The Messiah in Isaiah Bible Study
Isaiah 52:15-53:3 - Start of the greatest passage in the Old Testament
by I Gordon
 ↩ This passage has led to the salvation of many believers. Here is a testimony from Dr. Louis S. Lapides, a Jewish Christian from Newark, New Jersey concerning the impact of Isaiah 53 in his life (as mentioned in Lee Strobel's 'The Case for Christ')
'As Lapides progressed through the Scriptures, he was stopped cold by Isaiah 53. With clarity and specificity, in a haunting predicÐtion wrapped in exquisite poetry, here was the picture of a Messiah who would suffer and die for the sins of Israel and the world - all written more than seven hundred years before Jesus walked the earth... Instantly Lapides recognized the portrait: this was Jesus of Nazareth! Now he was beginning to understand the paintings he had seen in the Catholic churches he had passed as a child: the suffering Jesus, the crucified Jesus, the Jesus who he now realized had been "pierced for our transgressions" as he "bore the sin of many."... So breathtaking was this discovery that Lapides could only come to one conclusion: it was a fraud! He believed that Christians had rewritten the Old Testament and twisted Isaiah's words to make it sound as if the prophet had been foreshadowing Jesus. Lapides set out to expose the deception. "I asked my stepmother to send me a Jewish Bible so I could check it out myself," he told me. "She did, and guess what? I found that it said the same thing! Now I really had to deal with it."
 ↩ Never before, and never again, will so much rely upon one man. If Jesus had failed, if He had given in to Satan's temptation, if He had sinned or chosen to by-pass the cross... then we were all doomed. But thankfully the prophetic word tells us here, 700 years in advance, that Jesus will prosper and He will succeed.
 ↩ And you too are asked to take up your cross and follow Christ. And in that respect, every test, every trial, every difficulty that crosses your path is used by God to conform and transform your will unto His will. Every one. Why? So that you too will have the eternal glory and reward that the Father desires for you. God acts in the present with eternity in mind. He sees the big picture. The problem is getting our little pea brains to comprehend the same!
Alan Carr lists the following references to what Jesus went through
and the affects of the cross:
1. Beating - Luke 22:63-64; Psa. 129:3
2. Scourging - Matt. 27:26
3. Spitting - Matt. 27:30
4. Mockery - Matt. 27:26-29
5. Beard Plucked From Face - Isa. 50:6
6. Stripped - Matt. 27:35 - (They gambled for His garments.)
7. Nailed To The Cross - Matt. 27:38; John 20:25
8. Crucifixion Itself - A death on the cross is the most horrible form of execution known to mankind! We derive our word "excruciating" from it. When a man was crucified on the cross tremendous strain was exerted on the wrists, arms and shoulders, usually resulting in the dislocation of the shoulder and elbow joints. The arms, being held up and outward, held the rib cage in a fixed end inspiratory position which made it extremely difficult to exhale and totally impossible to take a full breath. The victim would only be able to take very shallow breaths. (Ill. This explains the brevity of Christ's statements on the cross.) As time passed, the muscles, from the loss of blood, loss of oxygen and the fixed position of the body, would undergo severe cramps and spasmodic contractions. Suffocation was the ultimate cause of death on the cross. Because of the position of the body, the muscles in the chest would be contracted, forcing the dying man to push against the nails in his feet to raise himself thereby allowing himself to take a breath. After a time, the victim would no longer be able to raise himself up to exhale and he would begin to suffocate. Normally, heart failure due to the accumulation of fluid resulted in cardiac arrest. The death of Jesus was a horrible affair!
 ↩ Some quick examples for the diligent among you (let's see if that is you!): Lev 4:6; Lev 8:11; Lev 14:7. Of course the N.T doesn't let us down in this regard either with: Heb 10:22; Heb 11:28, Heb 12:24; 1Pet 1:2.
This is quoted in the New Testament in the following places
indicating that even though Jesus did all that was needed for the
people to believe, still their hardened hearts would not allow them
to trust in Him:
'Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: "Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (John 12:37-38)
'And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.' (Romans 10:15-17)
 ↩ F.B Meyer writes on this verse: 'The tender plant; the sucker painfully pushing its way through the crust of the caked ground; the absence of natural attractiveness. Such imagery awaits and receives its full interpretation from the New Testament, with its story of Christ's peasant parentage, his manger-bed, and lowly circumstances - fisherfolk his choice disciples; poverty his constant lot; the common people his devoted admirers; thieves and malefactors on either side of his cross; the lowly and poor the constituents of his Church. This were humiliation indeed, though the irregularities of human lot are scarce distinguishable from the heights whence He came.'
 ↩ My friend Brett would probably say that he looked 'a little Gordonary'. Beginning to think I should start looking for a new friend. : )
 ↩ If you were God, and you were going to become a man or a woman, do you think you would make yourself good looking? Come on now... don't try to be spiritual... you know you would! You would make yourself be tall, athletic and well, quite striking - Someone that people stop and take notice of! Someone like the first king of Israel - Saul. Well, that's why thankfully you, and I, are not God! We would make a terribly self focused/self centred creator. But God is not like us. His ways and not our ways. He was content for His beauty to be inward. Recently I did a study series on the Tabernacle. One thing that I noticed (long after finishing the study - dooh!) is that the Tabernacle was covered on the outside with Badger skins. Thus, it was not overly attractive for those just looking at the outside. And yet, for those who entered into the Tabernacle, the inside was an array of gold and splendid colours and beauty. You know where I am going with this from the moment I said 'Badger' didn't you? The Tabernacle is a picture of Jesus Christ. Outwardly, in His humanity, there was nothing special to look at. Just old badger skins. But inwardly, oh, what immense beauty! One day, when He returns, that inward glory and beauty shall be displayed outwardly for all to see. And on that day if you are found among the 'sheep' then you too will display the same glory of the New Creation. Yep, bring it on!