Isaiah prophesies so much about Christ that the book has been called the fifth Gospel. From the virgin birth (Isa 7:14) to the death and resurrection (Isa 53) and enthronement (Isa 6), many biographical details of the Messiah’s person and ministry are found in Isaiah.
Bible study is hard work. Reading and understanding a 2000-year-old document is hard enough as it is. But motivating our minds to study the Bible is half the battle. It may just be the hardest part of Bible study. Despite this, if you overcome all the distractions and lack of motivation, would you open it to the Old Testament? To the Prophets? To Isaiah?
I am here to convince you that you should. Granted, you should read Isaiah because it is inspired and profitable like the rest of Scripture (2 Tim 3:16). But here are 3 reasons why you should study Isaiah in particular:
Reason #1: Isaiah is Central to the Bible
Isaiah is a masterful work of art, depicting all of redemptive history in his prophecy with the crown jewel of the Messiah in the middle. He has been called the prince of Old Testament prophets for this reason. C. Hassell Bullock describes Isaiah as “a bright star in the prophetic constellation of the eighth century B.C., soaring like an eagle in his literary and theological distinction.” To extend the metaphor, studying Isaiah is like flying on the wings of an eagle over the whole panoply of Scripture. Isaiah begins with a reference to the creation (“heavens” and “earth” in 1:2) and ends with the prophecy of a new creation (65:17). That covers Genesis and Revelation and everything in between. So, knowing Isaiah would give you a good grasp of all of Scripture.
As a central book of the Bible, Isaiah also has the Bible’s central message—the gospel (Isa 53). Isaiah may seem complicated at times but he has a simple purpose. It is to show that God is trustworthy and powerful enough to save (Isaiah even means “salvation of Yahweh” in Hebrew). In response, we must humbly trust in God for salvation. That is the message we find articulated in Isaiah 26:3-5: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has humbled the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust.” Isn’t that the proper response to the gospel?
Reason #2: Isaiah is Messianic
Most Christians are familiar with the famous vision of Isaiah in chapter 6 where he sees Yahweh sitting on the throne. While that is a Theophany (vision of God), there is strong evidence for it being a Christophany (vision of Christ). John 12:41 says that Isaiah saw the glory of Christ and spoke of Him. So, if the vision of Isaiah is central to the entire book (and it is), then the object of his vision—Christ—is also central to his prophecy. Isaiah prophesies so much about Christ that the book has been called the fifth Gospel. From the virgin birth (Isa 7:14) to the death and resurrection (Isa 53) and enthronement (Isa 6), many biographical details of the Messiah’s person and ministry are found in Isaiah.