April 7 - Isaiah 52.13-53.12

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The Suffering Servant

13The LORD says: My servant will succeed!
He will be given great praise and the highest honors.
14Many were horrified at what happened to him.
But everyone who saw him was even more horrified
because he suffered until he no longer looked human.
15My servant will make nations worthy to worship me;
kings will be silent as they bow in wonder.
They will see and think about things
they have never seen or thought about before.

What God's Servant Did for Us

Isaiah 53 Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power
of the LORD in action?
2Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground,
the servant grew up obeying the LORD.
He wasn't some handsome king.
Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us.
3He was hated and rejected;
his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering.
No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said,
"He is a nobody!"

4He suffered and endured great pain for us,
but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.
5He was wounded and crushed because of our sins;
by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.
6All of us were like sheep that had wandered off.
We had each gone our own way,
but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved.

7He was painfully abused, but he did not complain.
He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher,
as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off.

8He was condemned to death without a fair trial.
Who could have imagined what would happen to him?
His life was taken away because of the sinful things
my people had done.
9He wasn't dishonest or violent,
but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people.

10The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice
to take away the sin and guilt of others.
Now the servant will live to see his own descendants.
He did everything the LORD had planned.

11By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning
of obeying the LORD.
Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment
for the sins of others,
so that many of them will no longer be guilty.
12The LORD will reward him with honor and power
for sacrificing his life.
Others thought he was a sinner,
but he suffered for our sins
and asked God to forgive us.

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This reading is from The Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society, 1995.

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