Adapted from revised noted of meetings in New Zealand, from a family meeting in Masterton on 5 November 2008 by Greg Quail. I included some extra information that was not in the notes.
The central message is also the heart of the Word of God, the Bible.
How many books are there in the Bible? You can look this up.
There is only one book in the Bible with the same number of chapters as the number of books in the Bible. Which book is that? Click on continue reading to find out more.
How many books in the New Testament? 27
How many chapters in the second part of Isaiah? 27
Isaiah has two parts – OT part chapters 1-39 speaking of judgment. NT part chapters 40-66 speaking of comfort and grace.
Now we will focus a little closer and look at the NT part of Isaiah.
It is divided into three groups of nine chapters. Look at the dividing line between each of the groups – the last verse in ch 48 and the last verse in ch 57. Both dividing lines have the same message “no peace to the wicked”. This is for anyone who does not know Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or refuse to acknowledge Him as Saviour.
So the first group of nine chapters is 40-48
The second group is chapters 49-57
The third group is chapters 58-66
Now focus on the middle group, chapters 49-57, and again the middle three chapters, 52, 53 and 54.
At this point we need to remember that (apart from the book of Psalms) the chapter numbers were not inspired by God. They were not originally part of the Bible, and were added later so that it would be easier to find your way around. When the NT was written, see for example Mark 12:26 when the Lord referred to the book of Moses, in the section of the bush, how God spoke to him. Now we have the chapters and can say that it is in Exodus 3.
A bit later the verse numbers were added. This was all human work but it was done by diligent men to which we should be thankful. But being mere men, they didn’t always put the chapter or verse divisions in the exact place.
Let’s look at chapter 53, the middle chapter. But notice it actually starts at chapter 52:13. This is an unfortunate instance where the verses were placed incorrectly. This makes a longer chapter that has altogether 15 verses, five groups of three.
Now focus down on the middle group, that is ch 53:4-6.
Now look at the centre, which is verse 5. What does it say?
This is the central message of not only the New Testament, but the whole Bible. Instead of there being no peace to the wicked, wicked ones like us can know that the Lord Jesus was chastised – punished by God for our sins, so that we can have peace.
How can we know that this passage actually speaks of Christ? That is a very good question. When Philip went to the Ethiopian eunuch in the desert during his ministry in Samaria, the eunuch was reading from this very chapter, Isaiah 53 – see Acts 8:32, though the verse quoted was chapter 53:7-8, but Philip pointed out that in this whole passage, the prophet spoke about the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a marvel that Isaiah was inspired by God to write this many centuries before Jesus Christ came to earth as a Man, but clearly he was guided by God to write this prophecy.
This is really the heart of the Bible and should stay not only the centre of Isaiah, or the New Testament or the Bible, but it should be the centre of our lives.