As we move into the week of The Passion of Jesus, there are no words more powerful than what the Prophet Isaiah wrote 700 years before Christ's Birth, Suffering, Death, & Resurrection. The hope of the Gospel is found below.
See, my Servant shall prosper; he shall be highly exalted. Yet many shall be amazed when they see him-yes, even far-off foreign nations and their kings; they shall stand dumbfounded, speechless in his presence. For they shall see and understand what they had not been told before. They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there. So shall he cleanse many nations.
But, oh, how few believe it! Who will listen? To whom will God reveal his saving power? In God's eyes, he was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes, there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him. We despised him and rejected him.....a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised and we did not care.
Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We are the ones who strayed away like sheep! We, who left God's paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us!
He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him. From prison and trial, they led him away to his death. But who among the people of that day realized it was their sins that he was dying for-that he was suffering their punishment? He was buried like a criminal in a rich man's grave; but he had done no wrong, and had never spoken an evil word.
Yet it was the Lord's good plan to bruise him and fill him with grief. But when his soul has been made an offering for sin, then he shall have a multitude of children, many heirs. He shall live again and God's program shall prosper in his hands. And when he sees all that is accomplished by the anguish of his soul, he shall be satisfied; and because of what he has experienced, my righteous Servant shall make many to be counted righteous before God, for he shall bear all their sins. Therefore, I will give him the honor of one who is mighty and great, because he has poured out his soul unto death. He was counted as a sinner, he bore the sins of many, and he even pled with God for sinners. Isaiah 52 & 53