Isaiah 52:13 – 57:21 (HCSB)
Jerry Tarver, Worship and Arts
As we read through the Old Testament, have you noticed that a large volume of material in the Bible is devoted to a small amount of time? The time period involves the last years of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, prior to exile to Assyria, and the last 136 years of the Southern Kingdom, Judah, prior to exile to Babylon. God constantly disciplines and offers redemption to his chosen people, if only they would return to Him and forsake all of the other (false) gods. This, to me, shows that God loves his people exceedingly and provides multiple opportunities for redemption through many kings and prophets. He does this time and time again.
We also see a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate plan to redeem all who accept Him through Jesus Christ. References to this plan are found in multiple locations throughout Isaiah and foretell the specifics of his character and death.
Isaiah 52:13: “He will be raised and lifted up and greatly exalted,” refers to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Isaiah 53:3: “He was despised and rejected by men,” refers to the way Jesus was treated by the religious authorities.
Isaiah 52:5: “He was pierced because of our transgressions,” refers to the spear thrust through his side at the crucifixion.
Isaiah 53:5: “We are healed by His wounds.”
Isaiah 53:6: “The Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:7: “He was oppressed and afflicted yet He did not open His mouth like a lamb led to the slaughter.”
These verses refer to the purpose of Christ’s death on the cross and how it relates to the Old Testament sacrificial system.
Much of the rest of our reading offers great encouragement for us. We see that God desires and promises that if we seek Him, He will-be found-have compassion-freely forgive-heal and restore comfort
I pray that these prophecies and promises comfort you and strengthen your faith.