Thursday of the Fifth Week in Lent
The Servant Songs, Day Four:
(Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.
Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service.)
The fourth song proclaims the salvific value of the Servant’s innocent suffering that will justify many and blot out their offenses.
Today we reflect on the last of the four Servant Songs.
Take time with the fourth Servant Song today. Read from Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12.
Here the prophet proclaims the “prosperity” of God’s servant, but it is not a worldly prosperity accomplished through human wisdom. “Who would believe what we have heard?” God’s silent and afflicted servant prospers through a life given to God as an offering for sin. Through suffering, the servant acquires great wealth and “offspring” before God: many are justified before God, iniquity is removed, wounds are healed, and sinners receive an intercessor. The servant prospers in what is true wealth to God.
Listen again to the Scriptures through a recording of the fourth Servant Song.