The book of Isaiah contains some of the most amazing predictions about Jesus you will ever hear, today we zoom in to look at one of the most amazing of all of them.Help us advance the Kingdom, support our online ministry (harmonychurch.cc/give). Got kids? Check out Harmony Kids online (updated weekly) https://www.harmonychurch.cc/harmony-kids-online/!
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: One of my favorite games to play at a Chinese restaurant is to have the person across from me try to recreate the picture of something behind them on the wall. I’ll describe it to them and they do their best without looking at it to make the picture. My kids love doing this.
What’s funny is The descriptions never make sense until they turn around and see what I’m describing.
This is how prophecy works
See, the problem for most of us is when we read the prophecy in the bible, it doesn’t stand out as unique, because the whole thing is ancient
So if somethings 2000 years old or 2600 years old, it all seems the same to us…
But today, I need you to put on your smart people caps and look do some thinking
Because what I’m going to show you today is AMAZING!
First of all
We have to go back over 2600 years…Let me set the stage
The prophet Isaiah is writing what we are about to read 630 years before Jesus
To give you perspective, if we were to read a prophecy in our day in age that was 630 years old it would be coming from the year 1391.
I totally considered trying to pretend like I had found this prophecy in my study about the modern invention of phones…
“In those days, the words will flow like lightning. Flashing pictures will fill people’s hands. Your desires will be at your fingertips and you will hear the voices of your loved ones coming out of a box.”
Lol, I decided deceiving people was probably not a good thing for a pastor…
But imagine for a minute if that was a real prophecy written in 1391In 1391 – the Chinese were just inventing toilet paper…
You would read something like that and be blown away by the accuracy…
the people writing it would have been like my kids in the Chinese restaurant-but we would look back and see it clearly…This is what happened when Matthew looked back at the passage we are about to engage…
He looked back at it from 630 years later and realized that he was living in the moment the prophecy spoke about.
Jesus has just finished healing Peter’s mother-in-law – she had had a fever and Matthew says this…
Matthew 8:15-1716 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
Matthew is looking back 630 years to words that Isaiah wrote, like a blurry image to him, but with 4k clarity for us…
Can I read to you this prophecy that Isaiah wrote down 630 years before Jesus even stepped onto the scene?
Actually, let me show you what Isaiah wrote…[Play “Is 53 Final” video – http://harmonychurch.cc/videos/Is%2053%20Final.mov ]You have to go back 2,630 years so you can come forward 630 years to see how God has been after YOU all of these years…
Without all the prophecy about Jesus, we would have missed Him, He would have been a blip on the radar, but instead, we realize He is the POINT of the radar.
And this isn’t the only prophecy Jesus fulfilled. If we were to be conservative with the predictions we count as fulfilled prophecies that Jesus fulfilled from the Old Testament, Jesus fulfilled 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry. (some scholars would say up to 574 prophecies)
I know what you’re thinking, but couldn’t Jesus have just read these prophecies and then chose to fulfill them?
yeah, some of them he could have done that with-but many of the prophecies are things about where He would be born, whose offspring He would be, or like in Isaiah where he would be buried and that he would see His offspring and the light of life – predicting the resurrection…
But what’s most amazing about these prophecies is that they all have one thing in common…
God was after YOU.
Did you hear the language Isaiah is using?
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
It reminds me of something Paul said8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In reality, it wasn’t just while you were a sinner. It was before you even existed.
God knew from the moment mankind decided to go our own way that He would bring redemption through His own death
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:When I was a kid, my brother had this friend, Chris Quenten who was a punk – he was 4 years older than me and would terrorize me. I’m sure I was kind of a punk too. But I’ll never forget the day Chris was chasing me around the house with a baseball bat legitimately trying to hit me with it. I was terrified. He had finally cornered me and I was yelling for my brother to help me but he seemed to not even care. That’s when Chris cocked back with the bat. I’ll never forget my brother jumping into action and as Chris swung the bat. My brother reached out his hand and grabbed the bat and stopped it. He told Chris to get out of our house and that he would kick his butt if he tried to hurt me again.
Listen, God obviously knew you and knew that you were going to be in this position that your sin and dysfunction would overwhelm your life. But the coolest part is that from the beginning God has been painting this picture of how He would bring you to salvation, to the hope of Jesus. How He would demonstrate His own love for you.
When I’m in that Chinese restaurant describing the picture, they can’t see it, but once they see it clearly, it all makes sense. Today, my hope is you now see clearly just how much you matter to God and how He came after you. And that you consider taking the jump to know Him…