Isaiah 49:1-53:12 The Sacrifice is Sufficient



    Isaiah 49:1-53::12              April 5 2009

    The two great things which the Spirit of Christ in the
Old-Testament prophets testified beforehand were the
sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow,
(1Peter. 1:11). And that which Christ himself, when he
expounded Moses and all the prophets, showed to be the
drift and scope of them all was that Christ ought to suffer
and then to enter into his glory, (Luke 24:26,27). But
nowhere in all the Old-Testament are these two so plainly
and fully prophesied of as here in this chapter, out of
which divers passages are quoted with application to Christ
in the New-Testament. This chapter is so replenished with
the unsearchable riches of Christ that it may be called rather
the gospel of the evangelist Isaiah than the prophecy of the
prophet Isaiah. We may observe here, I. The reproach of
Christ’s sufferings-the meanness of his appearance, the
greatness of his grief, and the prejudices which many
conceived in consequences against his doctrine (Isa.53:1-3).
II. The rolling away of this reproach, and the stamping of
immortal honour upon his sufferings, notwithstanding the
disgrace and ignominy of them, by four considerations:-
1. That therein he did his Father’s will (Isa. 53:4,6,10).
2. That thereby he made atonement for the sin of man
(Isa.53:4-6,8,11,12), for it was not for any sin of his own
that he suffered (Isa. 53:9). 3. That he bore his sufferings
with an invincible and exemplary patience (Isa. 53:7).
4. That he should prosper in his undertaking, and his
sufferings should end in his immortal honour (Isa. 53:
10-12). By mixing faith with the prophecy of this
chapter we may improve our acquaintance with Jesus
Christ and him crucified, with Jesus Christ and him
glorified, dying for our sins and rising again for our

    1. THE PERSON. (Isaiah 53:2-3)

Isa. 53:2   He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and
like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty
to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we
should desire him. 53:3   He was despised and rejected
by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised,
and we esteemed him not.

    No where in all the Old Testament is it so plainly and
fully prophesied, that Christ ought to suffer, and then to
enter into his glory, as in this chapter. But to this day few
discern, or will acknowledge, that Divine power which goes
with the word. The authentic and most important report of
salvation for sinners, through the Son of God, is
disregarded. The low condition he submitted to, and his
appearance in the world, were not agreeable to the ideas the
Jews had formed of the Messiah. It was expected that he
should come in pomp; instead of that, he grew up as a plant,
silently, and insensibly. He had nothing of the glory which
one might have thought to meet with him. His whole life was
not only humble as to outward condition, but also sorrowful.
Being made sin for us, he underwent the sentence sin had
exposed us to. Carnal hearts see nothing in the Lord Jesus to
desire an interest in him. Alas! by how many is he still
despised in his people, and rejected as to his doctrine and
    Tended shoot . The Messiah would grow from the “stump
of Jesse.” (Isa.4:2; 11:1) and notes. His beginnings would be
humble. Root . (Isa.11:10) . Beauty. The Hebrew for this word
is used of David in (1Sam. 16:18), where it is translated
“fine-looking.” Christ had nothing of the bearing or trappings
of royalty. Despised . (Isa.49:7 ; Psalms 22:6). Rejected . . .
Esteemed . The Hebrew words used here occur together also
in (Isa.2:22) . (John 1:10-11). Sorrows . The Hebrew for this
word is used of both physical and mental pain (Isa.53: 4;
Exodus 3:7). Hide their faces . (Isa1:15 ; 8:17).

    2. SUFFERINGS. (Isaiah 53:4-9)

Isa. 53:4   Surely he took up our infirmities and carried
our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.  53:5   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.  53:6   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. 53:7  
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his
mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a
sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open
his mouth.  53:8   By oppression and judgment he was
taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For
he was cut off from the land of the living; for the
transgression of my people he was stricken.
 53:9   He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and
with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.

