April 14, 2017
Prophets of the Cross: Isaiah 53
Seven hundred years before Jesus died on the cross, the prophet Isaiah predicted, in astounding detail, the circumstances of his death. Isaiah 53 is the poem of the suffering of God’s servant, the prophetic prediction that Israel’s Messiah must suffer and die before being glorified. His death would serve as a sacrifice of atonement of God’s people: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Isaiah predicted, long before the arrival of Jesus, that the Messiah would pay the ultimate price for the sins of God’s people.
Isaiah 53 was the text for Hope’s Good Friday service. It is a powerful reminder for us that God held nothing back when he purposed to save us from sin and death. There is nothing more he could have done, because he gave his only Son to bear the punishment that brings us peace with God, and that allows us to enter, freely, into God’s family. Isaiah 53 is clearly demonstrated in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, where he was, quite literally, pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. The cross of Christ is the complete picture of God’s great love for humanity.