If a person didn’t know the New Testament and read the book of Isaiah, would he be able to catch the prophecies about Jesus in his incarnation and ministry?
When Christians read the book of Isaiah or other literature in the Old Testament that has a clearly messianic band, especially messianic prophecy, we see it right away. We see Jesus fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
But here’s the thing. These messianic prophecies are not all in the same place. They are spread out, strewn about the Old Testament from the Psalms to the Prophets. Because they are not all in one place, many people have a hard time seeing how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies.
As a case in point, many Jews cannot see Jesus in the Old Testament prophecies and messianic passages. They are still searching for the Messiah today. In our view, the Messiah is Jesus of Nazareth, has come and fulfilled all of these prophecies, and will return again.
The disciples spent three and a half years with Jesus and did not realize he was the Messiah even after everything he said and did. It wasn’t until after his resurrection when he pointed out that he was the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament Scriptures (Luke 24:44-45).
We would like to think that if we did not know who Jesus was or that we did not read the New Testament that explains how he fulfilled all of the Old Testament Scriptures, we would be able to see him at first glance for who he was.
But that was not true of most people in the Gospels. It took major fulfillment of prophecy, a resurrection by Jesus from the dead, and him telling them flat out that he is the Messiah of the Old Testament.
This is why we who see Jesus clearly must illuminate him through witnessing to those who don’t know him and explaining who he is and why he is important to their lives. We who see must show others who Jesus is so that they also will see his greatness, and his glory revealed to them also.