Isaiah 53:11 (NIV)
After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.
Christ humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him.
Attaining a sense of satisfaction is a counterintuitive process. Getting more and more food, alcohol, drugs, excitement, or money seldom satisfies. Most often attaining a good measure of those things leads to a desire for even more. A job well done, a successful project completion, or completion of a challenging physical fete will often give one a strong sense of satisfaction. It comes with a worthy goal and a desire for something greater than our own pleasure or happiness.
Isaiah wrote 750 years before Christ of a satisfaction that would be experienced by the Suffering Servant. There would be a time of suffering, and even death (see the fuller context of this incredible chapter of Isaiah!). But in the end, he would be alive – and satisfied. We see today, through the eyes of faith, that Isaiah was speaking of Jesus of Nazareth. Isaiah was pointing toward the redemption that would come through the Messiah; the Son of God.
Paul reflects on this after the fact, but says the same thing: Following his suffering and death, Christ was exalted, glorified, and honored above all others. His is the name that is above all other names. This great hymn, found in Philippians 2:4-11, expresses a truth about the glory of Christ, but also conveys a calling for his followers. Our attitude is to be the same as his. Obedience, humility, faith, and faithfulness are the hallmarks of those who would be like Jesus.
Although it is never to be done so that we may boast, or in a self-serving quest for smug satisfaction, we will find great fulfillment in following in Jesus’ way. For now, however, we honor Jesus Christ. For we never fully embrace his perfect obedience, love and faith. And – glory be to Jesus! – he is our righteousness, our King, and our Savior. To him belongs the greatest, truest, and deepest satisfaction, and the glory and praise for all eternity!