Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Isaiah Chapter 53
Metaphysically Interpreting Isaiah 53:1-12
53:1Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed? 53:2For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 53:3He was despised, and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and as one from whom men hide their face he was despised; and we esteemed him not.
53:4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 53:5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 53:6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 53:7He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. 53:8By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? 53:9And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
53:10Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand. 53:11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities. 53:12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
December 26, 1915: Isaiah 53:1-12
It is this Universal Body of which Isaiah writes. He includes both the Christ and the Jesus in his Cabalistic description. It is the Adam or personal egos in the creative process that “like sheep, have gone astray.” The Universal Body of the Lord has been “marred” by men, and their bodies show it forth. There is but one body, and we all live in its substance as we breathe the universal air. Whoever pollutes his body pollutes the bodies of all people, because there is no separation in substance. It is a unit; not one essential particle can be taken away, nor a single one added. This is the conclusion of cold science.
We are living in the Cosmic Man, or Grand Man of the Universe, as fishes live in the sea. We have power to pollute that sea-substance, and it consciously suffers and is degraded in consequence of our wrong doing. This is an apparent mystery to the personal sense, but a wider understanding reveals its truth. “Who believes our report” of this Universal Body Substance Invisible, that suffers and is thrown into unnatural shapes, when we project our error thoughts into it? This “Presence Invisible” is revealed to our consciousness as a plant grows. It comes forth from what seems absolute formlessness. “He hath no form nor comeliness.” This Universal Cosmic Body is “despised and rejected of men.” We can see the daily fulfillment of all this in our daily experiences.
Occultists know that this Universal Body Substance is a kind of safety-valve for error thoughts. It conducts away and purifies the accumulated anger, lust and selfish mental emanations of the race, as the wind blows away the foul gases of a sewer. But there is a certain amount of reaction. The violent throes of nature are the efforts of the Cosmic Body to free itself of human-thought inharmony. Wars, cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, and all the throes of nature have their initiative in human error thought.
This Body Universal can make no protest. It is a larger human body, and subject to the race thought, exactly as our bodies are subject to our thoughts. We can sin against our bodies to the point of destroying them, and they silently obey our will, until they disintegrate. So the Cosmic or Christ Body is “cut off out of the land of the living.”
As our bodies are not evil or wicked, but merely show forth and suffer for the wickedness of mortal ignorance and willfulness, so the Body Universal “had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” But the Father is working out a great redemptive plan through the power of the Universal Body to receive and harmonize error thoughts. Jesus of Nazareth played an important part in this saving of man from the result of his wrong thinking, and we are greatly helped in our overcoming by doing in “his name.”
– UNITY magazine.
April 28, 1929: Isaiah 53:1-12
In today's lesson to what is Isaiah alluding as “a man of sorrows”? The “man of sorrows” here alluded to is the body of the spiritual man.
Is the body of the spiritual man first formed in substance? No, the spiritual body is not first formed in substance; it is first formed in the ideal. It is part of the universal body of substance, out of which man forms flesh and blood, the physical body. In the New Testament the spiritual body is symbolized in the personality of Jesus.
Whom does Isaiah include in his cabalistic description? Isaiah includes both Christ and Jesus in his description. The universal body of the Lord has been marred by men, and in consequence men's bodies are defective. There is but one body, and we all live in its substance, as we breathe the universal air.
Explain the questions: “Who hath believed our message? and to whom hath the arm of Jehovah been revealed?” This Scripture is questioning whether finite man really believes that the universal body of invisible substance suffers and is thrown into unnatural shapes, when man projects error thoughts into it; also whether the invisible presence has been revealed to finite man's consciousness. All this is an apparent mystery to personal sense, but a wider understanding reveals the truth.
Has the universal body power to make protest against an error thought that is projected into it? No, it is subject to the race thought, exactly as our bodies are subject to our thoughts. We can sin against our bodies to the point of destroying them, and they silently obey our wills until they disintegrate. In like manner the cosmic or Christ body is “cut off out of the land of the living.”
Is there ever a reaction to this process? Yes, the violent throes of nature are the efforts of the cosmic body to free itself of human-thought inharmony. Wars, cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, and all the throes of nature have their beginnings in human error thought.
Explain the statement, “and with his stripes we are healed.” When we become spiritually quickened and thus set into action our spiritual forces, the Spirit of truth, which comes from the Father through the Son, proceeds to adjust all error thoughts at their very source, strikes at their very root. Thus by running down error in its inception, we are saved from that which we otherwise would have to suffer.
