- Isaiah 42:1-9
- Isaiah 49:1-7
- Isaiah 50:4-9
- Isaiah 52:13-53:12.
These passages prophecy the coming of a servant of God who has done nothing wrong, but is punished for the sins of others. For example:
Isaiah 53:5-6: He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
The New Testament writers make it clear that Jesus was that suffering servant. For example, all four quotations in the following passage come from those passages in Isaiah:
1 Peter 2: 21-25: Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Interestingly, this issue touches on three key Christian doctrines: that Jesus lived a sinless life, that all other human beings have sinned and deserve punishment, and that Jesus took on the punishment that we deserved (when He was tortured and crucified).
Many people, even some who call themselves Christians, oppose these three doctrines and spend a lot of energy and time trying to discredit them. One cannot do that, however, without discarding large chunks of scripture.