Key Scripture: Isaiah 53:12 “Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the plunder with the strong, Because He poured out His life unto death, And was counted with wrongdoers; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the wrongdoers.”
In Isaiah 53:12 it is prophesied that the Messiah would be crucified with criminals. The Messiah was to be one who would not sin, but who would bear the sins of many. He was to be someone seen as having done wrong, yet was sinless. Isaiah states He would be placed in a group of criminals and would pour His life out for those who were actually doing the crimes. Not only would the Messiah be charged as a criminal but also be crucified with them. Isaiah 52-53 talks about the suffering servant yet paints a completely different picture about the Messiah than what people expected. The Messiah was most often thought of as one who would take over as ruling king. This aspect of the Messiah is one we will see at the second coming; however, He first came as a suffering servant.
In the New Testament we see this prophecy fulfilled at the end of Jesus’s life. The Gospels portray the scene that Jesus was taken before the Jewish leaders and charged as a criminal for heresy. He then was crucified between two criminals. Matthew paints the picture when he says, “At that time two rebels were being crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.” Christ shows us that He came to make a way for everyone when He offers salvation to the criminal next to Him who admitted he deserved his punishment while acknowledging that Christ did not. It is important to note that Jesus was the one who knew of the prophecy and the will of the Father and willingly poured out His life for the sins of the world.
Questions to Consider:
What do you think of when you think of a criminal? Why did Jesus have to be categorized as a criminal? Was Jesus forced to die?
Thank God for making a way to salvation through taking on our sins as a criminal.
Pray for others to ask for salvation from their sins as the criminal on the cross next to Jesus did.