Isaiah 53:2 says “He has no stately form or majesty.” This is relevant because Jesus too was seen merely as a poor sage from Bethlehem.1 He lacked the glory and trappings of royalty 2
• Matthew 13:55-57 -- Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”
• John 1:45-46 --Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
• Matthew 10:9-11-- Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.
• Luke 9:58 -- And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Isaiah 53:3 says “He was despised … we did not esteem him.” This is relevant because Jesus too was widely hated and rejected by the Jews.1
Jn 19:14-15 -- And [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!”
Isaiah 53:4 says “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.” This is relevant because Jesus too was regarded as being under the curse of God. 1
Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was pierced through [wounded] for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him.” This is relevant because Jesus was similarly wounded for our transgressions.1
Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was pierced through for our transgressions,… for our iniquities … by His scourging we are healed.” This is relevant for two reasons. First, the historical Jesus was scourged.1 Second, at least in concept, through Jesus's crucifixion we are spiritually healed,2 and this is the kind of healing Isaiah 53 refers to.3
Isaiah 53:6 says “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.” This is relevant because Jesus, in concept, died in a way that provided substitutionary atonement for the wicked. (For scriptures, see comments on v8).1
Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” This is relevant because it describes Jesus perfectly, in his affliction, his acceptance of being slaughtered.1 (Similarly, for his being a lamb.)2
• 1 Peter 2:23 -- When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly.
Isaiah 53:8 says “He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?” This is relevant because Jesus was executed by crucifixion, and this was regarded as involving God's judgment, being a substitutionary atonement for the transgressions of sinners everywhere.
Isaiah 53:8 says “He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?” This is relevant because Jesus too was seen as a substitutionary sacrifice for the transgressions of the guilty.1
1 Peter 2:22 -- and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
1 Peter 3:18 -- For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
2 Corinthians 5:21 -- He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Galatians 3:10 -- For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”
Isaiah 53:10 says “He would render Himself as a guilt offering.” This is relevant because Jesus's death was precisely understood this way.1
But wait, the guilt offering has nothing to do with blood here.1
Bernd Jandowski: “there is no mention of the blood of the Servant, nor is the Servant seen in the role of a sacrificial animal ritually slaughtered by a priestly official.” Instead “The term comes... from contexts in which--as in Genesis 26:10 and 1 Samuel 6:3-4, 9, 18 etc.---guilt-incurring encroachments and their reparation of the theme.” [“He Bore Our Sins: Isaiah 53 and the Drama of Taking Another's Place,” in Suffering Servant, 65.]But consider two points in response.
Isaiah 53:10 says the Servant is sinless. This is relevant because Jesus too was sinless (at least according to tradition). [Note: If one wants to loosen this to being extremely righteous, then Jesus fulfills this as well.]
Jesus fits the context of Isaiah 53, fitting Isaiah 42:4, 49:1-7, and 50:4-8. 1
Isaiah 53's “Servant” is a multitude (rather than one person).[Forthcoming] If true, this would be relevant because Jesus is not a multitude of persons.
Isaiah 53:2 says “He has no… appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” This is relevant because Jesus attracted many.
But so what if v2 says that?
• Couldn't it simply be that nothing in Jesus's physical appearance was attractive? [It is also worth nothing that while Jesus would draw large crowds, especially those who wanted to see miracles (Jn 6:2), they tended not to stay as soon as he opened his mouth and proclaimed his message (Jn 6:66, see Luke 14:25-34).]
• Isaiah 53:2 is likely a reference to Jesus' state on the cross, after he was disfigured from a brutal beating (Mt 26:67; 27:26-30) and crucifixion. Whereas one might expect God to favor Jesus, instead it seemed as if God cursed him.
Isaiah 52-53 suggests the Servant is stricken with disease.1[Forthcoming] If this were true, it would be relevant because Jesus was not sick in this way, nor did he die of sickness.
But so what? Even granting this, the prophecy is equating the disease with sin. Jesus is understood has having bore our sins.
• …1 Peter 2:24 -- and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; • …1 Corinthians 15:3 -- Christ died for our sins • …Hebrews 9:28 -- so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
Richard Averbeck: “On a few occasions this term [“stricken”] refers to a physical wound caused by assault rather than a stroke of disease; see, for example, Deuteronomy 17:8; 21:5; 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalm 39:10; 89:32; Proverbs 6:33; and perhaps Psalm 38:11, but the term is used overwhelmingly in reference to skin disease.” [“Christian Interpretations of Isaiah 53” in The Gospel According to Isaiah 53 eds. Bock & Glaser (Kregal, 2012), 55.]There are arguments that it cannot be referring to illness, however, and refers to a physical would caused by assault.[Forthcoming]
Isaiah 53:10 says “He will see His seed [offspring].” 1 This is relevant because Jesus had no biological offspring.
But so what if Jesus had no biological offspring? Couldn't it simply be that…
• …“seed” [Hebrew zera] is metaphorical, as it often is, 1, 2 such that that “see His seed” means to see his spiritual progeny grow (Acts 1:1-9)?
Hebrews 2:13 -- [Jesus says],“Behold, I and the children whom God has given me”
• Isaiah 57:3-4 -- you sons of a sorceress, seed of an adulterer and a prostitute.It can also refer to a future generation in the broadest non-biological sense (Ps 22 -- “posterity [zera] will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord”).
• Isaiah 1:4 -- a seed of evildoers,
• Isaiah 14:20 -- a seed of evildoers [Meaning a community of evildoers]
The righteous Servant is the nation of Israel. [Forthcoming] This is relevant because if it is the nation of Israel, then it cannot be an individual like Jesus.
But wait, the nation of Israel…[All Forthcoming]
• …is not “righteous”
• …is not “blind”
• …would not be punished for Gentiles
• …is the recipient of the Servant's mission
• …(“we”) is speaking of the Servant
• …is not a single person (like The Servant)