For Holy Week Isaiah Reveals Ways to Remember Christ Mosiah 14 and Isaiah 53

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Click here to read the Isaiah Chapters in the Book of Mormon

Today, Palm Sunday, was the perfect time for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to give the ‘Hosanna Shout.’ The shout used most often as part of temple dedications recalls Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem when the people there laid down cloaks and palm leaves in His path. This was a joyous shout for the Messiah and rightly so as He was the Savior of all humankind.

Most Jewish scholars of that day did not see Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah 53, at least not as we do today. Yet the common people of Jerusalem recognized Him as such and as recorded by Matthew in fulfillment of both Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9–11

The study of Isaiah 53 and Mosiah 14 can be a good part of making Jesus Christ your focus during Holy Week. Especially since the prophet Isaiah reveals a special Easter message as he describes the future death and atonement of our Savior.

This is also the chapter that Abinadi recited to evil King Noah and his wicked priests who killed Abinadi, “who had come to deliver a message that would have saved them had they the courage to follow the example of Alma.”1

It is also interesting that the twelve verses of this chapter are the fourth and final of Isaiah’s Servant Songs (see Isaiah 42:1–6, Isaiah 49:1-13 and Isaiah 51:3 commentary)2

 THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
ISAIAH

CHAPTER 53

Isaiah speaks about the Messiah—His humiliation and sufferings are described—He makes His soul an offering for sin and makes intercession for the transgressors—Compare Mosiah 14

 King James Version

Book of Mormon Mosiah14

Expanded Notes and Commentary

 Joseph Smith Translation (JST) corrections in the Book of Mormon are in RED; commentary and notes are GREEN 

Who hath abelieved our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

1 Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: “Who hath abelieved our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”

Those who reject the gospel and become darkened by sin and rebellion do not receive the blessing of sweet healing. Wondering at man’s inability to see the Savior for what He was, Isaiah questioned, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Isa. 53:1). Reiterating Isaiah, John later taught, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them” (John 12:37–40).—Reg Christensen, Reg, Unlocking Isaiah,  Covenant Communications Inc.,  Kindle Edition.

For he shall grow up before him as a tender aplant, and as a broot out of a cdry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no dbeautythat we should desire him.

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him.

When Isaiah spoke of the Savior as being a “tender plant” without form and comeliness, he meant that Jesus was born as a small, helpless infant just as all people are. Jesus grew as other people do.Old Testament Student Manual (OTSM)
Did not Christ grow up as a tender plant? There was nothing about him to cause people to single him out. In appearance, he was like men, and so it is expressed here by the prophet that he had no form or comeliness, that is, he was not so distinctive, so different from others that people would recognize him as the Son of God. He appeared as a mortal man.—President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,1:23

He is adespised and rejected of men; a man of bsorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we cesteemed him not.x  He is adespised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.x Further, Isaiah saw how the Savior of the world would be viewed as a mere mortal, even one to be scorned, by those whose hearts were hardened against Him:—Reg Christensen, Reg, Unlocking Isaiah,  Covenant Communications Inc.,  Kindle Edition. 
¶ Surely he hath aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  Surely he has aborne our bgriefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. This may be the single greatest verse of scripture in the Old Covenant (the Old Testament) on the essential principle of the Atonement: substitution, or proxy. In his vicarious sacrifice the Savior took upon himself not only all of our sins but also our pains and sorrows—in this way he knows how to succor his followers in their hour of emotional and spiritual need (compare Alma 7:11–12; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 2:18).—Ogden, D. Kelly, Verse by Verse, Old Testament: Volume Two, Deseret Book Company, Kindle Edition.
But he was awounded for our btransgressionshe was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his cstripes we are dhealed.  But he was awounded for our btransgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are chealed.

Now, this is poetic language of course. Why should it not be? But can’t you get the true picture? Was he not wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities? Was he not chastised for us, and if we will believe on him, are we not healed with his stripes?—President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,1:23

6 All we like asheep have gone bastray; we have turned every one to his cown way; and the Lord hath laid on him the diniquity of us all.

All we, like asheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

Does not the gospel teach us that he carried the burden of our sins and that we as sheep have strayed away? —President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,1:23

