he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at him--
so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortals—
so he shall startle many nations;
kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before Him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by others;
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised,
and we held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way,
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
so he did not open his mouth.
By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of My people.
They made his grave with the wicked
and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.
Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, My servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
- Isaiah 52:13 – 53:11 (NRSV)
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Before there is Easter joy, there is the sacrifice of God’s suffering Servant.
During Holy Week, facing Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples and his Passion and death on the cross, we Christians clearly see Jesus as the suffering Servant in Isaiah’s poem. Jesus is high and lifted up, yet he is also injured and disfigured. Jesus is “the arm of the LORD,” yet he is also nothing special to look at. Jesus is “despised and rejected by people” yet he also carries us through our weakness and our sickness. And so on.
Jesus is “all that.”
In the end of this passage, we see God’s plan to make us righteous through what Jesus has done for us. Jesus Christ wants us to share his new life:
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. -1 Peter 4:1-2
Come, walk with God’s Servant into the Easter joy!