Did Isaiah Know About Jesus Christ Centuries Before He Came to Earth?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Consistency of Scripture's Message, Part 7

by Steve Ham on August 5, 2010

The Old Testament reveals numerous details about the coming Messiah.

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. (Isaiah 53:6)

Today’s big question: Did Isaiah know about Jesus Christ centuries before He came to earth? 

If you read Isaiah, you cannot miss the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, many people have called Isaiah the “fifth gospel” because of how much it mentions the coming Messiah, and how much detail is given regarding the good news of salvation. Besides the Psalms, Isaiah is the most-quoted book in the New Testament, particularly concerning Jesus.

The prophets were given amazing revelation from God, and it is hard to know what they must have been thinking when communicating this revelation to the people. Sometimes they warned of judgment for disobedience, and other times proclaimed news of the coming Messiah. Some were given special and amazing visions that they were able to describe in great detail the future kingdom fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Isaiah was given an incredible glimpse of the throne room of heaven where he saw the pre-incarnate Christ. This is confirmed in John 12:41 where John reveals that the prophet Isaiah actually saw Jesus Christ when he had a vision of the Lord on the throne in heaven—hundreds of years before Jesus was born. 

Isaiah was a man who witnessed our Lord (the pre-incarnate Son) sitting on His throne in all His glory. He immediately recognized his own sinfulness in the light of God’s glory, and knew he deserved to die (Isaiah 6:5). In Isaiah 53, the prophet writes again of the coming Messiah (and is quoted again in John 12:38) and he gives great detail about Christ’s sacrificial work of atonement.

Here again with the prophet Isaiah (and echoed by the other prophets) we get the consistent message concerning the coming Savior. Isaiah gives us a very detailed account of sin, sacrifice, and the Savior. Humanity is lost in sin, having turned to our own way and rejected God in a great act of rebellion, but in the great once-for-all sacrifice, our Savior took on the iniquity of us all.

This is the great message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is unknown if Isaiah truly understood that the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 was the same Person he witnessed on the throne in Isaiah 6. What we do know is that God’s revelation to us through the prophets has made perfect sense in the life and works of Jesus Christ, and these events foretold for hundreds of years have been both consistent and accurate in message. 

As we study the consistency of Scripture, we should expect to find repetition in that consistency. The repetition of Sin, Sacrifice, and the Savior is the message of the Bible from cover to cover.

Today’s big idea: the prophets foretold with great accuracy and consistency things which they could not fully understand.

What to pray: thank God for His great authority over all history.


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