NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the Explore the Bible curriculum.

Bible Passage: Isaiah 53:1-12

Discussion Questions:

  • What parts of your favorite book would you classify as disturbing yet necessary for that story to make sense?
  • How do the images used to describe the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 help us understand the seriousness of our sin? How do the images help us understand the depth of God’s love?

Food for thought:

After eating the Passover meal with the disciples, Jesus told them that Isaiah’s prophecy about the Servant being counted with the lawless or sinners was about to be fulfilled (Luke 22:37). Peter had just declared that he would never deny Jesus, even though Jesus knew otherwise. Jesus told them to prepare for trouble and then made the declaration. The disciples pointed to two swords in their possession as if they were up to the challenge. Jesus shut down the conversation, and they departed for Gethsemane.

Jesus quoted the last verse of Isaiah 53 as He ended that meal. The disciples would have known the rest of that passage. They would have known that this Servant was to be pierced, crushed and beaten. Even though He was blameless, He would bear the penalty of sin for many.

Within hours, Jesus would be hanging on a cross between two thieves, fulfilling the rest of the prophecy found in Isaiah 53. The scene is not pretty, no matter how you look at it. His death would be cruel. But in the process, Jesus would carry the penalty for our sin and provide for our salvation.

When we read Isaiah 53 we are reminded of the seriousness of our sin. We see the shame and guilt that we deserve. And we know we deserve it. We see the ugliness of our sin. But we also see the great love of our Creator. We see His Son taking on our shame and guilt, doing so out of love for us. We see our Savior demonstrating His love, not just in the fact that He died for us but also in the way He died as a willing spotless Lamb.

Through faith in the Servant’s atoning sacrifice, God forgives sinners and declares them righteous. He removes the guilt and penalty of our sin. In Isaiah 53, we discover our true selves as sinners, and we discover our true Savior.

Explore the Bible

Explore the Bible is an ongoing Bible study curriculum that helps groups dig into the key truths of each Bible book, while keeping the group on pace to study through the Bible books in a systematic way. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/ExploreTheBible.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool or ordered at LifeWay Christian Resources.

    About the Author

  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources