March 29, 2024

Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Suffering Messiah — Good Friday message

Passage: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
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I’ve heard that Isaiah 53 is the most quoted Old Testament passage in the New Testament. Jesus applied this prophecy to Himself (Lu. 22:37, quoting Is. 53:12). The Ethiopian Eunuch was saved after Philip helped him understand this passage (Ac. 8:28-37). Peter quotes from the passage and applies it to Jesus (1 Pe. 2:21-25, quoting Is. 53:5-7). So it is a prominent OT passage that NT writers quote.

I recently heard the testimony of a Jewish man who was very hostile against Christianity who became a believer after studying Isaiah 53. I would not be surprised that many Jews have had that same experience. The passage clearly points to Jesus; I don’t know how it could apply to anyone else.

This amazingly accurate prophecy was written about 700 years before Jesus was born, yet it describes His suffering in great detail.

As today is Good Friday, it’s appropriate for us to focus on Jesus’ death and what it means. We know that Jesus’ death was not the end of the story, but it was a very important—in fact, necessary—part of the story. Without Jesus’ death, Christianity cannot exist. The faith is based on Jesus’ death.

Today we’ll be considering this familiar passage from Isaiah—parts of chapters 52 and 53. This section of the book clearly foretells much about the death of Jesus.

The book of Isaiah is commonly divided into two main parts. The first part, chapters 1-39, deal mostly with Israel’s sin and inescapable judgment. Chapters 40-66 describe God’s promise to redeem fallen Israel. We find here that the suffering and death of God’s servant, the Messiah, is a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation.

Let’s see how Jesus’ fulfilled this prophecy.

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