The Coming Messiah Part 2 – Isaiah 9

Several hundred years after King David prophesied about Messiah (Christ in Greek) in the Psalms, the Lord spoke through the prophets Isaiah and Micah to give additional information about Him.  We learn that Messiah will be born in Bethlehem and will be known as God Himself, the everlasting Prince of Peace.

Later, Messiah will minister by the Sea of Galilee, shining a great Light in a land of spiritual darkness.

Let us start by looking at Isaiah Chapter 9:

1 …In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 NKJV

Isaiah also tells us that Messiah will be born of a virgin:

14 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 NKJV

“Immanuel” means “God is with us”.

The prophet Micah then tells us that the Christ will be born in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, in David’s hometown and in his lineage.  Messiah will be Ruler in Israel, and His origins will be from the beginnings of time:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”  Micah 5:2 NKJV

Ephrathah is another name for Bethlehem, first mentioned in the book of Genesis.

All these prophecies point to Jesus as the coming Messiah, or Christ.  The prophecies are scattered throughout the Old Testament and written hundreds to thousands of years before the time was right for Christ to come.

The prophet Isaiah, as well as the prophet Zechariah, had more to say about this coming Messiah.  As Jesus had explained to his disciples while walking with them on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection, the scriptures clearly tell us that the Messiah must suffer before being glorified as King.  Specifically, Isaiah points to the severe scourging He experienced before being crucified and, like David in Psalm 22, Zechariah refers to His hands and feet being pierced by large nails during Jesus’ crucifixion.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5 NKJV

10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.  Zechariah 12:10 NKJV

The innocent Lamb of God bore our sins and transgressions on the cross, taking what we deserved so that we may have peace with God.  By the stripes of the lash upon His back, we may receive complete healing.

But those to whom He came did not recognize Him. Many of us were like that for much of our lives. When our eyes are finally opened, we see who He is and the suffering He went through for us. We mourn our failures to recognize Him all those times He was reaching out to us.  But then, we rejoice, because His outstretched hand is still extended in love.

We are imperfect in so many ways, and need God’s tender mercy. Even King David, upon whose throne Messiah will one day reign, had many sins and shortcomings that needed God’s gracious forgiveness.

David’s successes and failures are spelled out for us in black and white in the word of God.  Yet because of his faith, the Lord forgave him, and used him as the anchor for the Kingly line of Christ.  David had a heart for God even though he sometimes got sidetracked by his humanity.  When he strayed, he always returned to the Lord in repentance, and made an earnest attempt to love, serve and obey Him the next time.  The Lord loved David, whether He approved of his actions or not. 

In the same way, the Lord always loves each one of us, whether we “deserve” it or not. He has told us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  His forgiveness and love are always there for the asking, and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and subsequent resurrection covers all of our sins and failings whenever we choose to return, confess our sins and follow Him.

God’s Old Testament prophecies about the first coming of Christ have all been fulfilled.  But the Old and New Testament prophecies about His second coming, to rule and reign on David’s throne, have yet to happen.  But one day, they, too, will come to pass.  It is up to us, with His loving help, to be ready and to be with Him when He comes. Let us seek His presence today.

Reflection

Which prophecies about Christ speak to your heart the most?

Why do you think God gave us hundreds of years’ worth of prophecies about the coming Messiah?

Do you believe the prophecies about Christ’s return? If so, how can we prepare today for Christ’s return, whenever that may happen?

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