He was aoppressed, and he was bafflicted, yet he copened not his mouth: he is brought as a dlamb to the eslaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he aopened not his mouth; he is brought as a blamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth. These images prophetically foreshadow events during the hearings or “trials” of Jesus before Jewish and Roman leaders. While being accused and interrogated by the chief priests, Jesus gave no answer (Mark 15:3; John 19:9), and while standing before Herod Antipas, Jesus answered him nothing (Luke 23:9). When the time came to be brought as a lamb to the slaughter, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) opened not his mouth—just as a sheep is dumb, or mute, in the hands of the shearers.—Ogden, D. Kelly, Verse by Verse, Old Testament: Volume Two, Deseret Book Company, Kindle Edition. 
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his ageneration? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the btransgression of my people was he stricken.  He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgressions of my people was he stricken. But few details of the actual crucifixion are given us. We know however that our Lord was nailed to the cross by spikes driven through the hands and feet, as was the Roman method, and not bound only by cords as was the custom in inflicting this form of punishment among some other nations. Death by crucifixion was at once the most lingering and most painful of all forms of execution. The victim lived in ever increasing torture, generally for many hours, sometimes for days. The spikes so cruelly driven through hands and feet penetrated and crushed sensitive nerves and quivering tendons, yet inflicted no mortal wound. The welcome relief of death came through the exhaustion caused by intense and unremitting pain, through localized inflammation and congestion of organs incident to the strained and unnatural posture of the body.—James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 655. (Listen  to chapter 35: Death and Burial)
And he made his grave with the awicked, and with the rich in his bdeathcbecause he had done no dviolence, neither was any edeceit in his mouth. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the arich in his death; because he had done no bevil, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Parry points to two part of this prophecy which, “may have been fulfilled when Christ was crucified between two thieves (Matt. 27:38). It may also mean that his grave was with those who had sinned, unlike him, who had not sinned.” Regarding the rich, “this prophecy …was fulfilled when he was buried in the tomb of the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea (Matt. 27:57–60).—Parry, Donald W., Understanding Isaiah, Deseret Book Company, Kindle Edition
10 ¶ Yet it pleased the Lord to abruise him; he hath put himto grief: when thou shalt make his soul an boffering for sin, he shall see his cseed, he shall prolong his days, and the dpleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.  10 Yet it pleased the Lord to abruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his bseed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when he might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he also had love for us. I rejoice that he did not interfere and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer. Without him, without his sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into his presence. And so this is what it cost, in part, for our Father in Heaven to give the gift of his Son unto men.—Elder Melvin J. Ballard, New Era, Jan. 1976, p 11

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his
aknowledge shall my righteous bservant
cjustify many; for he shall dbear their iniquities.

11 He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall abear their iniquities.

Jesus suffered so mightily in the Garden of Gethsemane in the process of bearing our iniquities that he bled from every pore (Luke 22:44; Mosiah 3:7; D&C 19:18). The suffering that Christ will undergo in performing the Atonement—which will result in his “seeing his seed,” or those spiritually reborn in Christ—is likened to the travail, the pain, and suffering, of a woman which precedes her being able to see her own seed or her newborn child.
…Christ carries their sins metaphorically on his shoulders. This use of bear is the same as that in 53:4, “hath borne our griefs.” The Israelite high priest symbolically bore the sins of Israel (Lev. 10:17), pointing forward to Christ’s atonement.—Parry, Donald W., Understanding Isaiah, Deseret Book Company, Kindle Edition
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto adeath: and he was numbered with the btransgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made cintercession for the transgressors.  12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the agreat, and bhe shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and made cintercession for the transgressors. By saying that he poured out his soul unto death, Isaiah may be suggesting why it was important for him to die on the cross—for this manner of death allowed him time to do the pouring out. If he had been beheaded, hanged, run through with a sword, or stoned, he would have died instantaneously without having had any time to use his volition in giving up his life. When they put him on the cross to see that he died, all they needed to satisfy their desires was time. Given time, he would die. But by giving him time, they gave him control over the giving. He could decide at what point to lay down his life. Thus, as a priest sacrificing a lamb, he performed the sacrifice. And as a Lamb, he became his own victim. (Heb. 8:1–2; 9:11–16, esp. v. 14.) This crucial detail was known to Isaiah when he said that the righteous servant would pour out his own soul unto death.—Keith H, Meservy, “Isaiah 53The Richest Prophecy in the Old Testament on Christ’s Atonement,” Richard D. Draper, ed., A Witness of Jesus Christ: The 1989 Sperry Symposium on the Old Testament, Deseret Book Co., 1990, p. 171

Five refrains were taken from Isaiah 53 are featured in Handel’s Messiah by

Join us this Friday, Good Friday 2020, as we conclude our world-wide fast for relief from the COVID-19 pandemic and remember in whose hands we place our trust, the Messiah.

In fact, more than a quarter of the biblical verses sung are from the Book of Isaiah; and in the coming days and weeks, you can sing along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra.the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on YouTube. It was a rewarding experience for us, but more so this year because of our study of Isaiah.

Five refrains were taken from Isaiah 53 (in bold below),


1 Reg Christensen, Reg, Unlocking Isaiah,  Covenant Communications Inc.,  Kindle Edition.
Isaiah’s Servant Songs (see Isaiah 42:1–6, Isaiah 49:1-13 and Isaiah 51:3 commentary)

Other Isaiah Verses that celebrate the Savior’s coming and His death.

Isaiah 40:1–3
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah 40:4
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.

Isaiah 40:5
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

Isaiah 7:14
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel. “God with us.”

Isaiah 40:9
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength: lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Isaiah 60:1
Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

Isaiah 9:2
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 35:5–6
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

Isaiah 40:11
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, and He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Isaiah 50:6
He gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: He hid not His face from shame and spitting.

Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Further Reading and Viewing:

  • John W. Welch, “Isaiah 53, Mosiah 14, and the Book of Mormon,” in Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, ed. Donald W. Parry and John W. Welch (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1998), 293–312.
  • Monte S. Nyman, “Abinadi’s Commentary on Isaiah,” in Mosiah, Salvation Only Through Christ, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Jr. (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, 1991), 161–186.
  • For more information about Abinadi’s use of this chapter, check out this video from Book of Mormon Central:

 

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Chapter 53:1 Your commentary stating “Those who reject the gospel and become darkened by sin and rebellion do not receive the blessing of sweet healing” I found interesting. If you don’t have spirit and live righteously do you ever know what happiness feels like? Is satisfaction of sin stronger than the feelings experienced with righteousness?

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