This must surely be one of the most eloquent and beautiful descriptions of the heart of Christianity.
Lots of sheep metaphors, so affecting because sheep are so vulnerable.
This poetry links the old teaching about sacrifice for sin with the “new thing” Isaiah has started to describe. God has prepared Israel for this step by having them mindfully slaughter sacrificial sheep for generations. But the idea is still a huge leap.
To compare the mighty creator God we’ve met so far: the firey cloudy pillar guiding us through the wilderness, shaking mountains and carving his words on the rock, to a lamb; one being passively slaughtered, is almost incomprehensible.
The servant is beaten, whipped, his striped scars heal us.
Then killed. And in that paradox, the mightiest God submitting to humiliation and destruction, is my sin absorbed.
For we are also like sheep, wandering off, helpless, incapable of following instructions or caring for ourselves.
Such a complete and clear description of my beliefs, the years melt away.
Hundreds of years between Isaiah and Jesus, thousands of years between Jesus and me. All the scar tissue of my own 55 years, I am a new creation again. For me it requires no rationalisation, it is simply truth which has stood and will stand forever.
When I step back from the moment and realise what I am reading, I get a chill. The holy spirit, surely. These ancient writings, so beautiful, predicting Jesus so accurately and so meaningfully. Speaking right to my heart. Loving, saving. The voice of my God.