April 24 - His Suffering for Us
Isaiah 53 gives us a detailed prophetic description of the suffering of Jesus, written more than seven hundred years before it took place.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7–9 NASB)
These details were accurately fulfilled in the sufferings and death of Jesus. First, the Gospels emphasized several times that Jesus made no attempt to answer His accusers, justify Himself, or plead His own cause. (See, for example, Mark 15:3–5.) Unjust accusation and an unfair trial led to His death, and “He was cut off out of the land of the living.”
The details of His burial are also amazingly accurate: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death.” We move from the plural “with wicked men” to the singular “a rich man.” Historically, we find that Jesus was taken down for burial with two thieves who were hung on either side of Him, but then He was buried in the tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea.
Isaiah emphasizes that it was not for His own sin or guilt that Jesus died. He was totally innocent, yet He died the death of a criminal.