Day 18—By His Wounds We Are Healed
Read Isaiah 52:13–53:12
See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him—
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
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.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised,
and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
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 its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
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.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered, 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.
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 transgressors.
In today’s passage, we read Isaiah’s depiction of a coming servant who would not only be highly exalted and shut the mouths of earthly kings, but also would suffer and be pierced for the transgressions of others. Through this servant’s suffering, God’s people would be healed and cleansed from their sin. With our post-Christ eyes, it is impossible not to see Jesus in these words of Isaiah. For the Jewish people of Jesus’ day, though, the notion that the coming messiah-king would suffer was a shocking revelation, and a barrier to many of them believing Jesus was the promised messiah. In their minds, the messiah-king would come in power and in one act, release them from captivity, bring their enemies to judgment, and take the throne as their king. God has chosen to bring about His restoration and judgment differently, though, inaugurating His kingdom with the coming of Jesus, expanding Israel to include the Gentiles, and promising to return again to bring His kingdom fully and finally.
• Read through this passage again slowly and pay attention to the words, phrases, or images that stand out to you. What were they? Why do you think those particular words, phrases, or images struck you?
• How do you think it would have been as a Jewish person who has learned about a coming savior and king their whole life to come to understand that the savior and king would suffer for the sins of his people as a way of healing and cleansing them? What does this truth stir in you?
• As you read this passage, is there anything that stirs in you to speak or pray to God? Share whatever that is with Him.
• What does today’s passage reveal to you about God?
God, my savior and healer, thank You for Jesus. Thank You for the cleansing and healing that has come and continues to come through Him. I long for Your kingdom to come fully and finally so that there is no more death, suffering, or war, and everything that causes pain or despair comes to an end. My hope is in You and I trust Your promise that Jesus will return in glory and reconcile all things to You. May it be so.