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The Suffering Servant

The Suffering Servant
Isaiah 53:1-12.

Isaiah's prophecies were given during troubled times to the people of Judah and Jerusalem living under the threat of the Assyrian invasion, which God allowed due to Israel's rebellion against Him. (Isaiah 1:1-3). Isaiah's visions present both warnings and hopes. However, one part of the vision was mysterious and totally unexpected - Isaiah 53.

"Who has believed our message? Who would have thought God’s saving power (the arm of the Lord) would look like this?" (v1) Isaiah prophesies about an unnamed servant who would rescue His people. The unnamed servant would succeed not by power but by surrender and suffering, bringing salvation and healing to His people and the world.

He would be a man of suffering according to God's will (v3,10) - His punishment would bring peace, and his wounds, healing (v5) - some blessings of His sacrifice. Like a lamb, He will not resist suffering (v7) but will accept the yoke that was not his (v8). After he has suffered he will see light, and many will be saved (v9-11) - the ultimate blessing of His suffering.

Because of his finished "poured out" sacrifice, He will have the highest honour. Isaiah writes in v12: "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great... because he poured out his life unto death".

Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus - the suffering servant - through His death on the cross and His resurrection. (Philippians 2:5-11)

Reflect & Pray
Which blessings of Jesus' poured-out sacrifice are you thankful for today? How does the suffering of Jesus give you hope in your sufferings?
Thank you Father for the gift of your Son, Jesus, who suffered for our sake so that we can have a relationship with You. Amen.

God bless you exceedingly,

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