Isaiah 53:3-7, 10-12 “He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peacewas upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. Yet it was the Lord's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand. After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53 was written over 700 years before Christ, yet foretells not only Jesus’ suffering and sacrifice, but also its meaning. Reading Isaiah 53 is like reading a commentary on the actual event that was described in Luke 22:47-23:56. Christians underestimate the suffering Jesus endured for us. Pictures depict Jesus with drops of blood, while in fact He was tortured to the point of being unrecognizable. Isaiah 52:14 described Him: “Just as there were many who were appalled at Him — His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness.” The horrific suffering that Jesus went through only illuminates His obedience and love for the Father. Jesus knew from Isaiah 52, 53, and many of the other prophecies of His upcoming sufferings. In Luke 9:22, Jesus told His disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." What was worse for Jesus than the terrible sufferings He was to endure was His separation from His heavenly Father. Matthew 27:26 described the agony of this separation: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” The driving force of Jesus’ sacrifice and suffering was His love for you! Jesus knew the necessity of what He had to do, so that you could be with Him for eternity. Isaiah 53 recounts many of the results of what Jesus accomplished on the cross for you: You are justified; He took your iniquities; He interceded for you; He healed you; He brought you peace; and all so you could be with Him in heaven. Without Jesus’ death and resurrection, you would have none of this. He covered you with His robe of righteousness by atoning for your past, present, and future sins. As you celebrate this Easter, do so not only with the recognition of the great price Jesus paid, but also fully embracing and experiencing the depth of His love for you!