There is a unique parallel between the Christian Bible and the book of Isaiah. Isaiah has 66 chapters. The theme of the book has a dividing line; Isaiah 40. The first 39 chapters cover God’s warnings and judgment of Israel. Then something happens. As the reader jumps into Isaiah 40, the tone turns from judgment to grace. The parallel? The Christian Bible is divided into 66 books. Coincidence? Consider this: The Old Testament contains 39 books, during which Jews were under the old covenant. The remaining 27 are the New Testament. The dramatic change comes in Matthew (which would be book 40) when grace enters the picture. Isaiah chapter 40 foretells the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah.
Old Testament Prophecy
The construction of the Bible still amazes me. Many are convinced that since the Bible has been around so long and translated so many times that it is inevitable to have mistakes and misunderstandings. They do see the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah as a coincidence.
Let’s look at a few instances of the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah:
- 9:6 – Even early on, Isaiah begins his foretelling of Christ. In this verse, we are introduced to just a few of the names of our savior: Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father. The most important point of this verse is, “a child is born.” He did not just arrive or come down riding a lightning bolt; he arrived through the human means of childbirth.
- 40:3 – Not only was Jesus prophesied, but John the Baptist exists in the words of the prophet. Remember, Isaiah 40 is the chapter where grace begins its introduction to the book of Isaiah. Jesus’ own words show the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah.
- 50:6 – Jesus experienced an excruciating death. There were many forms of death the Romans used to execute criminals. Christ went to this death willingly. This prophecy shows that Jesus allowed them to beat His back and pull His beard. He did not shy away from the disgrace of the cross.
Isaiah Prophecy of Messiah: Biblical Examples
- 7:4 – This is one of the most spectacular prophecies of Christ’s birth. It foretells of who will give birth, how she will deliver, and what people will call Him.
- 53 – This chapter is a detailed account of Jesus’ life and death while on earth. Verse 2 reflects that He was common and not of majestic in any way. Verse 3 goes on to explain that people would despise and reject Him. Verses 4-6 give the outline of his death and its purpose. And those are just the first six verses. The chapter goes on to explain because He bore our sins; He will be able to intercede on our behalf. Meaning His sacrifice paid for us all.
Traditional Judaism calls this chapter, “The Forbidden Chapter.” It is the one hang-up they have regarding Jesus being the Jewish Messiah.
Isaiah Prophecy of Messiah: New Testament Fulfillment
Now a prophecy is not a true prophecy unless it finds its way to completion. Many of the accounts of the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah are fulfilled in the life of Christ.
- Luke 2:11 – The fulfillment of Isaiah 9:6. “For unto us, a child is born” — Jesus’ birth.
- Matthew 3:3 – Matthew confirms John as the forerunner with the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah.
- Matthew 4:12-17 – Jesus began His ministry in Galilee. Shortly after His temptation in the desert and the discovery of John the Baptist’s imprisonment, Jesus knew it was His time. He walked along the Sea of Galilee and called His first disciples: Peter and Andrew.
- Throughout the Gospels – The entire account of Christ’s crucifixion is outlined in Isaiah 53. Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19 all have aspects that reflect the fulfillment of prophecies in the Old Testament.
- Acts 8:32-33 – The Ethiopian Eunuch was reading the book of Isaiah when he passed Philip heading home from visiting the temple. The Lord uses Philip to explain how Jesus was the fulfillment of the passage of the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah.
Isaiah Prophecy of Messiah: Today’s Message
The book of Isaiah has been called a microcosm of the Bible. The Bible within the Bible; perfectly split between the laws and judgment of 39 books/chapters reflecting on the grace poured on humanity in the final 27 books/chapters. In Chapter 40 of the Isaiah prophecy of Messiah, a child is born to us, then culminating in the perfect sacrifice for all in Chapter 53; “by His stripes, we are healed.”
God used the prophet Isaiah to give Israel hope that their redeemer was coming. Even though fulfillment took 700 years, it did come to pass. That is one of the things that makes it so amazing. And to know that Isaiah is not an isolated prophet. Jeremiah, Micah, even David himself prophesied about the coming King. Those promises did not end with Jesus. Some of the prophecies are about what is yet to come. Giving Christians everywhere hope for our future deliverance from this world of sin, sickness, and suffering. Praise be to God!