From “How to become a Christian”: Chapter 10 – Jesus’s death on the cross
One of the most extraordinary things in the Bible is the fact that what Jesus did on the cross was prophesied in fine detail by Isaiah eight centuries before it happened. We have just seen two such prophecies above. Isaiah carries on and gives a long description of the further things which the Messiah must suffer on behalf of His people. It is amazingly accurate and detailed. That is because God put the words into Isaiah’s mind. Please read these further passages, written about 800 years BC. Note the many other specific things Isaiah foretold, all of which happened, exactly as was prophesied. All of these verses are speaking about Jesus. See how many details you can identify:
13See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14Just as there were many who were appalled at him –
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being
and his form marred beyond human likeness –
15so he will sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
1Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5But he was pierced for our transgressions,Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 (NIV)
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
When Jewish people hear Isaiah 53 read out, they often imagine it is from the New Testament. They know it is talking about Jesus, but they often do not realise it is actually from their own Hebrew Scriptures, which we call the Old Testament. It is speaking about their own Messiah, but most of them have not yet recognised Him. One day all of Israel will recognise Jesus and accept Him as their Messiah.