100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.
27. Isaiah 53:5
But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds. —Isaiah 53:5
The cross is at the crossroads of every book, chapter, and verse in the Bible, and we clearly see that emphasis in Isaiah 53. This is a miraculous portion of Scripture, giving us an advance look of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. Though written hundreds of years before Christ, it’s chockablock with prophetic details about the passion of the Messiah. The images are so Calvary-vivid that it’s amazing to realize it was written hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
But Isaiah 53 doesn’t just give us the details of Christ’s history in advance; it explains the purpose of it. We are the reason He was pierced and crushed and punished and wounded. His gruesome death was redemptive in nature. The underlying theme is found by noticing several phrases in this verse: because of our transgressions… because of our iniquities… our peace… we are healed.
The cross wasn’t a mere accident of history or a random act of violence. As the next verse puts it: “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.”
So as you study Isaiah 53:5, adopt it as a personal verse. It’s not only prophetic; it’s purposeful. The great emphasis reverberating through every verse is redemption. Why was Jesus born? Why did He come from the root and stock of David? Why did He grow up an ordinary-looking man? Why did He suffer rejection, arrest, scourging, and crucifixion? He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities.
Isaiah has been called the “Fifth Gospel” because it’s packed with Messianic prophecy. In Isaiah we keep running into direct, detailed information about Jesus. The most poignant passage is Isaiah 53. While memorizing verses 5 and 6, take time to read this chapter carefully. Notice the incredible series of predictive details about the Messiah and His death, which can be arranged chronologically under these headings:
- Introduction: An opening summary of the Messiah (52:12-15)
- His birth and early years (53:1-2a; compare with 11:1)
- His appearance (v. 2b)
- His rejection by men (v. 3)
- His being forsaken by God (v. 4)
- His scourging and piercing (v. 5)
- His silence before His accusers (v. 7)
- His imprisonment and death (v. 8)
- His burial (v. 9)
- His resurrection (v. 10a)
- His postresurrection work (vv. 10b-11)
- His exaltation and glory (v. 12)
This chapter is so replenished with the unsearchable riches of Christ that it may be called rather the Gospel of the evangelist Isaiah than the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah.—Matthew Henry
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