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Who is He in Isaiah 53?

One of the locations for the magnificent views of Jerusalem’s Old City is a restaurant called the “Cheese and Wine Rooftop Restaurant”.  It is located on the top floor of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, which is just a few steps away from the Old City’s New Gate.

In July of 2006, the Notre Dame Center opened a permanent exhibition to help people from all over the world gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ sufferings, death, and resurrection.  The profound illustrations and explanations awaken people to deliberate on a controversial topic: “Who is He in Isaiah 53?”

Sunset View of the jerusalem skyline

The breathtaking, sunset view from the Cheese and Wine Rooftop Restaurant, which has an open area for dining. 

the notre dame of jerusalem center

This center, built in 1904, provides comfortable and stylish rooms and suites in this historical building. 

who invented the idea of crucifixion?

The Romans did not invent the idea of crucifixion.  It was originally from the Assyrians and Babylonians in around the 6th century BCE (ETDV 246), two centuries after the prophet Isaiah wrote the book of Isaiah in the Tanakh.  However, the Romans mastered the skills to ensure the deaths of those who were being crucified.
Nails were used to crucify the person on the wood.

why does the shroud have only four fingers imprinted on it?

One of the instruments of torture is the nail.  Both palms were nailed on the wood.  The illustration said: “The nails of crucifixion perforated the wrists in the space between the bones of the carpus, injuring the median nerve.  Besides provoking atrocious pain, this would have caused the thumb to be bent over inside the palm, which explains why only four fingers left an imprint.”

nailed and asphyxia on the wood

Crucifixion is the cruelest torture-instrument in past history.  It was invented in order to torture the crucified person for as long as possible.  Therefore, per the illustration, it says: “To avoid asphyxiation, the crucified man had to continually lift himself up to breathe by pushing on the nail in the feet and pulling on the nails in the wrists.  Thus, the breaking of a crucified man’s legs brought on a rapid death by asphyxia since he was no longer able to push himself up.”


roman whip

The Roman scourge whip was made of two or three leather thongs or ropes which were knotted with a number of small pieces of metal, bronze, and/or bones. Scourging would quickly remove the skin. Torn flesh, muscles, and excessive bleeding would leave the crucified person “half-dead.”

crown of thorns

The Roman soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on Him and a crown of thorns on His head in order to mock Him.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

Matthew 27:27-31

27  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him.  28  They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,  29  and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”  30  They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.  31 

crucifixion results in death

Several reasons prove that Jesus did die from the crucifixion:
  • The nature of his injuries, causing excessive bleeding
  • The result of crucifixion, causing asphyxiation
  • Blood and water, which came out when the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side, testifies as medical evidence that Jesus had already died.
  • A highly-trained Roman executioner examined him, found that he was already dead, and did not break his legs (John 19:33).
  • Pontius Pilate allowed Joseph to bury Jesus’ body (Mark 15:44, 45).
  • Based on the Jewish tradition, Jesus’ body was wrapped with over a hundred pounds of spices, and placed in a tomb. A sealed stone, which weighed over 440 pounds, was placed over the entrance to the tomb.

John 19:31-37 Jesus’ Side Is Pierced

31  Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity.  So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.  32  Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.  33  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  34  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.  35  (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)  36  These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled (Psalm 34:20), “None of his bones shall be broken.” 37  And again another passage of scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.” (Zechariah 12:10).

empty tomb

This is the 1st century empty tomb with rolling stone located on the road in between Mount Carmel to Megiddo.

*Photo was contributed by Wendy Choy.

john 19:38-42 the burial of jesus

38  After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.  39  Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.  40  They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.  41  Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.  42  And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

is there any outside evidence to prove that jesus did exist?

According to the Jewish historian Josephus’ “The Jewish Antiquities 18.3.3 §63-64”, Josephus said that “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

         – Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63-64
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.) “

who is he?

Isaiah 53 in the Tanakh

1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By a perversion of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. They made his grave with the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10  Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper. 11  Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12  Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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