Isaiah wrote his prophecies around a hundred years before the fall of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Babylonian exile for the nation of Judah (the northern idolatrous nation of Israel was conquered during his lifetime in 722 B.C.)
Yesterday I came across an amazing video of a young Jewish man asking people on the streets of Jerusalem about Isaiah 53, possibly the most clear messianic prophecy in the Old Testament. It turns out that for about 1800 years modern Judaism (the theological descendant of the Pharisees) has omitted this chapter from their yearly reading, to the point where the people who were interviewed had no idea what it said, and when they read it aloud they had never before heard these things in the Tanak.
750 years before it was fulfilled, Isaiah 53 had the following details that Jesus fulfilled.
- He was despised and rejected.
- He would carry our griefs and sorrows.
- He would be counted as cursed by God (Moses’ writing cites that anyone hung on a tree was considered cursed).
- His punishment would bring us peace and his wounds would heal us.
- He would be silent before his accusers.
- He would have no descendants.
- He would be killed with the wicked (the thief and the bandit).
- He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
- He would make many counted as righteous (the grace of the cross)
The odds against anyone fulfilling just the criminal’s death and the rich man’s burial are incredibly high in a class-conscious honor-bound society. The odds of someone fulfilling all of the prophecies of the Messiah are astronomical, yet more evidence that Jesus really was the savior promised since the dawn of time in the Garden of Eden.
I have two God Thoughts then, for the day. First, I thank and praise God for carrying my sins, for declaring me righteous when I could never be on my own, for making me God’s adopted son, and all of the blessings that i have through Jesus Christ.
Second, consider that these and many other prophecies about Jesus were given 750 years before they were fulfilled. That is just a hint of how completely God knows the future. Ephesians chapter 1 tells us that God has been looking forward to our lives since before creation, for the joy of having us as his forgiven and saved companions and family through Jesus Christ. The mind that foresaw you before there were wind and waves will not look away from you or forget you. God knows you better than you know yourself, and he loves you enough to give up his only Son to save you from your evil, to pay the price your wrongdoing earned, and to make you his immortal and beloved family and companion.