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 death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.(Isaiah 53:12)
The Last verse of this fourth Servant Song has always struck me as anti-climatic. But this is because I believe the King James version confuses the meaning somewhat, for it reads as though the Servant takes his place among other great and strong ones.
But the according to evangelical scholar Alec Motyer, Hebrew text reads, “I will allocate to Him the many, and the strong will be apportioned as a spoil”. Thus, the Servant receives as his own possession, the many for whom he died to save.
As for his possession of the strong, the prophet has already sung about the reactions of the “princes” of the earth to the Servant,
So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.(Isaiah 52:15)
Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.(Isaiah 49:7)
The song closes by listing the grounds for which the Servant receives ‘the many’, as his own, and why the “strong'(Kings of the earth), as His possession,
“Because…” Young points out in his commentary,that this word,‘tahat aser’, is the strongest causitive in Hebrew, and is the equivalent of “Because of the fact that…”.
…he hath poured out his soul unto death… He will receive the many and the strong for his possession, because He gave His life as a drink offering to God. Notice that the Servant is not said to have been murdered, He himself was the agent of his own death, He poured out his own life!
…and he was numbered with the transgressors… The word ‘numbered’, niphal, is in a ‘tolerative ‘ tense, “He let himself be numbered…”The Servant receives the reward because He voluntarily identified with the people He came to save. He allowed himself to be so identified with us, He actually became liable before God for our guilt! Paul proclaims,
“He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the Righteousness of God in him”(2 Cor 5:21)
…and he bare the sin of many…As a substitute, the Servant ‘lifted up and took away’ the transgression of the rebels, bearing our sins to judgment on the cross. Like the scapegoat of Leviticus, he was banished for us, carrying away the guilt of our defection from God.
…and made intercession for the transgressors. Finally, because he became a mediator, standing between we who deserved nothing but wrath and judgment, and the Holy God, against whom we have sinned. He made His own life our sin offering. His sinless life , perfectly pleasing to God, becomes our only plea for pardon and favor.
The cross itself, which fixed him between heaven and earth, is the ultimate intercession, the final and complete act of interposition. He put himself between sinful man, and the Holy God! He took upon himself our judgment, our guilt and the sorrows that accompany our rebellion!
He still pleads for us at the Right hand of God, as the ever faithful High Priest, constantly bringing us to God, and maintaining our life before Him, in spite of our sins, flaws and periodic defections.
The Servant himself is our peace, for He has accomplished the task, He has pleased the LORD, who has ordained Him to bring this reconciliation without. Small wonder that in the end, all shall sing with trembling adoration, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is LORD”.