Isaiah 53:5-6 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 all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
In many ways Isaiah 53 is the climax of the whole Old Testament, and certainly of Messianic prophecy. Even so, sadly many Jews today are unaware of it. That is very much by the devil’s design. Recently I have discovered OneForIsrael.org and the many video testimonies they have online, particularly of Jews who have come to faith in Yeshua but also of former Muslims and others who have discovered Him. A very frequent feature among the testimonies of Jews is their discovery of this chapter, and their realization that it could only apply to Yeshua, better known to Gentiles as Jesus. The imagery is very striking, with this verse saying that we are like sheep, and the next verse saying that the Messiah was “led like a lamb to the slaughter.” The reality of God becoming man and taking the penalty for man’s sin on Himself is so incredible that even with the facts laid out in front of us it’s hard to grasp. However, when we open the door of our heart just a crack, God will pour His revelation into our heart to enable us to grasp it and believe. It’s that first crack that makes all the difference! Sad to say, sometimes we try to shut the door again, saying that’s enough, because the more revelation we have of Christ, the more we are accountable to live like Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s scary, and sometimes we run from it. However, that fear is a lie of the devil, intended to rob us of the infinite riches of glory in Christ Jesus. We need to continually open our hearts for more of the Lord of Glory.
I first memorized this verse in elementary school as a part of Royal Ambassadors, a Southern Baptist group for boys, and I’m glad I did. Frankly, Scripture memorization was never a favorite activity, but it is certainly valuable! This passage of course also forms the lyrics of some of the well-known songs of Handel’s The Messiah, and I can hardly read it without the music running through my head. That too is a good thing, because music is an excellent way to implant Scripture in our hearts. The question remains, however, of how much I have allowed this verse, and all the others, to change my heart and make me more like Christ. He is the ultimate judge of that, but I rejoice in every indication of progress in that area. I am to make myself fully available to Him for however He wants to use me, drawing others to likewise open their heart to Him, so that the purpose of His suffering may be fulfilled more and more, for His satisfaction and glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for what You did yesterday, and for allowing me to be a part of that. I pray that today too I may flow with Your Spirit so that people may be freed from the lies of the enemy and brought to the fullness of Your salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!