Psalm 119:161b NKJV - …My heart stands in awe of Your word.
AWE: An overwhelming feeling of reverential respect or admiration mixed with fear or wonder.
Ask anyone on the street, Christian or non-Christian, “Who is being described in this Bible passage?”
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 NIV - See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him— his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness— 15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. 53 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered [died], he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, n and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The overwhelming number of American will (correctly) answer, “Jesus Christ.” They may not be believers in Jesus or the Bible, but they would at least be familiar enough with the historical treatment of Jesus that is described in Isaiah as well as what Jesus proclaimed about His purpose to bear the sins of others and come back from the dead. From the brutal beating to the “piercing” of the Messiah described to the character of Christ and the mission He claimed to be undertaking, Isaiah 53 is universally understood by Jews to refer to Messiah and by most of Western Civilization to describe Jesus of Nazareth. Yet, Isaiah wrote this prophetic account about 700 years before Christ was born. To give that some perspective, Columbus arrived in North America just over 500 years ago. The United States is only 240 years old. Do we have anything comparable in terms of predictions made in writing by the people of those eras? No.
Unlike all other religious, philosophical, scientific, and other writings - the Bible is completely unique in terms of it’s fulfilled prophecy. Isaiah 53 is only one of many Old Testament passages that accurately predicted the events that occurred in the person of Jesus Christ. Many passages (like Psalm 22 and Micah 5:2) include events that Jesus could not have made happen Himself. Even the very identity and existence of Israel itself is evidence that the Bible is a supernatural collection of prophetic writings! Add to the Biblical record the clear historical record of events such as Isaiah calling Cyrus the Great of Persia by name as well as his ordering captive Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild, and we have a truly supernatural book that leaves us in awe. By the way, Isaiah correctly predicted Cyrus by name despite the fact that Cyrus would not be born for another 100 years in a pagan nation unaware of Isaiah’s writings, yet Cyrus would still do exactly what God told Isaiah he would do. Daniel wrote of the correct historical events of the Persians defeating the Babylonians then being defeated by the Greeks under Alexander the Great (as well as seeing Alexander’s early death and the weakness of his successors). New Testament writings of Jesus correctly predicting the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled in 70 A.D. under the Roman General, Titus. When history is repeatedly, correctly, and specifically (not symbolically) foretold in writing decades or centuries in advance, we call that a miracle. The word of God is unlike all other religious, spiritual, or mystical writings. It is far more impressive and confirmed, and it’s not even debatable. It leaves us in awe!
2 Peter 1:19-21 NIV - We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.