Old Testament Prophecies: Isaiah
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 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). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”Matthew 1:18-25
“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”Luke 1:26-33
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No Old Testament prophet was more prolific with prophecies concerning the coming Messiah than Isaiah. His prophecies were very specific, and all saw their fulfillment in Jesus Christ. This week, we’ll be taking a look at just a few of Isaiah’s prophecies about the Savior.
As you read the words of Isaiah, recall the times you may have heard these words before:
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
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. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6–7)
For me, these Scripture quotes bring back memories of the hours spent preparing for Sunday School and Day School Christmas programs. This started with the years when I was a participant, memorizing lines—typically Scripture verses—so I wouldn’t embarrass myself or my parents. Years later, I was the leader, worried that my students wouldn’t learn their lines in time for the program.
I’m not sure exactly when it finally hit me that all those years of Christmas programs helped me learn the connections between these Old Testament prophecies from Isaiah and their New Testament fulfillment in the Gospels. The very first chapter of Matthew’s Gospel show us the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 7: “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).
When the angel Gabriel visited Mary, he announced that her Son would fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy. He would be a descendant of David. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32–33).
As you go through these weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas, take the time to listen to the prophecies and fulfillments found in God’s Word as it is spoken and read.