See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred was his look beyond that of man,
and his appearance beyond that of mortals—
So shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.
Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
One of those from whom men hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.
Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
While we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins,
Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
But the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.
Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
A grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
Though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
[But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity.]
If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be
accomplished through him.
Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
And he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.
— Isaiah 52:13-53:12 (NAB)
Wow! Reading this passage on this side of Jesus’ life, it is obvious to see the connections and implications of these words in terms of His Passion. The second verse reminded me of the harsh criticism of the movie, saying that the scourging was too much. The fifth verse points to a life of obscurity before His life of public ministry. And the last three versions remind me of many things in the New Testament.
But what strikes me the most is that I can see His Beatitudes written in the spaces between these words, especially the first one on poverty of spirit. I am awed by the complete lack of pride, the pure humility of Jesus to endure all that He did for us. As a young man, before His public ministry, He had read and heard this passage. He knew what the Messiah was going to endure. He also knew that all was gift from God. And yet, when it finally dawned on Him that He was the Messiah, He still said, “Yes Father.”
Thank you Lord!