The Suffering Servant – The Servant’s Innocence

Isaiah 53:9 says, “And they made His grave with the wicked“.  Several hundred years later, Jesus would be condemned as a criminal.  He would hang on a cross next to two convicts.  However, they would also make His grave “with a rich man in His death”.  How was that fulfilled?  Matthew 27:57-60 says, “When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock.”  He was literally buried in a rich man’s tomb.

There is some symbolism here, I think.  Where He was condemned as a low life, He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.  Where He was treated as a sinner, He was completely without sin.  He was crushed by the Father for our sake, yet He was exalted and exonerated.

Verse 9 says, “He had done no violence“.  The Jews accused Him of being a riotous traitor of Rome.  We know that not to be true.  He, in fact, promoted giving taxes to Caesar, as appropriate.  Luke 20:25 says, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s“.

Verse 9 also says, “and there was no deceit in His mouth“.  They accused Him of blaspheming God.  That was not true either.  Jesus was the ultimate and preeminent Prophet of God, indeed God Himself.

Now, before those two phrases, verse 9 has the word translated “although” in the ESV.  Other translations say “because”.  The Hebrew word used there can be translated either way.  And both work, depending on how you read it.  They made His grave with the wicked although He had done no violence and there was no deceit in His mouth.  They made His grave with a rich man because He had done no violence and there was no deceit in His mouth.  Both concepts are at work here.

The Savior’s innocence should affect our hearts.  If He had sinned once, then the punishment that He endured would have been deserved.  But He was sinless.  He was the spotless lamb.  And yet, as we’ve discovered before, He took on the sins of every believer who has ever lived and will ever live.  His innocence makes His sacrifice all the more astounding and all the more beautiful.  May our hearts be affected by that.

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