Prepping for this coming Lord’s Day, I was doing some reading on Isaiah 53 and using Gary Smith’s excellent NAC on Isaiah 40-66. In speaking of the lofty language to describe the Suffering Servant as the Messiah, he notes:
This fairly consistent positive imagery is completely shattered by rather contradictory images of appalling disfigurement (Isaiah 52:14), the absence of the majestic look of a king (Isaiah 53:2), mistreatment and rejection, lack of respect and suffering (Isaiah 53:3-4). The unusual theological explanation is that he suffered, was pierced, and was crushed for the sins of others (Isaiah 53:4-5). Although he was innocent (Isaiah 53:9b) and righteous (Isaiah 53:11), he did not object to this suffering (Isaiah 53:7b), so he died and was buried among because of the sins of others (Isaiah 53:8-9). Even more astonishing, God himself caused the iniquities of others to fall on him so that peace and healing could come to many others (Isaiah 53:5b, 6b). Surprisingly, it was God’s will for him to pay for the restitution of others (Isaiah 53:10). On the one hand this looks like a terrible perversion of justice, but on the other hand it was part of God’s unbelievable plan to transfer the guilt of many to this innocent Servant. He functioned as a substitute who took the penalty of others, and through this act he justified many (Isaiah 53:11). In spite of the unjust treatment of this Servant, this amazing story has a surprising and positive ending, for the Servant’s substitutionary role cause the will of God to be accomplished (Isaiah 53:10). This suffering Servant will not only live again and see the light (Isaiah 53:11); he will be exalted again because he bore the sins of many (Isaiah 53:12).
(Taken from Smith, Gary. New American Commentary: Isaiah 40-66. Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2009. pp. 464-5)
Even the Old Testament was telling of this Jesus who would come and not only die but rise for sinners.