Who Has Believed Our Message?
Isaiah 52:13 begins an interesting passage that describes the Servant of the Lord both as the Suffering Servant and the Exalted Servant. In Isaiah’s day, this mixed description would have been more difficult to understand than it is now on our side of the Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension.
True, we have not yet witnessed the Return of the King, but we have been given ample proof that He is indeed coming again. Significantly, portions of this 15-verse passage are quoted in Romans 10 and 15, John 12, Mathew 8, Acts 8, Luke 22, and 1 Peter 2.
Isaiah 52:13-15 immediately begins the passage with dual prophecies of an Exalted Servant and a Suffering Servant. Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men. 15 Thus He will sprinkle many nations, Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; For what had not been told them they will see, And what they had not heard they will understand. (NASU)
Both the suffering and the exaltation of the Messiah are of utmost importance. The glorification (exaltation) of the Servant of the Lord indicates that the suffering was done voluntarily and in accordance with the will of God. Therefore, the suffering (including death) was not in vain; it paid the sin penalty for all of His brethren.
The sprinkling must be connected to the cleansing from sin. Even those who do not see, hear, or understand now will certainly have their thinking straightened out when Christ returns.
Isaiah 53:1-3 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (NASU)
Jesus, the Christ, the Suffering Servant, the future Exalted Servant came in the flesh as a man, dwelling with men, to die as a propitiation for our sins. However, He was misunderstood, despised, forsaken, and rejected.
You are very familiar with the rest of the chapter. God the Son bore our griefs and sorrows with the full agreement of God the Father. Jesus was pierced because of our sins. He was crushed and scourged for our iniquities. Every one of us is guilty and He paid the penalty for each of us. He was crushed in our place. He willingly gave Himself up as a guilt offering for us.
His righteous life and death justified many. He was numbered as a sinner with us because He bore our sin. Jesus took the place of guilty sinners. He interceded for us and still intercedes for us.
Who has believed the message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Throughout the Bible, God illustrates His power, ability, and reach by describing Himself as having a strong and mighty arm. The message is: Jesus is mighty to save, and He saves sinners.
If you have believed this message, it is because Jesus has revealed Himself to you. No one seeks God on their own. Jesus is the Suffering Servant and the Exalted Servant. Are you ready for His return? He will be glorified by your faith or He will be glorified by your punishment.