Isaiah- Session 11- Isaiah 53

Session Resources

    • Video Summary


Text: Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Subject: Christ

Central Theme: Christ the Messiah

Objective sentence: Every person can recognize Christ as Messiah by understanding 5 predictions about His first coming.

Key Word: Predictions.



  • The predictions of the Old Testament about Jesus’ first and second comings are pretty incredible.
  • I know that you’ve been told about the illustration By Peter Stoner of the number related to one person fulfilling just 8 prophecies of the Old Testament. The probability being 1 in 10 to the 17th power- and choosing just 1 of the marked silver dollars out of all the silver dollars covering Texas 2 feet deep.
  • Of course though, there are many more than eight prophecies.
  • In another calculation Stoner used 48 prophecies (even though he could have used 456) and arrived at the extremely conservative estimate that the probability of 48 prophecies being fulfilled in one person is 10 to 157th power. How large is the number 10 to the 157th power? 10 to the 157th power contains 157 zeros!
  • Let us try to illustrate this number using electrons… Electrons are very small objects. They are smaller than atoms. It would take 2.5 times 10 to the 15th power of them, laid side by side, to make one inch. Even if we counted four electrons every second and counted day and night, it would still take us 19 million years just to count a line of electrons one-inch long.
  • How many electrons would there be if we were dealing with 10 to the 157th power of electrons?
  • Imagine building a solid ball of electrons that would extend in all directions from the earth of 6 billion light years.
    • The distance in miles of just one light year is 6.4 trillion miles.
    • That would be a big ball! But not big enough to measure 10 to the 157th power of electrons!
  • In order to do that, you must take that big ball of electrons reaching the length of 6 billion light years long in all directions and multiply it by 6 x 10 to the 28th power! How big is that? It’s the length of the space required to store trillions and trillions and trillions of the same gigantic balls and more.
  • In fact the space required to store all of these balls combined together would just start to “scratch the surface” of the number of electrons we would need to really accurately speak about 10 to the 157th power!
  • Having a chance of one person fulfilling just 48 of those prophecies begins to sound impossible.
  • But, as we learned this morning, with God all things are possible.
  • The God who speaks things into existence could do it. The God who creates “ex nihlo” could do it.

You see there are reasons to believe that Christ is foretold in the Old Testament.

  • He is the Christ of History.


  • You see there are 2 definitions of the word “faith” that people generally use.
    1. Many people refer to faith as a kind of believing that is in spite of or even against the evidence.
    2. But our faith in Jesus Christ is faith that is affirmed by the evidence.
  • You have been studying the messianic prophecies that are fulfilled by Christ over the past few weeks.
  • One of the greatest affirmations of the supernatural nature of the Bible are these fulfilled prophecies in scripture.
  • One of the most important of these prophetic passages in the Old Testament is found in Isaiah 53.
    • The great reformer Martin Luther said,

“Isaiah 53 is so precious it should be written on parchments of gold and lettered with diamonds.” – Martin Luther

  • There are 85 references in the New Testament to Isaiah 53.
  • It has been affectionately called by some the 5th
  • This chapter is a prophetic portrait of the Lord Himself.
  • That is clearly clarified and proven in the New Testament.
  • Do you remember the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch?
  • The Ethiopian eunuch was sitting in his chariot and reading from the Book of Isaiah.
  • Guess what chapter he was reading?
  • That’s right – Isaiah 53!
  • Read Acts 8:29-35

(29)  Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

(30)  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

(31)  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

(32)  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

(33)  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

(34)  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

(35)  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

  • In verse 35 Philip emphatically identifies the person in Isaiah 53 to be Jesus Christ.
  • So, much like Philip 2000 years ago, I would like to preach unto you Jesus from Isaiah 53.
  • And in doing so, it is my desire that you would recognize Christ as the Messiah.
  • If you are a believer in Christ,
    • It is my goal that you would be encouraged and affirmed in your belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
    • He ought to be worshipped.
  • If you are not a believer,
    • I want you to know that you are not right with God.
    • The God of the Bible is the true and living God.
    • He gave the best gift that could ever be given. He gave to us His Son.
  • Here’s my objective:

Every person can recognize Christ as the Messiah by understanding 5 predictions about His first coming in Isaiah 53.

Book: (Past)

  • Now this section that we refer to as Isaiah 53 really starts in 52:13- and goes through 53:12.
  • There are 5 stanzas that give us 5 general predictions about the servant.
  • This servant is spoken about in several passages of Isaiah.
  • The servant is none other than Christ, Himself, which we have referred to just a moment ago.
  • For our purposes tonight, we’re going to start in 53:1 and we’ll talk about this first prediction.

