He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (
The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is surely one of the most remarkable prophecies in Scripture. If I had no other reason to believe the Bible is the Word of God, all I would need is this chapter and I would be convinced of its Divine authorship. Around seven hundred years before the events, Isaiah will describe Christ’s crucifixion as though he is standing at the foot of the cross. Prophetically, he was!
How Jesus is described is shocking—from a human standpoint, it is unbelievable (v.1). He grew up as a tender plant—a root out of dry ground (v.2a), with nothing extraordinary about His physical features (v.2b). Jesus looked like the average Jewish man of His day. This was not the kind of Messiah that
was looking for, and so they scoffed at the possibility (v.3). Their sinful hearts led them to despise Him,
and most in our time do as well. Israel
Not only was His physical appearance shocking, the degree of His suffering was remarkable also (v.4-6). No one ever suffered like Jesus. His suffering was not for His own sins, but for ours. He willingly paid the sin debt that we owed and could never pay! Oh, how He loves us! People scorned him as He was dying, as though He were cursed for His own crimes against heaven, when it was for theirs—and for ours—that He became a curse for us.
His suffering was indescribable, and His silence was incomprehensible (v.7-9). He does not ask for an attorney, though it was His right. He does not protest the illegal nature of that trial although everything about it was wrong. He does not defend Himself. He could have summoned Heaven’s armies with a word, but He is silent as a Lamb led to slaughter.
Sealed in a sepulcher of stone, it would appear that His cause was lost—and with His death, the death of hope. God’s ways are not man’s ways, however. It would be through the sacrifice of His life, that He would fulfill the success of His mission. He would look down the corridor of time and see all His seed—His spiritual progeny (v.10-11). His cause is vindicated and His claims validated by His resurrection. He died, but He would not stay dead!
Jesus was not the victim; He was the Victor (v.12). To the victor goes the spoils. He has conquered death, hell, and the grave. He arose in triumph and ascended in glory—then He took of His treasure and poured out spiritual gifts to His church. One day He will return, and just as He fulfilled every prophecy concerning His first advent, He will fulfill every one pertaining to His second advent.
Christ has changed the course of history and eternity. He has changed my life. He can change yours! He made salvation possible; now we can receive it by trusting Him.