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The Suffering Messiah foretold
Posted On 05/09/2018 14:10:19 by PastorZomok


In the Old Testament there is a great text in Isaiah chapter 53 that depicts a suffering servant.  Down through the corridor of time this has been interpreted in many ways.  In much Jewish literature (i.e. Talmud) this has been looked at as the Israel nation being trampled upon and even in exile. In the Zohar it has been given several interpretations. Despite all this, a casual reading makes it clear that this is an individual.  Here is the text itself (Young's Literal Translation)-

Who hath given credence to that which we heard? And the arm of Jehovah, On whom hath it been revealed?

Yea, he cometh up as a tender plant before Him, And as a root out of a dry land, He hath no form, nor honour, when we observe him, Nor appearance, when we desire him.

He is despised, and left of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness, And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains -- he hath carried them, And we -- we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us.

All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all.

It hath been exacted, and he hath answered, And he openeth not his mouth, As a lamb to the slaughter he is brought, And as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, And he openeth not his mouth.

By restraint and by judgment he hath been taken, And of his generation who doth meditate, That he hath been cut off from the land of the living? By the transgression of My people he is plagued,

And it appointeth with the wicked his grave, And with the rich [are] his high places, Because he hath done no violence, Nor [is] deceit in his mouth.

10 And Jehovah hath delighted to bruise him, He hath made him sick, If his soul doth make an offering for guilt, He seeth seed -- he prolongeth days, And the pleasure of Jehovah in his hand doth prosper.

11 Of the labour of his soul he seeth -- he is satisfied, Through his knowledge give righteousness Doth the righteous one, My servant, to many, And their iniquities he doth bear.

12 Therefore I give a portion to him among the many, And with the mighty he apportioneth spoil, Because that he exposed to death his soul, And with transgressors he was numbered, And he the sin of many hath borne, And for transgressors he intercedeth.

A careful reading of this text (from about 700 years before Jesus was born on Earth) reveals several important things that apply to the messiah Jesus.  He was bruised and punished for us (v. 6) and carried our sins (v. 12).  It is plainly a messianic prophecy.  This is, in fact, how the text is treated in the Book of Acts, which was written by the same person that produced the Gospel of Luke.  In Acts 8:26-36, we read of how the apostle Philip encountered an Etheopian official who was puzzeled by the text of Isaiah.  This gave Philip a doorway to present the Gospel of Jesus to the official, who was baptised.  It is likely that the text in questioned was Isaiah 53. 

Another text that is seemingly related is found in Chapter 2, (verses12-20) of a book named "Wisdom of Solomon", which was probably written in the 1st century BC.  Protestants generally do not hold this to be inspired, although Catholics and Eastern Orthdox churches do.  It seems to echo Isaiah 53.  Here is the text-

12: "Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training. 13: He professes to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord. 14: He became to us a reproof of our thoughts; 15: the very sight of him is a burden to us, because his manner of life is unlike that of others, and his ways are strange. 16: We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father. 17: Let us see if his words are true, and let us test what will happen at the end of his life; 18: for if the righteous man is God's son, he will help him, and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. 19: Let us test him with insult and torture, that we may find out how gentle he is, and make trial of his forbearance. 20: Let us condemn him to a shameful death, for, according to what he says, he will be protected."

We know that Jesus pointed out the sins and hypocrisy of many Jewish leaders who wished to kill him. So we see that some clear prophecys, which depict the persecution of Jesus exist...and well before he was born.

Pastor Zomok

Tags: Isaiah Messiah Wisdom Acts Apologetics



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