The apostle John quotes Isaiah 53:1, saying to whom has the z’roah [arm] of the Lord been revealed? It’s a question that God answers throughout the rest of Isaiah 53, describing in detail the life of Yeshua (Jesus) and the ultimate price He would pay for the sins of the world.
In today's world of Smart Phones, tablets and instant Internet access, there are many things that we can "know." "How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?" Pop out your iPhone, ask "Siri", the golden-voiced digital encyclopedic genius, and you'll have the factual answer in seconds.
An interesting parallel exists between these two passages of scripture: Isaiah 53:9 and Acts 3:15. Isaiah renders the "death" of the messiah in the plural form, "deaths" ("motav"). Acts renders the life of the Prince of Life as "lives" ("chaim"). Some scholars suggest that the plurality of the word death indicates a violent death this servant would suffer, and that making the noun plural is a way of emphasizing the terrible intensity of his experience. Jewish counter-missionaries suggest that the "death" in plural shows that the suffering servant is not an individual man, but a group of people, specifically the nation of Israel, thus denying that the passage refers to an individual messianic figure.
The Jewish leaders of His time rejected Yeshua (Jesus) when He first came. He didn't meet their expectations. They were expecting a Messiah who would bring relief from the Romans, restore the Kingdom of David, and usher in an era of tranquility throughout the world. It is probable that their intense jealousy of Yeshua blinded them to the numerous passages in the Tenach (OT) which describe Messiah as a suffering servant, since they were certainly aware of those passages.
When I studied Isaiah 53 earnestly in the ancient Hebrew, I was taken back by the Hebrew word for "afflicted" (me-u-neh). In modern Hebrew this word means "tortured". When I was young, and first learned what torture actually involved, my soul was shocked that this could happen to people; in fact that it was happening to people. That a person could be kept alive for the purpose of intentionally causing him intense agonizing pain was an astounding enigma for my young soul. It really frightened me; and I think that fear of torture is probably the greatest fear that humans can experience. We read about people who have been tortured, with a kind of horrified awe. And quietly we wonder inside, "How can this be?" And, "Could this ever happen to me?"
As we enter into day 16 of Operation Protective Shield, we read how a "ceasefire" is proposed by different countries in order to settle the conflict. However, it's not a 'true' peace they want to achieve, but just a pause in the violence. A ceasefire in the eyes of Islam is called a 'hudna', which is understood as a time to regroup and rearm before rising to its ultimate victory. So how does one truly achieve peace?
The Hebrew word "shalom" has meaning that is deep and rich. Peace, completeness, prosperity, safety, contentment, health, blessing, and rest are all apportioned to the meaning of this remarkable word.. The ancient Hebrew spelling of "shalom" is interesting because it speaks only indirectly about these multiple meanings, but reveals something very profound about apprehending "shalom".
Yesterday, we began identifying the ancient Hebrew alphabet and exploring the potential symbolic meanings of its letters. The last letter, "Tav", as we saw, strongly resembles a cross. Today, we’re going to look at how "Tav" is spelled in ancient Hebrew. The phonetic spelling of "Tav" is Tav (T)-Vav (V). Now the ancient letter, "Vav" strongly resembled a commonly used tent peg, and then, later, a common nail. So the spelling of "Tav" contains a cross and a nail.
Our sojourn in America has been a series of divine appointments. When we were in Nashville, we were introduced to the ancient Hebrew alphabet; letters which were originally written much like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in the time of Moses. In this written language it was often possible to derive the meaning of a word, because each letter was a symbol, which had its own particular meaning and significance.