Isaiah chapter 53 contains prophetic statements about Christ’s crucifixion and atonement. In verse 12 we read: ‘He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors’ (NKJ). From the cross itself He made intercession, saying: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34, KJV). Even though many had called for his death and had treated Him with derision as He hung on the cross, Jesus had the compassion to pray for them. He realized that they were acting without the knowledge of who He was. The people had acted ‘in ignorance’, as Peter stated (Acts 3:17, NKJ). Jesus bore their sins and the sins of all mankind—but how He bore these sins is what we must study, allowing the Bible to provide the explanations.
Without doubt, the Scriptures clearly affirm that Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Matt.26:28; John 3:16). By His suffering, there comes healing and salvation. In making the perfect sacrifice of His life to God for our sakes, it was necessary for Him to suffer and die. Surprising as it may seem, the Hebrew word translated ‘bore’ in Isaiah 53:12—the primitive root ‘nasa’, meaning literally ‘to lift’ or ‘lift away’ can mean ‘bear’, but it is also one of several scriptural metaphors that can convey the concept of forgiveness. Notice:
‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, …’ (Ex.34:6-7, NKJ).
‘.. Look on my affliction and my pain, and forgive all my sins’ (Ps.25:16-18, NKJ; ‘take away all my sins’, NIV).
‘You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin’ (Ps.85:2, NKJ).
Also, notice from Psalm 32:1-5:
‘Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. .. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin’ (NIV).
In all the above examples, the word conveying forgiveness is the same Hebrew word ‘nasa’. Consequently, Isaiah 53:12 can be understood as meaning that ‘He,’ the Lord Jesus, ‘forgave the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.’
Acts 2:23 (New International Version)
ACTS 2:23>This man (JESUS) was handed over to you by GOD'S SET PURPOSE and FOREKNOWLEDGE; and you, with the help of wicked men,[a] put him to DEATH by nailing him to the cross.