And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness:
5. How does the language of Isaiah 53:4, 5 indicate that Jehovah’s “Servant” was to serve as the antitypical “scapegoat”?
5 According to Isaiah’s prophecy, chapter fifty-three, Jehovah’s “Servant” is the sin-bearer who was typified by the scapegoat of the Atonement Day that continued being observed at Jehovah’s temple until the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 C.E. That the Messianic “Servant” was to serve as the antitypical “scapegoat,” the prophet Isaiah proceeds to show, saying: “Truly our sicknesses were what he himself carried; and as for our pains, he bore them. But we ourselves accounted him as plagued, stricken by God and afflicted. But he was being pierced for our transgression; he was being crushed for our errors. The chastisement meant for our peace was upon him, and because of his wounds there has been a healing for us.”—Isaiah 53:4, 5.
6. With what activity on Jesus’ part did the apostle Matthew connect the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4?
6 There is another inspired Bible writer who applies Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Jehovah’s “Servant” to Jesus Christ, and that is Matthew Levi, the aforetime tax collector. Telling of Jesus’ miracles of curing human sickness, Matthew 8:14-17 says: “Jesus, on coming into Peter’s house, saw his mother-in-law lying down and sick with fever. So he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began ministering to him. But after it became evening, people brought him many demon-possessed persons; and he expelled the spirits with a word, and he cured all who were faring badly; that there might be fulfilled what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He himself took our sicknesses and carried our diseases.’”—Isaiah 53:4.
7. How do the Scriptures indicate that there was an outflow of vitality from Jesus’ body when he performed cures?
7 Just how much this performance of miraculous cures drew upon Jesus’ vitality, we cannot say. But it is written, at Luke 6:18, 19: “Even those troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd were seeking to touch him, because power was going out of him and healing them all.” That Jesus was sensitive to this outflow of vitality from his body, in the case of even one cure, is evident from this instance recorded in Luke 8:42-48: “As he was going the crowds thronged him. And a woman, subject to a flow of blood for twelve years, who had not been able to get a cure from anyone, approached from behind and touched the fringe of his outer garment, and instantly her flow of blood stopped. So Jesus said: ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When they were all denying it, Peter said: ‘Instructor, the crowds are hemming you in and closely pressing you.’ Yet Jesus said: ‘Someone touched me, for I perceived that power went out of me.’ Seeing that she had not escaped notice, the woman came trembling and fell down before him and disclosed before all the people the cause for which she touched him and how she was healed instantly. But he said to her: ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go your way in peace.’”—Compare Mark 5:25-34.
8. What incident indicates that the cures that Jesus performed had something to do with his role as Sin-bearer?
8 In the case of Jehovah’s “Servant,” the cures that Jesus thus miraculously performed were an evidence that he was the Sin-bearer. For example, when religious critics accused Jesus of blaspheming for saying to a paralyzed man: “Take courage, child; your sins are forgiven,” this is what followed: “And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: ‘Why are you thinking wicked things in your hearts? For instance, which is easier, to say, Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up and walk? However, in order for you to know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins—’ then he said to the paralytic: ‘Get up, pick up your bed, and go to your home.’ And he got up and went off to his home. At the sight of this the crowds were struck with fear, and they glorified God, who gave such authority to men.”—Matthew 9:2-8.
9. (a) Why is cleansing from sin more vitally needed by mankind than physical healing? (b) As a basis for such cleansing, what provision was required?
9 Although the many marvelous miracles testified to the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One (Acts 10:38), he was more concerned about healing all mankind of that which was the root cause for all this sickness. The chief cure needed was the curing of sin, the wages of which is death with all its associated bodily infirmities and ailments. (Romans 6:23) The spiritual healing was more vital than the physical healing, for one’s having a bodily cure performed upon one by Jesus or by his authorized disciples did not mean the eternal salvation of the cured one. The cleansing from sin required the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ in sacrificial death on the antitypical Day of Atonement.—Hebrews 9:22.
10. (a) What made it appear as if Jesus were “plagued” by God? (b) How was the chastisement upon him “meant for our peace”?
10 Because of the religious persecution heaped upon him by those who were legitimately serving at the temple in Jerusalem and by other highly esteemed religious leaders, it appeared as if Jesus were “plagued” by God himself. He appeared to have wounding stripes laid upon him by God through those who were apparently engaged in God’s true service.