Isaiah 53 is all about vindication. God’s servant, who suffered grievously, will one day be vindicated to the eyes of those who despised him. This is the primary thrust of the passage.
The missionary interpretation insists that it is Jesus who is going to be vindicated and ONLY Jesus who will be vindicated. According to the Church, the servant’s role can only be fulfilled by one who stands apart from all of humanity by virtue of his alleged divinity – no one can share in the servant’s accomplishment. The key element of the Church position is that the servant must be Jesus to the absolute exclusion of anyone else.
Judaism, on the other hand, asserts that the primary thrust of the passage is the vindication of those who accomplished God’s purpose on earth. Israel is God’s agent here on earth and it is through this nation that God’s purpose is…
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