Observing Good Friday, the worldwide Christian community remembers the darkest day of earth’s history though we will never fully comprehend the suffering Jesus endured on the cross. The prophet Isaiah creates a prophetic word picture so graphic that the reader is forced to respond.
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes 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;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah’s portrayal of Messiah’s suffering draws us to a profound assessment. No one is exempt. Our condition is innate. All we like sheep have gone astray (v.6). In making a universal statement, Isaiah includes himself and recognizes only one remedy—the need for a substitutionary sacrifice for sin that God would accept on man’s behalf.
Such a sacrifice was prophesied in specific detail:
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed . . . the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (vv. 5-6).
In commemorating Good Friday, it is with the assurance that the only sacrifice God can accept for sin was provided just as Isaiah predicted through Jesus the Christ. We know that what happened at Golgotha is not the end of the story. That reality is what actually makes Good Friday good.
1) Via Dolorosa. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit: By Andrey Mironov/Wikimedia/[CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2018 Charles E. McCracken, commentary only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.