53:1 Who hath believed. Verses from Isaiah 53 are quoted at least six times in the New Testament, always indicating its fulfillment in Christ, more than seven hundred years later. This first skeptical and cynical rhetorical question is quoted in John 12:38 and Romans 10:16.
53:2 no beauty. Evidently Jesus, representing all men, was a very average looking man, with no particular beauty of either form or face. His beauty was inward, not outward. There is no description at all of his outward appearance in any of the four gospels.
53:3 we hid. Just as Adam and Eve tried to hide from God (Genesis 3:8), so we try to hide our rebellious ways from Christ.
53:3 esteemed him not. Literally, “we estimated Him as nothing”—the typical reaction of the world to Jesus Christ as our suffering substitute.
53:4 our griefs. “Griefs” means “sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17). All sickness and pain is ultimately the result of sin, especially the fatal sickness of death itself. By His death, all pain and sickness and death will finally be removed forever (Revelation 21:4, 5).
53:4 stricken. “Stricken” means “plagued.”
53:5 wounded. This phrase means literally, “thrust through,” as with a spear, or spikes, speaking of crucifixion.
53:5 bruised. This phrase means literally, “crushed,” as to death. Compare Genesis 3:15.
53:5 are healed. Note I Peter 2:24.
53:6 like sheep. This refers to a “flock of sheep,” speaking of corporate sin.
53:6 every one. “Every one” has been guilty also of personal sin.
53:6 hath laid on him. This means literally, “laid on with a death-dealing blow,” as He died both for the sin of the world and our individual sins (note John 1:29; Romans 5:12).
53:7 was afflicted. “Afflicted” means “bowed Himself”—that is, willingly submitted to all the humiliation and suffering—for us!
53:7 as a lamb. Here lies the basis for the many New Testament references to Christ as the Lamb.
53:7 dumb. Note the fulfillment (Luke 23:9, etc.) and the applications (Acts 8:32,35; I Peter 2:23).
53:8 declare his generation. This phrase means, “Who of His generation shall declare for Him?” Even His disciples forsook Him and fled.
53:8 transgression of my people. He died for “my people”—that is, Israel—showing that the “servant” in this passage is not Israel, as many have alleged.
53:9 grave with wicked. This passage could also be read, “they planned His grave [to be] with the wicked, but it was with a rich man [that is, Joseph of Arimathea] in His death.” Once He died, God allowed no more wicked eyes to see Him, or hands to touch Him.
53:10 prolong his days. Once “His soul” was offered for sin, then the whole theme changes from suffering to triumph just as in Psalm 22:30. His days are “prolonged” (even though He had died) and He soon sees the resulting spiritual “seed” (John 12:24; Hebrews 2:10).
53:11 travail of his soul. Note that it was “the travail of His soul,” rather than of His suffering body, which produced the seed.
53:11 my righteous servant. This could better read: “By the knowledge of Him shall my righteousness as the servant” justify many.
53:11 bear their iniquities. Note II Corinthians 5:21. Because He bore our iniquities, we receive His righteousness.
53:12 poured out. The blood, the “soul of the flesh” (Leviticus 17:11), was poured out.
53:12 made intercession. “Made” should be read “maketh.” Now, Christ “ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).