The Death and Resurrection of the Messiah Predicted by the Old Testament

COPYRIGHT WARNING

After writing several books regarding the Messianic Prophecies which Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament scriptures, I am still amazed by those who assert that Jesus did not fulfill any of these predictions. One of the texts that is most profound in validating Jesus as the Messiah, is observed in the descriptions of the prophet Isaiah in chapters 52 and 53. This morning I was reading through these verses in The Living Bible and I was struck by their exact portrayal of the actual events that took place in Jesus’ life.

It is impossible to discount the fact that Isaiah wrote these texts more than 700 years before Jesus was born. In fact, all of the scholarly Rabbi’s in Israel attributed the text of Isaiah 53 to the Messiah up until the 12th century. It was at that time that a change occurred where these men began to assert that Isaiah was describing the nation of Israel, not the Messiah. This becomes tenuous when we consider that verse 8 describes the Servant dying for the sins of Israel. If we insert Israel into this verse we have Israel dying for the sins of Israel. This is further illustrated by the following verse (9) that would require Israel would be innocent of sin and therefor suffering unjustly.

Verse 8: “For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.”
Verse 9: “He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.But he was buried like a criminal …”

The pinnacle of impossibility in Isaiah writing his descriptions for Israel in chapter 53 is reached at verse 10 when Israel as the object servant of Isaiah, would be offered for sin, as he is killed and then resurrected again.

Verse 10: “when his soul has been made an offering for sin, then he shall have a multitude of children, many heirs. He shall live again…”

In my book, “The Suffering Servant,” I describe the difference between Israel as the unfaithful servant of God that Isaiah describes and the Faithful Servant who is the Messiah in Chapter 53.[1]

When we arrive at the New Testament and read the narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we are stunned by the precise fulfillments of all the Old Testament prophecies that described the Messiah. In my book, “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” and “The Messianic Prophecy Bible,” I carefully detail 400 Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. It is impossible to deny the certainty that Jesus was intentionally seeking to fulfill every one of these predictions so that He would be understood as the Messiah.

Then Jesus said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. —Luke 24:44-48

The following is a list of the leading prophecies of Isaiah chapter 52, and the specific Messianic Prophecies of Isaiah 53. There is no ambiguity that Jesus is the Promised Messiah as attested to by the predictions of Isaiah and the fulfillments of his words in the text of the New Testament.

Prophecy 230: Isaiah 52:14
Prophecy 231: Isaiah 52:15a
Prophecy 232: Isaiah 52:15b
Prophecy 233: Isaiah 53:1
Prophecy 234: Isaiah 53:2a
Prophecy 235: Isaiah 53:2b
Prophecy 236: Isaiah 53:3a
Prophecy 237: Isaiah 53:3b
Prophecy 238: Isaiah 53:3c
Prophecy 239: Isaiah 53:3d
Prophecy 240: Isaiah 53:4a
Prophecies 241-260
Prophecy 241: Isaiah 53:4b
Prophecy 242: Isaiah 53:4c
Prophecy 243: Isaiah 53:5a
Prophecy 244: Isaiah 53:5b
Prophecy 245: Isaiah 53:5c
Prophecy 246: Isaiah 53:6a
Prophecy 247: Isaiah 53:6b
Prophecy 248: Isaiah 53:7a
Prophecy 249: Isaiah 53:7b
Prophecy 250: Isaiah 53:7c
Prophecy 251: Isaiah 53:8a
Prophecy 252: Isaiah 53:8b
Prophecy 253: Isaiah 53:8c
Prophecy 254: Isaiah 53:8d
Prophecy 255: Isaiah 53:9a
Prophecy 256: Isaiah 53:9b
Prophecy 257: Isaiah 53:9c
Prophecy 258: Isaiah 53:10a
Prophecy 259: Isaiah 53:10b
Prophecy 260: Isaiah 53:10c
Prophecies 261-280
Prophecy 261: Isaiah 53:10d
Prophecy 262: Isaiah 53:11a
Prophecy 263: Isaiah 53:11b
Prophecy 264: Isaiah 53:11c
Prophecy 265: Isaiah 53:11d
Prophecy 266: Isaiah 53:12a
Prophecy 267: Isaiah 53:12b
Prophecy 268: Isaiah 53:12c
Prophecy 269: Isaiah 53:12d
Prophecy 270: Isaiah 53:12e

See, my Servant shall prosper; he shall be highly exalted. Yet many shall be amazed when they see him–yes, even far-off foreign nations and their kings; they shall stand dumbfounded, speechless in his presence. For they shall see and understand what they had not been told before. They shall see my Servant beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know it was a person standing there. So shall he cleanse many nations.

But, oh, how few believe it! Who will listen? To whom will God reveal his saving power? In God’s eyes he was like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. But in our eyes there was no attractiveness at all, nothing to make us want him. We despised him and rejected him–a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we didn’t care.
Yet it was our grief he bore, our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace; he was lashed–and we were healed! We–every one of us–have strayed away like sheep! We, who left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet God laid on him the guilt and sins of every one of us!

He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people of that day realized it was their sins that he was dying for–that he was suffering their punishment? He was buried like a criminal, but in a rich man’s grave; but he had done no wrong and had never spoken an evil word.

But it was the Lord’s good plan to bruise him and fill him with grief. However, when his soul has been made an offering for sin, then he shall have a multitude of children, many heirs. He shall live again, and God’s program shall prosper in his hands. And when he sees all that is accomplished by the anguish of his soul, he shall be satisfied; and because of what he has experienced, my righteous Servant shall make many to be counted righteous before God, for he shall bear all their sins. Therefore, I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great because he has poured out his soul unto death. He was counted as a sinner, and he bore the sins of many, and he pled with God for sinners. —Isaiah 52:13—53:12 (TLB) 

See Rob’s articleThe Two Servants of Isaiah,” for clarification of this issue concerning Israel as the unfaithful servant and Messiah as the Faithful Servant.

See All of Rob’s Books at Amazon


[1] Isaiah 42:1-20 Verses 1-17: the Servant who is the Messiah, the faithful one. Verses 18–20: the servant (small “s”) who is Israel, who is unfaithful to the Lord.

Isaiah 42:1-17 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:18-20 “Hear, you deaf; And look, you blind, that you may see. 19 Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send?

By careful observation of the above text, we understand that Isaiah is describing two different servants: the faithful Messiah and the unfaithful nation of Israel.

The mixing together of these verses of scripture from Isaiah 42, as the Servant who is the Messiah and the servant who is Israel, has caused some who interpret these verses to conclude that the entire text is speaking of Israel and not the Messiah. This is of course an error.

The first 17 verses of Isaiah 42 are distinctly descriptive of a person who is identified much later in the New Testament as Jesus Christ.

Verses 18-20 describes My blind servant. This is a correct description for the spiritual condition of Israel during the time that Jesus appeared before the leadership of the Jews and confounded their ability to rightly identify Him as the Messiah.

This failure to recognize two servants in the text of Isaiah 42 has led to a further error in identifying the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 as the nation of Israel. Many commentators on the text of Isaiah 42 and 53 believe that both are depicting the suffering which the nation of Israel has undergone for the past 2,000 years.

This is the result of an incorrect exegesis and hermeneutical interpretation of the text. Simply reading through each verse, and allowing the context to speak to us without a premise or bias towards any particular interpretation, leaves the reader with a clear conclusion that the two servants are distinct from each other by marked contrasts in the language of the text.

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