Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The air was hot and dry, scorching the soil and disqualifying it from being decent planting ground. Nothing was grown on this ground in centuries, and there was absolutely no hope of change. The hard, brittle ground was no place to plant a crop. In fact, it would take nothing short of a humbling miracle to grow anything in this wasteland. Isaiah 53:2 does not offer much hope when we read, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” A tender plant out of the dry ground? Seriously? At first glance, this does not appear to be good news. How can a tender plant also be the Savior of the World?
Jesus Christ is the tender plant. He humbled himself by taking on human form, yet never discrediting his holiness, to become a baby. This humble “Root of David” (Revelation 22:16) was God’s redemption plan for the world. “For unto us a child is born, unto us, a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
It did not take long for humanity to hate him, deny him, disregard him, assault him, and torment him. Jesus did not meet their expectations. They had different job requirements for their king. He must:
- Make them wealthy. (Luke 16:14)
- Give them social prestige. (Isaiah 14:7-14)
- Build up their reputation. (Isaiah 18:9-14)
- Pamper them. (Matthew 16:21-28)[i]
Jesus Christ came to the world in humbleness, and mankind wanted nothing to do with his humility. The life that he had to offer the world made the world angry. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7) Just as God had planned, before the foundation of the world, the Shepherd became the submissive Lamb of God.
We need to read that again. The Shepherd became the submissive Lamb of God. But “the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Jesus bore all our sins – past, present, and future. He made the complete payment for all of us who have gone astray, who have turned to our own way. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep (John 10:11) and became a lamb Himself. “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.” No other lamb was qualified, for all the others are spotted and blemished. He is the spotless Lamb. It is clear throughout Scripture that He knew no sin, had no sin and did no sin. The spotless Lamb of God took our place.[ii]
[i] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (Colorado Springs, Colorado: David C. Cook, 2007), 1192-1193.
[ii] Charles R. Swindoll, The Swindoll Study Bible (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishing, 2017), 858.
Jesus entered the world as a tender baby. Is this what you would have expected? Explain.
Are you misguided by your expectation of Jesus? What “job requirements” have you tried to place on him?
How can you express thanks to Jesus for becoming the spotless Lamb who took your place?