Christ in the Old Testament
Christians understand Christ is mentioned all throughout the Old Testament. His birth time, life, type of execution, circumstances regarding his death are all well documented. Even the fact that he had a virgin birth is predicted centuries prior to his actual birth date.
There is more information in the Old Testament regarding Christ that has only been recognized recently. This information describes the name of the individual associated with Isaiah 53 – the Suffering Servant passages. It is widely recognized that these passages refer to Christ although this is of course contested by non-Christians.
We now know that Isaiah is an ancient book as it was found intact in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dating of the Great Isaiah Scroll places it at about 300-200 BC – centuries before Christ was born in Bethlehem.
Jeff is about to hear the specifics of this message which has recently been uncovered by a Jewish rabbi.
Rehabilitation after the Car Accident
Jeff’s car accident nearly killed him. He was anxious to get to his destination, too anxious. Attempting to get around the too-slow vehicle in front of him, he clipped the left rear fender of the car causing it to veer violently to the right. The driver of that car somehow managed to regain control without hitting anyone else, and parked at the side of the road.
Jeff was not quite so lucky. He lost control of his car and hit the concrete median at an angle causing his car to flip. Because of his excess speed, the car flipped several times down the road; Jeff was fortunate as he did not strike another vehicle or flip over the median into oncoming traffic.
He spent several weeks in a hospital trying to recuperate from his multiple injuries including several broken ribs. He was on a ventilator for a short time until his respiratory function could recover enough to sustain his breathing. He had several surgeries including the placement of a chest tube to re-inflate his collapsed right lung. He had exploratory abdominal surgery because he had unexplained bleeding and there was concern about a lacerated liver. At the exploratory laparotomy, he had to have his spleen removed as it was severely injured, but he was fortunate not to have significant liver damage.
Over the next several days and weeks, his medical condition improved enough for him to leave the hospital and go to rehabilitation. Even though he had abused his body with alcohol and drugs over many years, his youth sustained him. He had to go to a rehabilitation facility in order to learn how to walk again. It was slow at first; there was so much pain. But Jeff was insistent he is pushed to the limit because he needed to get better. Jeff realized he might not have much time, and he certainly didn’t want to spend what little time he might have left in a facility.
About ten days passed, and Jeff was able to ambulate by himself and was requiring fewer pain medications. His biggest injury seemed to be his pride; he was not one to request help, and being at the mercy of nurses to clean him up and give him medications was particularly difficult.
Once when waiting what seemed like an eternity for pain medications, he threw his filled urinal across the room at the door hoping to get some attention. Jeff couldn’t understand his nurse took care of five other patients on the surgical floor and he just had to wait his turn. Of course, throwing one’s urine into the hallway did not endear Jeff to the nursing staff, or to the physicians taking care of him; it was not good to be labeled a troublemaker.
But Jeff didn’t care. He expected to be treated with deference, to be taken care of first. When the nursing supervisor came to talk with him, the entire situation gradually devolved into a shouting match. Later, the supervisor would apologize to Jeff for losing her temper; it was unprofessional of her to yell at a patient. Jeff, of course, took that occasion to demand – yes demand – he is given his pain medications when asked, and not when it was convenient for some nurse.
The Angel Return
It was the night after this “urine confrontation” as Jeff liked to call it, that he had another dream. The next day, Jeff called me again and insisted I drop everything and come to his hospital bed. These dreams were beginning to have an effect on Jeff. Of course, he was powerless to stop them; try as he might, he had to go to sleep eventually. And it was when he was powerless to resist while in a dream state that the angel came.
After these angelic visits, Jeff was subdued, reflexive, trying to absorb what had happened. He was always able to remember every detail for these were not just dreams or disconnected thoughts and surreal events; they were filled with facts, figures, and prolonged explanations which he could remember in its entirety. It was almost like an implanted memory as in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall.
“Dave, I had another dream. As before, the angel came at night just after I fell asleep. This time, the angel was very serious to me. He wanted me to understand what he was going to tell me was very important, and very sacred, because it involved the Messiah – your know, Jesus. Most other times, the angel would allow me to ask questions, but not this time. This time, the angel told me something, and he did not want any interruptions. I tried to talk, but found myself strangely unable to say a word.”
“So, did the dream start as the others?”
“Yes, Dave. Just as before, the room around me filled with light, intense, bright white light, almost like looking straight into the sun. The light is so bright, Dave, that you put your hand up to your face, and the light just shines right through your hand – it is the strangest thing. And like I said before, the light doesn’t come from anyplace in particular, but it comes from everywhere, all around you. You have the feeling that your every thought, your every feeling are instantly known by the angel. It’s pretty creepy. And you know what else?”
“Well, I noticed this last night. The surrounding light is so intense and coming from every direction including from overhead and from underneath your feet; there are no shadows! In the presence of that angel, there are no shadows!”
“So tell me what happened.” I had heard much of this before, and I was anxious to get to the story, his new revelation. It seemed like this one might be a little unique judging from the angel’s attitude.
