A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH 53
Have you ever asked yourself why this passage is NOT read in the synagogue, though SURROUNDING chapters are included. Is there a
reason? It has a message which many of
And what shall we say about verse 6? All we leaves no room for boasting.
Here is the cry that repenting
The words of verse 7 are very beautiful in their twofold meaning. Every Jew knows, or should know, that the absence of points in the original Hebrew gives this fuller richness from time to time. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, or It was exacted and He Himself answered. Both statements are true. There was the full demand, and the Substitute or Surety must answer, and pay the WHOLE expense. We think of Genesis 44. 32: and He That is Surety for a stranger shall smart for it (Prov. 11: 15). From Prov. 20: 16, 22, 26, 27 we see that the Surety must be prepared to lose GARMENT AND BED. Does not this give an indirect prophecy of the Surety of Whom Isaiah 53 speaks? Certainly HE had no bed, but was hanged upon a tree, bearing THE CURSE as Deuteronomy shows, - the only way a sinner could be saved. And Psalm 22. 18 says, They part My garments among them, and cast lots upon My vesture. Speaking of Psalm 22, perhaps you have not noticed that Isaiah 53 refers to this Psalm: to verses 6 (7), 24 (25), 30 (31), 31 (32) at least (see Isaiah 53: 3, 11, 12): here is further evidence that the prophet spoke of a Righteous INDIVIDUAL, not of the unrighteous nation (Isaiah 1: 4). The verse now before us in the OFTEN-FORGOTTEN chapter of Isaiah adds, Yet He opened not His mouth. And this is repeated, He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. How different from every COMPLAINING nation. You cannot find an ordinary man here, far less a company of men. Who is this REJECTED ONE, this SUFFERING ONE, this PATIENT ONE, Who is also Gods DELIGHT, and the Bearer of Israels sins? Every explanation fails which forgets that the UTTERLY REJECTED ONE OF ISRAEL is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. But there is not one word used of the Holy One in this chapter inappropriate to Him. This is a more remarkable fact than any Jew, who carelessly puts it aside, has considered.
From prison and from judgment was
He taken, and His generation who shall declare?
For He was cut off out of the land of life: by reason of the
transgression of My people - the stroke that was for
them. It is evident that the One before us was not
merely imprisoned without an EARTHLY
family, He was cut off. But the
transgression was NOT His: the
plague (See Heb.) was
And (the people) gave His grave* with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, and there was not deceit in His mouth (9). The people rejected Him. His grave was appointed before He died, BUT GOD OVERRULED, and His body was with a rich man in His death. Who is this rich man? Have you ever heard of Joseph of Arimathea, who stepped in and obtained from Pilate the body of the Lord Jesus, and thus changed the peoples giving? Strange that this should be mentioned over 6oo years before! No, it is not strange. Here is [Divine] PROPHECY. Again we have HIS MOUTH, and its sinlessness. His whole life was a contrast with SIN. Thus we read and not only **. We shall find too that He is called the RIGHTEOUS ONE.
* Or, His grave was given (same letters, different pointing).
** Not violence He did; not only Violence He did not.
And the Lord was pleased 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 (10). This verse is remarkably full. The Lord is not PLEASED to bruise without reason. Zechariah 13. 7 is parallel. The Lord has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 33. 11), but precious in the sight of the Lord is the death belonging to His saints (Ps. 116: 15). And so God was well-pleased with the offering for guilt, that sinners might be saved. And so we read, He shall see a seed. This is the contrast with Who shall declare His GENERATION? He had no earthly family, but A SEED shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for A GENERATION (Ps. 22: 30). THERE IS LIFE BY HIS DEATH. Evidently This is the prophet of Deuteronomy 18: 15, 16, According to ALL that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And He too is raised from the dead, He shall prolong His days, as the Righteous ONE of Lev. 18: 5.
Isaiah 53. 11 tells of the labour of His soul, and assures us He shall see the fruit, and be satisfied. In His knowledge - perfect knowledge of the will of God - He makes a righteousness for the many. Is not this the Lord our Righteousness of Jeremiah 23: 6? My Servant. The Individual. My Servant is contrasted with the people. The nation ought to have been Gods servant, but they failed. He failed not. And He not only makes a righteousness, but bears their iniquities.
THUS verse 12 opens with triumph, Therefore will I divide for Him with
He is to be exalted, and extolled, and very high And He shall
divide the spoil with the STRONG.
Corresponding with the fact
that He made His soul naked for the death. Observe, The soul that sinneth, it shall die, but here is One
Whose willingness of soul for death is His glory. And with transgressors was He
can doubt that THIS was true of
Jesus Christ. And to Him, dear reader,
the next words also apply to the full extent, And He Himself BARE the sin of many.
If you have no one Who has borne your sin, your peril is real. Exodus 34: 6 and Micah 7: 18 show a remarkable fact. God Himself forgives sin by Himself