Isaiah Preached About the Messiah
Today’s Bible story in the The Gospel Project® for Kids focuses on the four servant songs in the Book of Isaiah. These songs describe the working out of God’s plan of redemption through the innocent substitute—the Messiah—who would suffer for the sake of sinners. Through the Messiah, God would bring sinners back to Himself.
The fourth and final Servant song is found in Isaiah 53. Isaiah provides an answer to the question, How can a just God justify the ungodly? How can He declare innocent those who are guilty? How can He love people like us? A just God can’t just look the other way. That’s cheap grace. Sin against God is a big deal. God didn’t just forgive our sins, He dealt with them. The price? God’s own Son.
Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecies of a suffering servant. People assumed God had cursed Jesus for His own sins, but Jesus was sinless. “He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him.”
God planned a very long time ago that Jesus would die on the cross for our sins. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote that this would happen! Jesus was the servant who suffered so that those who trust in Him could be forgiven.
Isaiah Preached About the Messiah
The prophet Isaiah preached God’s message to the people of Judah.
He had a big announcement to make. Isaiah told the people what was going to happen. Many, many years had passed since God made promises to Abraham. Some of the people didn’t trust God’s promises anymore.
So Isaiah came to tell the people God’s plan. A Messiah was coming, someone who would be Israel’s Savior. Isaiah said the Messiah would be a servant who would suffer and be a sacri ce to remove their guilt from sin.
Isaiah said, “Who can believe what we have heard? God said He would save us, but we never expected His plan to look like this.” Isaiah said that God’s Servant grew up in God’s presence. There was nothing special about Him; He wasn’t handsome, and no one noticed Him. People didn’t like Him. They ignored Him and stayed away. God’s servant suffered. He knew what it was like to be sick and to hurt.
“We saw Him and turned away,” Isaiah said. “We looked down on Him and didn’t care about Him.”
But the way people treated the Servant didn’t stop Him from doing what God sent Him to do. “He carried our sicknesses and pains. We thought God was punishing Him because He had sinned. But no—He took the punishment for our sins! It was our failures that hurt Him. He took the punishment we deserved, and He has healed us. We are the ones who disobeyed God and wandered away from God like lost sheep. But instead of punishing us, God punished Him!”
Isaiah talked about what was going to happen to the Messiah. He said the Messiah—God’s Servant—would be beaten and treated badly, but the Messiah would not open His mouth or say anything. He would have an unfair trial and then be led away to be killed.
Some people would think He was getting what He deserved, but no one who watched would realize His death was for them, to save them. He was taking the punishment they deserved. He hadn’t done anything wrong. He had never hurt anyone or said anything that wasn’t true, but He was punished like a criminal.
“But this was God’s plan all along!” Isaiah said. “By giving up
His life as an offering for sin, the Suffering Servant gave life to many, many people. He will take their guilt and they can be righteous by His righteousness.”
And this is how God would prove that what the Messiah did had worked—He won’t stay dead. God will bring Him back to life. When He--the one righteous Servant of God—sees all the good that has come from His suffering, He will be glad He suffered.
“Then God will reward Him with great honor because He willingly died for people who rebelled against God,” Isaiah said. “He was counted guilty like a sinner. He took the punishment sinners deserve, and He asked God to welcome those who turned away from Him.”
Christ Connection: God planned a very long time ago that Jesus would die on the cross for our sins. Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote that this would happen! Jesus was the Servant who suffered so that those who trust in Him could be forgiven.