skip to Main Content

The Suffering Servant- Isaiah 53:8

By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? (53:8; ESV)

More unjust treatment of the servant is described. A miscarriage of justice is predicted for the suffering servant. The words suggest an improper judicial process. This, again, is a contrast between Israel and the servant. Israel was judgment and destruction was complete justice. However, the servant’s judgment and death is a lack of justice. Did anyone care that a travesty was occurring? Not at all. I think the TNIV has the concept correct when it reads, “Yet who of his generation protested?” The NET is a little bit freer but makes the same point, reading, “…but who even cared?”

No one cared about the injustice. No one protested that he did not receive a proper defense. There were many violations of Jewish law that took place to have Jesus condemned and crucified:
    1.    Trial at night: No trials were to be held in the secrecy of night.
    2.    No night convictions were allowed. However, the Sanhedrin will convict Him this very night.
    3.    Sentences could not be decreed until the next day. This was to give a chance for mercy to be extended to the convicted.
    4.    The defendant could not be asked to incriminate himself. This is the same as our fifth amendment.
    5.    Trial was required to be held in the hall of stones in the temple complex, not in the members of the Sanhedrin’s homes.
    6.    Trials could not be held during the feast days.
    7.    All witnesses had to agree at the trial. Remember that it is the middle of the night. Where would the Sanhedrin get reasonable witnesses at this hour? Further, the witnesses did not agree (Mark 14:59).
    8.    The judge could not act as the prosecutor. That is exactly what the high priest did, acting as prosecutor instead of judge.
    9.    The condemned was to have someone testify on his behalf. This right was not afforded to Jesus.

Here the death is also explicitly noted when Isaiah prophesied that the servant would be cut off out of the land of the living. The nature of the Hebrew word that is translated “cut off” suggests a violent, premature death. Was he stricken for his own error or sins? Not at all. He endured these things “for the transgression of my people.” For the sins of the people the servant would experience these awful and tragic events.

Back To Top