Isaiah has given us an amazing prophetic picture of Jesus, both to understand Him and to adore Him.
First, the prophet identifies Jesus as the fulfillment of Israel’s longing for a living Hope, the Messianic Savior they had been waiting for.
Next, Isaiah gives us deep insights into His very heart and His internal attitudes as the only begotten God, the eternal Son of His Father, through which we can both worship Him and by His grace, emulate Him as well.
After describing in great detail what the effects of Jesus’ Presence as the Prince of Peace would be, both in the lives of those He walked among during His earthly sojourn among the Galileans and Judeans of the first century, and in all of those who would be gathered to Him throughout the ages to come beyond His ascension, Isaiah turns to write about His eternal nature and future fulfillment:
10 And it shall be in that day that the Root of Jesse shall stand as a signal for the peoples; of Him shall the nations inquire and seek knowledge, and His dwelling shall be glory [His rest glorious]
By referring to the future coming of Messiah as the “Root of Jesse,” just a few verses beyond already describing Him as the ‘Shoot’ that would come from that same stump, and the ‘Branch’ that would bear fruit from that same stump, Isaiah showed that this Person would have an existence not known by any other human being. The great prophet placed the coming “Son of David,” beyond any historical period, into a timeless dimension, only inhabited by God Himself. Isaiah also told us that “the Root of Jesse shall stand as a signal,” indicating that the Messiah to come was literally a human ‘sign’ to the entire world, which would draw all the nations to inquire and seek knowledge.
We know that Jesus has fulfilled this prophecy, with an understanding even by fair minded nonbelievers that He stands far above most, if not all historical figures, in His Personal impact on the world over many centuries. The glory spoken of here in verse 10, could be the general regard for the “Holy Land” or Israel, and especially Jerusalem, as a very special place. The glory may be more specifically, the much greater significance that true followers of Jesus give to all the geographical locations where He lived, worked, preached, did miracles, shed His blood, was buried and resurrected, or appeared after His resurrection. His rest being glory or glorious, could also be symbolic of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, His return to the glory of His Father and heaven, until His coming again.
All these insights focus on the fulfillment of Jesus in His first coming, which we would be looking back on from vantage point 20 centuries further out.
Another focus could be on the effects of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, on the many nations of the world since His first coming, in His bringing of them all into His own Kingdom, through many millions of disciples going forth into all the earth and preaching of the Gospel, over all those centuries. This focus leads us right into Isaiah’s next verse, in which he reveals the hand of Lord God being lifted up a second time, to draw in the remnant of His people from all the nations of the world. This could be seen either as a literal ingathering of Jewish people from many lands across the earth, or a symbolic beckoning of the true lsrael of God, those with hearts circumcised by faith, coming to Jesus from around the globe into the Body of Christ:
11 And in that day the Lord shall again lift up His hand a second time to recover (acquire and deliver) the remnant of His people which is left, from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam [in Persia], from Shinar [Babylonia], from Hamath [in Upper Syria], and from the countries bordering on the [Mediterranean] Sea. 12 And He will raise up a signal for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
While any of these perspectives, whether fulfilled at the time of Jesus’ first coming into the earth or in the intervening periods, do involve some or all of the significant supernatural elements revealed in this entire passage, there is also a fuller picture of Jesus offered to us in the whole of Scripture, both in this section and in the broad sweep of the entire catalogue of the apocalyptic Scriptures.
Both in His first coming and in the period since His ascension, Jesus is shown to us in many ways, with each revelation as a prophetic milestone along the way, moving toward a greater fulfillment. The emphasis in verse 11, on the hand of the Lord being lifted up again a second time, written just after declaring the rest of the Stump of Jesse being glorious, “also in that day” indicates a frame of reference of opening and closure, and pointing to the greatest fulfillment in Jesus’ second coming, unveiling, revealing, or apocalypses.
Ultimately, God’s “signal” will find its absolute and final manifestation only in the actual physical return of Jesus, when He is to be seen by the whole world, and Who will then judge all humanity from all time periods, and every variety of rebel spiritual forces, inaugurating His absolute reign forever.
Once again, we can clearly see from both the substance and the prophetic unfolding of this passage, which totally parallels the manifold variety of eschatological visions throughout the whole Bible, both from the Old and the New Testaments: this Messianic Personage being spoken of by Isaiah, is undoubtedly Jesus of Nazareth.