Summary: An O. T. Prophecy of the coming Messiah.
ISAIAH’S PORTRAIT OF CHRIST
Isaiah 9:6-7; 53:4-11; 55:1-11
INTRO: Isaiah saw clearly the Messiah’s true nature and mission and drew word pictures of Him.
ILLUS: A child was sitting at a table in her room feverishly working on a project. Her mother came in and asked, “Honey, what are you doing?” “I’m drawing a picture of God,” she said. “But nobody knows what God looks like,” the mother replied. “They will when I get through,” said the child.
I. ISAIAH PORTRAYED THE MESSIAH’S AUTHORITY.
The kingdoms of this world will pass away, but God’s kingdom will last forever. Ancient Babylon was one of those mighty earthly kingdoms in which the king thought his kingdom would last forever. In Daniel 4:30-31, Nebuchadnezzar is condemned to death because of his lack of respect for God. Just as other great earthly kingdoms have fallen and disappeared, so did mighty Babylon.
ILLUS: Adolph Hitler declared, “The Third Reich will last a thousand years.” But like ancient Babylon, the Third Reich fell into the dust of history. God’s kingdom, on the other hand, will last forever, because it rests on the shoulders of the Messiah.
II. ISAIAH PORTRAYED THE MESSIAH’S CHARACTERISTICS (Isa. 9:6).
In the Hebrew culture a person’s name was more than simply a means of identification. It represented the person’s character and frequently stood in place of the person. This is particularly true of God’s name (see Acts 4:12). Isaiah ascribed to the Messiah these wonderful titles that portray His characteristics.
III. ISAIAH PORTRAYED THE INTENSITY OF THE MESSIAH’S SUFFERING (Isa. 53).
God did not execute His plan of redemption haphazardly. Christ’s atonement for our sins was no second thought, certainly no accident or quirk of fate. It was a deliberate, preplanned act of God by which He redeems us and brings us into a right relationship with Him.
Isaiah 53 is one of the most graphic portrayals of Christ’s death for our sin found in the O.T. In 53:4 we have the picture of the Messiah completing this drama.
ILLUS: Earl Allen’s book, Sign of the Star, relates the Suffering Servant to the Christmas story. Allen wrote: “Near the cradle of Bethlehem stands the cross, God’s Christmas tree—you can’t make anything else out of it. The blood of Jesus Christ has been the red ribbon strung from that first coat of skins in the garden of Eden down through the...four hundred silent years, through the genealogies of the first chapter of Matthew. Crimson blossoms bright in the holy moment of the cross.”
The heart of the message of Christmas is not jingling bells, buying gifts, or even giving to the poor. Christmas points to the cross. In his commentary of Isaiah 53:6, H. A. Ironside says, “the verse begins with all and ends with all. The first is the acknowledgment of our deep need. The second shows how fully that need has been met in the Cross.”
IV. ISAIAH PORTRAYED THE MESSIAH’S INVITATION TO LIFE (Isa. 55:1-7).
If Isaiah 53 were nat a reality, no invitation would be extended in Isaiah 55. Because of Christ’s finished work on the cross, God issued the invitation for all people to accept salvation. Nowhere in the O.T. do we find a greater example of the gospel. Humanity is lost and in need of salvation. Christ is the Savior and issues all people an invitation to accept His salvation.
The invitation begins with the word come.—The invitation is for those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty. Those who want their thirst quenched and their hunger satisfied are promised the finest spiritual food and refreshment without paying a cent. What a marvelous example of God’s redeeming grace!
The invitation challenges those in need of salvation to avoid seeking that which does not satisfy. (V. 2)—Jeremiah echoed this thought when he declared: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (2:13, NIV).
The invitation concludes With “Seek.”—”Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on Him while he is near” (Isa. 55:6, NIV).
CONC: Isaiah’s portrait of the Messiah is of one who loves us and has provided for our salvation. This Christmas season let us celebrate the coming of Christ and His fulfillment of prophecy.