Isaiah 53 from today’s Bible reading* is perhaps some of the most famous content in the Bible. It speaks of the coming suffering servant: Jesus the Messiah.
However, I’m not sure that most Christians know that content is from this particular chapter. There are individual parts in it that are borrowed by New Testament writers.
Many in the Word of Faith movement use Isaiah 53:4-5 to claim that God wants Christians to live with healthy bodies. They argue that Jesus has already borne our sicknesses and all Christians can claim Jesus’ suffering in exchange for their health. Yes, Jesus provided healing (physical, spiritual, and emotional) for His followers, but the passage doesn’t promise complete healing for everyone who merely names it and claims it.
Peter uses Isaiah 53:6 in 1 Peter 2:25 to describe how everyone has rebelled against God.
The Gospel writers point to Isaiah 53: 7 as a basis for Jesus’ silence before His accusers at His trials.
Isaiah 53:9 points to Jesus’ being crucified with criminals and Joseph of Arimathea claiming His body to bury in his tomb.
Isaiah 53:10 speaks of Jesus’ substitutionary atoning sacrifice. His death fully satisfied the righteous requirements to pay our freedom from sin.
We can thank Isaiah for prophesying Jesus’ work. Everything he prophesied was uniquely fulfilled in Him. No one else comes close to matching Isaiah’s description.
As you read the New Testament in the coming months, pay attention to the Old Testament references. There are a lot of them. If you have a Bible with cross-references, take a few extra minutes to them up. Gain an appreciation for prophecy that look forward and the references that look back to those prophecies. And gain an appreciation for how much the New Testament writers saturated their works in the Hebrew Scriptures. It was such a part of their day-to-day lives and it was always on their tongues.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: