Donald W. Parry, “Isaiah’s Prophecies of the Mortal Messiah,” in The Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2022), 34–36.
Although Isaiah lived about seven hundred years before Jesus’s birth, he was a prominent witness for the Messiah, or Jesus Christ. Isaiah prophesied of many aspects of the mortal Messiah’s life—that He would be preceded by a “voice crying in the wilderness” (40:3), be born of a virgin, be named Immanuel, come through David’s line, and dwell in Galilee. He foretold that the Messiah would be full of power and understanding and that He would preach the gospel to both the meek and to those with hard hearts. He would be persecuted, smitten, spit upon, and killed. His sufferings and death would be for transgressors and sinners. He would be numbered with transgressors and make His grave with the rich.
Isaiah is a remarkable witness for Jesus Christ. Through the ages, his prophecies have benefited and inspired millions. Songwriters and poets have used his words when composing their works; and teachers and preachers have stirred people with their sermons and lessons wherein they taught Isaiah’s Messianic prophecies.
Furthermore, both prophets and Apostles have cited Isaiah in preaching and in testimony. The Apostles and gospel writers Peter, Matthew, Luke, John, and Paul recorded the fulfillment of many of Isaiah’s prophecies that pertained to Jesus Christ. By citing Isaiah’s prophecies of the mortal Messiah, these writers demonstrated that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah, of whom Isaiah had prophesied seven centuries earlier. So vital are Isaiah’s Messianic prophecies that even Jesus Christ Himself cited this Old Testament prophet and then declared that the prophecies were fulfilled in Him (see Matt. 13:13–15).
The list in the accompanying chart is not comprehensive but representative.
Isaiah’s Prophecies of the Mortal Messiah
Jesus would declare, “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross.”
Jesus would be born of a virgin and called Immanuel.
Jesus would be like a temple to the righteous and a rock of offense to others.
Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:8
Jesus would be a light out of darkness
Matt. 4:14–16; Luke 2:32
Jesus would dwell in “Capernaum . . . beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.”
Jesus would be born and would receive divine names and the throne and kingdom.
Matt. 1:21–23; Luke 1:32–33
Jesus would be full of understanding and power.
Matt. 3:16; John 3:34; Rom. 15:12
“There shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.”
Messiah would hold the key of David and possess the power to open and shut.
A nail in a sure place refers to the crucifixion.
“He will swallow up death in victory.”
1 Cor. 15:54
Jesus would become a sure foundation and cornerstone
Rom. 9:33; 1 Pet. 2:6
John would precede Jesus as “the voice crying in the wilderness.”
Jesus would be a light to the gentiles.
Acts 13:47; 2 Cor. 6:2
Jesus would give His “back to the smiters” and hide not His “face from shame and spitting.”
Matt. 26:67; 27:26, 30
God will exalt Jesus.
Jesus would be disfigured.
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”
Jesus would be despised and rejected.
Mark 15:3–4, 29; Luke 23:1–25
“He was wounded for our transgressions . . . and with his stripes we are healed.”
1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 2:24
“All we like sheep have gone astray.”
1 Pet. 2:25
Jesus would be silent before His accusers.
Mark 14:60–61, 15:4–5; John 1:29; 11:49–52
Jesus would be sacrificed for the sins of the people.
2 Cor. 5:14–15
“He was numbered with the transgressors.”
Mark 15:27–28; John 12:37–38; Acts 8:28–35
“He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death.”
Matt. 27:57, 59–60; Acts 10:43; 13:38–39; 1 Cor. 15:3
Christ would be anointed to preach good tidings and to open the prison.
Luke 4:17–19; Acts 10:38
Jesus would be afflicted.