for Eliyahu!” 36 One ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to Him to drink. “Wait!” he said, “Let’s see if Eliyahu will come and take him down.” ~ Mark 15:23-36 (CJB)

57 Towards evening, there came a wealthy man from Ramatayim named Yosef, who was himself a talmid of Yeshua. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body, and Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 Yosef took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, 60 and laid it in his own tomb, which he had recently had cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone in front of the entrance to the tomb, he went away.~ Matthew 27:57-60 (CJB)

Kefa quotes from verse 9 when he writes: “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on His lips.”~ 1 Peter 2:22 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 11 in Yesha’yahu 53:10.

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[1] Several translations omit verse 28, as does the CJB. But I inserted it here for clarification.

[2] As an aside, this is the first verse of Psalm 22 which the Rabbis had long believed was a Messianic Psalm.

The Suffering Servant Part ~ 9 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:5-6

In my last post, we began to examine the Accomplishments of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:4. In this post, we continue to examine the Accomplishments of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:5-6.

The Servant Died a Substitutionary Death for Our Sins

5 But He was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on Him, and by His bruises, we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to His own way; yet Adonai laid on Him the guilt of all of us. ~ Isaiah 53:5-6 (CJB)

Our passage today is the very heart of the prophecy! The death of the Servant would be redemptive; it was Adonai’s way of securing atonement for you and me. I could not help but remember the worship song: “Humble Thyself in the Sight of the Lord.”

Yeshua is the Suffering One. He was wounded because of our crimes. Doctors tell us there are five types of wounds. There is a contusion – which Yeshua received when men punched Him in the face. There is a laceration – which He received when the flagellum stripped the skin off His back and shoulders. There is penetration – which He received when a crown of thorns was beaten into His forehead. There is perforation – which He received when the spikes pierced His hands and feet, causing His body to writhe in spasms. Finally, there is incision – which He received when a soldier stuck a spear in His side. [1]

Why did Yeshua absorb those wounds? So that we could be healed.

Yeshua is also the Sin-bearing One. In 1 John 2:2 (see below), we read that Yeshua died not only for our sins but for the sins of the whole world. What a shock that must have been. Here, One who had never sinned suddenly took on all of the sin ever committed by everyone who has ever lived. The best estimates are that there are seventy-seven billion people who have lived on this planet. And Yeshua absorbed all of their sins -except the blasphemy of the Ruach, which is a person’s rejection of Him.

The writers of the Brit Hadashah had a lot to say about this short passage:

13 The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Yeshua — the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release Him. 14 You denied the holy and innocent one, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! 15 You killed the author of life! “But God has raised Him from the dead! Of this, we are witnesses. 16 And it is through putting trust in His name that His name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all. 17 “Now, brothers, I know that you did not understand the significance of what you were doing; neither did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what He had announced in advance, when he spoke through all the prophets, namely, that his Messiah was to die. ~ Acts 3:13-18 (CJB)

30 As Philip ran up, he heard the Ethiopian reading from Yesha‘yahu the prophet. “Do you understand what you’re reading?” he asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” And he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. 32 Now the portion of the Tanakh that he was reading was this: “He was like a sheep led to be slaughtered; like a lamb silent before the shearer, He does not open his mouth. 33 He was humiliated and denied justice. Who will tell about His descendants, since His life has been taken from the earth?” 34 The eunuch said to Philip, “Here’s my question to you – is the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip started to speak – beginning with that passage, he went on to tell him the Good News about Yeshua. ~ Acts 8:30-35 (CJB)

25 Yeshua, who was delivered over to death because of our offenses and raised to life in order to make us righteous. ~ Romans 4:25 (CJB)

28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to deliver those who are eagerly waiting for Him. ~ Hebrews 9:28 (CJB) Now that is another great promise for us today!!

24 He himself bore our sins in His body on the stake, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness – by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you used to be like sheep gone astray, but now you have turned to the Shepherd, who watches over you. ~ 1 Peter 2:24-25 (CJB)

2  Also, He is the kapparah [atonement] for our sins – and not only for ours but also for those of the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:2 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 10 in Yesha’yahu 53:8-9.

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[1] Jon Courson’s Application Commentary Old Testament Volume 2.

