THE SERVANT VERSUS JESUS
There is no way that Jesus of Nazareth could have been the servant of YHVH described in Isaiah 53!
First of all, according to Christian mythology, Jesus was God Himself, come in the flesh! Timothy 3:16 tells us that 'GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH (of Jesus)'!! Colossians 2:9 tells us that 'in him (Jesus) dwelleth ALL of the GODHEAD, BODILY!' John 14:9 tells us, 'he that has seen ME (Jesus) has SEEN THE FATHER!' etc. Since Jesus was GOD 'disguised' as a man, he could not be the Servant of God! At best, he would be playing the part of a 'servant'. It is no big deal for 'God" to 'suffer', since he knows all along that he is 'God', (a very consoling thought!), unless he temporarily 'forgot' he was 'God', (which is unlikely, for a person like 'God'!).
Secondly, the servant of YHVH is to LIVE, and have children! Verse 10 of Isaiah 53 reads, in the Hebrew: "If his soul offers itself as a sin-offering, he (the Servant) shall see seed (children! progeny!) and have a long life! (YIREH ZERA, YAARIKH YAMIM)." Hardly a fitting description of a man who died childless in his thirty third year!!
Moreover, the Servant is a THEY, not a HE!! Again, translating from the Hebrew, we read in verse 8: 'for the transgression of my people were THEY stricken! (NEGA LAMO - third person plural!).
But, wait a minute! WHO is being quoted in Isaiah 53? The Prophet? The people of Israel? The confusion is caused by the artificial chapter division. The story of the Servant begins in chapter 52, verse 13: 'behold, my servant shall prosper! (Jesus was forsaken, Matthew 27:46) ... so shall he surprise MANY NATIONS! (GENTILES!) Kings shall shut their mouths (in astonishment) because of him! For that which they have not heard SHALL THEY (THE GENTILE RULERS) PERCEIVE!
It is the rulers of the NATIONS who exclaim in astonishment: 'who would have believed what we report? The despised rejected servant suffered AS A RESULT OF OUR SINS, and nevertheless, he healed us with his truth. We thought that he was smitten of God, whereas, in truth, he was crushed by our iniquities which we gentiles perpetrated against him!' Now, we know that Christianity was spread throughout the nations of Europe by myriads of saints, apostles and preachers, so the surprise element doesn't exist if the gentile rulers here quoted were referring to Jesus; but what a surprise it will be to them when they perceive on THEIR OWN, that the Servant of YHVH is despised, afflicted ISRAEL who has for centuries borne of the nations' sins! The Pharaohs, Hamans, Hitlers sinned, and Israel suffered.
But, not ALL ISRAEL were righteous servants. Many were sinners! THE SERVANT, THE IDEAL ISRAEL is a class within Israel! The Prophets, the saints, the sages, like Moses - Jeremiah - Isaiah - Elijah - Akiva, etc. - the holy ones who perished in the inquisitions, crusades, pogroms, the holocaust - these are the COLLECTIVE SERVANT, the light into the nations, FAITHFUL ISRAEL who has borne witness to YHVH by deeds, sacrifice and tenacious faith! (This collective servant is further described in the 65th chapter of Isaiah.)
IF SO ... why did Jesus die? If he wasn't the righteous servant of YHVH, (and he WASN'T), why did he die such a terrible death?? The answer to this question is unequivocally provided in the Hebrew Scriptures.
"Thus shall you say to them: the gods that have NOT made the heavens and the earth, THESE shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens!!" (Jeremiah 10:11)
Submitted by Mordecai Alfandari