- In Isaiah 53 (please blow the dust off of your bible and look :-) we find a servant of God who is suffering for the sins and iniquities of others. The Rabbi claims that Isaiah is referring to the Nation of Israel who suffers for the sins of all of the other nations. FIRST: it must be noted that the nation of Israel habitually rebelled against the Lord from the time they were led from Egyptian captivity unto the present day...not that we heathen gentiles did not, mind you...but for a nation to suffer so that other nations iniquity before the Lord could be cleansed (the innocent suffering in the place of the guilty) that nation would have to be innocent! Neither Israel or any other nation can stand up to that standard. David remarked that "if the Lord should mark iniquity, who would be able to stand?" The rhetorical question clearly answers, NOBODY! Israel could not suffer for the iniquity of others because they were as guilty of national sin before the Lord as anyone one else!
- Here we need to clarify a very important point as we'll be looking at the personal pronouns the prophet uses in the Chapter: The prophet Isaiah was a JEWISH PROPHET! This becomes important when we look at which group (with the servant or the sinners) Isaiah identifies himself with!
- Now we see that Isaiah is referring to the servant as (he, him). NOWHERE IN THE CHAPTER DOES ISAIAH IDENTIFY HIMSELF WITH THIS PERSON or in HIS GROUP.
- Isaiah refers to the sinners in question by pronouns (we, us, our). Notice that each of these shows Isaiah including himself among those guilty sinners whom this innocent servant is suffering for! Now remember that Isaiah is a jewish prophet...is it logical to say that a jewish prophet would include himself among the heathen gentiles? Absolutely not...in fact we can see that by Peters day, he was unwilling even to associate with gentiles. The Lord had to show Peter a "new thing" in order for him to go and witness to the gentile Cornelius.
- Isaiah, a jewish prophet, is always going to include himself among "His people" Israel and it is Israel to whom he refers when he says this servant suffers for our iniquities! Israel cannot be the suffering servant, for this jewish prophet clearly says the servant suffers for his people, Israel, and their sins...I'm glad to say that He not only suffers for Israel's sins but for the sins of the whole world!
Thus we see that the servant is none other than the Messiah of Israel, the same who is prophecied in Dan 9: 25,26 to be "cut off, but not for himself," obviously to die for others! And Jesus can just as easily be shown from only the Old Testament scriptures to THE MESSIAH...Sorry Rabbi :-)