Prophetic Promises from the Old Testament Prophets

20130206_otprophets

Guest post by Justin Alfred

Previous posts in this series:

From the beginning of the biblical revelation, we see glimpses of God’s promise of a Savior that will deliver God’s people from the penalty of sin and provide an eternal relationship with God for those people. Therefore, we are going to look for some of these promises through the Old Testament according to its three major divisions:

  1. the Law
  2. the Prophets
  3. the Writing

Last week, we looked at the Law. Today, we will take a look at the Prophets.

II. The Prophets

There are a plethora of passages in the Prophets that refer to both the first and second comings of Jesus, but the one that I want to focus on with regard to His first coming is the well-known Isaiah 53:

1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. 3 He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? 9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth. 10 But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.
(Isa 53:1-12)

This Old Testament passage may well be the quintessential prophetic passage of Jesus’ first coming and just what that coming means for all humanity. We will look at individual verses above and see how they were fulfilled in the life of Jesus in the New Testament:

  1. Verse 2: “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him” – Jesus was born into very humble circumstances: His father, Joseph, was apparently a carpenter, from whom Jesus learned His carpentry skills; Joseph was in no way a wealthy man (Mark 6:1-6; John 6:41-42); his mother was found pregnant outside of marriage; therefore, Jesus was considered by the community, therefore, to be one born out of wedlock (John 8:39-42).
  2. Verse 3: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” In John 8:39-42, Jesus was looked upon by the Pharisees as one born out of wedlock, and thus, He was despised for that reason, as well as for the fact that He was a direct and continuous threat to the Jewish, religious/political structure of His day that had very little to do with biblical truth (John 5:10-18).
  3. Verses 4-5: “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” – These two passages are seen as fulfilled in numerous New Testament passages: Matthew 8:14-17; Romans 4:13-25; I Corinthians 15:1-11; Hebrews 5:5-10; I Peter 2:21-25. What is interesting to note is that in Matthew 8:17, the words “infirmities” and “diseases” are used instead of “griefs” and “sorrows” in Isaiah 53:4, and the reason for that is the Hebrew words for “griefs” and“sorrows” respectively are חֳלִי (holi) and ַמַכְאֹב (makob), and they may also be translated as “illnesses” and “physical pains” respectively. Thus, they may include both translations for each word: “griefs” and “illnesses” for חֳלִי (holi), and “sorrows” and“physical pains” for ַמַכְאֹב (makob).
  4. Verse 6: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” – This verse can be seen in a plethora of New Testament passages that draw attention to our sin and failure, but the forgiveness we have through Christ (Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23; 10:8-13; II Corinthians 5:20- 21; et al).
  5. Verse 7: “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth” – This is exactly what happened as Jesus went before the Sanhedrin, in that He did not try and defend Himself against the charges, but rather He spoke the eternal truth of God’s Word to the Jewish leaders, and by doing that, their rejection of that Word is what condemned them (Matthew 26:57-68; 27:11-14; Mark 14:53-65; 15:1-5; Luke 23:1- 12; John 19:1-16).
  6. Verse 8: “By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?” – We see the oppressive judgment that was enacted against Jesus by the Jews in the Sanhedrin, and then before Pilate in insisting He be crucified, when indeed, according to Roman Law, he had done nothing worthy of death by crucifixion (Matthew 26:57-27:56; Mark 14:53-15:41; Luke 22:54-23:49; John 18:12- 19:37).
  7. Verse 9: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth” – Jesus was crucified with two criminals, but he was buried in the tomb of a rich Jew, Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:38, 57-66; Mark 15:27, 42-47; Luke 23:32, 50-55; John 19:18, 38- 42).
  8. Verses 10-12: “10 But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. 11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; by His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors” – We see this fulfilled in many New Testament passages that pinpoint the above stated work of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the Cross for our sins, which provide for us eternal life with God in heaven (Romans 4:16-25; 5:12-21; Galatians 3:10-14; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 1:15-23; Hebrews 2:5-18; 5:1-10; 9:11- 10:18; 12:1-2; I John 2:1-2).

Next week, we will look at Prophet Promises and the Writing.

  • Eric

    I fail to see how it is derived from Isaiah 53 that Jesus died for anyone but Israel. Isaiah 53:8 says, “for the transgression of MY PEOPLE was he stricken.” The “my people” is Israel. That is clear from reading Isaiah 52 and 54, especially Isaiah 54:3, where we are told that “thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles.” Isaiah 53:11 says “my righteous servant justify MANY,” meaning Israel. We see Jesus confirming this in Matthew 20:28, “to give his life a ransom for MANY.”

    I realize that Jesus did die for all. I Timothy 2:6 tells us that: “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Yes, Jesus did die for my sins and for all who believe in Him. I understand that. But, this blog posting is about prophetic promises from the Old Testament prophets, specifically Isaiah 53. I am just saying that from that context alone, we are never told that Jesus died for us. He only died for Israel. It was not “testified in due time” that He died for all until we hear it from Paul’s epistles.

