Summary: Isaiah 53 is one of the most profound messianic prophecies found in all of the Old Testament and it asks a simple but convicting question, "Who has believed our message?" What message are we declaring? Is it the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Who Has Believed Our Message
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Today we will be reading from Isaiah 52:13-53:12
This is a long section of Scripture. This is also an important section of Scripture.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, commonly known as Easter, it is a good idea to take a good look at Jesus, Himself.
We spend a lot of time in the teachings of Jesus and in teachings of those who spent time with Him. We also spend a lot of time talking about the salvation that was made possible by His life, death and resurrection.
At Christmas time we spend a lot of time searching the Scriptures about Jesus’ birth and the events surrounding that event. We talk about Nazareth and Joseph and Mary and the angel and the shepherds and the wise men and the Roman census and the trip to Jerusalem and the birth in the stable. And, that is all good and we should look at such amazing events.
But, sometimes we miss the amazing things that are written about Jesus in the Old Testament. What did it say about Jesus in Genesis? What did it say about Jesus in the Psalms? What did it say about Jesus in Isaiah?
Let’s take the time to read Isaiah 52:13-53:12 and see …
(Prayer for help from the Lord)
For centuries this section of Scripture was considered by the Jews to be about the coming Messiah. But then He came and even though it prophesied accurately about Jesus they rejected Him and reoriented their view of the passage.
Since then it has been largely a forbidden topic and interpreted in a way so that, according to their rabbinical teaching and tradition, it points to Jeremiah.
With that in mind let’s take a look at some of this incredible passage.
Isaiah 53:1a, “Who has believed our message …?”
In order for a message to have the potential to be believed it requires a series of events. Let’s look at these events as they are involved in transmission of the message from God to the person in need of the message.
- The message must be sent (by God)
- The message must be received (by the Prophet or Apostle)
- The message must be declared (by the written Word, by a pastor/teacher, family member, friend or even an complete stranger)
- The message must be heard (by someone needing the message)
- The message must be responded to (accepted or rejected)
So, what IS the “message?” There are various messages.
There are messages of God identifying who He is to His people.
There are messages of blessing when the message is obeyed.
There are messages of destruction because of long periods of willful disobedience.
There are messages holding out reconciliation.
There are messages in the OT about the coming Messiah.
There are messages about the eternal life that comes when a person finds salvation through grace and faith in Jesus.
There are messages about eternal death that is the result of rejecting Jesus’ offer of salvation.
In this case, the question of, “who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of (Yahweh) the Lord, been revealed?”
The message is the message of the coming Messiah who in this case, is being has been prophesied in the Old Testament.
How do we know the message is about Him? We know because the first word we see in the next sentence is, “He …”.
And that “He” pronoun begins an incredible description of the Messiah, the Christ, who would appear approximately 700 years later.
Let’s look at the first part of the prophetic description of Jesus.
“He grew up before Him …”
If “He” is Jesus then who is “Him”?
Isaiah? Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father? Who?
Jesus the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, grew up before God the Father, the first person of the Holy Trinity.
That is who the “Him” referred to in, “He grew up before Him”.
Jesus did this in a physical sense.
As it says in Philippians 2:6-7,
“(Jesus) being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”