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ISAIAH’S PROPHECIES CONCERNING CHRIST, AND THEIR FULFILMENT
[Isaiah:7:14]; [Isaiah:9:1-7]; [Isaiah:11:1-5]; [Isaiah:42:1-4]; [Isaiah:53:1-12].
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).
When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, many promises of God were fulfilled. From the time of the first man and woman, there was the promise of the Saviour. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” [Genesis:3:15]).
That is the first promise of the Messiah (Anointed One), the Saviour who was to save people from their sins [Matthew:1:21]).
Later on, God gave a promise to Abraham: “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” [Genesis:12:3]), which was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Down through the years the Jewish people were reminded of God’s covenant with Abraham. The prophets told them more and more of their Messiah who was to come. Isaiah, more than any of the prophets, foretold the coming of Christ.
Isaiah was a prophet of Judah. He preached about the same time as did Amos and Hosea. He was a faithful prophet of the Lord from the time of Uzziah to the days of Hezekiah [Isaiah:1:1]). History tells us that Isaiah was martyred for the things he proclaimed concerning God.
To prophesy means to tell ahead of time what will happen, or to preach. God showed His prophets things to come and inspired them to speak and write what God would bring to pass. In the Bible we read of prophecies and also of the time when many of them came to pass.
Let us consider some of Isaiah’s prophecies about Christ. Isaiah recorded the words of the Lord: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This would be a sign that the child was the promised Messiah. For this to happen would be a real miracle because it would not ordinarily be possible. Jesus was the Son of God and one would expect His birth to be wonderful and miraculous, different in some way from the birth of any other child. Could a prophecy like this come to pass? It did. Concerning Jesus’ birth we read that an angel told Mary, a virgin, that she was to be the mother of a son whom she should call “JESUS” [Luke:1:27], [Luke:1:31]).
In time, Jesus was born to Mary [Matthew:2:1], [Matthew:2:11]). “Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet” [Matthew:1:22]).
Because the people cannot understand this miracle of Jesus’ birth, they do not want to believe it. But the Bible is true, and those who love the Lord believe what it says. Jesus was divine and was the only One who could fulfil this prophecy. Jesus was no ordinary man. He was the Son of God.
Jesus was such a wonderful Person that He was called by many names. The prophet had said that His name would be Immanuel, which means “God with us.” The angel said, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” [Matthew:1:21]). Jesus had others names, too. The Prophet Isaiah said: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” In songs and sermons today we often refer to Jesus by one of these names. Just one name could not describe Jesus. It takes many of them to tell of His greatness. Jesus added even other names to this list. He said: “I am the good shepherd” [John:10:11]); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” [John:14:6]); and “I am the door” [John:10:9]). Perhaps you can add to the list that has been mentioned here. Someone has counted over 100 names in the Bible by which Jesus is called.
Isaiah foretold Jesus’ Kingdom and government. Today in our heart He is King, and Ruler of our lives. The day is coming when Jesus shall take His place as Ruler over all, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” [Revelation:19:16]). The Kingdom of Christ shall never cease. He will reign forever [Hebrews:1:8]; [Revelation:11:15]).
His Kingdom is one of peace and justice. The Prophet Jeremiah spoke of Christ’s Kingdom, too. Jeremiah said: “A King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” [Jeremiah:23:5]).
The Kingdom of Christ will be different from that of man. “He shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth” [Isaiah:42:3-4]). He will not judge according to the way that things appear, or seem to be, but His rule will be one of righteousness and faithfulness. “He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth” [Isaiah:11:3-4]). His judgment shall be righteous because “the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,” giving Him “the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
It was prophesied of Christ that He would have compassion: “A bruised reed shall he not break.” When Jesus was upon earth, He had mercy on those who were suffering. He healed many who were sick. He gave comfort and help to those who sought Him. Today when those who are burdened and suffering call upon Him in prayer, He brings them relief. The Psalmist said: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” [Psalms:34:18]).
Isaiah also prophesied about the suffering Saviour. Many years before Christ was crucified, Isaiah spoke these words as if they had already happened: “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.” Jesus did shed His Blood to blot out the sins of those who repent and believe. He gave His life’s Blood that man might be healed from his sicknesses and diseases. At times Jesus’ life was not very pleasant. He was hated and despised. “And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him” [Luke:16:14]). The “citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us” [Luke:19:14]). Jesus told His disciples: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” [John:15:18]).
Jesus was asked to leave the land of the Gaderenes [Mark:5:17]). He was humiliated, a “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” All these things Christ endured that we might have salvation and eternal life. He suffered for our sins -– “the just for the unjust” [1 Peter:3:18]).
“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.” Jesus did not complain nor murmur that He was suffering for others. Some people want sympathy, and complain even when they bring suffering and shame upon themselves. Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us. Jesus was falsely accused and questioned, but Jesus did not try to justify Himself; many times He did not say a word [Matthew:26:63]; [Matthew:27:14]; [Luke:23:9]).
Jesus willingly offered Himself for others. All our sins were laid upon Him. He suffered for us. But what have we done for Him? At this Christmas season, when we are giving gifts to others, are we giving our lives and our praise as gifts to Him? God gave the greatest gift when He gave His Son. From Him you can have eternal life. You can have salvation. Do you have it today? You can, by praying, confessing, and forsaking your sins, and believing His promises.
There were other prophecies by Isaiah, which were fulfilled at the time of Jesus’ death. “He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” His death was “with the wicked” -– between two thieves [Matthew:27:38]) -- and “with the rich” -- in Joseph’s own new tomb [Matthew:27:59-60]).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, fulfilled prophecy when He was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He fulfilled prophecy when he gave His life and “bare the sin of many.” Even now, Christ is fulfilling prophecy, for He is at the right hand of God, making intercession for us [Romans:8:34]). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” [Hebrews:7:25]).
Isaiah was a man of God, one who lived close to God and who worked for God. He had a wonderful privilege to foretell of Christ, the Son of God. In the Bible we have read that many of this prophecies have come to pass. The others will come to pass just as surely as some have already been fulfilled. Let us, by prayer and obedience, prepare ourselves for Christ’s Kingdom that we may be with Him there. Let us do so today by worshipping the Babe of Bethlehem.
1. What is a prophet?
2. Name some prophets.
3. Which one told much about Christ?
4. Why was Jesus’ birth miraculous and wonderful?
5. What was the name of Jesus’ mother?
6. Why did Jesus suffer and die?
7. What prophecy of Isaiah’s was fulfilled at Jesus’ death?
8. What part of Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Christ has not yet come to pass?