Prophesying not just into, but from the future: a short unedited meditation on Isaiah 53:
In this remarkable passage about Messiah, Isaiah is confessing the sins of His People for not discerning the Messiah when He came. This is a confession from the future looking back at Jesus life on earth, and asking forgiveness for Isaiah’s people. So you have a prophet being priest here, and you have hope for future Israel, and all of us by extension! Because here is someone already confessing their sins of not recognizing and killing messiah. We did not recognize Him when He came, we did not see what God was doing through the Son—i.e. laying all our iniquities on Him, taking the blow for us all. We did not see who He was or what God was doing. Isaiah is confessing that particular sin!
Of course, he is also teaching us that the foundation of intercession is suffering; the foundation for all of us being made whole was the perfect suffering of Jesus. But here I want to point out that as in prayer, where we can confess the sins of previous generations, and this bring healing, so Isaiah is modeling that priestly way. Jesus is in our past present and future, so we are able to go back into earlier seasons of our lives and confess our sins and forgive others, but here in this amazing passage, we are shown that we can also go into our future and prophecy and confess and forgive backwards! We can pray in all directions in time, because of who Jesus is!
In short, Jesus is ever living to make intercession across all time. Isaiah takes us into his own future and from that place or point in time, confesses the sins of previous generations!
Now this is 500 years before Messiah which makes it cool. Isaiah is praying from the future. Isaiah saw Jesus and his historical moment, and was confessing the sins of His People. That already took place, it’s recorded. Here is a priestly prophet confessing the sins of the Jews and those of that generation, therefore they and through them we all have hope! Their sins have been confessed and seen by the prophet Isaiah!
I love this passage because Isaiah is prophesying and confessing from the future. So we know that His People did turn back towards Him, and so all the promises can be fulfilled. This is something to claim in prayer when we need real living Hope! There is the priesthood restored in the future of Israel—right there with Isaiah’s confession of their sins in not recognizing and killing their Messiah who was the one to restore all things and bless and put in order all the nations. So not only can we not write off all the Jews and their nation, but we can be assured that they will turn and Messiah did come and will come to restore all things. Great hope in this passage.
Prophesying backwards, you might say of this passage! Going and looking back from the future at a situation, and praying from that space. Isaiah is in the future and looking back at Jesus time on earth, and confessing the sins of that generation. Great hope indeed! It’s like going to the end of our earthly lives and looking back and praying from that space! What a powerful practice. This activity would probably effect how we acted today as well!
To prophecy into the future is one thing, to prophecy from it is another. He went past the time of Jesus on earth, and looked back at it—that’s what’s in this passage. Then he describes Jesus time, and confesses the sins of his own people.
Prophesying from the future. Are we being priest for our own time, from the future?
Seeing backwards from a future point, and interceding and doing priestly things such as prayer from that view? Confessing our own sins from the future! Love it.
My point here, is that Isaiah is being priestly in this passage and prophetic. He is confessing the sins of his people from a prophetic view in the future. We usually look at this passage from left to right, or from past into future. But really Isaiah is already in t he future writing from it, and looking back at Messiah on earth and his generation. And doing priestly activities from that standpoint. Isaiah was a priest prophet. We would say intercessor seer maybe.
But this passage reveals not just that the sins of Jesus’ generation are already confessed by Isaiah himself, but also it keeps focusing on who Jesus really was then and is now—ever living to make intercession, even for those who killed Him! Fantastic to pull that off in one short passage.
This prophetic stunt is almost as cool as Daniel telling people what they dreamed last night, not just interpreting the dream, but seeing the dream of another person. Wow! God is cool.