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Isaiah 53 Prophecy

Prophecy Given and Fulfilled.

The texts referenced are given below in larger font.

700 Years before the life of Jesus Christ, an astounding prophecy was given to the prophet Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah. It contains numerous details about what would happen in His life, His death and the purposes for both, centuries in advance.

It starts with describing Jesus’ humble beginnings, that He was a man who wasn’t necessarily attractive, and in fact, people turned away from Him (Luke 4:28-29, Mark 14:50-52, Matthew 27:21-23, Philippians 2:6-8).He certainly wasn’t what any nation would want for their coming King, but Isaiah prophesied His humility. He was born in a barn to an unknown teenager (Luke 2:4-6). His own people didn’t believe in Him (John 4:44; 12:37-38). His country rejected Him as their King and crucified Him. After all, at the time of Jesus’ life, Israel was under the occupation of the Roman Empire. Wasn’t the King of the Jews supposed to free them from their oppression?

This doubt and disdain led the Jews to convince the Romans to kill their King instead. The accounts of Jesus death, tell us that Jesus cried out to God, and God turned His face away because He couldn’t look at the sins of the world that He had placed on Jesus (Mark 15:34). Isaiah told His people years and years in advance that He would die for their sins. And the prophet described that He would be confined, beaten and whipped before He died (Matthew 26:47-27:31, Mark 15:15,19). But it was “by His stripes we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

Jesus did not defend Himself before His accusers, and remained quiet, exactly as Isaiah foretold, because Jesus knew that He had to die (Mark 15:4-5). He had to be the sacrifice for their sins, so that they, and we, could be forgiven. Pilate asked Him if their accusations were true, but He said nothing. His followers deserted Him, and He was sentenced to death (John 18:13-22). Even with all of their undeserved abuse, He let them lead Him to his death, carrying His own cross and die an agonizing death, not for His own sins, but in place of theirs (Mark 15:21-24). And as Isaiah foretold, the Roman soldiers took His belongings for themselves (Mark 15:24)

Isaiah specifically used the image of a lamb being led to the slaughter, because God required the Jewish people under their law to slaughter a lamb for their sins each year on the day of Atonement. This lamb didn’t take away their sins, because an animal can only be a picture of the substitute. The only true substitute that God would accept was human life for a human life (John 1:29). Jesus was God, and never sinned, so He didn’t die for His own crimes. He died for ours (Hebrews 9:22). Before God, our wrongs deserve punishment, but God loves us and wants to forgive us, so Jesus died like a lamb, as our substitute, so that God would judge Him, instead of us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Just like His humble beginnings, His life had a humble end. He was numbered with the sinners. His life was traded for a criminal’s, and the Son of God hung beaten and naked and suffocated to death in a humiliating death between two thieves (Mark 15:15, 27). And He did it for you and me. The Creator of the Universe emptied Himself, was born into our world, suffered, was abused, rejected and was murdered, for sinners us (Colossians 1:13-20).

He was buried in a rich man’s grave, as Isaiah foretold (Mark 15:43-46). But three days later, He rose again, came out of the grave and conquered death, so that we could have eternal life. He offers this life to anyone who believes Jesus died in their place and took the punishment for their sins so they can be forgiven. He did this for you. To receive this free gift, all you have to do is pray and ask for forgiveness today, and Jesus will give you eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16).”

Side by Side Comparison

of Prophecy Given and Fulfilled.

Isaiah 53 (700-681 BC)

Who has believed our report?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,

And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

So He opened not His mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment,

And who will declare His generation?

For He was cut off from the land of the living;

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

And they made His grave with the wicked—

But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days.

And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,

For He shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,

And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

Because He poured out His soul unto death,

And He was numbered with the transgressors,

And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors.

Mark 15 (30 AD)

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!” So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph. And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

Other Bible Scriptures Referenced

Israel Rejected Him

“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.” Luke 4:28-29

“Then everyone deserted him and fled. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.” Mark 14:50-52

“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Matthew 27:21-23

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:6-8

Born in a Barn to an Unknown Teenager

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:4-7

His own people didn’t believe in Him

“Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.” John 4:44

“Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” John 12:37-38

He was beaten and whipped

“Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.... Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.” Mark 15:15-19

By his stripes you are healed

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

The Roman soldiers divided up his clothes

“And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.” Mark 15:24

Jesus shed his blood like a sacrificed lamb

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

“In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus was counted with the sinners

“They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left”. Mark 15:27

Jesus was buried in a rich man’s grave

“Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.” Mark 15:43-46

Creator of the Universe humbled himself and died for us

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:13-20


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