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Isaiah 53:7

Isaiah 53: 7 states:
 
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.”
 
These three references to Him refraining from “opening his mouth” and being “dumb” (meaning silent) are referring to more than His failure to respond to Herod’s inquiries.  (Luke 23: 8-9.)  This is a reference to Christ’s “Word,” which if employed, could have moved mountains, held armies at defiance, and summoned “twelve legions of angels” to His defense.  (Matt. 26: 52-53.)  Pilate was told that he may have been the Roman Procurator, but he had no power over Christ which Christ did not permit.  (John 19: 7-11.)
 
Christ remained silent, choosing to exercise meekness in the face of the threat aimed at Him.  (“Meekness” as explained in Beloved Enos, which is really a great power.)  It was in this sense the Isaiah found His silence to be prophetically remarkable.  One of the great signs of the Messiah.  He would be the One whose words could have exercised power to defy armies, but who refrained from speaking those words.  He would, instead, voluntarily submit to the abuse and scorn of those who hated Him.
 
As to our Lord being shorn, Isaiah also foretells His beard being plucked by those who would smite, abuse and strike Him.  (Isa. 50: 6.)  Surely our Lord was indeed “shorn” as a “sheep” before His sacrifice.

Patience

Christ was prepared eighteen years prior to the time His ministry would begin.  He stood by ready, and “waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.”  (JST Matt. 3: 24-26.)

Prepared and waiting.

Patience.
Even the Lord, who was “more intelligent than them all,” waited.  (Abr. 3: 19.)
The Lord’s counsel to all is that they must not “run faster than they have strength.”  (Mosiah 4: 27; also D&C 10: 4.)
There is no rush to receiving an audience with the Lord.  When it happens it is always in His own time, His own way, and according to His own will.  (D&C 88: 68.)
We must ask.  Then we wait upon Him.  If He waited, what makes you think you are entitled to rush ahead without paying a similar price to develop the necessary patience in waiting on the Lord.
Abraham was promised children, but waited decades to receive the promise.  Anna and Simeon were promised they would behold the Lord’s Messiah, but were both well stricken in age before He came.  (Luke 2: 25-38.)
Patience.
Recognize the Lord alone will determine the timing.  Our responsibility is to trust in Him and await His will.  We can ask, seek and knock.  He cannot respond unless we ask, seek and knock. But having done so, then we trust in Him to decide when He will make Himself known to us.

Isaiah 53:6

Isaiah 53: 6:

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

The Savior referred to those who would follow Him as His “sheep.”  (John 10: 27.)  However, Isaiah’s use of “sheep” here is not about those who would follow Him, but rather those who would scatter, find other shepherds, or lose their way altogether. Isaiah’s “sheep” are disorderly and have gone “astray.”
The bookends of these two messages – Isaiah’s sheep, who are astray, and Christ’s, who “hear His voice” – are two sides of the same coin.  Until “ALL” of us have been, or to some degree, have gone “astray,” we are unprepared to “hear His voice” and be gathered by Him.
We have turned away from the True Shepherd and gone into our “own way.”  That errant “way” is appealing to the ego, the mind, the imagination, or the traditions we need to control us because they are safe, tested or handed to us by those whom we trust.  Whatever the reason for choosing our own way, it is nevertheless ours.  We must leave it, respond to the True Shepherd’s “voice” and gather again to Him.  
It is His “voice” whenever He sends a true messenger, empowered with a message from Him.  It is not His “voice” when the messenger has not been sent or empowered with a message from Him.
The “iniquity of us all” in finding ourselves in these strange paths has been laid upon Him.  He has found His way back from every error man can make.  He has solved every dilemma, confronted every error, overcome every false and tempting doctrine the devil has thrown at you.  He can solve your imponderable problems.  He knows the answers.  He has overcome the iniquities of every false, evil or prideful teaching ever given to any man or woman.
He can lead you back to the light, because He has remained true to the light throughout.  Therefore look to Him.

Isaiah 53:5

Isaiah 53: 5 states:
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Those wounds He suffered were not His, they were ours.  Those iniquities which were laid upon Him were never His to bear. He volunteered to take them. We were relieved of them, and He took them. He purchased our peace by what He suffered to reconcile us to God. His infirmity was to heal us.
Our rejection of Him was the means by which He became fully acceptable to His Father.  He bore our abuse to make His compassion perfect.
What we lacked we put on full display in our anger at Him.
What we held in our hearts we poured out upon Him, shouting to kill Him!  Crucify Him!  Away with Him!
He took it to allow our rejection to become His bridge back to the Father for us all.