    • Mark (Cov)

      Eric, to use the one everybody turns too…John 3:16. I bring this up because we know the New Testament covenant did not begin until after Jesus died on the cross. The book of Acts is where the covenant in the body of Jesus the Messiah was enacted in time. The upper room experience, etc. But if you would like to look at older books, Noah gave all a chance to repent. Joseph poured blessing out over all walking as a witness. God Himself gave all in The Garden to Adam and Eve. The problem has never been that Father God did not want to embrace everyone. Rather the problem has been people turn away to the lust of their own heart.

      The reason the Hebrew people are mentioned first is because they were to be priest (teachers) to all nations. Just as today the teachers must first go to school to learn before they can teach our children, so the Hebrew people are to teach the world. Torah, the written Word and spoken Word was given to them not to keep but to share & teach all. Paul pushed that point home and since the time of Paul there have been many teachers from many nations. The Messianic Jews of today pulling from the centuries of knowledge stored in the heart is pouring out and mixing with the revelation of HaMashiach Yeshua.

      On a side note the song most heard in the streets of Israel today is Mashiach, which means Messiah. Isn’t it interesting that today the streets of Israel are coming alive with expectation that HaMashiach is soon to arrive? We are so close…people need to get into the ark of HaMashiach Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.

      Have a great day.
      Mark (Cov)

      • Mark Hayes

        Justin, Thank you for this teaching.

        Hallelujah! What a powerful and most wonder chapter Isaiah 53 is, full of prophecy and teaching truth.

        Take for example Isaiah 53:4 “Surely He has borne our griefs (illnesses) and carried our sorrows (pains); yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted.”

        As another teacher of the Teacher Jesus Christ has pointed out, Pastor Joseph Prince, when viewed with the scripture in Matthew 8:16-17, this verse has within it a special promise of ‘Health & Wholeness’ which can be received won in faith through Holy Communion.

        It is a promise also of the power of the Lord Jesus’ death on the cross for not only our sins, which God treats as an illness, but also or the healing and / or support (carrying) of our actual physical illnesses, diseases, grief or weaknesses as well, as well as physical pain or mental pain.

        How can this be true?

        In the words in verse 4 “Surely He has borne….” there is much power in the single verb “borne.” Borne in Hebrew is ‘nasa’ which means ‘to lift, lift up, to bear or carry, to support, to take, take away.’

        As Joseph Prince has pointed to the “bread” representing healing from the teaching of the Greek (Syro-Phoenician) women in Mark 7:26-29, so when we eat of the the bread in Holy Communion, by faith examining our own physical and mental well being, we can give to the Lord Jesus in prayer any illness, disease, grief or weakness and any physical or mental pain to have been ‘lifted up’ with Him on the cross. In doing this we can ask Him ‘to bear’ or ‘carry’ it for us, ‘to support’ us through it, and should we find it in faith to be God’s will to ‘take it’, yes to take it away, that by the Lord Jesus’ resurrection power He indeed ‘takes away’ from us whatever the affliction was and we receive His complete healing.

        Is it not also written in Proverbs that “heeding according to God’s wisdom, is healing to your flesh and refreshment (medicine) to your bones”? Proverbs 3:1-8

        Certainly when we come to the Lord Jesus as the “living bread” John 6:50-51 and while we eat of the bread examining our being in Holy Communion we can find by faith in Jesus Christ’s very person the ‘Health and Wholeness’ which is a promise to us from our God made oft throughout the scriptures. Exodus 23:25 Deuteronomy 32:39

        Let us all endeavour to lay hold of God’s special promises to us by faith in Jesus Christ.

        I thank you God for Your teachers, for Your mighty Word, for revelation taught by Your Spirit, for the rich abundance of all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places that are in Jesus Christ.

        May I too be enlightened to lay hold by faith Your special promises to me.

        In Christ
        Mark Hayes
        NZ

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  • Tess

    Thank you and bless you Mark (Cov)! :)

    WHY “YESHUA HA MASHIACH”?
    Today in English our Lord is commonly referred to as “Jesus Christ”, as if “Jesus” was His first name and “Christ” was His last name. In actuality, His name in Hebrew and Aramaic (the languages He spoke) was “Yeshua”, which means salvation. During His life on earth, He was called “Yeshua”.

    At the time Yeshua lived on earth, kings were given their authority in ceremonies where they were anointed with olive oil. Yeshua was known as the “Mashiach” (Messiah) or The Anointed One having been anointed with God’s authority. Thus He was known as “Yeshua Ha Mashiach”, or Yeshua the Anointed One.

    THEN WHY “JESUS CHRIST”?
    In Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, “Yeshua” was translated as “Iesous” which was probably pronounced “yay-soos” in ancient Greek and is pronounced “yee-soos” in modern Greek. The word “Jesus” then came from an English translation of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament.

    The word for “Mashiach” in Greek is “Christos” meaning anointed. This word is usually brought into English as “Christ”.
    Unfortunately, through these translations we’ve lost the true meaning of our Lord’s name.

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