Isaiah 53:10-12 opens, in the New Living Translation, with:
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him, and cause him grief.
This passage is part of the familiar, larger one that is all about the suffering saviour.
Today as I read it I realize with a shock that Jesus, the human man, would have read these very same words.
For him they are not metaphoric or poetical, as they are to us. They don’t describe in an abstract way things that we all experience to greater and lesser degrees. No, the words to Jesus are specific and concrete. They describe his anguish, his suffering: actually.
How wonderful then, these words:
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier.
God arranged for Isaiah to speak these words of confirmation and reassurance specifically to Jesus, long before he was born. Reading them this way, imagining him pouring over them, savouring them, drawing strength and comfort from them, is like intercepting a private letter from the Father to the Son.
It is very intimate – very sweet.
Into this relationship He invites us.