Monday, July 20, 2009

How Do You Argue With That?

I had previously mentioned that I had never read the entire Bible. I think I have anyway, if not, I haven't. Currently, I'm like half way through. I'm not following any regiment, just reading kind of scattered. Right now I am reading through the Psalms (which I just love - even the laments, they are so applicable sometimes), Isaiah, and Matthew.

Isaiah is one of the books that I have never read. I knew that Isaiah prophesied a lot about the coming of Christ. And I know that Jesus referred often to Isaiah's prophecies. What I didn't know was how very specific those prophecies were. Today I read the what is called The Lord's Suffering Servant. It goes from Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12. It is, of course, about Jesus and talks about how He would suffer for our sins. The thing that got me was the exactness of it (which I guess is probably a good indication that the prophecy is actually God inspired...regardless, there can be ABSOLUTELY no doubt this one is).

If you've never read it, it is a must read. Here is just a sampling of some of the stuff Isaiah prophesied about:

53:5b - He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.

53:8a - Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream.

53:9b - But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.

That's just five prophecies and Jesus fulfilled them all. I had heard it before (and I know Jeff has said it before), but the odds of one person to fulfill just 8 of the Old Testament prophecies is something like 1 x 10 to the 28th power. That is a one in 10 with 28 zeros behind chance of 1 person fulfilling just 8. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of them (and don't quote me as exact but I think there were something like 39).

I knew all that before, but until I read Isaiah 53 for myself, I didn't get how exact it was. After reading it I was in awe. I literally did not know how to respond or what to think. I needed to see what else was said about it and how else it was said, anywhere I could. I was reading an New Living Translation bible, so I got my New International Version bible and yep same thing. Then I looked up the New King James Version on my blackberry bible and it was the same thing (only fancier).

Then I grabbed my Halley's Handbook (thanks for introducing me to Halley Thomas). Here is what Dr. Henry Halley said, "So vivid in detail that one would almost think of Isaiah as standing at the foot of the cross...It cannot possibly fit any person in history other than Christ." Perfect, smart guy (that's why he has a bible handbook and I don't). How do you argue with that? In the very least, serious consideration must be taken as to who Jesus of Nazareth was and is. But regardless of whether you're on the fence or not (don't know how you could be after reading that), I know who He is...my savior, my redeemer, my God.

Oh yeah, here's the best part of the whole chapter (in my estimation anyway):

Isaiah 53:11
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.

Because of Jesus and what He did, I can be counted as righteous. You can too. How amazing is that?

In awe,
Bruce