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Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled By Jesus Christ

Chapter Ten

Christ and the Holy Spirit

Prophecy - Isaiah 61:1-2
Fulfillment - Luke 4:18-19

In the above passage from Isaiah, many wonderful prophecies are given; however, we will focus our study on those which apply to God’s only begotten Son Jesus Christ and the third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. John said, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7). Even though Jesus and the Holy Ghost are identified as separate Persons of the Godhead, we will discuss how they are connected together in this prophecy of Isaiah.

According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus entered the synagogue on one occasion and publicly read the Holy Scriptures, selecting and reading the above passage from Isaiah. Upon comparing the above cited references in Isaiah and Luke, we can easily see that the passage in Luke is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. After Jesus read the ancient prophecy, He closed the book and gave it to the minister and sat down. Apparently, all eyes were fixed upon our Lord “And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).

Clearly, Isaiah was in fact prophesying of Christ and the Holy Spirit with Him. The “Spirit of the Lord” mentioned by both Isaiah and Luke is the Holy Spirit Who is said to rest upon Christ. When Isaiah wrote those prophetic words it was as though Jesus was speaking them, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me...” (Isaiah 61:1a). This explains why the Ethiopian Eunuch asked the question concerning Isaiah 53:7-8 which is recorded in Acts 8:34. It says, “And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?” He did not understand if Isaiah was speaking of himself or of someone else, it simply was not clear to him. However, from our perspective we know that Isaiah was not speaking of himself, but was in fact speaking of Christ in prophecy. The same principle is true of the passage from Isaiah 61, he was again speaking of Jesus. Prophetically speaking and in fulfillment, the Holy Spirit was upon our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

One of the many interesting things about this prophecy is that God told John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, that the Holy Spirit would actually come upon Jesus. It was to be the defining moment and mark of identification for the Son of God. John actually witnessed the Holy Spirit come upon Christ. It occurred when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Matthew 3:13-17 says, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Remember that Isaiah said the Spirit would come upon Him (Jesus). So, when John baptized Christ and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove; the prophecy was fulfilled. Clearly, God inspired Isaiah’s prophecy and His Word was fulfilled as prophesied. Keep in mind that Isaiah said of God: “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:10). Just as God promised, it was His pleasure to send the Holy Spirit upon His Son, Jesus.

We need to recognize that when John the Baptist witnessed the Spirit descend upon Christ, it was not a singular and momentary occurrence. The Holy Spirit actually came upon Christ and remained with Him. John the Baptist was blessed with a wonderful understanding about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Look at God’s Word as recorded in John 1:32-33: “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” In both verses John said the Holy Spirit would descend upon Christ but would also abide or remain upon Him. Therefore, the Holy Spirit was ever with our dear Saviour.

When Isaiah wrote of the Holy Spirit descending upon Christ, he called it an anointing. The second statement of the prophecy said, “because the Lord hath anointed me...” In the Old Testament there were different kinds of anointings. (1) Kings were anointed to their position as when David was anointed by Samuel. I Samuel 16:13 says, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” (2) We should also remember that priests were anointed to their office and work. The Bible tells us that Aaron was anointed as High Priest. Psalm 133:2 says, “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.” These offices call our attention to the fact that Jesus is both our King (Revelation 19:16) and our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1). Just as anointing oil was poured upon the head of those anointed, the Holy Spirit came upon Christ. It is very important that we understand these were offices to which our Saviour was anointed by the Holy Spirit.

returned to Heaven, Peter reminded us of the anointing of Jesus. He told, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Peter not only wanted to proclaim the good which Jesus did while here, but also to remind us of the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in His life and Divine work. Can we fully understand these teachings about Christ and the Holy Spirit? Absolutely not! Nevertheless, it is important for us to give our hearts in prayerful consideration of such wonderful truths. It will help us understand the power of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.

If we have been born again, the Holy Spirit dwells within us. This indwelling is very important and is a sovereign work of grace by which we are brought from death in sin to life in Christ (Ephesians 2:1). Yet, there is a need for more of the presence of the Holy Spirit because we need His power upon us as we endeavor to serve our Saviour.