When the outcast makes intercession for those who despised Him, there can be no crime which He cannot forgive.  Having suffered the guilt of all, He holds the keys of death and hell.  He suffered both.  It was perfectly unjust for Him to have suffered anything.  Yet He suffered it all.

How can the gates of hell be opened?  It requires someone upon whom death and hell could have no claim to go there.  When justice itself requires Him to be released, then death and hell are conquered.  This is what He would do.  He would suffer the wrath of the guilty and vile, fully assume their punishment and abuse, and bear their penalty of death itself.  When the fury relented, and the wrath ended, He could reclaim life.  His captivity ended the captivity for all.  Having then returned to life, because it was just for Him to do so, He acquired the keys of death and hell.  Now He can open those gates for any and all because it was unjust for Him to have been put through either.  He can now advocate for others by virtue of what He suffered and the injustice of that suffering.  (D&C 45: 3-5.)

Isaiah 53:4

 
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
 
This Messiah of whom Isaiah testifies will bear “grief” and “sorrow,” but these will belong to us.  They will be ours.  In His suffering will be found our own shortcomings and failures. He will assume them for us.
 
As He suffers, we will think it is His own deserved punishment.  We will think it is God’s doing. God will smite Him. God will afflict Him. After all, He was not truly God’s Son.

We miss the point of Isaiah’s message when we confine it to the Lord alone. His messengers will also come “as a thief in the night” to warn again before His coming.  They, too, may fit the same pattern.  If so, then we should be careful when we think another person’s grief and sorrows are inflicted upon them by a God who has smitten them.  Such an assessment may, like those who lived and rejected the Messiah, put you on the wrong side of the confrontation.
 
The Lord’s doings are ever the same.  The pattern simply does not change.

Isaiah 53:3

Isaiah 53: 3 states:
 
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
 
The Messiah would be both “despised” and “rejected” by the very people who claimed to follow Him.  The astonishing report of Isaiah was unbelievable.  It makes no sense that the people who looked forward to deliverance would reject their Deliverer.  Why expect them to “despise” and “reject” the very one they rely upon for their hope?  It is little wonder that Isaiah’s report would not be believed.
 
Isaiah’s Messiah would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”  He would mingle with the commonest of people, bearing with their infirmities, ministering to them. All the while, He will be a thorn to those who despised His ministry.  Those in good society would “hide their faces from Him,” and refuse to associate with Him.  He had nothing to offer them.  For them to acknowledge Him would require them to condescend.  Better for them to hide their faces. 
 
He warned them that if they were ashamed of Him, He would in turn be ashamed of them.  (Mark 8: 38.)  He also counseled them to be careful about their standard of judgment, because it would be applied to them.  (Matt. 7: 2.)
 
Despite the coming Messiah’s teachings, and Isaiah’s testimony of Him, the chosen people nevertheless “despise” Him, and “esteem Him not.”  It would simply be too difficult a task to confront Him in the flesh and find it possible to recognize Him for what He was.
 
We presume we could have recognized Him.  However, the test He set up was one that He cautioned was coming.  Our unflattering views of Christ’s contemporaries may, in turn, leave us without excuse should He choose as He does so often, to send us a message from an obscure or un-credentialed source.  
 
I wonder how many of us would recognize the truth, if it came only with the power of veracity behind it.  Forgetting all the messenger is lacking, could we be starving ourselves from truth by again rejecting the open hand the Lord extends us?  Whether by His own voice or by the voice of a servant, it will always be the same.  (D&C 1: 38.)

Isaiah 53:2

Isaiah 53: 2 states this about the Messiah:

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”

The first “he” is a reference to the Messiah.  The second “him” is either the Father in Heaven or Israel.

The Messiah will be a “tender plant” or a “root” that arises “out of a dry ground” because the barren, unproductive, rancorous people among whom He will be sent will not be producing redeemed souls when He comes.  They will be racked with religious falsehoods; ambitious and controlling men who have obtained their leadership through political maneuvering, influence peddling and purchase.  

