The descendants of those taken in exile could look back at their nation, how their ancestors had not done what they should have, yet suffered a punishment that seemed much greater than their sin. They could wonder if anything ever would be right for them again.
Isaiah spoke to these people in despair, "Out of his anguish, he shall see light....I will restore him.... because he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
We hear echoes of Isaiah's words about ancient Israel when we read again Jesus' words to his not-quite-getting-it disciples James and John.
We may still ponder the assertions that being allotted a portion with the great is related to being numbered with transgressors, bearing sins of others, and making intercession for them.