    In these verses is an account of the sufferings of
Christ; also of the design of his sufferings. It was for
our sins, and in our stead, that our Lord Jesus suffered.
We have all sinned, and have come short of the glory of
God. Sinners have their beloved sin, their own evil way,
of which they are fond. Our sins deserve all griefs and
sorrows, even the most severe. We are saved from the
ruin, to which by sin we become liable, by laying our sins
on Christ. This atonement was to be made for our sins.
And this is the only way of salvation. Our sins were the
thorns in Christ’s head, the nails in his hands and feet,
the spear in his side. He was delivered to death for our
offences. By his sufferings he purchased for us the Spirit
and grace of God, to mortify our corruptions, which are
the distempers of our souls. We may well endure our
lighter sufferings, if He has taught us to esteem all
things but loss for him, and to love him who has first
loved us.
     Quoted in part in (Matt 8:17) with reference to
Jesus’ healing ministry. Infirmities . Diseases often
result from sinful living and are ultimately the
consequences of original (Adamic) sin. (Isa.1:5-6) .
Stricked by God . With a terrible disease (Gen.12:17;
2Kings 15:5). People (Israel in particular) thought the
servant was suffering for his own sins. Afflicted . Or
“humbled,” or “oppressed” (Isa.53: 7; 58:10). Pierced .
(Psalms 22:16; Zec 12:10; John 19:34) Crushed . In
spirit (Psalms 34:18; Isa 57:15). The sins of the world
weighed heavily upon him. Healed . Here probably
equivalent to “forgiven” (Isa.6:10; Jer 30:17; 
1Peter 2:24). Have gone astray . (Psalms 119:176;
Jer 50:6; Eze 34:4-6,16; 1Pe 2:25). Laid on him the
iniquity of us all . Just as the priest laid his hands on
the scapegoat and symbolically put Israel’s sins on it
(Lev 16:21;1Peter 2:24). (Isa.53:7-8) Verses read by
the Ethiopian eunuch in the presence of Philip (Acts
8:32-33). (isa.53:7) Oppressed . Like Israel. (Isa.49:26) .
The Hebrew for this word is translated “slave drivers”
in (Exodus 5:6). Lamb to the slaughter  ( Psalms 44:22;
Rev 5:6). John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of
God” (John 1:29,35). Did not open his mouth . Jesus
remained silent before the chief priests and Pilate
(Matt 27:12-14; Mark 14:60-61; 15:4-5; John 19:8-9)
and before Herod (Luke 23:8-9).  By oppression and
Judgment . Jesus was given an unfair trial. His descendants .
To die without children was considered a tragedy (2Sam
18:18). (isa.53:10). But see second NIV text note here. The
wicked . The manner of his death would indicate that, as
far as those who condemned him were concerned, he was
to be buried with executed criminals. The rich . Not as a
burial with honor. The parallelism (with its effective
wordplay in Hebrew) makes clear that Isaiah here associates
the rich with the wicked, as do many OT writers —because
they acquired their wealth by wicked means and /or trusted
in their wealth rather than in God (Psalms  37:16,35; Prov.
18:23; 28:30; Jer 5:26-27; Mic 6:10,12). According to the
Gospels (Matt. 27:57-60), the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea
gave Jesus an honorable burial by placing his body in his
own tomb. But this was undoubtedly an act of love growing
out of his awareness that he had been forgiven much
(Luke 7:47). Thus the fulfillment fitted but also transcended
the prophecy. Hehad done no violence , nor . . . Deceit in his
mouth . Peter quotes these lines as he encourages believers
to endure unjust suffering (1Peter 2:22).

    3. That Therein He Did His Father’s Will (Isaiah 53:10-12)

Isa. 53:10   Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause
him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt
offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and
the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 53:11   After
the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be
satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify
many, and he will bear their iniquities.  53:12   Therefore I
will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide
the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life
unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he
bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the

