Summary: God is absolutely true to his word – If He says he’s going to do it – it’s going to happen! This is not a fairy tale, you’ve seen for yourself that the prophetic words of God that are recorded in this book (hold up Bible) are 100% accurate and they will a
The great prophet Isaiah prophesied many things before they happened. As an example he prophesied that the people of Judah would be carried into captivity by Babylon many years before it happened, and at the time of the prophecy, Babylon wasn’t even a viable political power.
He proved to be a very reliable prophet indeed. In chapters 40-55 Isaiah describes Jerusalem as lying in ruins, Israel in exile in Babylonia and the Exile has lasted a long time. The people of Israel are in great distress. God’s anger lies heavily upon them because of their sins. They think that God has forgotten them. Some of them have come to regard the place of their exile as their homeland. But Isaiah prophesies that God is about to liberate his people, and he urges them to put their trust in God’s promise. Isaiah prophesied all this 100 years before it happened. Amazing.
Not only that, but Isaiah prophesied that a king named Cyrus would allow the Jewish exiles to return home. Isaiah prophesied this 170 years before it happened. King Cyrus, a relatively unknown Persian warlord, overthrew the Babylonian kingdom in 539 BC and established himself as king over all Babylonia. Isa 44:28 declares it – “God says of Cyrus, `He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt," and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid.”
Yes, time proved that Isaiah was a reliable prophet. Would everyone agree that Isaiah has an impressive record of accuracy in prophesying future events? (Pause)
Now I want us to focus on a prophesy that Isaiah made 700 years before it happened. Wow, imagine making a prophecy that came true 700 years later.
OK, let’s read it – turn to Isaiah, chapter 53
53:1Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Who is this prophesy about? (Pause) (Jesus)
How do you know? (Pause) (Because you’ve read the gospels and this prophecy matches the life, death and resurrection of Christ with pinpoint accuracy.)
God makes plain his plan of salvation through His only Son Jesus Christ hundreds of times in the Old Testament. But it wasn’t until it really happened that mankind stood up and took notice.
Mankind was hopelessly lost to sin until God became a flesh and blood man, born of the Virgin Mary and laid in a manger that first Christmas in Bethlehem. By the way, the virgin birth of Christ and the other events surrounding His birth were also prophesied by Isaiah and other prophets. We shouldn’t be surprised, God made a promise to send us a redeemer and he kept his promise.