In part 2 of this series, we followed along with what God was telling us about His Son through the Holy Spirit-inspired prophets of the Old Testament – leaving off with the beginnings of Isaiah’s revelations. In addition, we took a little side trip to delve into man’s explanation of who Jesus is and the nature of His relationship with His Father as described in the concept of the ‘Trinity.’
Let’s return to the prophet Isaiah and the treasure trove of Messianic prophecies related to him by God some 700 years before Christ walked this earth:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins and faithfulness the belt of His waist. Is. 11:1 – 5. NKJV
In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples – of him shall all the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious. Is. 11:10 ESV
This next prophecy is told to Isaiah from the Messiah Himself:
“Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; from the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me.” Is. 49:1, 2. NKJV
“And now the LORD says, who formed Me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him (for I shall be glorified in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says, ‘Is it too small a thing that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ “ Is. 49:5, 6. NKJV
That’s a big mouthful of Messiah information. We are reminded again that Jesus’ earthly incarnation will descend from the line of ‘Jesse’ (King David’s father). He will be filled with the Holy Spirit and exercise that power to judge righteously over those who do their best to seek God and live by His precepts, as well as over those who remain unrepentantly rebellious (whose outcome is not something you want to share in.)
Christ is God’s light to all people – Jews and Gentiles alike, serving His Father by restoring the children of God to Him by cutting away that which had enslaved them (Satan), by using His ‘sword’, which is the word of God.
So, through Isaiah, we’ve seen who and what the Messiah is. Now Isaiah relates to us what Christ will experience when He first walks this earth. He begins with another first person account from the Son of God:
“I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. For the LORD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. He is near who justifies Me…” Is. 50:6 – 8. NKJV
This is an exact description of how Jesus was treated just prior to His crucifixion; and it shows that regardless of how man treated Him, He was determined to win their salvation – having God at His back to make it so.
Miracles aside, God sent His Son in the form of a humble ordinary man, to reach out to humble ordinary people who were lost and blinded by the god of this world (Lucifer). However, the people needed to have faith in who Jesus said He was. Sadly, during Jesus’ visitation, most did not and they demonstrated that lack through their scorn:
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. Is. 53:1, 2. NASB
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and as one whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not. Is. 53:3 ESV
Yet, Jesus still laid His life down for everyone – both out of obedience to His Father and of the love that He had for God’s children. However, the doubters thought Jesus was stricken by God for making (what they thought were) blasphemous claims:
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried out sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken by God and afflicted. Is. 53:4 NASB
On the other hand, for those who believed, Christ’s sacrifice was THE game changer:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed…and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter… Is. 53:5 – 7. NKJV
The Messiah took on all our self-made godless burdens and willingly yielded up His flesh to pay the price so that all would have the potential for redemption. And if you have been reading this, there is no doubt as to who that Messiah is…
The prophet Micah was a chronological contemporary to Isaiah. He too received a Messianic prophecy – one that even pinpointed the place of His birth:
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings are from long ago, for the days of eternity…And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the LORD His God. And they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace.” Mic. 5:2, 4 & 5. NASB
The Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem, in the region of Ephrathah, located in Judah. This Shepherd-King reflection of God (who had been around for a long, long time) came to bring peace to the entire world…
Approximately 600 years before the birth of Christ, God sends the prophet Jeremiah to warn His children of His coming judgment through the Babylonian conquest of Judah and at the same time, encourage those who still clung to their God:
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is the name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’ “ Jer. 23:5, 6. NASB
[In that same time period, look also to the prophecy we considered in our last post. (Dan. 7:13, 14.)]
Five hundred year before Christ, we hear the last Messianic prophecies God sent through the prophet Zechariah – sent to encourage the exiled Israelites who had returned home after having suffered decades of Babylonian captivity:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey…” Zec. 9:9 NKJV
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one who grieves for a firstborn.” Zec. 12:10 NKJV
IN THAT day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem [to cleanse them from] sin and uncleanness. Zec. 13:1 AMP
Indeed Jesus did ride on a donkey into Jerusalem to publicly proclaim Himself. Those who were sitting on the fence with regards to who Jesus was, realized that He was the real deal after they crucified Him and they grieved.
Yet we see that God promised that the blood of Christ spilled on that day would be available to usher all of us into His presence…
Wow! We’ve only covered the ‘coming attractions!’ Now, we can leap foreword in time to Jesus’ actual arrival.
Good night and God bless.