by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Isaiah's God is the Holy One of Israel. In God's presence we have to be morally clean. God has chosen his Servant, who will rule in righteousness in a kingdom of peace.
The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isa. 53:5).
I knew a minister of the gospel who was also a scholar of the Hebrew language. Once he was invited to do some readings in the local synagogue. Today most ministers would probably accept such an invitation. We tend to think we honor Christ more with tolerance than fanaticism. But that man had a deep sense of calling as a minister of the gospel, and he knew that his audience rejected Jesus as the Messiah. So he responded to the invitation by saying that he would love to come if he could speak on the topic of his choice: "Who is the Servant of the Lord in the prophecies of Isaiah?" The synagogue did not accept his offer.
In Isaiah 53 it's very clear that the servant is no longer Israel or a group of people within Israel. The servant is an individual who is stricken, smitten, crushed, pierced, and punished—but not for his own sins. And the punishment of this One is followed by peace for those whose sins he carried.
There's hardly another passage in the Old Testament that speaks so clearly of God's work by the cross of Jesus. On a hill outside Jerusalem God spoke the last word on our sin, punishment, and peace.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version