His Appearance, Beyond Human Semblance

Isaiah 53 is a well-known chapter in the Bible, often called “the suffering servant.” However the prophecy does not begin in chapter 53, but in chapter 52:13. For me, verse 14 in chapter 52 is one of the most shocking verses of this Isaiah 52-53 passage:

“As many were astonished at you-his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind”

Although it can and has been debated on who these verse are speaking of, I believe along with many that it is referring to Jesus. To me when I read this passage it is like looking at a picture of Jesus, and that is what makes it so shocking.

Many times we want to picture a Jesus in our mind that is tall, has long hair, and is handsome. We picture somebody in our mind that looks like they should be a star, somebody that looks like a leader, somebody that we would look up to. However that most likely was not the case, but even if it was, this picture we have of him in verse 14 is not good.

Possibly this is the picture of the cross, that is what comes to my mind when I read verse 14. This is a picture of a man whose appearance was so deformed that it is described as “beyond human semblance.” That is very strong language. It is hard to imagine the pain and suffering Christ went through for me. Of course physical, but also emotional and spiritual. He carried the weight of the sins of the entire world on his shoulders, and then was abanded by God the Father. It is amazing what really happened on the cross! Jesus, I can’t thank you and praise you enough for what you did for me!

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