Isaiah the Prophet
There are well over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament that relate to details about the coming of the Messiah. A great proportion of these are found in the writings of the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah was born 700 years before the time of Jesus. He was married to a pious prophetess and they had two sons. Following a vision from God, he set out to call the Jewish people to repentance from their idol-worshipping ways. In the book of Isaiah are collected all his prophecies, of which a third concern the coming of Christ. From describing of the nature of Christ’s birth to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) through to Jesus’ betrayal and suffering for our sins (Isaiah 53), he foretells in great detail with unprecedented clarity what was to come.
His prophecies are read in the daily readings of our Church throughout the Easter Lent and on the eve of the Nativity. One of the most beautiful of the prophecies read on Christmas Εve is Isaiah 9:6-7:
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end…
This passage reminds us that of all the gifts received at this time, the greatest gift of all was given to us by God: ‘a Son is given’. Jesus was, and is, the most precious gift given to us humans so that we would be reunited once more with God, being saved by Him and through Him receiving the everlasting peace, of which ‘there will be no end’.