The Suffering Servant Part ~ 8 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:4

In my last post, we concluded our exploration of the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53. In this post, we begin to examine the Accomplishments of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:4. As promised earlier, with the change in topic from Character to Accomplishments we return to verse 4.

The Servant Bore Sorrows, Grief, and Sicknesses

4 In fact, it was our diseases He bore, our pains from which He suffered; yet we regarded Him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God. ~ Isaiah 53:4 (CJB)

For the first time, the reader learns that the Servant suffered on behalf of others. The cruel world would assume that the Servant somehow brought His suffering on Himself, never realizing that He was suffering for them.

According to Yesha’yahu, what the Servant would do for us would be very personal and profound. He would remove our sin and our alienation from Adonai, allowing us to experience the benefits of knowing Adonai personally. He would take away our pains and sorrows, giving us new life and true shalom.

What do the writers of the Brit Hadashah have to say about His accomplishment in this passage?

14 Yeshua went to Kefa’s home and there saw Kefa’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a fever.  15 He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she got up and began helping Him. 16 When evening came, many people held in the power of demons were brought to Him. He expelled the spirits with a word and healed all who were ill. 17 This was done to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Yesha‘yahu, “He Himself took our weaknesses and bore our diseases” ~ Matthew 8:14-17 (CJB)

28 “Come to Me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (CJB)

24 They were written also for us, who will certainly have our account credited too, because we have trusted in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead – 25 Yeshua, who was delivered over to death because of our offenses and raised to life in order to make us righteous. 1 So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Also through Him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. ~ Romans 4:24-5:2 (CJB)

21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps. ~ 1 Peter 2:21 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 9 in Yesha’yahu 53:5-6.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 7 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:8

In my last post, we continued to explore the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53. In this post, we continue to examine the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:9-10.

The Servant Was Righteous and a Good Man Who Suffered Innocently

9 He was given a grave among the wicked; in His death, He was with a rich man. Although He had done no violence and had said nothing deceptive, 10 yet it pleased Adonai to crush Him with illness, to see if He would present Himself as a guilt offering. If He does, He will see His offspring; and He will prolong His days, and at His hand, Adonai’s desire will be accomplished. ~ Isaiah 53:9-10 (CJB)

Yesha’yahu described the Servant as one who would suffer undeservedly; He was innocent, and we are guilty. He endures all that we deserve as a result of our sin. Like the sacrifices in the ancient Temple, the Servant was without blemish.

The guilt offering is designed to address a breach of faith or an act of blasphemy. Breach of faith would appropriately describe the violation of a covenant, while sacrilege generally refers to desecration of sacred areas or objects (see Leviticus 5:14-16). In this context, Isra’el’s violation of the covenant would be the most likely cause for a guilt offering to be required.

The Servant died unjustly and was buried as if He were an evil man. The pairing of the wicked with the rich man implies that the wealthy man got his riches by deceit. This may be confirmed by the final statement of the verse that the Servant had not spoken deceitfully. Yeshua was buried in a rich man’s tomb, that of Joseph of Arimathea.

That Adonai was pleased to crush the Servant sounds mean-spirited, but His pleasure is explained by the fact that the Servant’s suffering will justify many. What seems harsh will turn out to be gracious. The Servant’s pain, suffering, and death will function as a sacrifice offered when there was a transgression against the sacred things of the Lord. The sin of Adonai’s people was such a transgression.

Again, the writers of the Brit Hadashah confirm the specifics of Yesha’yahu’s prophecy being fulfilled by Yeshua.

57 Towards evening, there came a wealthy man from Ramatayim named Yosef, who was himself a talmid of Yeshua. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body, and Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 Yosef took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, 60 and laid it in his own tomb, which he had recently had cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone in front of the entrance to the tomb, he went away. ~ Matthew 27:57-60 (CJB)

21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in His steps. 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on His lips.” 23 When He was insulted, He didn’t retaliate with insults; when He suffered, He didn’t threaten but handed them over to Him who judges justly. ~ 1 Peter 2:21-23 (CJB)

20 Therefore we are ambassadors of the Messiah; in effect, God is making His appeal through us. What we do is appeal on behalf of the Messiah, “Be reconciled to God! 21 God made this sinless man be a sin offering on our behalf, so that in union with Him we might fully share in God’s righteousness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 8 in Yesha’yahu 53:4.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 6 ~Yesha’yahu 53:8

In my last post, we continued to explore the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53. In this post, we continue to examine the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:8.

