And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:9-11)
Isn’t it better that a hundred guilty men go free rather than one innocent person being condemned? Actually, no. The Lord hates both the acquittal of the guilty and the condemnation of the righteous. The Lord is a God of justice. Perfect and absolute justice is the foundation of His Throne. So this passage in Isaiah 53 is a bit of a puzzle. Some poor fellow who had done no violence and who had no deceit in his mouth, gets killed and is buried ‘with a rich man’ – which is probably a reference to a rich man’s grave. A lot of innocent people are wrongly killed so there is nothing too surprising here. However the next line is bewildering: it was the Lord’s will to crush this innocent man! Wow. That’s a horrible miscarriage of justice! It was actually the Lord who put this innocent man to grief! Why on earth would the Lord of justice do such ‘injustice’? The Lord also makes this man’s soul an offering for guilt. This is very surprising. Up to now in the Old Testament animals have been sacrificed as offerings for guilt – never a human being! And it gets even more confusing because this human sacrifice will actually ‘prolong his days’ which means even though he dies somehow he will live. Huh? And we are told that this whole event prospers the will of the Lord. What a mystery! In fact, it was a mystery kept hidden throughout the ages until… meet Jesus in the Old Testament. This passage is talking about Jesus. Jesus was the only perfectly innocent Man ever. It was God who sent Him to be a sacrifice for guilt. He is the One through whom God’s will prospers. And what is God’s will? Verse 11 tells us that God’s will is that Jesus suffers bearing our iniquities. The Innocent Jesus experiences anguish of soul as He, the Righteous one, God’s Servant, bears our iniquities! He dies and is buried in a rich man’s tomb. The outcome of all this is that Jesus makes many to be accounted righteous. PRAY that God will take you to the cross again and as you gaze you will see God is indeed perfectly just and merciful at the same time – Jesus died to make you righteous. Thank God for Jesus!