The Lamb of God
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave. Isaiah 53:7-9 NLT
When we think about the sacrifice of Christ at the cross and His eventual death, it is clearly a miscarriage of human justice. But it was not an accident that it had happened that way and without God allowing it. His death was a portrayal of God’s clearheaded choice. As was prophesied by Isaiah from the text, the Lord Jesus Christ willingly gave His live. “The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again” (John 10:17, 18). Christ’s death on the cross was not a defeated surrender to the Roman authorities but a demonstration of thoughtful control. He chose not to fight back and be silent before His captors. “He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). “Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus remained silent” (Matthew 26:62-63). Everything in Christ’s trial was an abused of power by the authorities, yet He did not ask for an appeal to be retried again. He died in innocence; “He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone” (Isaiah 53:9). On top of it all, He died alongside with criminals. When a criminal died through crucifixion, the body will be left hanged to serve as an example so others will not commit the same crime. But Jesus was buried to fulfill the prophecy and as part of the testimony of the gospel. “Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus died in our place so He can atone for our sins. But He did not remain dead for on the third day He rose from the grave proving the efficacy of His sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus’ body buried in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea was not an accident for Joseph’s home was miles away from the place of execution. The burial site was prepared ahead of time to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy. “He was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave” (Isaiah 53:9b).