The Book of Isaiah has always fascinated me. There is so much to discover in these pages. Isaiah among other things discusses the future tribulation and the millennial kingdom; the salvation of the Servant-Messiah and God’s plan for peace. There has been allot of debate over who authored the Isaiah scrolls and when they were made. The debate is very important because it either validates or lays to naught the prophetic aspects of the book of Isaiah. The prophetic nature of Isaiah is extremely important to Judaism and Christianity alike.
For Christianity the importance of Isaiah can be revealed in the number of times it is references. The prophet Isaiah is referred to approximately eighty-five times in the New Testament. While some of these are repeated references there are still at least sixty-one passages in Isaiah that are used as a single reference.
Jesus launched his ministry by reading from the school of Isaiah. This shows the necessity of the accuracy of the book of Isaiah. Jesus could not have said that he is fulfilling this scripture if it was not already accepted as scripture by the Jews of his time. Here is the portrayal recorded by Luke.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. (Luke 10:416-21).
The New Testament the Book of Acts chapter 8 refers to a Eunuch that was converted to Christianity by the use of the scriptures recorded in Isaiah and how they related to prophecy fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The Lord sent Phillip to meet with this man to teach him from Isaiah all the things concerning Jesus. The man believe and was subsequently baptized.
How great a find was discovered in 1947 among the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this archeological find was located an intact and in “perfect” condition, 2nd Century BC scroll of the text of Isaiah. It has been compared to the oldest know text, about 980 AD and is astonishingly accurate. In fact, scholars have concluded that it is an exact copy. This lays waist to claims that the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the Servant-Messiah, the Millennial Kingdom, and God’s Plan of Peace were added later in time by editors of the text. You see if you believe in divine inspiration then you must also believe in divine preservation. If God cared enough to inspire the writers of the Bible then surely he would preserve that message also.
If he preserved it then we can trust what is written. We can trust the prophecies. We can trust the fulfillment of the prophecy. We can look forward to the restoration of Israel. We know that Jerusalem will be the capital of the world because we know the prophecy of our Lord establishing his kingdom here on earth in Jerusalem for 1000 years. Through the seed of Abraham the whole world, every nation, all of creation will be blessed. We know this because the scripture has been preserved by God himself.
We also know this. That Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53. When it says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). That means that Jesus did actually take our burdens of sin and he carried our sorrows and despairs to the cross. It also means that we witnessed the chastisement of God that he took for us. He was beaten, and mocked, and died for his love of mankind. Jesus took our punishment like a loving older brother takes the blame for his siblings. He died for us. We know this because scripture prophesied this. We know this because the New Testament recorded it for us. We can trust it because God himself preserved the witness in the accuracy of the text. This is the truth that sets you free. Jesus was sacrificed to pay the debt of sin for you and for me. We are indebted to Jesus for our very lives. By accepting this truth he promises to give us a life that we cannot comprehend. He said a more abundant life! More life than we know of. That is amazing love.