Phillip Yancey describes that when the Son of God died on planet earth—how could it be that a Messiah should face defeat, a God get crucified? Nature itself convulsed at the deed: the ground shook, rocks cracked open, the sky went black.” How can the enormity of such an event be so ignored and neglected in modern culture?
750 years before the birth of Christ the prophet Isaiah described the punishment required in God’s redemptive plan. Isaiah is a letter to God’s people that explains the consequences of their rebellion. Isaiah describes in graphic metaphorical detail God’s peoples’ sin. Isaiah describes their sin of pride, rebellion, religious piety, and neglect of revealed truth. Further, he identifies the consequences of their sin – God’s silence, God’s discipline, the nation’s exile from God’s Promised Land. This prophetic writing is also where Isaiah explained in graphic detail the shocking revelation of God redemptive plan through the coming Obedient Servant.
Post-resurrection Christians have the honorable pleasure of seeing Isaiah 53 through the lens of what Jesus has done. It should be no surprise that the Hebrew people did not understand God’s redemptive plan about a silent, suffering, sacrificial Servant – Messiah. What ought to be a surprise is that post-resurrection Christians can read in graphic detail the prophesied sacrifice of God’s son and continued to treat sin so cavalierly.
Isaiah 53:3-8 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of suffering who knew what sickness was. He was like one people turned away from; He was despised, and we didn’t value Him. 4 Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. 6 We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the LORD has punished Him for the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. 8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment; and who considered His fate? For He was cut off from the land of the living; He was struck because of My people’s rebellion.
“The might of the ancient world (the Roman Empire), the most sophisticated religious system of its time (The Jewish Sanhedrin) allied itself against a solitary figure, the only perfect man who has ever lived. Though He is mocked by the powers and abandoned by his friends, yet the Gospels give the strong, ironic sense that he himself is overseeing the whole long process. He (Jesus), resolutely set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing the fate that awaited him. The cross has been his goal all along. Now, as death nears, he called the shots.”