7”He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7-9).
God presents to the student of Scripture the definitive Old Testament text regarding substitutionary atonement (Isaiah 52:13-53:12). What the Old Testament previously illustrated with the sacrificial system centered in the tabernacle and temple, God now reveals in the person and work of the Servant of Yahweh: Jesus Christ.
As we begin to examine Isaiah 53:7-9, we should remember that it is the fourth stanza of five, and contains three verses. Take notice that all the verbs, unless otherwise noted, are in the perfect tense, which means a past completed action with continuing results. While the Prophet Isaiah was writing prophecy yet future in the 8th century B.C., it was regarded then, as now, as a completed and historical truth. Today, we study vs. 9.
“They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich.” There are skeptics who doubt that Jesus Christ actually died. They come up with astounding and silly alternatives seeking to dispute the reality of His death on the cross. Isaiah 53:9 affirms and prophesies that the Servant of Yahweh would die.
In the aftermath of the Servant’s disgraceful death on the cross, the Jews participating in the crucifixion wanted to ensure that the Servant’s burial was as ignoble as His death. He was to be buried with the two thieves (John 19:31). However, He received an honorable burial in the donated tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-40).
“Although he had done no violence.” The sinlessness of the Servant is affirmed in two statements. This statement states that He had done nothing wrong.
“And there was no deceit in his mouth.” This second statement affirms that the Servant did not say anything wrong. His words contained truth and not treachery.
I Peter 2:22-24 says, “22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
The Servant of Yahweh, Jesus Christ, was deprived of justice in bearing the just punishment of our sins. The servant suffered the penalty of our sinful rebellion. He incurred the consequences of our sinful debt. He bore our guilt and shame. The wrath of God was poured out upon Him instead of us. The guiltless became the guilty so the guilty would be declared guiltless.
Soli deo Gloria!