Written to help readers better understand Jesus's life, death, and ultimate mission, this new book by well-known preacher John MacArthur looks at an important—yet often misunderstood—section of the Bible: Isaiah 53. Often hailed as one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, this passage foretells the crucifixion of Jesus, a critical event in God's ultimate plan for salvation. Explaining the prophetic words of Isaiah 53 verse by verse, MacArthur highlights important connections to the history of Israel and to the New Testament—ultimately showing us how these prophetic words to ancient Israel illuminate essential truths for our lives today.
- This book is a wonderful, clear exposition of the prophesies of the suffering and glory of Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the Servant of God, who was slaughtered by God for us.
This is respected pastor and Bible teacher John MacArthur’s fourth book in his The Gospel According to series. This book looks primarily at Isaiah 53, which he tells us includes the whole story of salvation in prophesy. He states that this is the most remarkable chapter in the Old Testament. Augustine called it the “Fifth Gospel”, and Luther thought that every Christian should memorize Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12.
The author tells us that Isaiah is the most quoted Old Testament prophet in the New Testament. His prophesies, written more than seven centuries before the birth of Jesus, were so accurate, that critics have claimed that multiple people had to have written the book.
There is a significant amount of doctrine included in Isaiah 53, including the penal, or substitutionary atonement of Jesus, the sovereign initiative of God and the justification of many. The author tells us that this is the doctrine of the Protestant Reformers, the Puritans and their heirs, but is challenged by some within the church today. For example, one writer has called the substitutionary atonement of Jesus as “child abuse”.
The Ethiopian eunuch was reading from this chapter when Philip came upon him in Acts 8: 26-39. The chapter is a magnetic description of Christ’s sacrifice for sins. The author believes Isaiah 53 is the most important text in the Old Testament, but tells us that many Jews are not familiar with it, as the passage is never read in their worship.
The author provides a brief overview of the entire book of Isaiah, the life, times and politics (kings) of Isaiah the prophet, a mysterious figure, and a detailed exposition of Isaiah 53. The book explains the prophetic words of Isaiah 53 verse by verse, highlighting connections to the history of Israel and to the New Testament.
This book is a wonderful, clear exposition of the prophesies of the suffering and glory of Jesus, the Suffering Servant, the Servant of God, who was slaughtered by God for us. A sermon of Charles Spurgeon “The Man of Sorrows” is included as an appendix.
The author has been a faithful expositor of God’s Word for fifty years. I highly recommend this book for not only believers, but also skeptics and those of the Jewish faith. The audiobook version is well-read by Bob Souer.
- A repentant look back for Israel?
This book is an excellent breakdown of Isaiah 52:13 through the end of chapter 53. It is thorough and loaded with Scriptural cross-references about the Suffering Servant, the Lord Jesus Christ, and how His suffering and death were prophesied in amazing detail.
MacArthur also looks to the future, and proposes that this passage of Isaiah's prophecy will actually be the repentant song of a future Israel that has come to believe in Jesus "en masse", after the fullness of the Gentiles has been brought in. They will, he says, look back and say "He was wounded for our transgressions..." etc. I was unfamiliar with this interpretation, and found it very interesting. Even if you don't agree with MacArthur's eschatology here, this book is a wonderful exposition of Isaiah 53.