10Yet 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. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:10-12)
Isaiah 53:10-12 is the fifth and final section in the prophet’s substantial Servant Song of Yahweh concerning the LORD’s substitutionary atonement on behalf of sinners. As was the case with the previous four sections, this final section contains three verses. Each of the verses will be individually examined.
“ Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).
Isaiah 53:12 is the climatic verse, of the climatic section of this magnificent oracle concerning the Servant of Yahweh and the substitutionary atonement for sin which He alone provides. There is a sense of a resounding crescendo in this final verse.
“ Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many.” Isaiah 53:12 serves as a conclusion indicated by the word therefore. In light of all which Isaiah has proclaimed in the oracle, there is an appropriate closing. God the Father reveals that He will divide, distribute, and apportion the blessings of eternity with the many who are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of His Servant: Jesus Christ.
“And he shall divide the spoil with the strong.” God the Father goes on to disclose, in Hebrew parallelism, that the Servant will also divide, distribute and apportion the spoils of victory with the great number of converted souls.
“Because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors.” Why are the God Father and the Servant Son able to do this? It is because of the substitutionary sacrifice by the Servant Son, which is likened to a mass of liquid being poured out of a container. The Servant Son was counted as a transgressor and was therefore included with transgressors at His death. He took upon Himself the sinner’s defiance of God’s person and authority and received God’s just wrath for such defiance.
“Yet he bore the sin of many.” Once again, we have the doctrine of substitutionary atonement explicitly stated in Scripture. The Servant Son took away from a great number of people the penalty, power and presence of sin. This was our sin, shame and rebellion. Jesus Christ removed our guilt, freed us from our sinful bondage, paid our spiritual debt and restored us to a reconciled and right relationship with God the Father.
“And makes intercession for the transgressors.” This final statement presents a significant shift in tense. While the previous statements in the oracle have referred to the Servant’s past, completed work, this final clause reveals the Servant’s present and ongoing work on behalf of the converted. The Servant presently intercedes on behalf of justified sinners who still battle with the power of sin, even though delivered from the penalty of sin (I John 2:1-2; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:24).
This promise of Christ’s intercession belongs to all for whom He died. All those who have found forgiveness in Him have the assurance of His intercession (John 17:20–26). Rest in the promise that Jesus intercedes for you. You never need to fear losing your salvation. Memorize Hebrews 7:25.
Amazing love, how can it be? That Thou my God shouldst die, and intercede, for me.
Soli deo Gloria!