Today I want to do something very simple: Focus only on one aspect of the reading from Isaiah (53:4-12).
I just want to remark about how uncannily this passage matches the reality that was to afflict Jesus of Nazareth centuries after the passage was written. Some say that it is all too easy to “read back” into the writings of the prophets meanings that weren’t originally intended, as if to shoehorn Jesus’ story fit into writings intended for another purpose entirely. For non-believers, maybe so. But this passage doesn’t take any creative interpretations; one would need to be completely purblind to fail to see Jesus in almost every line of these verses.
“Wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed…. and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
But wait, there’s more. Remember how mute Jesus was, for so long, under questioning by Pilate? Here is Isaiah’s passage: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away.”
And, further, this is what the Gospels report happen to Jesus, as written centuries before by Isaiah: “They made his grave with the wicked [note: the two other criminals] and his tomb with the rich [note: Joseph of Arimathea].”
Anyway, read the whole thing for yourself — and see if you can with any confidence deny that there is something real to this whole, Biblical prophecy business.
It’s as if God really had a plan and a purpose all along. Imagine that!
Imagine, and marvel. And rejoice.