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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Portraits of Jesus Christ from Isaiah

Isaiah 1:1 "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah."

Luke 4:18 "And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written."

Introduction:
The four Gospel writers record Jesus referencing Isaiah's prophecies nearly fifteen times throughout the course of His earthly ministry. With the exception of Moses, no prophet influenced Jesus more than Isaiah. Isaiah has been called by past preachers "the prince of the prophets". Undoubtedly his writing style is the most eloquent and most sublime among the writing prophets. Yet that is not what makes Isaiah so precious to students of the Bible. Rather, it has to do with how many prophecies are included in Isaiah's writing that point to the Lord Jesus Christ. Today's post is called: "Portraits of Jesus from Isaiah". I want to alert readers to some of the more significant prophecies about the Messiah contained in Isaiah's book. Afterall, can we ever get too much of Jesus? I think not. Notice....

1. Prophecies of Jesus' earthly reign. Isaiah 2 
When Jesus returns, He will bring into visible sight the Kingly reign with which He inaugurated spiritually following His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:11; 2:33-36). This earthly, visible aspect of Jesus' reign will usher in an age of peace and fulfillment of God's promises to Israel (Romans 11:25). Revelation 20 states on six occassions that Jesus' earthly reign will last a millennium or 1,000 years. Oftentimes Bible teachers call this Jesus' millennial reign on this earth. Throughout Isaiah prophecies we see reference to Jesus' earthly or millennial reign (Isaiah 25,32,35,60-66). Some reputable Bible teachers see these prophecies as giving an earthly description of what will be the eternal state of Jesus' and His people Israel and the redeemed nations. However, the repeated imagery of an earth-based headquarters for Jesus' throne cannot be ignored. Thus Isaiah gives us a glimpse into what will be Jesus' reign on this earth for 1,000 years. 

2. Prophecies Jesus' earthly life. 
Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6-7 both predict the virgin birth/conception of Jesus' in His humanity. Undeniably Isaiah 9:6-7 reminds us of the fact that the Son has been and always will be eternal God. Yet, Isaiah 7:14 predicts what would be the Son's assumption of human flesh in the virgin's womb. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:35 and John 1:14 all testify to the beginning of Jesus' earthly life as the virgin born Son of God.

Isaiah 40:1-3 predicts the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ - namely John the Baptist. As the Holy Ghost predicted Jesus' beginning of human life through Isaiah, it is in passages such as Isaiah 40:3 that we see the beginning of Jesus' public ministry as a result of John the Baptist's forerunning ministry (compare Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23). 

Then of course remarkable physical descriptions of Jesus are given in Isaiah 49:3; 50:6; 53:2. Isaiah 61:1-2a predicts what would be Jesus' earthly ministry as referenced by Jesus Himself in Luke 4:18. So Isaiah predicts Jesus' future earthly reign and the beginnings of His life, as well as his full life and ministry here on earth.

3. Prophecies of Jesus' death and resurrection
Perhaps no chapter in Isaiah stands out more than Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53:1-8 predicts the crucifixion of Jesus. Isaiah 53:9 predicts the burial of Jesus. Then Isaiah 53:10-12 predicts what would be the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Notice how this corresponds with the definition of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." It's like Jesus said to His disciples on the road to Emmaus following His resurrection in Luke 24:44, that is, how the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms testify concerning Him. 


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