    Come, and see how Christ loved us! We could not put
him in our stead, but he put himself. Thus he took away the
sin of the world, by taking it on himself. He made himself
subject to death, which to us is the wages of sin. Observe
the graces and glories of his state of exaltation. Christ
will not commit the care of his family to any other. God’s
purposes shall take effect. And whatever is undertaken
according to God’s pleasure shall prosper. He shall see it
accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners.
There are many whom Christ justifies, even as many as he
gave his life a ransom for. By faith we are justified; thus
God is most glorified, free grace most advanced, self most
abased, and our happiness secured. We must know him, and
believe in him, as one that bore our sins, and saved us from
sinking under the load, by taking it upon himself. Sin and
Satan, death and hell, the world and the flesh, are the strong
foes he has vanquished. What God designed for the Redeemer
he shall certainly possess. When he led captivity captive, he
received gifts for men, that he might give gifts to men. While
we survey the sufferings of the Son of God, let us remember
our long catalogue of transgressions, and consider him as
suffering under the load of our guilt. Here is laid a firm
foundation for the trembling sinner to rest his soul upon.
We are the purchase of his blood, and the monuments of his
grace; for this he continually pleads and prevails, destroying
the works of the devil.
    Crush him . (Isa.53:5) . Guilt offering . An offering where
restitution was usually required (Lev 5:16; 6:5) and the
offender sacrificed a ram (Lev 5:15). HIS Offspring . Spiritual
descendants. Prolong his days . Christ would live forever
(Isa.9:7 ). Prosper. (Isa.52:13). Light of life . A reference to
the resurrection of Christ; (1Con 15:4) . For “of life” also
(Job 33:28,30; Psalms 49:19; 56:13). Be satisfied . In (Isa1:11),
where the same Hebrew word appears, God had “more than
enough” of innumerable sacrifices that accomplished nothing.
Here the one sacrifice of Christ brings perfect satisfaction.
His knowledge . His true knowledge of the true God (Isa.1:3; 6:9;
43:10; 45:4-5; 52:6; 56:10). The Spirit of knowledge (Isa.11:2)
 rested on the Messiah  . (Isa.52:13). My. . . Servant . (isa. 41:8-9;
42:1 ). Justify . Cause many to be declared righteous.(Isa.5:23)
(“acquit”); (Romans 5:19) and . Many . (Isa 53:12;  52:15;
Dan 12:3). Among the great . . . ith the strong . God will reward
his servant as if he was a king sharing in the spoils of a great
victory (Isa. 52:15). Divide the spoils . God’s gift to his
suffering servant (Isa. 9:3). Poured out his life . As a sacrifice
(Isa.53:10). Unto death . (Php 2:8). and was numbered with the
transgressors . Quoted in (Luke 22:37) with reference to Jesus.
Bore . The Hebrew for this verb is translated “took up” in
(Isa 53:4). Mads intercession . (Jer 7:16) (“pray”); 27:18
(“plead”). (Isa.59:16; Heb 7:25).


            The prophet, in the close of the former chapter,
had foreseen and foretold the kind reception which the gospel
of Christ should find among the Gentiles, that nations and their
kings should bid it welcome, that those who had not seen him
should believe in him; and though they had not any prophecies
among them of gospel grace, which might raise their
expectations, and dispose them to entertain it, yet upon the
first notice of it they should give it its due weight and
consideration. Now here he foretels, with wonder, the unbelief
of the Jews, notwithstanding the previous notices they had of
the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament and the
opportunity they had of being personally acquainted with him.
Observe here.

    It was expected that his extraction would be very great
and noble. He was to be the Son of David, of a family that had
a name like to the names of the great men that were in the earth,
(2Sam. 7:9). But he sprang out of this royal and illustrious family
when it was reduced and sunk, and Joseph, that son of David, who
was his supposed father, was but a poor carpenter, perhaps a
ship-carpenter, for most of his relations were fishermen. This
is here meant by his being a root out of a dry ground, his being
born of a mean and despicable family, in the north, in Galilee, of
a family out of which, like a dry and desert ground, nothing green,
nothing great, was expected, in a country of such small repute
that it was thought no good thing could come out of it. His mother,
being a virgin, was as dry ground, yet from her he sprang who is
not only fruit, but root. The seed on the stony ground had no root;
but, though Christ grew out of a dry ground, he is both the root
and the offspring of David, the root of the good olive