Isaiah 52 -- 57
God revealed to the prophet Isaiah that the coming Messiah and King of kings would be My Servant . . . He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high (Isaiah 52:13). But the Lord of lords, in humility and meekness, did not assert His rights, nor did He seek to set up His rightful Kingdom by force.
As prophesied, Jesus came as the Servant of God, as the Suffering Savior, but He will soon return highly exalted and extolled as the King of kings. Because the Jews were looking only for a warrior-king, like David, to deliver them from the oppression of Rome, they did not recognize their Messiah as the Suffering Savior. Isaiah also foretold the Israelites' response: Who has believed our report? . . . For He shall grow up . . . as a tender Plant, and as a Root out of a dry ground (Isaiah 53:1-2). Dry ground illustrates the spiritual condition of the religious world that existed at the time of the birth of Jesus the Messiah. From the world's point of view, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.
There was nothing about Jesus the Servant to attract our attention, for He came from a common carpenter's family and grew up in the unimportant town of Nazareth in Galilee (9:1; Matthew 4:15). He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (afflictions) . . . He was despised (53:3). The majority of people gave little attention to His teaching. Once, He was violently forced out of the synagogue in His hometown and they attempted to cast Him over a cliff. On another occasion, many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him (John 6:66). Most of the religious leaders in Israel did not acknowledge Him as their Messiah (7:48). On one occasion, even His 12 chosen apostles forsook Him, and fled when their lives were in danger (Matthew 26:56). They did not esteem Him (appreciate His worth) (Isaiah 53:3). This literally means that the majority of people refused to accept Jesus for who He really is -- the great God of Creation, the Savior of mankind, who will soon return to rule the world.
The Servant King is unique because He humbled Himself by becoming a man and bore the sins of all mankind on the cross. Thereby, He saves all who confess their guilt, repent of their sins, and yield their lives to Him. Even then, all of us from time to time fall short of what God desires us to be. John, writing to Christians whom he called my little children (I John 2:1) stated: If we say that we have fellowship with Him (God), and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1:6-7). Jesus continues to make intercession for us with God the Father on the basis of His own sinless, substitutionary death upon the cross (Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 7:25). As the Apostle Peter said, we believe and are sure that He is that Christ, the Son of the Living God (John 6:69).
Surely He has borne our griefs (weaknesses and distresses), and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). The word translated sorrows means emotional as well as physical needs of every kind.
The chastisement of our peace was upon Him (53:5) means that His chastisement (punishment) ended the enmity between fallen man and the Holy and righteous Creator God.
However, all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (53:6). All we means that all repentant believers, Jew and Gentile alike, have received eternal life through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Having abolished in His (crucified) flesh the enmity, even the Law of commandments contained in ordinances . . . making peace . . . that He might reconcile both (Jew and Gentile) to God in one body by (means of) the cross (Ephesians 2:15-16).
As the One who was rejected by His own people (Isaiah 53:3; compare Luke 23:18; John 1:11); remained silent when He was falsely accused (Isaiah 53:7; Mark 15:4-5); was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matt. 27:57-60); and was crucified with sinners (Isaiah 53:12; Mark 15:27-28).
52:1 uncircumcised means heathen; 52:8 bring again means restore; 52:10 made bare his holy arm means revealed His power; 52:12 rereward means rearguard; 52:14 visage means appearance; 52:15 sprinkle means purify by His blood, as a priest did by sprinkling the blood of a sacrifice (see I Peter 1:2); 57:4 sport means ridicule; 57:13 companies means collection of idols; 57:17 frowardly means rebelliously.
Government Official: Sen. Tim Hutchinson (AR) · Pray for Every Home for Christ and Dick Eastman, International President · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Brad and Steve Wilkinson · Country: Algeria (26 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Authorities have virtually ended all open mission work · 99% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic/Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Be of one heart and mind with other Christians (I Corinthians 1:10).
I Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week:
II Thessalonians 1:8