Prediction #1- He will be shunned.  (53:1-3)

Isa 53:1-3 KJV

(1)  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

  • This is a great question.
  • It refers to what has been said about this coming servant to which the passage speaks.
  • Who is willing to believe the report about the servant?
  • This really is a question that comes up all the time about Jesus.
  • What you believe about him is of infinite importance.

(2)  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground:

  • Verse 2 emphasizes both the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ.
  • What does the expression “tender plant” mean?
  • John Phillips tells a story about a gardener who helped him understand what a “tender plant” is.
    • The gardener pointed out that “all plants are catalogued in one of three ways: they are hardy, half-hardy or tender.
    • A hardy plant is one native to the area. It will take ready root because it feels at home there.
    • A half-hardy plant is not native to the area, but it comes from a place that is similar.
      • It will readily grow where it is planted because it finds the climate, the type of soil, the temperature, and the weather similar to what it has been used to.
    • A tender plant, however, well, that’s another story.
    • It comes from quite a different place.
    • It does not find the soil in its new location congenial, nor does it like the climate.
    • It really belongs somewhere else.
    • It is an exotic plant from far, far away.”
  • Isaiah says our Lord was on earth as a tender plant.
    • He comes here from far, far away.
    • He was not a native of this planet of ours.
    • His nature was not like ours because He was God in flesh.
    • He had no sin nature, but rather He was absolutely holy.
  • The last half of verse 2, though, emphasizes His humanity.

he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

  • He was God, but He was God manifested in warm, vibrant human flesh.
  • Jesus was seen as a simple and ordinary man.
  • The Jews were waiting on a Messiah that would come and conquer.
  • But what they would have seen on the outside was not some he-man, warrior king.
  • Physically speaking, he was just like any other man.
  • And as a result, Isaiah tells us, he would be rejected.

(3)  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.

  • Here is the prediction.  Jesus would be rejected.
  • He will be shunned.
  • And this prediction is exactly what happened.
  • When Jesus leaves the earth and ascends to heaven, He does not leave millions of followers, and all kinds of world-wide influence.
  • He leaves behind just a few.
  • The nation of Israel had rejected Him.
  • In fact, they were complicit in murdering him.
  • And so many continue to do so reject Him even to this day.

Prediction #2- He will be sacrificed. (53:4-6)

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

(5)  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.

(6)  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.

  • As we consider this next section, I want you to see two groups of words.
    • One group of words refers to what will happen to this servant who we know is Jesus. Words like….
      • Grief
      • Sorrows
      • Stricken, Smitten of God, Afflicted
      • Wounded
      • Bruised
      • Chastisement of peace
      • Stripes
    • The second group of words tells us who should have received this treatment. Notice the words “our” and “we”.
      • It is our grief and our sorrows he bore.
      • It is our affliction he took.
      • He was wounded because of our
      • He was bruised because of our
      • It was our stripes that he bore, and it is his wounds that have healed us.
      • It was our iniquity that was laid on him, because we went astray.
    • Notice the graphic description of what would happen to him.
    • Isaiah predicts here that this coming Messiah would be sacrificed. It’s a bloody prediction.
    • There are stripes, and there are wounds.
    • You have here a picture of substitution and of sacrifice.
    • And this picture points to a historic reality.
    • Jesus Christ was scourged.
    • He was bloody.
    • His body was torn and beaten.
    • The baby in a manger of wood ended up sacrificed on a cross of wood. All for your sin and mine.
    • Now this would have been shocking to the reader who takes this passage at face value. The coming servant- this Messiah- would be sacrificed?
    • How would that happen? Let’s examine the next stanza and prediction:

Prediction #3- He will be silent.  (53:7-9)

 (7)  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.

  • Here Isaiah continues to refer to the affliction of his servant, the messiah.
  • He also continues to use the sheep metaphor from the end of the previous stanza.
  • But here there is a contrast between the ones for whom the servant is sacrificed, and the servant himself.
  • When sinful people like us are compared to sheep, it refers to the tendency of the sheep to get lost.
  • When the servant is compared to the sheep, the non-defensive and submissive nature of the sheep becomes the basis for comparison.
  • So, it is a negative comparison for us, but a positive one for Him.
  • He shares our human nature, but his is without sin. It is innocent.
  • This stanza emphasizes three things:
    • The servant’s submissiveness.
    • The servant’s innocence.
    • The injustice being done to Him.
  • Even though he is being falsely accused, he voluntarily participates in his own slaughter.
  • He presents no vigorous defense of himself.
  • And this is exactly what is described in the trial and execution of Christ.

