Isaiah 53 is among the most amazing pieces of prophetic writing ever written. I’ve first read it over 35 years ago and I still find myself in awe when I read it this morning. Written by Isaiah nearly 700 years before the life of Jesus, this chapter beautifully describes the person and final day of Jesus life on this earth.
Here is a sampling of Isaiah’s prophetic verses in today’s chapter and I’ve taken the liberty to add verses from the biographies of Jesus by Mark, Luke and John which fulfill Isaiah’s prophetic imagery:
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
But the crowds kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there… Lk 23:33
…one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. John 19:34
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Lk 22:59-62
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Jesus (Mk 10:45)
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 its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. Lk 23:8-11
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. Lk 23:50-53
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth
Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Lk 23:13-15
This is just a hastily put together comparison, but I think we can all see the parallels. I personally find it rather amazing that Isaiah’s prophetic poem could describe with such detail the events from Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution six to seven centuries before it happened.
This morning I’m thinking about prophecy and its fulfillment. I’m thankful for evidence that the Author of Life has a plan, a storyboard, for this Great Story. As I head out into a long day I take solace in seeking to live out my bit part in that Story, and am excited to discover where it might lead.