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.