The entire word of God is about the redemption of mankind. It was the plan of God from the very beginning. We do not have to wait until we get to the New Testament to read about the Redeemer God sent into this world for our salvation. The Old Testament Patriarchs prophesied of him, and knew him.
Nearly 2,800 years ago, the Prophet Isaiah lived. He lived on this earth over 700 years before Jesus Christ, yet he describes our Lord so perfectly. Much of what he writes is focused on the Messiah, climaxing with his description of the Suffering Messiah we read about in chapter 53.
Isaiah 53 (King James version)
1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But 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.
6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.This one chapter of Scripture describes in detail the one we all are to worship. But just as the chosen people would not recognize him and believe his message when he came, many still refuse to see and believe in him today. I do not know how God could have spoken more clearly to us as when he had his prophet put this into his word for mankind to read. The word of God was revealing Jesus to us from the very beginning, long before the New Testament was ever written.
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
The first verse of Isaiah we must look at. This was fulfilled in the New Testament even before the Lord was crucified. Jesus was still with the Jews, performing all kinds of miracles and giving wondrous signs that he was their Messiah, yet they still would not believe.
John 12: 37-38 37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
"Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
If we were to take a poll and ask the question what Jesus may have looked like, the majority of people I would imagine would describe him as tall, dark, and handsome. Even though I know differently, I still picture him just as the paintings we see in art portray him. I see him as having long brown hair, mustache, beard, tall, and thin--a handsome specimen of a man. This is not what the scriptures reveal. The verse above is the accurate physical description of Jesus Christ. He was a plain man. He was a humble man. He did not standout in a crowd. There was nothing in his appearance that would make us find him attractive or to desire him. He was not a man's man. He was not a motion picture good looking type such as a Brad Pitt.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah foresaw so vividly what was going to happen when Jesus Christ would come into this world and begin his ministry. He would be hated and rejected. He still is hated and rejected by mankind. He is the prize so few of us are seeking today. Jesus knew all this, and he spoke these words to his twelve disciples shortly before the time they were to enter Jerusalem where he would have to suffer and die:
Luke 18: 31-32 31Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33On the third day he will rise again." (NIV)
17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
Make no mistake about it. He was despised and hated for one reason and one reason only. They rejected Jesus and his claim that he was the Messiah. They rejected the truth that he truly is the Son of God.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
He was pierced. He was pierced. HE WAS PIERCED! How can this be written in the Bible? The form of crucifixion the Romans performed, where they nailed the condemned to a cross, had not even been invented yet when the prophet wrote these words. Isaiah however could see through the clouds of the future and could hear the Lord's voice well enough that he accurately described what the suffering Messiah would go through. He took the punishment of the crucifixion, the humiliation, the mocking, and the abuse so we would have peace. He mended our broken relationship with our Father God so we would have peace with him once again. Jesus had been patiently waiting for this moment to arrive. Our broken relationship with God was healed by the Lord's wounds he bore on the cross for us and by no other means can one be saved.
John 14: 6-7 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (look at verse 7: Taken literally, Jesus is revealing the Trinity of God, and this is verified when reading Scripture throughout the Bible.)
25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Greek word meaning the first, the Overseer, the Leader) of your souls.
Now we read what the prophet Isaiah writes:
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
How accurate the prophet Isaiah foresees the life of the Messiah. He is the Lamb of God. The Bible in the New Testament teaches that the lambs the High priest offered up to God under the old law was only to show us God required a sacrifice for sin. God required a perfect sacrifice. The sacrificial lambs the High Priest offered to God could never permanently remove sin. But the Lamb of God, Jesus, did accomplish this. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. The shedding of animal blood was not enough. Likewise, the shedding of human blood was not enough. It took the shedding of blood from someone far better and greater than what man could offer God. It took the shedding of God's own blood to permanently remove our sins. Scripture reveals Jesus is God! And yes, he suffered for us, in our place willingly, without opening his mouth. He did not utter a single word to defend himself.
62"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
63The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. 64"You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?"
They all condemned him as worthy of death.
Even though the Jewish people have been looking for their Messiah to come for over one thousand years, Jesus was judged guilty by his accusers and was sentenced to death, to die for the worst offense in the Jewish law. They accused him of blasphemy. Jesus offended the Jewish leaders because he was making the claim he was equal to God. The wondrous miracles he performed were not good enough evidence for them to have faith in Jesus. How about you? Is the evidence you are seeing right now good enough for you?