Remember that before the glorious day of Pentecost, Jesus said to His Apostles: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Notice that the Holy Spirit would give them power after He came upon them. No doubt, they had already been indwelt by the Holy Spirit but He would also come upon them to empower them as they went forth to preach Christ Jesus. We are also empowered to do God’s will by the Holy Spirit coming upon us.

Paul wrote of the demonstration of the Spirit and His power, saying to God’s children in all ages, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). Let us pray for the Divine power of the Holy Spirit, that we may truly glorify Jesus in all we do. Jesus said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). Have you prayed for God to send His Holy Spirit upon you? Every heaven born soul is blessed when we feel the power of the Holy Spirit upon us.

While it is of vital importance that we note the Holy Spirit upon Christ, it is not the only message before us. It is only the beginning point and it enables us to understand that which follows. We notice that Jesus was anointed to preach good tidings to the meek (Isaiah 61:1). The Bible gives ample evidence that Jesus preached and as He did so, many were healed and multitudes were fed. As great as those unrecorded messages must have been, there is a singular sermon that towers above all of them inasmuch as God was pleased to record it. It is referred to as “The Sermon on the Mount.” Three chapters in the Gospel of Matthew are devoted to the “good tidings” of that message. Matthew, chapters five, six and seven declare messages of paramount importance for the church of all ages. Though the world is ever changing around us, we continue to be richly blessed because of the eternal truths spoken by our Lord 2000 years ago.

He was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach good tidings to the “meek.” It is interesting to observe that in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus changed the word to “poor.” Jesus used the “gospel” for “good tidings,” which is easy to understand; after all, gospel comes from the anglo-saxon word which means “good news.” Understandably, the good news and the gospel are the same. However, changing the word “meek” to “poor,” warrants some explanation.

The understanding of this change is not really difficult. We readily admit that as “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16), Jesus would have understood the truth of God’s Word. Who better to understand what Isaiah had spoken than the One of Whom he spoke, Jesus. Understanding that the knowledge of Christ was and is perfect, we conclude that He was divinely accurate in making the change from “meek” to “poor.” There seems to be no discrepancy between the two, so why did Jesus use the word “poor?”

Perhaps that question can be best answered by looking at another passage found in the Gospel of Matthew. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, preparing the way before Him. Isaiah had prophesied of him too. Matthew 3:3 says, “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” After he had announced and identified the Lord of glory, John was imprisoned and later beheaded. While in prison, he sent messengers to Jesus asking, “art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). Look carefully at the response Jesus sent to John. The Bible says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:5). Observe the final statement: “the poor have the gospel preached to them.” Clearly, that was vital information for John. Jesus was telling John that He had fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy. Those words reaffirmed that Jesus was the One Who should come and John was apparently reassured. There is no record that John ever asked that question again. Apparently, his heart was satisfied as to the identity of Christ.

In conclusion, let me hasten to say that there are other important statements in the prophecy of Isaiah that I will not endeavor to address at length. In the essence of space, I will briefly consider them. He was sent “to bind up the brokenhearted.” Many Christians can attest to the fact that when their heart was broken (for whatever reason), Jesus somehow put it back together and healed their hurt.

Jesus also came “to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of prisons to them that are bound.” John said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Oh, the joy of a soul set free from the guilt and penalty of sin, because Jesus died for us on the cross of Calvary.

The last statement of Isaiah’s prophecy that Jesus brought to the New Testament, is the fact that He came“To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19). With those words He closed His remarks, making no further reference to the prophecy of Isaiah. When Jesus mentioned “the acceptable year” was He calling our attention to “the Year of Jubilee” mentioned in Leviticus 25:8-17? Perhaps, for it was a wonderful time which occurred every fiftieth year. It was a joyous occasion when people were set free from bondage, debts were forgiven, and lands were returned to their original owners. What a glorious celebration it must have been! It could have also prefigured the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. While we cannot understand the fullness of it all, thank God for this glorious truth - Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, and we are blessed to have this insightful glimpse of the Son of God, the Saviour of sinners and Lord of our lives.

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This page last updated on November 1, 2015