Messianic Prophecies: Isaiah 53

Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, which we began last Advent, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here , and here, we come to Isaiah 53:


[1] Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

[2] And he shall grow up as a tender plant before him, and as a root out of a thirsty ground: there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him:

[3] Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.

[4] Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.

[5] But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed.

[6] All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way: and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

[7] He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

[8] He was taken away from distress, and from judgment: who shall declare his generation? because he is cut off out of the land of the living: for the wickedness of my people have I struck him.

[9] And he shall give the ungodly for his burial, and the rich for his death: because he hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in his mouth.

[10] And the Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity: if he shall lay down his life for sin, he shall see a long-lived seed, and the will of the Lord shall be prosperous in his hand.

[11] Because his soul hath laboured, he shall see and be filled: by his knowledge shall this my just servant justify many, and he shall bear their iniquities.

[12] Therefore will I distribute to him very many, and he shall divide the spoils of the strong, because he hath delivered his soul unto death, and was reputed with the wicked: and he hath borne the sins of many, and hath prayed for the transgressors.


Of this passage Saint Clement wrote:

For it is to the humble-minded that Christ belongs, not to those who exalt themselves above His flock. The Scepter of the Divine Majesty, the Lord Jesus Christ, did not, for all His power, come clothed in boastful pomp and overweening pride, but in a humble frame of mind, as the Holy Spirit has told concerning Him; for He says: Lord, who has believed our teaching? And the arm of the Lord–to whom has it been revealed? Looking at Him, we announced, as it were, a child, a root, as it were, in thirsty ground; there is no shape, no comeliness in Him; yes, we saw Him, and neither shape nor beauty did He have; but His shape was dishonorable and shrunken beside the shape of men; a man covered with wounds and the marks of hardship; one acquainted with infirmity; because His face is turned away, He has been dishonored and held in disrespect. Our sins it is that this Man bears, and for our sake He is in pain; and we regarded Him as one afflicted and bruised and ill-treated. But He was wounded for our sins, and languishes because of our iniquities; to give us peace He is under chastisement; by His bruises we were healed. We all, like sheep, had gone astray; each man had wandered from his path. And the Lord delivered Him up for our sins; yet He does not, because He is abused, open His mouth. As a sheep He was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb dumb before the shearer He does not open His mouth. Because of His abasement His condemnation was taken away. As to His generation–who can fathom their minds? From the land of the living is He removed! Because of the iniquities of my people is He come to death! But I will deliver up the wicked for putting Him in the grave, and the rich for putting Him to death; for evil He has not done, nor was guile found on His lips. And the Lord is pleased to free Him from His evil plight. If you make an offering for sin, you will see a long-lived posterity. I And the Lord is pleased to take away the torment of His soul, to show Him light, and mold Him through understanding, and thus to render justice to a just man who served many well; and He will take upon Himself the burden of their sins. For this reason He shall count a numerous inheritance and divide the spoils taken from the strong, because He was delivered up to death and classed among the lawless. And He took upon Himself the sins of many, and to atone for their sins He was delivered up. And again He says Himself: I am a worm and not a man, a disgrace among men and the contempt of the people. All that saw me mocked at me; they hissed at me, they shook their heads: “He trusted in the Lord: let the Lord deliver Him, let Him save Him, for He likes Him.” YOU see, beloved, what the example is that has been given us; for, if the Lord was so humble-minded, what ought we to do who have come under the influence of His grace through Him?

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  1. … give us peace He is under chastisement,

    Upon the ordination of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the young Raymond had these words placed on his ordination cards; “Jesus gave His All for you. What are you willing to give Him in return?”

    If we take our personal struggles, our chastisements and bare them with great love for God, how consoling then your act of love for the infant of Bethlehem.
    It’s the least we can do.

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