Isaiah 53. Oh, my! We’re standing on the pinnacle of Old Testament prophecy! So clearly is the person and work of Messiah foreseen by Isaiah!
Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and Matthew noted, “This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases’” (Matthew 8:17). So many signs did Jesus do but people still did not believe in him, writes Luke, “so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed’” (John 12:37-38).
Explaining his upcoming death to his disciples, Jesus said, “For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment” (Luke 22:37). Peter utilizes Isaiah in 1 Peter 2:19-25 to explain the purpose of Christ’s death. In Acts 8, Philip gave the good news to the Ethiopian eunuch by explaining the meaning of Isaiah 53, and the eunuch was baptized. Paul references Isaiah 53 in Romans 10.
How can anyone read Isaiah 53 and fail to see Jesus?! Through terrible suffering, Messiah brings such good news that the statement “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) is not so much a mournful cry, says Charles Spurgeon, as it is a song, “most charming and . . . most full of comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned, and where sorrow reached her climax there it is that a weary soul finds sweetest rest. The Saviour bruised is the healing of bruised hearts.”
Come, guilty souls, and flee away
Like doves to Jesu’s wounds;
This is the welcome gospel-day,
Wherein free grace abounds.
God loved the church, and gave his Son
To drink the cup of wrath;
And Jesus says he’ll cast out none
That come to him by faith. -- Joseph Humphreys (18th century)