Mike’s Musings …..

Isaiah 53

   Perhaps all of us have our “favorite” passages; perhaps we even have “favorites” for various subjects within God’s word. For me, Isaiah 53 is among those which impress me most regarding the suffering Savior, Jesus the Christ. It was from this text the Ethiopian treasurer was reading as he returned from Jerusalem. He was mystified regarding of whom the prophet spoke until Philip began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus (see Acts 8:26 – 40). Because we read that passage so quickly, some tend to think it took but a brief time to explain the content of Isaiah 53 to the eunuch. Yet, we must take note that Philip explained to the eunuch not only the text of Isaiah 53, but from its reality, Philip taught the eunuch what he must do for the remission of his sins. When taught, he obeyed. That proves this a very forceful passage!

   It is difficult to read the passage without tears if the reader clearly understands the Subject of his words. Growing from obscurity; having no natural beauty that would attract others; being despised and rejected of His own (John 1:11); afflicted with grief both physical and mental; ignored and despised, He remained without esteem. With certainty, He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; still, mankind saw Him as a victim of His own troubles, smitten of God and afflicted. In reality, He was killed for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; He received the punishment that we would receive the peace; indeed, it is through His stripes we are healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

   I muse on the value of this passage. When remembering His death each Lord’s Day, 1 Corinthians 11:23 – 29 or the words of Matthew, Mark or Luke are read that we might better recall the reason for the communion. To me, Isaiah’s account is quite accurate in reminding us! Passages dealing with the literal crucifixion are effective reminders, just as Isaiah’s words prophesy. They are truly effective to the serious mind: they convinced the eunuch of his need to obey the One who sacrificed His life and blood to save us (Acts 8:26 – 40). When the eunuch and Philip came upon certain water, the eunuch asked, “Here is water. What hinders me to be baptized?” Philip responded, “If thou believest, thou mayest.” “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” was the glad, emphatic reply that preceded the eunuch being immersed into Christ for the remission of his sins!

   The effectiveness of Isaiah 53 to the serious-minded soul is incredible. It would serve us well to read it frequently, and as we do, word a fervent prayer of thanksgiving to the Father who lovingly gave us His Son for the remission of our sins! (John 3:16)