“He has redeemed Jerusalem” (52.9). Isaiah’s brilliant vision for the people of God just got more brilliant. So emphatic is he that God will rescue this people, and restore their ruined city, that the word is given: “He has redeemed Jerusalem.” He will throw out the godless, and throw off the chains from His people (vv.2-3): “you shall be redeemed” (v.3). Now is the time for messengers, and for joy, because God will save His people, and He will show the world His salvation (v.10).
The message isn’t met with joy, though, but with horror, and revulsion. The message itself is horrific, but it’s a message of effective power, salvation and victory (vv.13-15). Where do we see this blend of horror, and honour? It’s in Jesus, and it’s at the cross.
You know well the vision of chapter 53. He was ordinary-looking, but rejected (vv.2-3), punished by God and man, but was actually bearing our punishment from a Holy God (vv.4-5). We, the sneering and the ‘wise’, are just the foolish, frightened sheep (v.6). And if we have eyes to see, we see Him bearing the sin of us all.
Death took Him away, and death buried Him (vv.7-9). A tragic death, but we all die. Who’s to remember His death, and why should we? Isaiah answers: because His death was different. His death was a sin-offering (v.10). His death bore, dealt with and conquered sin and its right punishment. His death brings life. After the Servant’s death comes life again. Life comes for Him, and for those who trust in Him, His ‘offspring’ (v.10). He will be exalted for His suffering. And we, the guilty, foolish, hateful and lost, are made righteous, made wise, loved and brought home, all through His sufferings in our place. Christ is Lord, He has stooped to save, and is now exalted to conquer. God cannot give us a more brilliant vision of love and life. Be sure that the vision is your reality.