Oct. 23. Jerusalem’s Redemption; Suffering Redeemer

Is. 51:1-53:12

Isaiah continued to encourage the Israelites regarding their upcoming release from exile. He reminded them of their origin from Abraham and the many ways that God had helped them through their struggles in the past. Likewise, He would be with them in the future if they would abide with Him. Through His mercy, God would remove the cup of His fury from Judah and pass it to those who had oppressed them. As they would be released by Cyrus from the grasp of Babylonian captivity, sinners can be released by Christ from the bondage of their sins.

The prophet exhorted the captives to prepare for their departure from slavery to the freedom of being back home in Zion/Jerusalem. God’s name had been blasphemed and disrespected because other people assumed that He was unable to save His children from captivity. His name is likewise disrespected today by non-Christians when people claiming to be Christians, do evil deeds and live like the rest of the world. Freedom for the exiles would let the world know, “That I am He who speaks: ‘Behold, it is I.’”

It would be a joyful and happy occasion when the news of their deliverance would be proclaimed. Their departure would be orderly and without the confusion of haste that had occurred when they left Egypt hundreds of years earlier. One’s deliverance from the bondage of sin is also a joyful and happy experience.

When man, whom God had created, first sinned in the Garden of Eden, God revealed His plan to eventually redeem us from the consequences of our sins.

The prophet, Isaiah was very graphic in describing the appearance and sacrifice of the Savior of Israel AND the Gentiles. Instead of coming on a great white horse as one might imagine, the Messiah would appear as a Servant in humble surroundings and be rejected by His own people. One also might expect Him to have a regal and flamboyant demeanor. However, there would be no beauty in Him and He would be a man of sorrows and grief because of our sins.

Deserved or undeserved, punishment is not pleasant—especially if it is undeserved. Obviously, undeserved death would be even more tragic. The Servant would be, “bruised for our iniquities…And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Even through all of the unjust treatment that He would endure, He would not try to defend Himself.

At the end of His earthly life, the Servant; the Messiah; the King of kings; the Lord of lords; the Savior of mankind would not die the death of royalty. Instead, He would be, “numbered with the transgressors…”