Isa 53 – my solution

Reading Rabbi Schulman’s commetary we realise that the servant of God spoken of by Isaiah is the righteous remnant of Israel in the messianic times.

How can that be still applied to Jesus? How did he fulfill these prophecies? Are the gospel writers at fault when they claim he did fulfil these prophecies?

I suggest they aren’t at fault. Isaiah describes a group experience. The individual experience doesn’t have to be identical for every single member of the messianic community, including the Messiah himself, and doesn’t even have to happen at the same moment of time.

Thus, the gospel writers are correct when they state that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy.

However, there is another problem we face. According to the prophecy Gentiles will be justified by teaching them the ways of righteousness, that is, the law of God. (If you accept the prophecy of Jeremiah about the new covenant, then you also accept that the law wasn’t abolished by the cross of Christ.) Here traditional Christian theology falls flat again, for it claims that justification comes by faith in Jesus alone, and it seems to be in total contradiction with the Isaiah (and many other) prophecies. Perhaps we have some work to do in this area to come up with a theology that explains both satisfactorily.

What is your solution?


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