Around the time of the Assyrian exile of the Hebrews in the 8th century B.C., the prophet Isaiah wrote some very specific prophecies that described the way King Cyrus would permit the Jews to return to their land from the Babylonian exile in the 6th century B.C. The divine implications of such prophecies are as fingernails on a chalkboard to nonbelieving scholars. Some claim the verses in Isaiah were written over six centuries by numerous unnamed authors who freely made insertions into numerous copies of cherished, holy Jewish scriptures in the houses, synagogues, and 1st and 2nd Temples across thousands of miles of nations in the ancient Near East. Fortunately, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were compiled around the 2nd century B.C., have prevented modern scholars from dating Isaiah to after Jesus’ time and Jesus fulfilled many prophecies from Isaiah. Jesus, John, Luke, and Paul further identified Isaiah as the book’s only author. Next, I will present a sampling of Jesus’ fulfilled prophecies, along with references to the New Testament where its authors shared them.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].” (Isaiah 7:14)
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:22-23)
Isaiah 9:6 and the Trinity
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” (Isaiah 11:1-5)
We can compare this with Jeremiah’s (33:14-16) prophecy: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’”
In the Gospels, Matthew (1:1-17) traces Jesus’ genealogy through Joseph, his legal father, while Luke (3:23-38) traces Jesus’ genealogy through Mary, his birth mother.
John the Baptist
All four Gospels mark the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with John the Baptist’s comparison of himself with the person in Isaiah 40:3-5. Consider the interesting placement of this announcement, which marks the ending of the chapters of woe (1-39) and the beginning of the chapters of consolation (40-66). These align with the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament.
“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
“And this is the testimony of John [the Baptist] when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’ And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ He said, ‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.’” (John 1:19-23)
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-4)
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, ‘Is not this Joseph’s son?’” (Luke 4:16-22)
A Light to the Gentiles
Isaiah 42:6-7 revealed the LORD’s covenant to the Jews and light to the Gentiles:
“I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42:6-7)
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Crucifixion Prophecies
Isaiah (53), King David (Psalm 22), and Zechariah (12:10) prophesied about Jesus’ crucifixion, while Isaiah alluded to His resurrection (Isaiah 53:11). Isaiah (53:3-5) prophesied that the Suffering Servant would be despised and rejected by His people and would be pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. Zechariah (12:10) stated, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” In Psalm 22, King David portended that our Messiah would be mocked and surrounded by strong bulls of Bashan who would divide up His clothing and pierce His hands and feet. But after all of His suffering, He would see the light of life and be satisfied (Isaiah 53:11).
“I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” (Isaiah 61:8)
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” (Jeremiah 31:31)
These are a few of numerous prophecies of Jesus by Isaiah. To hear even more, watch my video on Isaiah’s prophecies that will be live on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on 11/7/2021.