The Servant Was Willing to Suffer

After forcible arrest and sentencing, He was taken away; and none of His generation protested His being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of my people, who deserved the punishment themselves. ~ Isaiah 53:8 (CJB)

Here again, we see the impossibility of the Servant being the entire nation of Isra’el. After all, how can Isra’el be cut off from itself? For the first time, the passage reveals that the Servant’s suffering culminated in death.

After a mock trial, Yeshua was brought before temple guards who blindfolded Him and then punched Him in the face. He could have called down angels and sent His attackers to hell. Instead, He absorbed their blows until His face was marred more than any man. And He did it for you.

Again, the writers of the Brit Hadashah have something to say about His death.

Matthew 27:27-37 (CJB) says:

27 The governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the headquarters building, and the whole battalion gathered around Him. 28 They stripped off His clothes and put on Him a scarlet robe, 29 wove thorn-branches into a crown and put it on His head and put a stick in His right hand. Then they kneeled down in front of him and made fun of Him: “Hail to the King of the Jews!” 30 They spit on Him and used the stick to beat Him about the head. 31 When they had finished ridiculing Him, they took off the robe, put His own clothes back on Him and led Him away to be nailed to the execution-stake. 32 As they were leaving, they met a man from Cyrene named Shim‘on; and they forced him to carry Yeshua’s execution-stake. 33 When they arrived at a place called Gulgolta (which means “place of a skull”), 34 they gave Him wine mixed with bitter gall to drink; but after tasting it, He would not drink it. 35 After they had nailed him to the stake, they divided His clothes among them by throwing dice. 6 Then they sat down to keep watch over Him there. 37 Above His head, they placed the written notice stating the charge against him,

THIS IS YESHUA THE KING OF THE JEWS

1 Pilate then took Yeshua and had Him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted thorn-branches into a crown and placed it on His head, put a purple robe on Him, 3 and went up to him, saying over and over, “Hail, ‘King of the Jews’!” and hitting him in the face. 4 Pilate went outside once more and said to the crowd, “Look, I’m bringing Him out to you to get you to understand that I find no case against Him.” 5 So Yeshua came out, wearing the thorn-branch crown and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Look at the man!” ~ John 19:1-5 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 5 in Yesha’yahu 53:9-10.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 5 ~Yesha’yahu 53:7

In my last post, we began to explore the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53. In this post, we continue to examine the Character for the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu53:7. You probably noticed that I skipped over verses 4-6. That was deliberate as we are currently looking at Yeshua’s character. We will come back to those when we examine His accomplishments.

The Servant Suffered Silently and Didn’t Retaliate

Though mistreated, He was submissive – He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, He did not open His mouth. ~ Isaiah 53:7 (CJB)

Revenge and retaliation are normal human responses when we are attacked. I know I have certainly been there and done that. The Servant was injured both physically and emotionally, but He was a willing sufferer.

Though not suffering for His own sins, the Servant suffered silently and willingly. Philip used this passage to tell the Ethiopian eunuch the good news about Yeshua, who silently bore His crucifixion (see Acts 8:31-35).

How greatly it must have hurt the Father when He saw His beloved Son with all of the righteous indignation and justifiable wrath for the atrocities of all of the killers throughout history – knowing all the while His Son was innocent. Yet He permitted it. Why? So, we could go free.

The writers of the Brit Hadashah penned a considerable amount about Yeshua’s sufferings.

12 But when He was accused by the head cohanim and elders, He gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Don’t you hear all these charges they are making against you?” 14 But to the governor’s great amazement, He did not say a single word in reply to the accusations. ~ Matthew 27:12-14 (CJB)

9 He [Herod] questioned Him at great length, but Yeshua made no reply. ~ Luke 23:9 (CJB)

9 He [Pilate] went back into the headquarters and asked Yeshua, “Where are you from?” But Yeshua didn’t answer. ~ John 19:9 (CJB)

20 For what credit is there in bearing up under a beating you deserve for doing something wrong? But if you bear up under punishment, even though you have done what is right, God looks on it with favor. 21 Indeed, this is what you were called to; because the Messiah too suffered, on your behalf, leaving an example so that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, nor was any deceit found on his lips.” 23 When he was insulted, he didn’t retaliate with insults; when he suffered, he didn’t threaten but handed them over to him who judges justly. ~ 1 Peter 2:20-23 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 6 in Yesha’yahu 53:8.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 4 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:3

In my last post, we began to explore the Character of the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53. In this post, we continue to examine the Character for the Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 53:3.

