Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Messianic Prophecy: Part Two

The Old Testament book of Isaiah is abundant with prophetic references---many of them pointing to Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Here are just a few of the proofs we have for Christ as God as prophesied by Isaiah, more than 600 years before Jesus walked the Earth!

The Virgin Birth/Jesus called Immanuel

Isaiah 7:14:"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel"

This is fulfilled in Matthew 1:20-23. Joseph was visited in a dream by an angel quoting the verse from Isaiah. His soon-to-be-wife was the prophesied virgin. "Immanuel" means "God with us". Like the names given for Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, etc.), Jesus wasn't actually given the name "Immanuel" as his birth name. This is not what the passage means. Instead, it is saying that this is a term people will use to reference Jesus for the rest of eternity. People will say that Jesus is God in the flesh--God with us.

God's Salvation Will Reach the Entire Earth

Isaiah 49:6: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

This verse indicates that the message of salvation through Messiah would reach the ends of the Earth. The New Testament references the fact (and other historical writings back this up) that there were other men who claimed to be Messiah before Jesus came. In fact, this has been the case throughout history--and is even true today. (Think Jim Jones, David Koresh, Baha`u'llah of the Baha'i faith, Sun Myung Moon of the Unification church and Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven's Gate cult). The book of Acts even names some of the well-known false Messiahs of Jesus' day (Acts 5:34-39). Yet it is only through the church birthed by Christ that God's word has been spread to all the Earth. All the rest of these false Messiahs have been proven to be frauds and their "ministries" have fizzled out. A really great site for seeing people who are making decisions for Christ all over the world in real time is www.GodRev.com.

Messiah will perform specific miracles

Isaiah 35:4-6: "say to those with fearful hearts, 'Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.' Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert." 

This passage of Isaiah mentions specific miracles that will be performed by Messiah. Here are just a few references in the New Testament that show how Jesus was very well-known for performing these specific miracles: Matthew 9:32-35, 11:5, 15:30-31; Luke 11:14; John 5:8-9, 7:38, 9:6-7.

Specific events on the day Christ died
Isaiah 50:6: "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting." 

In this verse we can read about specific things that were to happen during Jesus' last day on Earth as a man. The following New Testament verses confirm that this is the way Jesus was treated before the crucifixion: Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1; Matt 26:67; Matt 27:30; Mark 14:65; Mark 15:19; Luke 22:63.

Though I've been a "true believer" for most of my life, it has been really refreshing to find these passages that give us even more of a solid reason to trust the history in the Bible as truth. What are some of your favorite prophetic passages?

Don't miss Part One and Part Two of this series!

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