The prophet Isaiah wrote, "Behold, My servant shall prosper, He shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high." (Isaiah 52:13, JPS) Some well-meaning commentators believe that Israel was the servant and others believe he was Yeshua. Who was the servant that Isaiah wrote about? To correctly answer that question, one must be intellectually honest with interpreting Scripture. Relying on traditional commentaries and opinions will not help a person discover the identity of the servant. Reading Isaiah 52:13 through 53:12 and comparing it with other scriptures is an honest approach to understanding the identity of the servant. Most importantly, one must have an open mind and heart to search God's word for the truth. There are several reasons why Yeshua is the identity of the servant in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
The language clearly shows that the servant in those verses was referring to a man not a nation. Isaiah wrote, "According as many were appalled at thee—So marred was his visage unlike that of a man, And his form unlike that of the sons of men" (Isaiah 52:14, JPS) Isaiah wrote further, "He was despised, and forsaken of men, A man of pains, and acquainted with disease, And as one from whom men hide their face: He was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Isaiah 53:3, JPS) The prophet Isaiah also wrote, "And they made his grave with the wicked, And with the rich his tomb; Although he had done no violence, Neither was any deceit in his mouth." (Isaiah 53:9, JPS) A person would have to play "scriptural gymnastics" with the text to say that those verses were referring to a nation.
Since Isaiah was a prophet, who spoke in God's name, his predictions about the future servant would have to be one hundred percent accurate. (See Deuteronomy 18:21- 22) The measure of a prophecy's accuracy is observable in its fulfillment. When searching for the truth, one must be open minded enough to examine all biblical evidence. Therefore, all Scripture both the Tanach (Old Testament) and New Testament must be compared with others verses to view the evidence. Isaiah wrote this about the servant, "Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, And he shall divide the spoil with mighty; Because he bared his soul unto death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet he bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12, JPS) Yeshua said, "It is written: And he was numbered with the
transgressors, and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." (Luke 22:37, NIV)
In conclusion, Yeshua is the servant that Isaiah wrote about. The evidence presented above is just the "tip of the iceberg." There are over three hundred messianic prophecies concerning Jesus. One must be open minded when searching for the truth about the identification of the Messiah. If you do not believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, ask God to open your heart and place your trust in Him. Finally, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)
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