Footy Tipping, Isaiah and Jesus
Most predictions don't come true, but one did... 700 years later
A few weeks into the footy season and I am already struggling with my footy tips. Even when I study past rounds, look at the ladder, check the “ins and outs”, and the odds, I still find it hard to pick the winners week by week.
Now imagine you are in a tipping competition and the goal is to pick the result for an event that will happen in 700 years time. To make things a bit harder, the game hasn’t even been invented and you don’t know who will be playing. How do you think you would go?
Isaiah's 700 year tip
Around 700 BC Isaiah placed his tip (the Bible calls it prophecy) on what he thought would happen to a nameless servant. Check out Isaiah 52:13-53:12, with some references to how Jesus fulfilled this.
13 See, my servant will act wisely;
he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. (Philippians 2:9-11 – after his death and resurrection, Jesus is lifted up and exalted to the Highest place)
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him —
his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man
and his form marred beyond human likeness—
15 so will he sprinkle many nations,
and kings will shut their mouths because of him.
For what they were not told, they will see,
and what they have not heard, they will understand.
1 Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (John 12:37-38 – not many people believed Jesus)
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (John 1:10-11 Jesus was rejected by the world He made)
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted. (Matthew 8:14-17 – Jesus healed the sick)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed. (Mark 15:24; 1 Peter 3:18 - Jesus was crucified, pierced and crushed, for our sins)
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24-25 – Jesus carried our sins on the cross, so that we could be declared righteous)
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. (Matthew 26:63; 27:12, 14; John 1:29; 1 Peter 2:23-24 – Jesus, the sacrificial lamb of God, remained silent)
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Mark 15:27, 43-46, Luke 23:40-41 – Jesus was crucified between two criminals and put in rich Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb)
10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors. (Luke 22:33, 37; Philippians 2: 9-11 – Jesus was numbered and condemned as a transgressor, but then exalted as the great Lord of all)
One of the extraordinary things about this prophecy is how accurate it is. It was written 700 years before Jesus came to earth and 100 before crucifixion was invented. However, the text speaks of Jesus with such clarity and accuracy.
So was Isaiah really that good a “tipper” or did he have some help? Of course, God was behind all this. Only the all-powerful, sovereign God could pull this off. And how amazing that God would crush His son, so that we could be forgiven all our sins. I never would have tipped that, but boy am I grateful!