Isaiah 53: The Lamb of God

by Britt Gillette

More than 2,500 years ago, God revealed the greatest message in history to the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. In chapter 53 of the book that bears his name, Isaiah unveils God’s message of salvation to the world, and in so doing, he reveals the identity of the Messiah – the Lamb of God who would lay down His life as an offering for the world’s sins.

Because of the Lamb, a multitude throughout the ages will be counted as righteous. They will be clothed in white robes and stand before the throne of God without fault. They will experience fellowship with God, and spend eternity in His peace. Because of the fulfilled prophecy of Isaiah 53, a human race which once lived in darkness can now move forward with hope:

Isaiah 53

“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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 of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12 (KJV)

The Lamb’s Identity

Although many claim this passage is yet to be fulfilled prophecy, history records that every iota of Isaiah 53 was fulfilled in the life of one man, a Jewish carpenter from Nazareth. The Gospels testify to the life of Jesus Christ, providing the world with ample evidence of His identity as the Lamb of God. For anyone who is skeptical or hasn’t had the good fortune to examine the historical record, Isaiah 53 contains multiple prophecies about the life and times of the Messiah – each one fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of those prophecies, followed by a corresponding verse (or verses) from the New Testament which confirms fulfillment in the life of Jesus:

Buried in a Rich Man’s Grave

“And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Isaiah 53:9 (KJV)

“And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” Matthew 27:59-60 (KJV)

Silent Before His Accusers

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 (KJV)

“And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:62-63 (KJV)

Despised and Rejected

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3 (KJV)

“And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.” John 19:14-15 (KJV)

Bore the Sins of the Mankind

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:4 (KJV)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Romans 3:23-26 (KJV)

Led from Prison and Trial to Death

“He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Isaiah 53:8 (KJV)

“And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.” Luke 23:23-25 (KJV)

“And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.” Luke 23:32 (KJV)

Wounded and Crushed for Our Sins

“But he was wounded for our transgressions.” Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)

“And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.” Mark 15:24 (KJV)

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” Colossians 1:19-22 (KJV)

Beaten that We May Have Peace

“he was bruised for our iniquities.” Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)

“And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.” Mark 15:19 (KJV)

Whipped So We Are Healed

“and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (KJV)

“Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” Matthew 27:26 (KJV)

The Coming Glory of Christ

The last verses of Isaiah 53 continue to describe the life of Jesus Christ:

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt 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 of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:10-12 (KJV)

These verses continue to be fulfilled in our day and in the times to come. The heirs of Jesus Christ – a multitude too numerous to count – are still being gained to this day, with new names being added to His family on a daily basis. And although Christians honor Jesus as one “who is mighty and great,” the world continues to despise and reject Him. Nevertheless, the day will soon come when this world will honor Jesus Christ in all His glory.

Revelation chapter 5 transports us to the beginning of this new era:

Revelation 5

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:1-14 (KJV)

Revelation Chapter 5 describes an actual event that will take place in heaven following the rapture, and just prior to the Tribulation Period which begins with the breaking of the first seal. Those who have loved Christ throughout the ages up until the time of the rapture will be present for this awesome event, and they will participate in singing the praises of the Lamb on the day He takes possession of the book sealed with seven seals.

The book represents the title deed of the earth, giving its owner possession of everything that is, was, or will be on it or in it since the first day of God’s creation. The opening of the book indicates the beginning of Jesus taking possession of the earth in preparation for His Millennial Kingdom.

Be Comforted

In Revelation 5:4, John weeps because no one can be found who is worthy to open the sealed book. If the book cannot be opened, then there is no hope for this fallen world. Yet John is soon comforted by one of the twenty-four elders who points out that the Lion of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, is worthy to open the book. In verse six, we learn He is also “a Lamb as it had been slain” – the same Lamb of God from Isaiah 53.

We can be comforted because the Lamb is worthy, for He was killed, and His blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. The sins of humanity will soon give way to Christ’s eternal reign and the words of the prophets will soon be fulfilled.

Jesus revealed to us this peace, which we attain through trust in Him, during His earthly ministry:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (KJV)

All Will Acknowledge His Glory

As those who love Christ, we can also take comfort in the knowledge that very soon every living creature will acknowledge His glory. After carrying the burden of our sins, being mocked and despised and ridiculed and hated – Jesus Christ will get His just due. He will receive everlasting honor and glory and power, and He will be acknowledged by everyone.

As Revelation 5:13 states, every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea will attest to the glory of Christ!

Paul comforts us by reminding us of this coming day in his letter to the Philippians:

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV)

Conclusion

Hundreds of years before Jesus came into this world in human form, the prophet Isaiah revealed a plan by God to make one man’s life an offering for sin. The prophecies of Isaiah 53 were fulfilled in the life, crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The story of the life of Jesus Christ has become so familiar throughout the ages that our world seems to have forgotten just how astounding the prophecies of Isaiah 53 are. They are now viewed more like a historical account rather than what they really are – amazing prophecies of God fulfilled for the benefit of all mankind. Isaiah 53 is an indisputable witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ.

For now, most of the world continues to ignore this. But the day is soon coming when this world will fully acknowledge the power of God’s Word. Just as the prophecies of Isaiah 53 were fulfilled to the very letter, the prophecies of Revelation 5 will also be fulfilled. And oh what a glorious day that will be!

For in that day, the evils of this world will pass away, and “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!”

Britt Gillette is the founder of BrittGillette.Com, a website examining the relationship between bible prophecy and emerging trends in technology. For more information or to sign up for his email alerts, please visit his site.

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Published in: on October 12, 2007 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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