Thursday, March 08, 2007

Observations in Isaiah 53:4-6

During Lent 2007, I'm preaching through the Servant Song in Isaiah 52:13-53:12. It's an incredible Old Testament prophecy that meditates on the suffering of Jesus and the saving benefits His cross brings. This week I'm focusing in on 53:4-6. These three verses describe in detail the meaning of Jesus' death.

There are two features in this section that really stand out to me:

  • 7 times there's a single pronoun--these speak of Jesus and are highlighted in green.
  • 10 times there's a plural pronoun--these speak of anyone who believes in Jesus' saving work and are highlighted in blue.
  • Isaiah uses repetition (or parallelism), a frequent tool in Hebrew poetry, to emphasize the Servant's ministry. The use of repetition in each line is highlighted in red.

Verse 4
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, (2x repetition, parallel thought)
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (3x repetition of single thought)

Verse 5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; (2x repetition, parallel thought)
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (2x repetition, parallel thought)

Verse 6
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; (2x repetition, parallel thought)
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (No repetition)

As I was studying this passage, the last line really startled me:

It's a stark, blunt, climatic line--"the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Sobering truth.

No comments: