Though we must be careful to keep ourselves clean and pure to be able to proclaim the good news to the world, God now provides through the prophet Isaiah a picture of the coming Messiah. Unlike Israel, whom God chose as his people to serve and be a light to the nations, this Suffering Servant does not disappoint, turn to idols, or in any way deviate from the will of the Father.
We will take this passage by bits, so as to delve deeply into his character and work.
The last three verses of Isaiah 52, begin our look into the One who comes:
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.Isaiah 52:13-15 (NIV)
I love how he begins with the word see. He’s telling the Israelites to look. The salvation that the ends of the earth will see is coming in the form of a servant, but not just any servant (because the people of Israel were supposed to be servants too); no, this servant will act wisely. He won’t be swayed by the ways of the world. He will be sure and steadfast in the work the Lord has prepared for him.
He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. This shows the final exaltation of Christ, not just post-resurrection, but upon the second coming. That’s why God compares it with how people saw him during the first time he was raised and lifted up, but not exalted, because he was raised up on a cross—the sacrificial lamb for the sins of the world.
At that time, many looked at him and were appalled with his appearance. Those who knew him would not have recognized him, so disfigured and marred he was from the lashes, the beatings, and the crown of thorns. At the cross, his blood surely sprinkled those in close proximity, as he hung in agony, but in the second coming, when he is raised, lifted up, and highly exalted, not just a few, but many nations and rulers will marvel and be left with nothing to say in defense of their own unbelief.
The truth of the mystery of the gospel will be made known to all at his coming—Christ in you, the hope of glory. Those who heard and believed will rejoice; those who heard and refused the message will have nothing to say for themselves.
Do you believe on the One who suffered in your place? If so, you know the truth of the mystery revealed, if not, do not delay—Jesus is coming again soon.
Grace and Peace