Why does man usually close a prayer with the words, “in His name”? Man is learning to cooperate with the Father, who is working out a great plan of redemption by which the universal body shall be quickened and all error thoughts harmonized. Jesus of Nazareth played an important part in this saving of man from the result of his wrong thinking and doing. “In His name” we can overcome, as He overcame.
October 6, 1935: Isaiah 53:1-12
What is the cause of suffering? The sense consciousness in which the world is immersed causes suffering. Paul says, “The entire creation sighs and throbs with pain; and not only so, but even we ourselves, who have the Spirit as a foretaste of the future, even we sigh to ourselves as we wait for the redemption of the body that means our full sonship.”
How is the redemption of the body brought about? Man's nature is divine by virtue of the image and likeness of God that he has borne from the beginning in the ideal creation of the Father-Mind. He develops consciousness of his true nature and redeems his body by molding the universal substance to express this ideal image.
Is the problem of good and evil related to universal substance? Man has power to form the one substance by either true or false patterns. When his conceptions are limited and untrue, the result of his work is evil or incomplete, and the universal substance is marred in consequence.
“When we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” To whom does this statement refer? It refers to the universal body of substance, which to the sense-bound eye appears as an abstraction only, devoid of interest or appeal.
What is meant by the statement “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows”? Man’s anger, lust, selfishness, and false thinking are all swallowed up by the infinite body, which thereby bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. The reaction of this is seen in floods, cyclones, wars, and other upheavals.
Is the body evil? The body suffers from the natural man's ignorance and willfulness, but in itself is it not evil.
How do we overcome the effects of out wrong habits of thinking and living? Through entering consciously into the universal body or Spirit of truth and furthering its redemptive plan in our life, we establish in ourselves constructive mental habits, and overcome the effects of our past ignorance and mistakes.
February 1, 1948: Isaiah 53:4-6
How did Jesus overcome the problem of suffering? He overcame it by dedicating Himself to the expression of Truth. By keeping His thought on the power of Truth and the love of God, even in suffering and death, Jesus triumphed over the personal self, which was lost to consciousness in His victorious faith.
What is meant by the statement “he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows”? The anger, lust, selfishness, hatred, and false thinking of men are impressed upon the pure substance of God (the body of Christ), which thereupon, we say, bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. The reaction caused by this condition is seen in wars, floods, storms, and other upheavals.
Where does the body of Christ exist? In the realm of divine ideas. It is the universal body of substance out of which is formed the flesh-and-blood physical body.
How can anyone be healed with the stripes of another? In the universal substance we are all one, therefore whatever exerts healing power over one can exert it over all. Whatever corrective influence is exerted over one is exerted over all to a degree.
Why did the disciples not understand what Jesus told them of what lay ahead of Him? Because they were fascinated or blinded by the race thought of leadership and temporal power and they could not see the spiritual truth that He tried to show them.
November 13, 1949: Isaiah 53:1-12
What is “the arm of Jehovah”? The power of God in expression through man as a result of his being imbued with spiritual strength and understanding.
Does the idea of the Christ as indwelling spring full grown in the mind at its first inception? No. It is realized gradually. “He grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground.” The growth of the Christ idea in the mind is at first uneven and precarious, sometimes seeming too perishable to take firm hold of the substance of our thought and life, sometimes seeming to be planted in substance unsuited to its growth (“dry ground”).
What is meant by saying that “he hath no form nor comeliness”? The Christ is an ideal growth in the realm of mind and character rather than something in the outer, the realm of form.
What is the explanation of suffering? It is twofold. Physical suffering is universal (“the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”), because the physical is under the dominion of sense consciousness, which lends through suffering to death. Spiritual suffering is the result of the struggle of man to develop from a natural being, unconscious of his spiritual estate, to that of a conscious spiritual being. The effort finds him largely inarticulate spiritually in the early stages of his development; and he suffers deeply, because his vision of Truth seems incapable of realization and practical demonstration.
Why is the Christ ideal “despised, and rejected of men”? Because men are ignorant of its potential power and judge it objectively to be impractical and visionary. They prefer to work on the material plane, where spiritual truth is unknown and unrecognized.
Who is the “man of sorrows”? The man of sorrows is the body of spiritual man. God made spiritual man after His image and likeness. This man is Christ, Jehovah God.
How are meekness and nonresistance of the Christ pictured in the text of today? The man of Sorrows is pictured as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, as a sheep that remains dumb before its shearers, as inarticulate under oppression and affliction, and as “taken away” by oppression and misjudgment. The Christ is thus nonresistant.
Does suffering develop self-knowledge and understanding? Yes, when it is met in the spirit of the Christ. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many.”
Do great endurance and forbearance produce greatness in a person? They produce greatness of character, a great reward in itself. “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong.”
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-22-2014