Suffering & Resurrection – Isaiah 53:10-12

  • Isaiah 53:10
  • But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.

Now, what do these things mean? Firstly, this means that the Suffering Servant is an offering for sin. This whole section of Scripture describes an offering for sin. Here we learn that although it looked like the servant was suffering from the hand of man, the One who was really in control was God. It was God’s will; the Father Himself is ultimately responsible for the Messiah’s death. He was pleased to crush the Servant, to bruise him. This is again a reference to his death. The word “grief” means mental or physical anguish. God was pleased to put him through mental and physical anguish. Why? Because his death is a guilt offering, in Hebrew. An asham, a guilt or trespass offering, is the most important offering found in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Servant is a substitutionary sacrifice. And in spite of this sacrifice, he will see his seed. His seed are those who benefit from his death, those who receive Spiritual rebirth.

A common question is “how can a dead man see his seed?” The answer is resurrection. He will be resurrected and he will resurrect those who trust in Him. He will see his seed and prolong his days through resurrection. Now we have come full circle. The pleasure of the Lord will prosper in his hand. He will succeed in the mission, His suffering and death is not a failure but is a complete success.

  • Isaiah 53:11
  • As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.

Secondly, these things mean that he brings justification. The first part of the verse refers to God. God will see the work of His soul and God will be satisfied. He will be satisfied by the death of the Servant. In other words, the sin offering will be accepted. This results in justification for many and the means of this justification will be the knowledge of him. “Knowledge” means experiential knowledge of Him. Not just the facts, the intellectual record of his suffering. But an experiential and personal relationship with the servant and his suffering. In other words, they receive him, they believe in him, they trust in him. So he becomes the substitute to all those who trust in Him. This is not limited to Israel. We know that the Servant’s mission was to go to the entire world.

  • Isaiah 53:12
  • Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.

In the final verse we see this Servant is rewarded. Since the servant did what he did, he will be greatly rewarded. Three statements summarized what he did: poured out his soul to death, he was numbered with transgressors, and he bore the sins of man. Bearing the sins of many is exactly what the ancient Levitical priests had done (Ex. 28:38, Lev. 10:17, Num. 18:1, cf. Ezk. 4:4-5). That is what he did in the past. He is also described as making intercession for transgressors. This act started in the past but it continues on even today. His intercession started when he was experiencing the crucifixion, when he says “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Today he intercedes for us as our great high priest.

One final aspect comes out in Luke 22:37:

For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors;’ for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.

Yeshua knew exactly what he was facing. He knew this section of Scripture by heart and he submitted to it, even though he knew he had to undergo physical and mental anguish. Nothing caught him by surprise.