It was winter in Palestine, shortly after the Second World War. A fifteen-year-old boy named Muhammed and his cousin, Jum’a, were herding livestock in the desert, on the north shore of the Dead Sea. While taking care of their animals, Jum’a noticed some holes in the sides of the hills nearby.
He threw in a rock to see how big the holes were—then called Muhammed over to see. These holes were big enough to fit a person inside. Muhammed actually fell into one of the holes! It was a cave and inside was a pot that looked very old. And inside the pot…were ancient scrolls! When he climbed out he showed Jum’a his find.
Excited with their strange discovery, they took the jars back to show their families. Their tribe, the Bedouins, was proud of Muhammed’s treasure. They kept the scrolls hanging on a tent pole while they figured out what to do with them. Other Bedouin men began to explore the caves and eventually discovered eleven caves hiding similar ancient scrolls.
These scrolls are important; they’re the oldest versions of the Bible we have! God preserves His Word, which remains trustworthy. These ancient scrolls from the Book of Isaiah hold many clues to solving the Messiah Mystery.
So let’s explore a few:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” -Isaiah 7:14
A virgin will have a baby. He will be called Immanuel.
And here is another clue verse:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” – Isaiah 9:6
People will know who God’s Messiah is because the Messiah will rule and govern. The Messiah will be God.
Aren’t God’s clues amazing? But He didn’t just leave clues in the scrolls about how Jesus would be born, or who His parents would be. God even left clues about how His Son would die—an entire chapter’s worth. Like these:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed…He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth….” -Isaiah 53:5,7
It says Jesus is like an animal. He is our is our perfect Lamb. Remember that in Jesus’ death He made these prophecies come true. Jesus did not defend Himself when He was led before Pilate—“he opened not his mouth” just as the verse describes the sheep.
The clues are showing us who the Messiah is and who He came to save.
How amazing, God, that You used the scribes to copy the Bible and to hide them so we could be confident that every word is true! Nothing escapes Your all-seeing eye. And if you can protect Your perfect unchanging words, then You can be trusted to protect and care for us. As Isaiah wrote thousands of years ago, You are Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. We give thanks in awe of You!
You can view the Great Isaiah scroll and the others at http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/
Or watch a short video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rYj_0foJYA