To say I’m “chewing” on Isaiah 53 this morning would be to imply that it’s bite sized. Far from it. Isaiah 53 is a full meal deal, enough within it to process for an eternity. Not because it’s appetizing, not because it’s sweet and savory. Rather, it’s bitter. In fact, it seems overloaded with bitter herbs and hard to digest flavors. But feast on it, and in the end . . . satisfied.
Bore our griefs. Carried our sorrows. Pierced for our transgressions. Crushed for our iniquities. Taking upon Himself the chastisement that brought us peace. And with His wounds we are healed. (Isa. 53:4-5).
Oppressed, afflicted, a silent lamb led to the slaughter. Cut off from the land of the living. Stricken for the transgression of His people. His grave made with the wicked, though He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth (Isa. 53:7-9).
And yet, despite the bitter taste, I’m drawn to read it over and over again. Drawn to fixate on God’s Servant, His appearance marred beyond human semblance, His bodily form barely recognizable as human (Isa. 52:14). For the LORD had laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:6) — my iniquity.
But as I hover over this holy ground, I’m struck by this: that despite all the Savior suffered, despite all He bore on our behalf, through the prophet we are told He is satisfied.
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 53:11 ESV)
Satisfied. The Christ is satisfied. The Son of God, who drank of the bitter cup of the Father’s wrath, now enjoying the sweetness of a cup filled to the brim with the fruit of His finished work. The Lamb of God who poured out His soul unto death, now with a soul overflowing as He communes with the life He has wrought within His creation. He shall see and be satisfied.
What does He see? Me. And all those like me who have been bought with His price and redeemed by His grace. Satisfied not necessarily because of “how well I’m doing”, but because of how well I have been bought and how much I have been graced. Satisfied as He sees us wearing His robe of righteousness. Satisfied as He sees us being conformed increasingly into His image. Satisfied as He experiences the reality that the finished work of His cross is sufficient to complete the redeeming work He has begun in us.
Satisfied. God’s holy Servant, my Lord, is satisfied.
Because of His grace. For His glory.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!