~ Isaiah 53:5-6 ~
If one were to ask, “What is the core message of the Bible?” a number of answers might be given. For example, one of my favorite one-word descriptions of the Bible is “forgiveness.” Another good one-word description of the Bible would be “salvation.”
The Old Testament book of Isaiah is a fascinating book in many ways. The subject of Isaiah is Jesus Christ. His book has been called, “The Gospel before the Gospel.” Others have described Isaiah, who prophesied primarily to Judah, as the “Prophet of Grace”—what a New Testament ring that has! Chapter 53 provides one of the clearest prophecies of the death of Christ found in the Old Testament.
The book of Isaiah has also been called “The Bible in miniature” for several reasons. For example, it is well-known that the book of Isaiah is divided into two major parts consisting of the first 39 chapters and the last 27 chapters—the Bible has 39 chapters in the Old Testament and 27 chapters in the New Testament. The first 39 chapters of Isaiah can be summarized as “Isaiah—the Prophet of God’s holiness” which corresponds to the message of the Old Testament. The final 27 chapters we see “Prophet as the Servant of the Lord” directly relating to the message of the New Testament.
Someone has written the following concerning Isaiah 53: “Isaiah 53 is the central chapter of the central section of the central division, and the central verses of this central chapter enshrine the central truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
These two verses—Isaiah 53:5-6—should be familiar to all Christians. “But Jesus Christ was pierced for our rebellion, He was crushed for our sins, and He was beaten so we could be healed and made whole. He was whipped so we could be restored and made complete. All of us, like sheep, had strayed away—we had left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.”
At the core of the Bible is the message of salvation!