Mat 26:62-63

(62)  And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

(63)  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.

Mat 27:13-14

(13)  Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

(14)  And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

Joh 19:9 KJV

(9)  And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

  • Why would Jesus give no defense?
  • Can it be that the Servant does not see himself as a helpless victim of circumstances beyond his control, but is participating voluntarily in something that he understands to be part of the larger purposes of God (cf. Isa_53:10)?
  • He is a sheep that is going to slaughter
  • He is going to be sacrificed for the sins of the people.
  • He is not the straying sheep in need of pursuit by a shepherd.
  • But what purpose can there be in what the Servant is experiencing?
    • Not only has he done nothing worthy of the death to which he is brought; he is receiving the treatment someone else deserved.
  • The prophecy goes on to describe circumstances surrounding his crucifixion.

 (8)  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.

  • Here you have the servant in prison and being judged.
  • Here you have his being cut off from the land of the living. He is killed.
  • And then you see him buried…

(9)  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.

  • John describes the fulfillment to this prophecy in his gospel.

Joh 19:41-42

(41)  Now in place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.

(42)  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulcher was nigh at hand.

  • An unused garden tomb would not have been the normal place to place the body of a condemned criminal.

  • It would have been very costly. Even by today’s standards this would be the more expensive option.
  • But of course, we know, he only borrowed the tomb. He didn’t need it long.
  • He was silent through the whole process. Why? Because he was fulfilling God’s providential plan of redemption!
  • This leads us to the 4th stanza, and our fourth prediction.

Prediction #4- He will be satisfied. (53:10-12)

Isa 53:10-12

(10)  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.

  • God poured out his wrath on Jesus for our sins. We see this at the beginning of verse 10.
  • Not only do we see his accusation, death, and burial, but we also see his resurrection.
  • After he is put to death…after he has been made an offering for sin, he shall see his seed! He shall prolong his days!

(11)  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. (12)  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.

  • He soul will be in in travail but will be satisfied!
  • Why? He accomplishes exactly the whole point of his suffering…
  • Through his righteousness he will justify us. By faith in him we will be declared righteous and treated as righteous.

2Co 5:21

(21)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

  • Intercession made.
  • Redemption offered.
  • Sin was borne…all for us!
  • And all predicted 700 years before Christ came!
  • This leads to the last prediction that we’ll look at tonight.

Prediction #5- He will be successful.  (52:13-15)

  • Now I take you to the beginning of this section of scripture.
  • Notice that this prediction comes at the very beginning of the 5 stanzas of this section of Isaiah.
  • This prophesy- this section- has been different than others in Isaiah that refer to the servant.
  • The servant has been described before as a wonderful counselor. The mighty God.  The everlasting father and prince of peace.  The increase of his government will have no end.
  • It is all very grandiose.
  • And its almost as if Isaiah knows he will be referring to something so different in this text—He will be sorrowful, sacrificed, silent…
  • …that he wants us to know from the outset that the servant will be successful! It’s going to work out…

Isa 52:13-15 KJV

(13)  Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

  • The idea of “shall deal prudently” in this text indicates that the servant will make the exact right choices when he comes.
  • As a result of these choices he will be exalted. He will be extolled.

(14)  As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

  • He will be exalted and extolled…and many will be astonished!
  • Astonished by what?
    • First by the humility and even the humiliation in his first coming, and in his death on the cross.
    • His body will be so marred that he will be unrecognizable. This is something that is fulfilled in Christ’s coming.
  • And as a result of this humility he will have an incredible impact on the world…

(15)  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

  • Isaiah prophesies that the success of his humiliation will lead to a worldwide exaltation.
  • He will cleanse the nations.
  • People from every tribe and nation and tongue will believe on Jesus.
  • Even though they had not heard of the prophesy- even though they had not been told of this prophesy- of his coming and his death, they will see it, and many will believe!
  • Isn’t this prediction incredible?
  • Jesus’s birth, life, death, burial and resurrection will bring about exactly what God desires.
  • It will bring the exaltation of His Son and the redemption and justification of those who believe on Him from every nation of the world.

Look: (Present)

  • You can know that the Christ predicted here is the Christ of History.
  • He is the Christ predicted in prophecy.
  • He is the Christ that is alive today ever making intercession for us!
  • Life can be joyful because He was sorrowful, sacrificed, silent, satisfied and successful!!!!


Took: (Future)


  • Christian,
    • Is your life evidenced by worship of Christ?
    • Is your life about Jesus?
    • If not, will you worship him today?
  • And if you’re here and you have not recognized him as your own personal Savior, God offers you this gift of salvation today!

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