Isaiah 53:4-5 - The Verses Project

Bible Isaiah 53:4-5

Posted October 08, 2012

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

For some strange reason, Jesus can often be portrayed or imagined as a stoic emotionless icon who never experienced true depth of emotion, but this passage in Isaiah teaches us otherwise. Christ is identified as the Suffering Servant who has borne our griefs, the One who's carried our sorrows. We see a few things about the Suffering Servant in these two verses:

1) Jesus isn't a stranger to sorrows & griefs.
We should never wait till we "get it together" before we approach Him, but rather come to Him precisely when we're at our worst and most broken. Why should we have this confidence that he'll receive us? Because Christ took on and experienced precisely whatever it is we are experiencing on the cross. He's not shocked by whatever it is we may be going through, but rather His compassion for us is great! He isn't a calloused distant observer, but a sympathetic & merciful Savior who is intimately acquainted with our sorrow and sin, so come boldly and humbly.

2) Jesus was stricken by the Father for our sin.
Though we were the ones who rightfully deserved the wounding & punishment, that punishment was laid on Christ. But notice by whom Christ was stricken: God Himself. This was the Father's plan from before time (2 Timothy 1:9). God Himself sent His Son for our salvation, pouring out His wrath on His Son instead of us! Why? So that both our sins would be dealt with and His righteousness would be honored & displayed (see Romans 3:25). As John Stott said, "God himself gave himself to save us from himself."

3) Jesus took on what was ours in order to give us what was His.
John Calvin said, "This is the wonderful exchange which, out of His measureless benevolence, He has made with us, that, by His descent to earth, He has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, He has conferred His immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, He has strengthened us by His power; that, receiving our poverty unto Himself, He has transferred His wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon Himself (which oppressed us), He has clothed us with His righteousness.” What grace is ours in Christ!

If you want to continue to learn about the truths in these verses, please take the time to read John Stott's classic book "The Cross of Christ" ( or "In My Place He Stood Condemned: Celebrating The Glory of the Atonement" ( Another great resource is "Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die" by John Piper avail here (

This week's song was written by Oklahoma City's Ryan Gikas and produced by Chris Clark. The artwork was created by Scott Scrivner who works with Finch Creative ( out of OKC as well. Remember that our goal in both these art forms is to help you memorize & meditate on Scripture. We pray that God uses these to increase your love & passion for Him as He reveals Himself by His Spirit.