The Servant Was Willing to Suffer Rejection

3 People despised and avoided Him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, He was despised; we did not value Him. ~ Isaiah 53:3 (CJB)

Just like a withered plant in verse 2 is uprooted and thrown away, so the Suffering Servant was rejected by men. The Servant would fully experience the effects of sin and the Fall. Because people would fail to see how such a weak, insignificant person could do anything beneficial for them, they would be unconcerned about His suffering.

Rejection of the Servant reveals how misguided the human mind is. Despite the clear language in this passage, the Jews were expecting the Messiah to be a Warrior King ala King David.

According to Luke 2:52, as Yeshua grew up, He found favor both in the eyes of God and men. But that changed. The people began to despise Him, reject Him, and turn away from Him to such a degree that He asked His talmidim if they would leave, as well (see John 6:67).

Yeshua had the same emotions that we all have, yet without sin. He was willing to give His life for us and humble Himself as a human being to fulfill this prophecy.

The writers of the Gospels make it clear that Yeshua fulfilled Yesha’yahu’s prophecy and faced rejection for our sakes.

He began teaching them that the Son of Man had to endure much suffering and be rejected by the elders, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers; and that He had to be put to death; but that after three days, He had to rise again. ~ Mark 8:31 (CJB)

Then, taking the Twelve, Yeshua said to them, “We are now going up to Yerushalayim, where everything written through the prophets about the Son of Man will come true. 32 For He will be handed over to the Goyim and be ridiculed, insulted and spat upon. 33 Then, after they have beaten Him, they will kill Him. But on the third day, He will rise.” ~ Luke 18:31-33 (CJB)

He came to His own homeland, yet His own people did not receive Him. 12 But to as many as did receive Him, to those who put their trust in His person and power, He gave the right to become children of God, 13 not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God. 14 The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw His Sh’khinah, the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:11-14 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 5 in Yesha’yahu 53:7. Yes, I realize we’re jumping from verse 3 to verse 7, but I have a valid reason for that as you will soon see.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 3 ~ Yesha’yahu 53:1-2

In my last post, we looked at the issue of who The Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12 might be. We concluded that in this passage, it was Yeshua. In this post, I want to explore the Character of the Suffering Servant as we begin to focus on Yesha’yahu53.

The Servant Was Humble

1 Who believes our report? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? 2 For before Him He grew up like a young plant, like a root out of the dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw Him, but His appearance did not attract us. ~ Isaiah 53:1-2 (CJB)

The speakers of these verses (we) are likely Yesha’yahu and the community that he represents. The arm of Adonai refers to His victorious power, ironically revealed through a Suffering Servant.

The writers of the Gospels and Kefa describe the way that Yeshua is viewed as Adonai’s Servant, empathizing His humility and unselfishness.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve — and to give his life as a ransom for many. ~ Mark 10:45 (CJB)

You call me ‘Rabbi’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right because I am. 14 Now if I, the Lord and Rabbi, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you. ~ John 13:13-15 (CJB)

Kefa speaking to the crowd in the Temple said: The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya‘akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Yeshua – the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release Him. ~ Acts 3:13 (CJB) He continued by saying: So, it is to you first that God has sent His servant whom He has raised up, so that He might bless you by turning each one of you from your evil ways. ~ Acts 3:26 (CJB)

Thirty years after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, Rabbi Sha’ul wrote a more theological interpretation of His life and death. He spoke to the early Believers and encouraged them to serve one another, using Yeshua to make his point:

5 Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: 6 Though He was in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. 7 On the contrary, He emptied Himself, in that He took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when He appeared as a human being, 8 He humbled Himself still more by becoming obedient even to death – death on a stake as a criminal! ~ Philippians 2:5-8 (CJB)

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 4 in Yesha’yahu 53:3.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 2 ~ Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12

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.