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
For those of you who feel that the recent best selling book, "The Da Vinci Code", may have had some sound evidence or some truth about the Lord Jesus not actually dying on the cross, but instead surviving and marrying Mary Magdalene... moving to France...having children together--Read verse 8 again. Isaiah says the Messiah will have no descendants. He will be cut-off from the living and die for the sins of his people. I pray you trust the words written in the Bible much more than the words written by a human being named Dan Brown.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
The eyewitness testimony of the apostle Matthew tells us this is exactly what happened to the body of our Lord Jesus. He was placed in a rich mans tomb, buried quickly before nightfall came, and he was considered wicked by those who crucified him. The Jewish leaders wanted to bury him with the wicked, in an unmarked grave, but God did not allow this to happen.
Matthew 27: 57-60 57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
As you read the verse above, you may be asking yourself why should anyone trust what Matthew wrote? Couldn't have Jesus and his disciples orchestrated this whole story? Could it be just one big hoax that they played on all of us? Considering that Matthew died as a martyr in Ethiopia by a sword wound, and never recanting his belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I have faith in the eyewitness account of Matthew.
The Lord's disciples, were all eyewitnesses to what took place in the death and resurrection of Jesus. All but the Apostle John died a martyr's death according to early church history. Ask yourself--would anyone be willing to die as a martyr for something they knew was a lie? Would you? The apostles had to have believed in the resurrection. They were such cowards during the Lord's trial and crucifixion. They were in hiding, afraid they would get the same treatment as Jesus if they had showed their faces in public. Then after the resurrection and being filled by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they became so very brave. They went out and preached the resurrection of Jesus and they did it boldly. They had faith in Jesus. Do you?
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
It is crystal clear what Isaiah was saying above. It was God's will to have his Son suffer...to have him die on the cross as a guilt offering for mankind's sins. Take special note: Isaiah speaks in verse 8 the Messiah has no descendants, but now in verse 10, the prophet declares he will see his offspring. How can this be? Simple: those who accept and receive what Jesus has done on the cross as the quilt offering become his offspring.
John 1: 12 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
Isaiah is foreseeing the Lord's suffering, death, and resurrection in verse 10 above. Most importantly, it was God Himself who caused it. No man could ever take the life of God....He gave His life freely as an offering for mankind's sin...to make us right with Him. When the prophet writes God will prolong his days, he is foreseeing the resurrection from the grave of the Messiah. I love how the apostle John writes about the death and resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament. These are the words of Jesus himself:
John 10: 14-18 4I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
18No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
No man took the Lord's life, but he gave up his life freely so we could live. He did the will of his Father in heaven.
11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied; (This is the Resurrection)
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
It was the will of God for Jesus to be the only way and means for everyone to be made righteous in the eyes of God. The witness of the apostle Paul bears this out:
Romans 5: 18-19 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
The sin of one man (Adam) brought sin into this world. As his offspring, we all followed in our first father's footsteps and sinned. But if we believe in the one who died on the cross because of his obedience to his Father, we can be made righteous. He is the second Adam. He is the Son of God. Many are being made righteous through him. I pray that you are one of the many who are becoming one of his offspring.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
Philippians 2: 9-10 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
See Jesus own words again:
Luke 22: 37 37It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors'; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."
Jesus Christ uses his own words to declare He came into this world to fulfill all that was written about himself in the Old Testament. The prophecies found in these twelve verses written in this book of Isaiah are unique in that they clearly reveal the suffering, death, and most importantly--the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament writings ended 400 years before the birth of Jesus. Think about that. That is almost two hundred years longer than the United States has been in existence. It is equal to the amount of time since when the Pilgrims first landed in the New World at Plymouth Rock. The prophecies of the Old Testament date back anywhere from 400 years to thousands of years before the birth of Jesus, and yet they are so accurate.
This prophecy of Isaiah is one of the most obvious pictures of the Suffering Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, found in the scriptures of the Old Testament. There are many more prophecies not so obvious (hidden gems) God has provided us to search and to find Jesus in the Old Testament. It is the reason why I wrote, "I see Him!...I See Him! God's WORD to witness by.
I want to share with you what I discovered while searching for Jesus in the Bible. God has been good and has revealed much truth to me. I am unworthy servant, but I must share my love for him.
In my personal walk with my Creator, I find by seeing Jesus in the Old Testament so clearly, it has strengthened my faith that the word of God is absolute truth and is trustworthy. It has given me a firm foundation by which for me to stand on. When the tides of trouble and pain try to push me down and over, my faith in Jesus Christ and the Bible sustains me and keeps me standing in his truth.
Thank you for reading what I have shared in my writing.
God loves you and so do I!
Ken Kreh, author