The fourth Servant Song is well-known, oft-quoted and utterly shocking. The previous Servant Song had indicated that the Servant would suffer mistreatment and now Isaiah goes into much more detail as to what that would look like.
He begins by describing how the Servant’s physical appearance would not indicate the royal heritage He had (v2) and that people would be surprised by the way He looked. The language ‘For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground’ (v2) reminds us of ‘the shoot from the stem of Jesse’ (11:1) and echoes of that prophecy which held out so much future hope. Here, the Servant initially wouldn’t stand out in appearance (v2) but also the way He looks following mistreatment would make Him despised and not someone you would even want to look at (v3).
But then Isaiah goes on to describe the horrors of the extent of the Servant’s suffering. He would be pierced (v5), crushed (v5), chastened (v5), scourged (v5), oppressed and afflicted (v7), taken away (v8), cut off (v8), killed (vv8, 12) and poured out (v12). This litany of physical suffering is shocking in its breadth as well as its brutality. So many hands would inflict so many wounds. They would try to extinguish the Light of the World and snuff out the life of the One who gives breath.
And yet, one feature stands out in remarkable contrast. In spite of the excruciating physical suffering the Servant will not cry out (v7). There will be no attempt by the Servant to talk Himself out of things or to justify or to argue or to protest His innocence. Instead He will humbly accept His mission and follow it through to completion.
This mission completion will lead to the Servant justifying many by bearing their iniquity (v11) and being poured out to death as He bears the sin of many in order to intercede for them (v12).
What a Servant!
What a Saviour!
Further reading: John 19:1-37
To think about:
Listen to the worship video again and then find some way to respond to the suffering of Jesus on the cross and reflect on His sacrifice.
|Journal page by Bernice|
Please remember to go back to previous blog posts to see the creative responses that have been added. Click on the thumbnail pictures to view them.
Please share your creative response using the linky below. To use the linky click on 'Click here to enter'. You will need the URL from your own blog or from a photosharing website like Flickr. Alternatively share your response in the Facebook group.