Jeff took some time to get his thoughts together. I think he was still on some narcotic medication and it seemed like it took him longer to focus. Also, Jeff was clearly trying to remember everything; there was so much to remember. I was amazed at how well he was able to remember every detail, every statistic and number from his previous dreams. While Jeff was a detail man, he usually needed notes on paper or an iPad to help him remember things. Not this time; everything seemed etched into his brain.
“Dave and angel started out by saying how important this lesson was; how it was more important than anything I had heard yet. It was important because encoded deep within the Old Testament, within the book of Isaiah written about 700 years before the birth of Christ, is the actual name of the Messiah.”
He had my attention.
“The angel started out by laying a little groundwork for me. I always felt so ignorant when in the presence of the angel, like he thought I should be doing calculus and I could barely add one and one. I always felt like my life was a waste like I had been successful climbing the ladder of success – only to find out I had been climbing the wrong ladder! Anyway, here’s where it gets interesting.”
“Son of Earth,” the angel started. “Do you know why the ancient Jewish Pharisees could not believe Jesus was the Messiah?”
“Because he was so meek and mild?”
“Not quite,” said the angel, somewhat pleased with my answer. “The Pharisees – and the rest of Israel – were looking for somebody to lead them in revolt against the Romans who were occupying their land. You see, the Jewish people have always been a proud race, and they were deeply incensed that the “chosen people” would be under bondage to the Romans. There had been several insurrections before, but they were all crushed and the leaders crucified. They were becoming desperate in their search.”
“OK, angel, so the people were looking for a conquering King to lead them in a revolution. But why were they growing desperate and becoming more militant and eager to fight?”
“They knew by their Scriptures that the Messiah had to return soon, very soon. We will get to that point in another dream. But know this, Son of Man, the people were restless, the leaders were desperate, and they wanted a Messiah general to lead them in revolt.”
The Suffering Servant
“So the people were looking for a general, and what they got was a servant?”
“Exactly!” Again the angel seemed pleased. Maybe I was making a little progress after all! “But do you know why the leaders of Israel should have been looking for a ‘suffering servant’ rather than a ‘conquering King?’”
“No, but I guess it is something they should have known.”
“Yes, son of Earth – and it is something you should have known too!” The angel seemed a little less pleased with me; I could hear it in his voice. Seven hundred years before Christ came, Isaiah told of his first coming. Do you know where?”
“Dave, I felt like a schoolboy standing in front of his class, asked an elementary question by his teacher while his classmates sat snickering in front of me waiting for me to make a fool of myself. I tried to think back to the days of my youth when I was drilled in the Bible – but was drawing a blank.”
“No, I don’t quite remember! Can you give me a little hint, angel?” I said sheepishly hoping for a few moments to remember.”
“It was quoted in one of the greatest choral works of all time, in Handel’s Messiah.”
“I remember listening to Messiah many times at home – but still I drew a blank.”
“Still doesn’t help, angel.”
“Son of man, your ignorance is amazing; something important as this and you clearly know nothing. I will quote to you these passages which were written hundreds of years before Christ. We even have records from the Dead Sea Scrolls that were written before Christ was even born.”
See my servant will act wisely, he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
Just as there were many who were appalled at him.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrow, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities,
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds, we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way,
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth,
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
for the transgression of my people, he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death.
Though he had done no violence, not was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering”
“Does this sound at all familiar to you?” said the angel with a hopeful inflection in his voice.”
“Of course, I remembered some of that quote because I had heard it before, but where it was in the Bible, well, I was lost and I felt it best to just admit my ignorance rather than try to wing it.”
“Well, angel, I know this is from the Bible – but where, I just don’t recall.”
“I felt another moment while the angel, clearly disappointed at my ignorance, gathered his thoughts. I thought for a moment about arguing with the angel that he, well, was in heaven and had all the time in the world to read the Bible and think about things like that – while I had important things to do … somehow I didn’t think that was a good defense.”
“Son of Earth – this is from Isaiah 53. It is one of the great Messianic verses in the Old Testament. But what makes it important for our discussion today is first how it so clearly point to Christ, and describes his life; that he was despised, punished, and crushed. How during his affliction ye did not open his mouth during his trial and was led to slaughter like a sheep. He was pierced in the side by a spear, died, and was buried in a rich man’s grave. But most importantly, his death and suffering were a sin offering for us, for he redeemed us from our sins.”
“OK, angel, I guess I might be able to see that; but why is that so important?”
“Well, first, Son of Earth, because this remarkable prophecy was made 700 years before Christ’s birth, but more importantly, because the Bible tells us exactly to whom these verses were referring.”
“Why is that important?”
“Because, Son of Earth, there are many Jews who wish to say that somehow these verses refer to the suffering of Israel in general; that it was figuratively pierced and then died. But we now know better because of the work of some remarkable scholars who examined this Hebrew passage closely to find a hidden message – another hidden code buried deeply within its words. And this code tells us plainly to whom this was referring.”
