Summary: How does Isaiah the evangelistic prophet portray Christ

The Portrait of Christ


The book of Isaiah is referred to as the “fifth gospel.” When Isaiah speaks about Messiah, he sounds more like a New Testament writer than an Old Testament prophet. His messianic prophecies are clearer and more explicit than those of any other Old Testament book. They describe many aspects of the person and work of Messiah.

I. Messiah – His Person

A. His birth

1. His birth was going to be a miracle (7:14)

a. A virgin will give birth.

b. A son will be born.

c. He would be “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us!”

2. He would be a descendant of David (11:1)

3. He would take human flesh (52:14)

4. He would be Divine (9:6)

B. His life

1. He was going to be meek (42:1-4)

2. He would minister in the power of the Spirit (11:2)

C. His death

1. He would be mocked (50:6)

2. He would be numbered with the transgressors (53:12)

3. He was the lamb who suffered quietly (53:7)

4. He was going to be buried with the rich (53:9)

II. Messiah – His Work

A. His ministry would be forerun by a messenger in the desert who would prepare the way for him (40:3-5).

B. His ministry would be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

1. 11:2 – Minister in the power of the Spirit. The Spirit would give Him:

a. Wisdom

b. Understanding

c. Counsel

d. Power

e. Knowledge

f. Reverence (fear of the Lord)

g. Delight

2. 61:1-3 – The Spirit would lead his mission. His mission would be:

a. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

b. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

c. to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

d. to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,

e. to comfort all who mourn,

f. to provide for those who grieve in Zion

g. to bestow on them a crown of beauty

C. He would be a light to Galilee (9:1-2) and to Gentiles (42:6).

D. His person and work should serve as chief cornerstone to the entire structure (kingdom) that God the Father had in mind (28:16).

E. Messiah’s ministry is seen as that of Servant Savior (49) and His death would serve as the substitute for the sin of mankind (53).

F. Messiah is seen in Isaiah 53 as the Perfect Sacrifice: Boa and Wilkinson see the whole section of 52:13-53:12 as portraying the different aspects of the Jewish Sacrificial System (JSS). They see it present five different aspects of the saving work of Christ in the five sacrifices of the JSS:

1. 52:13–15—His wholehearted sacrifice (burnt offering).

2. 53:1–3—His perfect character (meal offering).

3. 53:4–6—He brought atonement that issues in peace with God (peace offering).

4. 53:7–9—He paid for the transgression of the people (sin offering).

5. 53:10–12—He died for the effects of sin (trespass offering).

Isaiah is quoted in the New Testament far more than any other prophet. He is mentioned twenty-one times by name, and chapter 53 alone is quoted or alluded to at least eighty-five times in the New Testament.

It does make sense completely because the person and the work of Messiah are portrayed more clearly in Isaiah than in any other Old Testament book.

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