The Book of Isaiah contains four Servant songs—poems about the servant of God. (See Isa. 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:12–53:13.)
In these poems, the prophet Isaiah describes God’s plan of redemption. We see a vision of the promised Messiah, the innocent substitute who would suffer for the sake of sinners. Through Jesus, God brings sinners back to Himself.
The fourth and final Servant song is found in Isaiah 53. In this passage, Isaiah provides an answer to these questions: How can a just God justify the ungodly? How can He declare innocent those who are guilty? How can He treat bad people as though they are good? How can He love people like us?
A just God can’t just look the other way. He doesn’t say, “Don’t worry about it,” or “No big deal.” That’s cheap grace. Sin against a big God is a big deal. God didn’t just forgive our sins, He dealt with them. And this grace was costly. The price? God’s own Son.
Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecies of a Suffering Servant. People assumed God had cursed the Suffering Servant for His own sins. But no; Jesus was sinless. So why did He suffer? Isaiah wrote that He was pierced because of our transgressions and crushed because of our iniquities. His punishment is what brought our peace. The Suffering Servant died the death we deserve. When we trust in Jesus, our sins are wiped away—paid for by His blood—and His righteousness is credited to us.
When Christ’s work on the cross was finished, God rewarded Him. “For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).
God planned all along that Jesus would die on the cross for our sin. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote that this would happen! Jesus is the Servant who suffered so that those who trust in Him would be forgiven.
Help your kids appreciate what Jesus endured during His earthly ministry. Talk about how Jesus hurt and died because of His love for people and His desire to please His Father. Because of Jesus’ suffering and death, our sin punishment has been paid and because of His resurrection, we have victory over death.