For many years, some rabbis taught that these Scriptures were speaking of Israel the nation, not Jesus the Messiah. As a matter of fact, many Orthodox rabbis deliberately do not teach from these passages because of the ramifications of their explaining that these Scriptures obviously speak of a Man who would give His life as a ransom for many. There is no possible way this chapter could refer to a nation, because of the persection of any nation does not have the power in that persecution to eradicate sins or save anyone. This chapter definitely is referring to a specific Man.
The complete prophecy of Isaiah 53 starts in chapter 52:13. Within these prophetic verses are 801 letters, all uniquely designed and precisely written to convey the clearest pricture of the coming Messiah who paid the price of redemption. There are at least fifty-seven prophecies in the Suffering Servant passages. Jesus fulfilled each and every one of these, even tot he smallest detail. If he had been just a man, with all the shortcomings of a human being, He never would have had any control over the fulfillment of these prophecies.
There are 16,931 words and 66,890 letters comprising the whole book of Isaiah. When the prophet wrote the book, he had been receiving glorious revelations from the Lord Himself. These revelations were for the benefit of all mankind. Around 745 B.C., Isaiah wrote:
"In the year that King Isaiah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,a nd his train filled the temple" (Isaiah 6:1)
This was a heavenly vision of the Lord in the Temple of the glorious throne room. After Isaiah realized that he was not prepared for his calling, the Lord sent an angel, who touched the prophet's lips with a fiery coal from the altar in heaven. This gave the prophet a mouth that would speak, as it were, with tongues of fire. As a result of this experience, the prophet became a great orator and was inspired to write the magnificent book of Isaiah, which is most prophetic. It was not until after Isaiah's revelation of the Lord that he knew that he was being prepared for whatever calling that was set before him.
According to Halley's Bible Handbook, Isaiah "is quoted in the New Testament more than any other prophet. What a mind he had! In some of his rhapsodies he reaches heights unequaled even by Shakespeare, Milton, or Homer...His martyrdom: A tradition, in the Talmud, which was accepted as authentic by the early Church Fathers, states that Isaiah resisted Manasseh's idolatrous decrees, and was fastened between two planks,a nd 'sawn asunder,' thus suffering a most horrible death. This is thought to be referred to in Hebrews 11:37." It is so amazing that Isaiah, the prophet who wrote of the crucifixion, suffered a similar death on a wooden cross.
The book of Isaiah is the crown jewel of all the brooks of the Old Testament. Of all the sixty-six chapters in this book, the 53rd chapter is considered by many Bible scholars to be the brightest sparkled of the jewel. It describes in vivid detail the Messiah's childhood, ministry, sacrificial death, and resurrectionh.
The 53rd chapter gives additional prophetic information with reference to the first Messianic prophecy in Genesis 3:15, which is a picture of the redemption of all mankind. it goes into the "fine print" description of the manner by which it would be fulfilled. This is one of the most beloved Scriptures in all the Bible. It describes the Servant of theLord in His sufferings, and at times it seems as though Isaiah is speaking of the past tense.
His description of the prophecies are so vivid that you would think that Isaiah was standing at the foot of the cross of Calvary, but he wrote it many centuries before it was fulfilled by Jesus the Messiah.
The light in this chapter is so blazing, so revealing, so splendid, that only Jesus Christ shines forth form the midst of it, with his nail-pierced hands reaching out to his Chosen People the Jews, "Repent and come unto Me, your prophesied Messiah, and I will forgive your sins, which I bled for, and wipe away all your iniquity, and heal all your diseases, and heal the broken-hearted--COME UNTO ME!"--Ed.