Before you were born, before the world was made, God had a plan.
He would send His Son, Jesus, to save His people and become the treasure of their hearts, but it was going to be a really long time before He came. God looked at His Israelites that He specially loved. When Jesus arrived, He didn’t want them to be surprised or confused. God wanted them to be ready, but how?
Some people had a special job God had given them. They were called prophets. Now prophets had to have open and ready ears tuned into God’s words. Then they used their mouths and spoke whatever God had told them, like they were God’s mouth speaking to the world. Often, God would tell His prophets what would happen in the future, and they would tell everyone, “Hey! God said get ready for this!” Of all the secrets God would whisper to His prophets, He most loved giving them hints about what His Son would be like.
Isaiah was one of God’s prophets, and he got to hear God talk about Jesus a lot! Isaiah would shout, “Get ready! A Son is going to come. He won’t be a very handsome guy. His life won’t look very pretty, either. There will be a lot of pain for Him, and in the end, a very sad, but special, death.” God was giving the Israelites all these clues to lead them to His treasure. If they had these prophecies with them, then they could be on the lookout. When Jesus arrived, they could look at their checklist: is He going to His death quietly? Yes. Check. Is He being pierced on the cross? Yes. Check. When all the clues matched up with the person, they would know—it’s Him! The Rescuer is here! But sadly no one paid attention to the hints God gave. When Jesus came, they didn’t know. When He did everything God said He would, they didn’t realize.
When Jesus came to earth, He reminded people of the prophecies. He said, “I am the One that Isaiah was telling everyone about. Do you remember? He said to get ready for me.” But even when He pointed to each clue, people ignored Him. Their eyes were blind to the treasure that God had given them. God was showing us that even if we have every single clue, even if we know all the prophecies backward and forward, without His help we could never see that they all point to Jesus. We would be blind, we would be deaf, and our hearts would not treasure Jesus, but God knew that. Because He knew that, He whispered other promises to other prophets. He said He would give His children new hearts to believe, new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. God told us what the future would hold—all of His children treasuring Jesus as the One who was promised to come.
It grows our trust in God and His promises. There are many more promises that haven’t been fulfilled, like that Jesus will return and there will be a new Heaven and a new earth. When we read these promises, we can look back on God’s faithfulness to do all that He said He would do, and our hope in the promises of what is coming can grow.
We can share all the facts about Jesus, point to all the prophecies, and explain what they mean, but people can hear all of that and still not believe in Jesus. We ask God to give the person a heart to believe all these things about Jesus are true and that they need Jesus to rescue them.
* Corresponding Jesus Storybook Bible story: "Operation 'No More Tears!'"