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.
When you (the LORD) make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring and prolong his days (Isa. 53:10, NRSV).
In these final stanzas of the song about the suffering servant, we gain some great perspectives. This innocent man was not merely a victim of human hatred. God demanded his death. "It was the Lord's will to crush him."
We also learn that his death had a particular purpose: God considered his servant's death a "sin offering." That sets this death apart from all other tragedies. It puts it on the same level as the Old Testament guilt offerings of animals. In the temple such offerings happened all the time. Someone would lay his or her hands on the animal and surrender the sacrifice in order to receive forgiveness and cleansing.
God accepted the servant's death as an offering for the sin and guilt of others. So, the servant was a priest. He himself was the sacrifice. And the watching world became the congregation for whom the Priest made atonement.
The death was in God's plan of salvation. Therefore this death was not the end of a good life, but a finished assignment and a new beginning: "he shall see his offspring"; "he will see the light of life"; "my righteous servant will justify many."
We read this Scripture in the light of the New Testament. After his resurrection Christ began to harvest what he sowed in his death. You and I belong to the great multitude for whom "he poured out his life unto death."
We belong to the transgressors for whom he prayed.
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