The opening words of Isaiah’s message reiterate an essential element in ascertaining spiritual understanding, that of belief. The Divinely inspired words of Scripture demand either a positive or negative response from its hearers. The response of belief is faith in the content of the message based upon its source. Paul, writing to Timothy stated ... “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV).
Isaiah’s message merited belief because God was, through His prophet, revealing to the nation the coming and work of the Messiah. Without that knowledge, it would be impossible for the people to recognize His appearing. Thus Isaiah was given prophetic revelation to unveil a detailed portrait of Messiah’s work as the Suffering Servant. He would accomplish a Work of reconciliation so that man could have relationship with God. That could only occur through His sacrifice on the Cross as the Lamb of God. By offering Himself as the only remedy for sin, He would fulfill that which was pictured by the thousands of sacrifices offered in the Temple. Those repeated sacrifices were symbolic of a future offering that would permanently remove sin as a barrier between God and man.
The writer to the Hebrews explained that … “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming — not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased” (Heb 10:1-6 NIV).
The once for all time sacrifice required that the sins of humanity be placed upon the One described by Isaiah as the Suffering Servant. The prophet would use human vocabulary to describe the judgment of God upon His Servant. Man’s abusive acts against the humanity of Christ could not satisfy the righteousness of God. More than physical punishment was needed to bring mankind into a state of reconciliation. God would have to administer judgment on the humanity of Christ. It would be a spiritual condemnation, a spiritual death which brought separation from the Father as … “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21 NIV).
Isaiah painted that picture for his people with graphic words … “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4 NIV). The disease of sin had brought spiritual death, pain, suffering and eventually physical death on all of humanity. It would be necessary for Christ to bear man’s grief from the effects of sin and its resultant sorrows and pains of spiritual suffering and hopelessness.
Thus, the sinless Son of God took upon Himself our sins so all who placed their faith in His saving Work could say with the psalmists … “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits --who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's” (Ps 103:2-5 NIV). The disease of sin to keep humanity in the terminal bonds of spiritual death had been broken. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift” (2 Cor 9:15 NIV)!