When Jesus came, He was so much more than people expected. And the same salvation He offered then, He offers now.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with 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 hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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 of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
In today’s reading, Isaiah prophesied that a Savior would come to atone for the sins of mankind (Isa. 53:5). The Jews were expecting a Messiah, but Jesus didn’t match what they anticipated.
The people imagined a strong ruler who would lead their nation with worldly power, but the Lord was a servant who spent time with outcasts and the lowly. They hoped for a man who would end Israel’s persecution; He died a criminal’s death and warned His followers that they would not be accepted by the world. So it’s no surprise the Jewish people rejected Him. He didn’t fit what they wanted—yet He was so much more than they understood.
All of us will one day stand before God. In our iniquity, we’d be unworthy to remain in His presence. His judgment of sin will be death, an agonizing eternal existence apart from Him. This is why He warned Adam that if he sinned, he would die (Gen. 2:17).
Yet Jesus bore our sin so that whoever trusts in Him can look forward to eternal life (John 3:16). Christ chose to bear our punishment—the Holy One voluntarily dying the death of a criminal so we could live forever in His presence. Jesus was the way that God could satisfy His justice yet love His people (John 14:6).
Jesus’ gift of salvation is free. It requires nothing on our part except the willingness to surrender. Have you accepted His death on the cross as the atonement for your sin? The Redeemer’s death leads to life. He doesn’t guarantee an easy road, but He promises to stay with you always.