Isaiah 53:1-6 (ESV)
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
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 crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
Isaiah was written around 700 B.C. and most Bible commentators interpret this passage as a description of the coming Messiah. It’s interesting to read the story of Jesus coming into the world (see Luke chapters 1-3) in conjunction with this prophecy concerning his future experience of this broken, sinful place. This should make us appreciate just how incredible it was that God humbled Himself like this and experienced such pain and punishment because of His love for us. Paul said to the church in Ephesus:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:13-14)
Jesus was sent because we chose things that opposed God and brought hostility between Him and us. God hates sin. So Jesus was sent as a peace offering, to offer us a free opportunity to return to a restored relationship with our Father. We can revel in the peace we have now due to God’s graciousness in sending His only Son. At the birth of Jesus, the angels proclaimed:
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)
1. Take a moment to think of things you’ve done that have hindered your relationship with God. Confess these things to Him.
2. Thank God for offering a free gift in Christ to remove the hostility caused by your sin and restoring you to a right relationship with God.
3. Why did God send His only Son to this earth despite knowing what he would endure?
4. Why is Jesus called the Prince of Peace?
5. (see Luke 2:14) If you have trusted Christ as your savior, God is pleased with you. Why should this knowledge bring you peace?
Devotional Author: Jeff Oleson