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Daily Devotions – The suffering servant

Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: 

Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 (ESV)

He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely;  he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.
53 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was  despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 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.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked
    and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

This is the last of the “servant songs,” and is the most important passage in the Old Testament which teaches about the work of Christ. It proclaims the heart of the gospel: Jesus took the punishment that should have been ours, and gave us his righteousness.  It teaches how the Messiah will be rejected, treated cruelly, and disfigured — and in so doing, He will be taking the sins of the world upon himself. The most important section is 53:4-6, where we learn how Christ’s wounds bring us healing. Verse 53:10 explains how it was the Father’s will that the Son pay for our sins. The “offspring” that he will live to see is referring to all of the Christian people who are like children for Christ.