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Daily Devotional | Jesus, Promised Servant

One day an important man was riding in a chariot on a dusty road. As he bounced to and fro, he was trying to read the Scriptures. The Lord told Philip to approach the chariot and talk to the man inside who was reading from Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26–40). Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I . . . unless someone explains it to me?” (vv. 30–31). Philip told the man the “good news about Jesus” (v. 35), and this Ethiopian official became the first recorded African believer in Christ!

In the second half of his book, Isaiah looks forward to Israel’s return from their exile (Isaiah 40–66). Because the exile was a result of Israel’s sin, Isaiah also foretold of a unique servant, Jesus, who would pay the ultimate sacrifice for their sins and for the sins of those to come: “For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (53:12).

This servant of the Lord would not look impressive by worldly standards (53:2). In fact, He would be despised and rejected by many (53:3). He would be beaten to the point that He would look inhuman (52:14). Unlike Israel, this servant would not suffer for His own wrongdoing. Instead, He suffered on behalf of those who had sinned. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (53:5). The suffering of the Lord Jesus was not merely for Israel’s sins, but for all the nations (52:15).

>> God fulfilled the promise told by Isaiah. As one commentator put it, “there is only one brow upon which this crown of thorns will fit.” Because Jesus, the suffering servant, paid our debt, rose again, and conquered the grave, we have eternal hope! Read Isaiah 53:5 and reflect deeply on His sacrifice today.

Pray with Us

What a powerful image of the suffering Servant is in today’s reading from Isaiah 52! We praise You, Lord Jesus, the faithful servant who conquered the grave and gave us eternal hope. Thank You for Your work in our hearts still today.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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