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53. Suffering and Glory of the Servant

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He 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.

4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But 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. 6All 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. 7He 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. 8He 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. 9And 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.

10Yet 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. 11He 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. 12Therefore 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.

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7. He was punished. Here the Prophet applauds the obedience of Christ in suffering death; for if his death had not been voluntary, he would not have been regarded as having satisfied for our disobedience. “As by one man’s disobedience,” says Paul, “all became sinners, so by one man’s obedience many were made righteous. (Romans 5:19) And elsewhere, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8) This was the reason of his silence at the judgment­seat of Pilate, though he had a just defense to offer; for, having become answerable for our guilt, he wished to submit silently to the sentence, that we might loudly glory in the righteousness of faith obtained through free grace.

As a lamb shall he be led to the slaughter. We are here exhorted to patience and meekness, that, following the example of Christ, we may be ready to endure reproaches and cruel assaults, distress and torture. In this sense Peter quotes this passage, showing that we ought to become like Christ our Head, that we may imitate his patience and submissiveness. (1 Peter 2:23) In the word lamb there is probably an allusion to the sacrifices under the Law; and in this sense he is elsewhere called “the Lamb of God.” (John 1:29, 36)




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