Isaiah: Jahweh Is Salvation

Part LXII: Messiah's Suffering And Glory, Isaiah 52:13-53:12

A. Viewing Messiah's Glory After His Suffering

(Isaiah 52:13-15)


I.              Introduction

A.    Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is one of the most "treasured and important passages in the Old Testament" (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Isa. 52:13-53:12), for it presents the Messiah's ministry of handling man's sin.

B.    Isaiah 52:13-15 presents Messiah's glory after His suffering, what Paul predicted in Philippians 2:9-11, and we view these verses for our insight and edification (as follows):

II.           Viewing Messiah's Glory After His Suffering, Isaiah 52:13-15.

A.     Isaiah 52:13-15 belongs to and introduces Isaiah 53, and it serves as an overview of Messiah's glory that will follow His work of redemption for mankind, Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, 1974, v. III, p. 334-335.

B.    The "Servant" of God in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is the Messiah and not Israel as is taught in Judaism today, for the "Servant" here is distinguished from Israel's people in Isaiah 53:8 and He is an innocent victim in Isaiah 53:9, what could not be said of the nation according to Romans 3:23; Ibid., Ryrie.

C.    Thus, God predicted that His "Servant," the Messiah, would "act-prudently-so-as-to-succeed" (sakal, B. D. B., A Heb.-Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 968), that He would thus rise and be exalted and be exceedingly high, Isaiah 52:13; Ibid., Young, p. 334.  This prediction sums up the Messiah's work so fully to heed the will of God in His earthly life and mission that God would exalt Him at His right hand in glory following His resurrection and ascension, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1107; Daniel 7:13-14; Philippians 2:5-11; Psalm 110.

D.    In stunning contrast to this His final great glorification, Isaiah predicted the Messiah would have been in the most degraded of conditions, that He would have been very badly disfigured, Isaiah 52:14b, what was fulfilled when Jesus Christ was mistreated and crucified as described in passages like Mark 15:16-20, 24.

E.     Accordingly, many will become "awestruck or astonished" (Ibid.) at the Messiah, the "many" being the "many nations" and "kings" of verse 15, for He Who will have been badly disfigured by men at His suffering and death would be the One Who was conversely later highly exalted at the Father's right hand, Isaiah 52:14a, b.

F.     Explaining why the Messiah would at one point have been so badly disfigured, Isaiah 52:15a claims He would have sprinkled many nations, "sprinkle" being a technical word in the Mosaic Law for cleansing or purifying rites, Ibid., Young, p. 338.  The work that would have caused Messiah's disfigurement would thus be His work of spiritual purification for the many nations, namely, His atonement on the cross, 2 Corinthians 5:21.

G.    [The reference to Messiah's sprinkling "many" nations in Isaiah 52:15a does not mean that He will have died for "some" versus "all" of the world's nations; rather, "many" here is used in the inclusive sense of "many" as opposed to just "one" nation, the nation Israel, for  Christ died for the sins of the whole world, 1 John 2:2.]

H.    In the end, the Messiah, Who many had not considered important in human history, will have provided "the most important thing for nations and their kings, namely, cleansing from sin (cf. John 1:29; Heb. 10:14)," Ibid.; Isaiah 52:15b.  They will consequently shut their mouths, "appalled that they had miscalculated the situation so badly" so that "(r)ealizing their great mistake, they will have nothing to say," Ibid.; Isaiah 52:15c.

I.      Accordingly, at Christ's Second Coming, after He has been highly exalted at the Father's right hand, they will understand and see clearly that Jesus Christ, the One Who had been rejected, mistreated and crucified, had been thus mistreated in God's will and grace to provide redemption for man, Ibid. (Zechariah 12:10-13:1)


Lesson: When people see the glorified Christ after His suffering at His Second Coming, they will be astounded that He Who had been so lightly esteemed and so badly mistreated was actually the highly exalted Messiah, that He was thus directed of God to suffer to provide redemption from sin for mankind by God's grace.  Accordingly, even the nations' kings will shut their mouths at Him, having nothing to say in His presence.


Application: (1) May we who trust in Christ rejoice in anticipating the glory that will be revealed in Him at His return, for then our faith will be fully vindicated before the whole world.  (2) Since Scripture teaches that we believers must follow in Christ's footsteps even in facing unjust suffering (1 Peter 2:21), may we joyfully anticipate sharing in the glory of our Lord by His grace at His return, knowing that such suffering is working in us a far greater degree of glory yet to be revealed, 2 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  (3) If we have not yet trusted in Christ, may we do so now to avoid being among the shocked, but among those who rejoice at His return!