“Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4 – 5)
I made the deliberate choice to NOT go with the passage from Job. The Lord God is questioning Job (yes, right now!) and is demanding an answer! How that contrast with what the prophet Isaiah is saying – as understood as a foreshadowing of the Messiah. Oh beloved reader, do not ask me to once again enter the “ring” with the commentators and ask them why they cannot allow the prophet/writer of Isaiah to say his piece without stretching it to the New Testament and the personage of Jesus.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people.” (Verses 6 – 8)
Who indeed could have foreseen it? Only someone who could look into the future and discern what the Jews, scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and all the other religions leader of the time could not, or would not, see.
“They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” (Verse 9)
Stretched also to bridge all peoples in all places for all time! And for what purpose? (I admit, beloved reader, I am leading you along!)
“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the LORD shall prosper. Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Verses 10 – 12)
Having now passed Canadian Thanksgiving, we are now on the path to the beginning of Advent. Oh yes, beloved reader, already we are walking that way. So let us make an early start, and start being thankful that the book of Isaiah points to something that at the time of the speaking/writing could only be seen dimly in the future. Amongst the despair and hopelessness that the Israelites had, there was a spark of light and the chance that Yahweh/the Divine had not utterly forsaken them! Praise be to the Lord God!1