If there is any one passage in the Old Testament which seems to
the Christian heart to be a prophecy of the redeeming work of Christ, it is that matchless fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. We read it today, often even in preference to New Testament passages, as setting forth the atonement which our Lord made for the sins of others upon the cross. Never, says the simple Christian, was there a prophecy made more gloriously plain.”
– J. Gresham Machen (quoted in E. J. Young, Isaiah Fifty-Three: a Devotional and Expository Study)
I am presently in the middle of a series, preaching through Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – the fourth of four “Servant Songs/Psalms” in Isaiah, this being the one about Jesus the Messiah as the suffering Servant. This is a glorious passage, well worth our time to study and share. The heart of the gospel is revealed here, even in the Old Testament, as we read the passage in the context of God’s plan of redemption, unfolded in the Bible. [UPDATE: I finished preaching this series today — although I certainly did not exhaust the passage; I hope to return to it someday. Click here if you would like to view sermon notes and listen to or download audio mp3 files from the series.]
Due to the limited nature of my present study, I have not attempted to access very many works concerning that text. However, I would like to compile a list of helpful resources for the benefit of others and possibly for my own benefit (I would love to study and preach this passage again sometime!). Below are some resources I have found useful in this study. If you have studied this passage and found useful helps, please share them by leaving a comment.
These resources are in alphabetical order by author/speaker:
- Mark Dever, Sermon: “Crushed for Our Iniquities” (this link takes you to a page where you can download the free mp3 audio file) – click here to view or download Dever’s sermon manuscript (complete with his handwritten modifications)
- Peter Gentry, “The Atonement in Isaiah’s Fourth Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)” – scholarly article by noted Old Testament & Hebrew scholar
- Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey & Andrew Sach. Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2007) Pages 52-67 contain an excellent discussion of this passage, and extremely helpful book on the subject of substitutionary atonement. Highly recommended.
- F. Duane Lindsey, The Servant Songs: a Study in Isaiah (Chicago: Moody Press, 1985) (compilation of articles originally published in theological journal Bibliotheca Sacra – you can access much of this content by searching at http://faculty.gordon.edu/search/search.cfm) Click here to access the relevant material on Isaiah 52:13-53:12 in a pdf file or click here to view it as a webpage.
- John MacArthur, The Murder of Jesus (Nashville: Word, 2000) – while not properly a commentary on Isaiah 53 (it covers materials from the gospels), it provides good illustrations of the extremities of pain suffered by Jesus (that Isaiah prophesied about), as well explanations of the kangaroo court that fulfilled the text
- Arthur B. Walton, Portraits of Christ in Isaiah (Schaumburg, Illinois: Regular Baptist Press, 1995) – Adult Student Book – a remarkably meaty Sunday school curriculum with some great illustrations and explanation of the text
- Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992) (Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is covered in volume 2 of this 3 volume set) Very helpful commentary on Isaiah. If one was only going to consult one of his works on this passage, the next recommendation would suffice. But I hope to preach from other portions of Isaiah (maybe the whole book someday) and definitely plan to consult this commentary. (Some audio of class lecture here.)
- Edward J. Young, Isaiah Fifty-Three: a Devotional and Expository Study (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952). A superb and helpful book. (I found a pdf posted online, but not sure it’s there legally. I have a hardcover copy.)
Any resources you have used and would recommend?