Hundreds of years before Jesus took on human flesh and walked this earth among us, the prophet Isaiah foretold that the Son of God would suffer and die for our sins. God showed His prophet a vision of a humble, broken Messiah enduring slander, beatings, and death for His people. He showed Isaiah and us that the Lord’s Servant would be a perfect sacrifice. Jesus never sinned. In 33 years of facing the trials and temptations common to man, He always obeyed all of God’s holy laws. The Son always did His Father’s will. He was totally innocent, yet in all of the unjust abuses that He suffered through on His way to the cross, Jesus never spoke out in His own defense. He could have called down angels to destroy the wicked Roman soldiers and Jewish religious leaders who conspired to torture and kill Him. He could have stopped all of the cruel jokes and taunts with a few powerful words. He could have come down from the cross at any time if He wanted. But Jesus chose to suffer until the very end. He did it for us. He went through it all to pay for our sins and fulfill the Father’s plan for our salvation.
If you want a strong passage to help you remember the cross of Christ on this Good Friday, here you go. Read through Isaiah 53 today, thinking about all that Jesus went through for you and me and all Christians for all time. Remember how God reached out to you when you were lost and gone astray from Him. When you had no interest in Him, He loved you still and drew you to faith in the One who suffered so much for you. Once Jesus meant little to you, as He does to most of the world. But now He is your Lord and Savior. You have seen that it was truly for YOUR sins that Jesus suffered and died. He carried YOUR burdens and sorrows. YOU are now “his seed” (spiritual son or daughter), and He rejoices that the “labor of his soul” has brought you freedom from the penalty and power of sin. Look back to the Suffering Servant today. He suffered and died for YOU because He loved YOU.
The Text (Isaiah 53)
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 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.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.