Scripture Reading: Isaiah 51:17-54:17 / Ephesians 1:1-23 / Psalm 109:21-31
One of the greatest discoveries of Old Testament ancient texts were found in the Qumran caves, near the Dead Sea, by a young Bedouin shepherd in 1946. He and his cousins initially found 7 ancient texts in 7 clay jars. Over the next 10 years, a total of 972 texts were found. A sect of Jews known as the Essenes wrote these manuscripts between 150BC and 70AD. They wrote them in order to preserve Hebrew Bible texts, prophetic writings and ancient rules.
One of the most significant finds among the texts was a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah. There are more Messianic prophecies in Isaiah than any other Old Testament book. The Jews cherished this find yet ironically, they did not recognize Jesus as The Messiah who fulfilled every one of the Isaiah Messianic prophecies. The odds of any one person being able to fulfill the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah has been calculated to be 1 in 100 quadrillion!
One of the greatest Messianic chapters is Isaiah 53. It is known as the “Suffering Servant” prophecy. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3) Isaiah speaks of Christ’s suffering, His atoning work, His death, His victory and His reward. This entire chapter undeniably supports and confirms Christ’s divine work.
It is amazing to “connect the Messianic dots” and discover they are talking about Jesus…the One in whom we place all of our faith and trust. Jesus is not only seen in prophecy, He is seen throughout the Old Testament in types and shadows. Christ is at the center of every book of the Bible. He is the seed of Adam who would crush the serpent’s head in Genesis. He was the rock that followed and brought forth water for the Israelites in the wilderness.
Jesus fulfilled the Law by becoming our sacrificial Lamb. We can say with Isaiah, “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (53:4,5)
Jesus Christ fulfilled every demand of The Law and established a new covenant of redemption. Abraham looked for, prophets foretold, and saints longed for the coming Messiah. Our lives are forever changed by His divine grace and we testify with all of scripture…it’s all about Jesus!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!