January 23, 2018

Jesus, the Suffering Servant

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.

—  ​Isaiah 53:5

Did God’s promised Messiah really have to die? Christians today point to Isaiah 53 as the primary witness to the suffering-servant Messiah, who withstood immeasurable suffering and grief on our behalf.

When we understand Isaiah 53 rightly, we see the truth that Christ suffered for us. We also learn how to respond when we are reviled as Jesus was. In 1 Peter 2:24 we read, “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’”

In addition, this section in Isaiah reveals the inclusion of people from all nations into the family of God, and it mentions the Messiah’s death and burial with sinners. What a powerful series of fulfillments in this amazing passage!

But why would we need a Messiah who would die? Jesus’ contemporaries considered Rome their chief enemy, but God knew that sin and death were the real enemies from which we all needed deliverance, through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Do you believe that Jesus suffered and died for you? Believe, and be forever grateful that his suffering and death took our place so that we might live forever with God.

Thank you, Lord, for your divine plan that the Messiah would die for our sins. Through Christ’s death our otherwise invincible enemies of sin and death have been conquered. The sting of death is removed. Eternal life is ours. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!