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The Suffering Servant Part ~ 1 ~ Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12

In my last post, we learned about Adonai Commands Tziyon to Wake Up in Yesha’yahu 52:1-12. In this post, we will begin to examine one of my favorite – if not my most favorite – passages in the Tanakh: The Suffering Servant in Yesha’yahu 52:13-53:12. In this mini-series, I am going to present this passage a little differently than I have been doing. First, I want to offer some background information on why this passage is one of my favorites and why it can be a great witness to your Jewish neighbors. Secondly, I want to present the whole reading before we dig into its significance on a verse-by-verse basis.

SPECIAL NOTE: Unlike my normal schedule, I will be posting this 14-part series daily.

Introduction to The Suffering Servant

This passage is a great evangelistic tool to reach your Jewish neighbors because it is from their side of the Book. Most Jews don’t want to hear about Yeshua because it has been drummed into their thinking that He is not the promised Messiah. Given their history over the centuries, Christians haven’t exactly done them any favors – think the Crusades and Inquisitions.

The problem is that most Jews have never heard or read this passage. Like several Christian denominations, Jewish synagogue services are liturgical. There is a set reading schedule through passages of scripture each year. In the synagogue, the plan includes reading through the entire Torah (Genesis thru Deuteronomy) and the Haftarah. The Haftarah includes selected readings through the prophets. The passage we are addressing is conspicuously not included in the Haftarah. The assigned reading Yesha’yahu 52:12 and picks back up at Yesha’yahu 54:1 the next week.

Many Jewish believers don’t want to hear about the Brit Hadashah. If you’re going to talk about the Messiah, you must use the Tanakh. When this passage is presented to them, they immediately assume it is not in the Tanakh, but the Brit Hadashah. If the Apostles could win souls by quoting the Tanakh, we should be able to as well.

Rabbi Sha’ul states: For I am not ashamed of the Good News since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. ~ Romans 1:16 (CJB) Instead of especially, other translations say, to the Jew first. That is the foundation of my ministry.

Isaiah 52:13-15 to 53:1-12

13 See how My servant will succeed! He will be raised up, exalted, highly honored! 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.

1 Who believes our report? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? 2 For before Him He grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw Him, but His appearance did not attract us. 3 People despised and avoided Him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, He was despised; we did not value him. 4 In fact, it was our diseases He bore, our pains from which He suffered; yet we regarded Him as punished, stricken and afflicted by God. 5 But He was wounded because of our crimes, crushed because of our sins; the disciplining that makes us whole fell on Him, and by His bruises we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way; yet Adonai laid on Him the guilt of all of us. 7 Though mistreated, He was submissive – He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to be slaughtered, like a sheep silent before its shearers, He did not open His mouth. 8 After forcible arrest and sentencing, He was taken away; and none of His generation protested His being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of My people, who deserved the punishment themselves. 9 He was given a grave among the wicked; in His death, He was with a rich man. Although He had done no violence and had said nothing deceptive, 10 yet it pleased Adonai to crush Him with illness, to see if He would present Himself as a guilt offering. If He does, He will see His offspring; and He will prolong his days, and at his hand, Adonai’s desire will be accomplished. 11 After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. By His knowing [pain and sacrifice], My righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that He suffers. 12 Therefore, I will assign Him a share with the great, He will divide the spoil with the mighty, for having exposed Himself to death and being counted among the sinners, while actually bearing the sin of many and interceding for the offenders.

Of late, I have wanted a publisher of one of the more modern translations of the Bible to publish the Scriptures in chronological order (which would require multiple books at times in the Tanakh and the Gospels) without chapters or verses, just paragraphs. That way, we could read it as a developing story. Several authors I have read believe that this is the only way to read Rabbi Sha’ul’s letters.

For a more extensive study on this passage and how to share its contents with your Jewish neighbor, I would highly recommend to you “Isaiah 53: Explained” by Dr. Mitch Glasser, President of Chosen People Ministries. His book is available on their website as well as Amazon.

In my next post, we will continue a verse-by-verse examination of The Suffering Servant ~ Part 2 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

I have decided to forgo my standard publishing days of Sunday and Wednesday and publish this mini-series on consecutive days. There are 14 posts in the Suffering Servant mini-series.

Click here for the PDF version.