The acquisition of religious status was so normal a thing in that day that the Apostles would later be asked by Simon if he could purchase the priesthood from them.  (Acts 8: 13-24.)  And yet the Messiah will find the way back to opening the heavens, receiving power from on high, and then go about preaching and leading other souls to redemption as well.  For Him the barren, dry ground will be no impediment to salvation.

The Messiah will “have no form nor comeliness,” and have “no beauty.” Not because of His physical appearance, however.  It will be due to the lack of position, absence of credentials, failure to hold a leadership position, and outsider status which makes Him undesirable.  Those who recognize in His message the voice of the Lord will be required to overlook His obscurity and status.  I’ve described this more fully in two chapters in Come, Let Us Adore Him.

This image contradicts the presumptions of the people who hear Isaiah’s report.  They imagine themselves as followers of the true faith.  They presume they would hearken to the voice of God no matter when it came.  But they look for it in barren ground.  Therefore, when the Messiah should come, they will be unable to find anything desirable, beautiful or comely about Him.  Rather they will shout “crucify Him!” because He will have merited the charge of blasphemy.

For those who heard Isaiah’s report, this would seem altogether wrong.  It is incomprehensible for the chosen people to fail to recognize the Lord’s own Son.  And yet they will kill Isaiah, as well.  So when the message of the prophet Isaiah came to pass, the generation in which it was fulfilled was entirely oblivious to how his prophecy was unfolding before their eyes.

This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Isaiah 53:2

Isaiah 53: 2 states this about the Messiah:

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”

The first “he” is a reference to the Messiah.  The second “him” is either the Father in Heaven or Israel.

The Messiah will be a “tender plant” or a “root” that arises “out of a dry ground” because the barren, unproductive, rancorous people among whom He will be sent will not be producing redeemed souls when He comes.  They will be racked with religious falsehoods; ambitious and controlling men who have obtained their leadership through political maneuvering, influence peddling and purchase.  

The acquisition of religious status was so normal a thing in that day that the Apostles would later be asked by Simon if he could purchase the priesthood from them.  (Acts 8: 13-24.)  And yet the Messiah will find the way back to opening the heavens, receiving power from on high, and then go about preaching and leading other souls to redemption as well.  For Him the barren, dry ground will be no impediment to salvation.

The Messiah will “have no form nor comeliness,” and have “no beauty.” Not because of His physical appearance, however.  It will be due to the lack of position, absence of credentials, failure to hold a leadership position, and outsider status which makes Him undesirable.  Those who recognize in His message the voice of the Lord will be required to overlook His obscurity and status.  I’ve described this more fully in two chapters in Come, Let Us Adore Him.

This image contradicts the presumptions of the people who hear Isaiah’s report.  They imagine themselves as followers of the true faith.  They presume they would hearken to the voice of God no matter when it came.  But they look for it in barren ground.  Therefore, when the Messiah should come, they will be unable to find anything desirable, beautiful or comely about Him.  Rather they will shout “crucify Him!” because He will have merited the charge of blasphemy.

For those who heard Isaiah’s report, this would seem altogether wrong.  It is incomprehensible for the chosen people to fail to recognize the Lord’s own Son.  And yet they will kill Isaiah, as well.  So when the message of the prophet Isaiah came to pass, the generation in which it was fulfilled was entirely oblivious to how his prophecy was unfolding before their eyes.

This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Isaiah 53:1

Isaiah 53: 1 begins with the questions:
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
These two questions remain as timely today as they were when asked 750 years before Christ’s birth.  As to the first question:
The report is Isaiah’s testimony of the coming Messiah.
It is plural, although delivered by a lone prophet, because God Himself authorized the message to be delivered.  Therefore it is not “my” but rather “our” report.
The question concerns the audience’s “belief” in the report, because it contradicts the ideas held by them.  It will tell them something remarkably different from what they though to be true.

As to the second question:

“The arm of the Lord” is a symbol of His strength or might.
To have the strength of the Lord revealed to someone is to have them come into knowledge of Him and His ways.

His ways are not what men presume they are.  They are directed to much higher, much holier ends.  The strength of the Lord as it will unfold in the chapter which follows is based upon the suffering He undertook for us.

The chapter that follows this opening verse is framed in the past tense.  This is called the “prophetic perfect” tense.  To the prophet, the events have been seen. To him, they are in the past. Therefore, future events are framed as if they already occurred.  Prophets to whom things are shown will often frame their message in the past tense, even though they speak of things in the future.  You find it throughout prophecy.