Have you ever guessed that something would happen before it happened?
Isaiah was a prophet that spoke about Jesus 700 years before Jesus was born. That’s a long time isn’t it? One of the things that helps us to know that the Bible is true is when we can see that the prophecies in the Bible have come true. 700 years before Jesus died on the cross Isaiah described Jesus dying on the cross. If Isaiah’s prophecy came true, then we can start to trust that the Bible is true can’t we? Listen to Isaiah’s description of Jesus on the cross from chapter 53:
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
Now Isaiah doesn’t name Jesus, but he is describing someone sent by God to die for the sins (“transgressions,” and “iniquities”) of everyone. Isaiah says that this person was “pierced,” and “crushed” (killed). Does that describe Jesus? It does.
But there’s something even more important for us to think about than Jesus fulfilling a 700-year-old prophecy? And that more important thing is that Jesus died for OUR transgressions (outside sins), and that he was crushed for OUR iniquities (inside sins). He bore OUR griefs. He carried OUR sorrows.
Jesus died FOR US. That’s the most important thing you could ever learn and believe in your whole life. Isaiah says that we are all like little sheep that get lost and wander away from God. That’s what sin is, when we wander away from God, choosing to live our life without him and his love.
But Isaiah says God took our sins and “laid them on Jesus.” In Isaiah’s day once a year all the people of Israel would gather at the temple to be forgiven for all their sins from that past year. This was called the Day of Atonement (or forgiveness). The priest would stand up in front of the people and lay his hand on a lamb’s head. This was a picture of all the sins of the people being placed onto the substitute lamb. And then they would sacrifice the lamb to God for the sins of the people.
JESUS IS OUR LAMB. Jesus is our lamb that was “led to the slaughter.”
But Jesus didn’t stay slaughtered did he? He didn’t stay dead. And Isaiah tells us that too! Listen to what Isaiah says next about Jesus:
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Jesus came back to life and won the “portion” and the “spoil.” These are words that mean that Jesus won the prize of a warrior after defeating his greatest enemy – death. And what is Jesus’ prize? What is his portion? His spoil?
You. Me. Us.
Jesus died not just FOR us in our place. Jesus died so that he could be WITH us forever. Why? Because he loves us so much, and can’t imagine living without us. Isaiah knew that 700 years before it happened, and now we know it 2000 years after it happened.
Because of Jesus all my sins CAN BE taken away forever.
With Jesus all my sins ARE taken away forever.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Memorize Isaiah 53:6 together. Here’s a page you can print out and post in plain sight so that everyone can practice learning this amazing prophecy.
You are the lamb who died in my place for my sins. And you are the warrior who defeated death so that I could live with you forever. Thank you.
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