The Christmas Story in the Book of Isaiah: The Gospel of Jesus Christ

ISAIAH 52:10 “The Lord has made bare His Holy Arm in the eyes of all the nations; all the ends of the earth shall see the Salvation of our God.”  ISAIAH 53:1 “Who has believed our report? To whom has the Arm of the Lord been revealed?” ISAIAH 59:16-17 “His Arm brought salvation for Him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on His head.”   

The 1948 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls gave us a copy of the scroll of the prophet Isaiah which dates to 150 BC. Scholars agree the Book of Isaiah in our bibles today contains the words of Isaiah in 740 BC.

Augustine referred to Isaiah as “more an evangelist than a prophet.” From Isaiah alone, the Gospel (the Good News) of Jesus Christ is foretold in His 1) birth; 2) mission; 3) achievement; and 4) guarantee.

#1) Jesus Christ – His Birth into Humanity: In Isaiah 52:10, the prophet tells us that God “has made bare His Holy ARM in the eyes of all the nations”, and that all mankind will “see the Salvation of our God.”  

A word we will encounter throughout Isaiah is “Arm,” which means “God’s mighty power or sword.” In this verse, God promises that one day His power, which will be seen by all nations, will bring His salvation.

The Gospel of Luke records the words of Simeon, a Jewish believer, as he confirms the fulfillment of Isaiah 52:10 while holding the baby Jesus: “My eyes have seen Your salvation which You prepared before the face of all people” (Luke 2:30-31). This is the Christmas Story – the birth of God’s Salvation and Arm.

#2) Jesus Christ – His Mission from God: In Isaiah 61:1, the prophet tells us how God’s Messiah will explain His mission: “The Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to open the prisons to those who are bound.”

The Gospel of Luke records Jesus, now 30 years old, reading Isaiah 61:1 in public. When He finishes, He announces He is Messiah: “Jesus was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. When He opened it, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Lord has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives… to set at liberty those who are oppressed… Then Jesus said to them, ‘Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:17-19).

#3) Jesus Christ – His Achievement of My Salvation: In Isaiah 53, the prophet tells us how Messiah will achieve salvation for humanity. It will not be as a conquering king. He will give His perfect life as payment for our sins: “To whom has the Lord’s ARM been revealed? All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, everyone, to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:1,6).

Isaiah uses “Arm” again in verse 1 to now personify “God’s mighty power or sword”. Isaiah 53 explains God’s mighty power is a Person, the future Messiah, who will not only be seen by all nations but also bring His salvation through personal suffering and ultimate death, which He will not deserve, for all of us.

The apostle Paul explains this in one verse, which is the essence of this gospel first proclaimed by Isaiah in Isaiah 61: “God the Father made God the Son, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that all of us might become righteous before God the Father by trusting in God the Son” (2Corinthians 5:21).

John the Baptist announced this same truth when he first saw Jesus: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus was about 30 years old when He achieved His Father’s mission for His life – to secure my chance for salvation through His achievement on the Cross at Calvary.

#4) Jesus Christ – His Guarantee of My Salvation: In Isaiah 59, the prophet says God’s mighty Arm wears the armor of salvation that guarantees my new birth into God’s family: “His own ARM brought salvation for Him… He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation on His head” (Isaiah 59:16-17).

Paul, in Ephesians 6:11-17, tells us to put on this same armor: “Put on the whole armor of God… Gird your waist with the breastplate of righteousness… Take the helmet of salvation…”

In Romans 13:14, Paul confirms this to believers: “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” As God told us in Isaiah 59, this is not my armor I put on – it belongs to Jesus!

Jesus is God’s Arm made visible at His birth, who died for my sins and clothes me in His armor when I trust Him with my life. This is the Gospel. To receive it, you must follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance” _ Article #533

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