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.
Isaiah 53:10 (NIV)
Read: Isaiah 53:1-12
Consider: When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans he introduced himself in the following way: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scripture (Romans 1:1-2). Paul was confident that the gospel he proclaimed was not something new as it had been foretold in the Holy Scriptures.
Today’s reading in Isaiah 53 was probably one of the Scriptures Paul had in mind when he penned his letter. Isaiah was written about 750 years before Jesus came to earth, yet reading it today it clearly points to someone who would be ‘an offering for sin’ (v10) and who ‘bore the sin of many’ (v12). Almost 800 years after it was written, this prophecy would be fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus. Do you appreciate the enormity of what this means? Long before you and I were born, God had already put in motion his plan for salvation that would culminate in the death of Jesus on the cross.
If you read today’s reading quickly, take time to read it more slowly and let what it says about your salvation seep into your soul. There are many truths in this chapter that can easily be missed if we don’t take time to meditate upon it.
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 (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Can you understand why people talk about the glorious gospel? It is amazing that God’s plan for salvation was worked out long before it came to be fulfilled. It is also amazing that through the death of one man (Jesus), salvation is offered to all those who put their trust in him and accept God’s gift of forgiveness.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile (Romans 1:16).
Pray: Father, may we never be ashamed to speak of the wonderful gift of salvation you offer through the death of your Son, Jesus, on the cross. May our lives be a witness to others of the life-changing nature of the gospel. Amen