Isaiah the Evangelist
March 3, 2009
Isaiah is known as the “king of prophets,” “the prince of OT preachers,” and most importantly, the “exalted evangelist of the gospel” some 750 years before that gospel was accomplished in the cross of Christ and preached as an accomplished fact in history. Two of the early Church Fathers of the Christian era spoke in this way:
Jerome says: “I shall expound Isaiah in such a manner that he shall appear not as a prophet only, but as an Evangelist and an Apostle”
And Augustine: “Isaiah deserved the name of an Evangelist rather than that of a Prophet.”
For this first study, I would like to simply point to some of the many prophecies that refer to a coming One who would deal with sin and bring deliverance to those who would believe in that One. Later studies will deal with other riches in this great book.
In Isaiah 4:2-6 we read of the “Branch” who would come, and wash away the filth and sin of Zion (Jerusalem), ending in such a way that God’s glory would be like a canopy over all. Jeremiah 23:5-6 explains the “Branch” further.
Isaiah 7:14 speaks of “the virgin who will conceive, bear a son; that son would be given the name Immanuel, which means God with us.”
No one can read the passage in Isa. 9:6-7 without having the sounds of Handel’s Messiah ringing in their heart. This One is further named (a name in the OT was not just a moniker by which one was called to supper, but a verbal picture of the character of that One) as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.
Chapter 11 tells us of the “shoot” that will come forth from the “stump of Jesse,” (a reference to the line of King David) and that One will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Further, it will usher in a spirit of peace and amiability to a world filled with violence of tooth and claw. Go back and read Isa. 2:1-5 in this same light.
Isa 16:5 prophecies of one of the line of David who will sit on a throne established in steadfast love (chesed – a word in a previous blog) and faithfulness
God promises in chapter 25:6-9 that He will swallow us (destroy) the shroud that covers all peoples and nations (death) and show Himself to be the savior the people had been looking for. This is none other than the work this One would accomplish at the cross.
Glimpses of the coming King are found in 32:1 and 33:17, 22.
In the second part of this great book, Isaiah paints a picture of the coming of one who would be a voice in the wilderness (John the Baptizer) crying, “Prepare the Way for the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Again, Handel’s music wells up in our ears and hearts!
Then there are four passages which have traditionally been called the “Servant Songs.” They are found in 42:1-7; 49:1-9; 50:4-9; and 52:13-53:12.
Add to the above the following: 59:16-20; 63:1-6 and finally 66:18-23 picturing to Old Testament minds and hearts the finale similar to John’s vision in Revelation 21 and 22.