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Isaiah 52:13-53

Talks for Growing Christians

The Perfect Servant as the Suffering Servant

Isaiah 52:13-53

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Lesson Number 43

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Suffering Servant would have humble beginnings.
  2. The Suffering Servant would die as our substitute.
  3. The Suffering Servant would be bodily resurrected.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t claim Isaiah 53:5 for physical healing now!

Questions

  1. What are the Servant Songs of Isaiah?
  2. How does modern Judaism interpret this Servant Song, to avoid the obvious allusions to the Lord Jesus?
  3. What is the problem with this interpretation?
  4. Review the two conclusions we can make from Isaiah 53:10.
  5. Why should Isaiah 53:5 not be used to promise physical healing for the believer if they have enough faith?

Answers

  1. They are Messianic prophecies of the coming perfect Servant.
  2. They say that the Servant here is the nation of Israel, not an individual.
  3. In Isaiah 53:8, the suffering Servant is definitely distinguished from the people of the nation. Furthermore, the suffering Servant is clearly an innocent victim throughout this passage. That could never be said of the nation of Israel which is denounced for her sins in the rest of Isaiah.
  4. 1) The substitutionary sufferings of the perfect Servant were all in the will of God. They were part of His plan to provide the necessary sacrifice to pay for the penalty of our sins. 2) For the suffering Servant to see His offspring or seed (i.e. believers), prolong His days, and see the results of His sacrificial death would necessitate bodily resurrection.
  5. In context, spiritual healing from the consequences of sin is primarily in view – not physical healing. While it is true that a believer’s resurrected body will not be subject to disease and sickness, making physical healing today reliant on the strength of your faith is dangerous and destructive.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Many people in Jesus’ day rejected Him because of His humble beginnings. Discuss how they expected the Messiah to come. Honestly consider whether you would have accepted Christ if He had revealed Himself in your day.
  2. Isaiah 53 paints a vivid picture of the sufferings of Christ. Walk through this passage and note all the prophetic elements you see.

Challenge

  1. If you ever have the opportunity to witness to a Jewish friend, consider asking them to read Isaiah 53 from their own Scriptures.

Key Verses

  • “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.” Isaiah 53:5
  • “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.” Isaiah 53:6

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