Isaiah 53:1–12 (NKJV)
This messianic passage contains some of the most well-known Scriptures ever written. Part of the suffering servant references in Isaiah, chapter 53 is one of the most prominent. Healing is spoken of in many books of the Bible, but this is the keynote passage concerning healing, for it specifically says that healing is provided through the stripes laid upon the back of the Messiah.
53:1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The trajectory of the life and death of Christ is presented in summary here. Born (root), lived (tender plant), opposed (despised and rejected), beaten mercilessly (no form or comeliness), and bearing all of our ills were His path in His short life on earth. But His path won us victory over grief, sorrow, trangressions, iniquities, and worry. He took the punishment for our wanderings.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
This passage alludes to the humility with which Jesus took all the pain and suffering associated with His crucifixion. He was silent, like a lamb. He was killed, unjustly, for our transgressions. He died with the wicked and was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
The wording at the beginning of this section is puzzling. “It please the Lord to bruise Him.” That does not sound like a pleasing choice at all. But this was a pragmatic choice. What was the solution? What would sin the forgiveness of our sins? What would save us? Only the death of Christ would accomplish that goal, so it please the Lord. Jesus was offered for our sins. He has justified and will justify many, bearing their iniquities. He is the Savior: wounded, bruised, and striped…but RISEN!