Yahweh’s Suffering Servant

 The following passage of Isaiah was most likely written toward the end of Isaiah’s ministry that spanned the years 739 BC to 701 BC.  The passage concerns the Suffering Servant of Yahweh that finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ well over 700 years later.

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.

The following quote is taken from Luke; The Gospel of Amazement by Michael Card.  (Intervarsity Press, p. 70)

“Even those who, because of their lack of education, are unaware of another one of Isaiah’s prophecies – that he would be a man of sorrows acquainted with our deepest grief – even these recognize in him someone whose tears are their tears as well.  He not only weeps for them; he weeps with them, becoming acquainted with the darkest depths, with their poverty and pain.  He does not explain away the pain, nor does he say that he has come with the answer or that he will fix everything.  Instead he bows his head and allows the tears to flow.  It is not about providing answers or fixing a problem; it is about entering fully and redemptively into their suffering, because Jesus knows that God uses suffering to save the world.*  He has not come to fix death and sorrow but to ultimately bring about their demise.  He has not come to give answers; he has come to give himself.  His presence, his tears are the solution, the answer, the truth.  And in the midst of that moment when we don’t get what we want, we get what we need.”

[*Note:  Concerning the words “Jesus knows that God uses suffering to save the world,” we realize that it is Jesus’ sufferings alone that save the world.]