“So why is that so important for Jews?”
“Because it shows the actual name of the person Isaiah was referring to in this passage – it makes it certain so there can be no argument. You see, when Christ came first into the world, most of his people did not recognize him. As we have seen, they were looking for a Conqueror and not a Servant. The message of Isaiah 53 is so anticipatory of New Testament events and so perfectly characterized Christ that some Ashkenazi Jews had the chapter taken out of Scripture.”
“Angel, what did the ancient Jews think about this scripture – you know, before the time of Christ?”
“Excellent question, Son of Earth, because the consensus of rabbis was that this passage was messianic in nature. This is easily seen in the Talmud writings. I understand that you are not Jewish in nature and so have no exposure to the Talmud and what it says.” The Talmud is a collection of Jewish writings covering Jewish law and tradition that was assembled between the third and sixth centuries.”
“Talmud is Jewish for ‘learning’ and it is the writing which many people devote their whole lives to learning and studying. The main text of the Talmud is the Mishnah, which is a collection of teachings written in Hebrew in the years following the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.” There are two collections of the Talmud: The Jerusalem Talmud containing the teaching of rabbis from Israel, and the Babylonian Talmud representing the teachings of the rabbis of Babylon. These two works are written in the Aramaic dialect used in Israel and Babylon respectively.”
Old Testament Rabbis’ Understanding of Isaiah 53
“Dave, the angel was very interested in laying down a foundation of information for me to better understand what he was about to tell me. I think he was interested for me to know this in order to better appreciate what he was going today.”
“Son of Earth, as I was telling you earlier, the ancient rabbis living prior to the time of Christ understood Isaiah 53 to be referencing Christ. This is important, because many modern Jews insist this chapter somehow references Israel. But close reading the passage show this could not be the case.”
“For example, part of this Isaiah prophecy states,
He was taken away from rule and from judgment, and his life who shall recount? for he was cut off out of the land of the living; through the transgressions of my people was he stricken.
“It is clear that Israel was never “cut off out of the land of the living.” Jeremiah indicates Israel will live forever,
Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord of hosts is his name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before me, declares the Lord, then shall the offspring of Israel cease from being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the Lord: If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth below can be explored, then I will cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done, declares the Lord.”
Jeff paused for a while and collected his thoughts. I could see it was difficult for him to discuss all this information regarding Christ – that maybe it was starting to have an effect on him and making him more open to the message of Christ.
The angel then noted that Israel never suffered for the transgressions of ‘my people’ which clearly refers to Isaiah’s people. A 15th century Jewish rabbi Moshe Kohen noted,
“This passage, the commentators explain, speaks of the captivity of Israel, although the singular number is used in it throughout. Others have supposed it to mean the just in this present world, who are crushed and oppressed now…but these too, for the same reason, by altering the number, distort the verses from their natural meaning. And then it seemed to me that…having forsaken the knowledge of our Teachers, and inclined “after the stubbornness of their own hearts,” and of their own opinion, I am pleased to interpret it, in accordance with the teaching of our Rabbis, of the King Messiah.“
“Another rabbi Moshe Alsheikh in the late 16th century noted,
I may remark, then, that our Rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the King Messiah.’
“Another commentary from a great Jewish educator Homberg (1749-1841) noted,
According to the opinion of Rashi and Ibn Ezra, it relates to Israel at the end of their captivity. But if so, what can be the meaning of the passage, “He was wounded for our transgressions”? Who was wounded? Who are the transgressors? Who carried out the sickness and bare the pain? The fact is that it refers to the King Messiah.”
“One of the greatest Jewish religious poets, Eliezer HaKalir, paraphrased this chapter of Isaiah into poetry. It is recited in the Yom Kippur prayer of Kether,”
Messiah, our righteousness, hath turned from us: we are in terror and there is none to justify us! Our Iniquities and the yoke of our transgressions He did bear for He was wounded for our transgressions: He carries our sins upon His shoulders, that we may find forgiveness for our iniquities and by His stripes we are healed. O eternal One the time is come to make a new creation: from the vault of heaven bring Him up, out of Seir draw Him forth, that He may make His voice heard to us in Lebanon, a second time by the hand of Yinnon.
“Angel, all of that is very interesting. There was disagreement even among the rabbis as to who this passage referred. Certainly, some sages believed it might refer to the Messiah. But how do you know Isaiah 53 wasn’t really written sometime after Christ’s death and merely put there by some overzealous scribe?”
“We know, Son of Earth, because of the Dead Sea Scrolls. First, there is what is called the “paleography” data; in other words, the manner in which the scrolls were written. The Hebrew characters have changed over the years, so much so that it is possible to determine when a Hebrew document was written just by close examination of how it was written. The writing styles, the writing materials, and the formatting of the manuscript are all indicative of a time period.”
“OK, that’s interesting; but what about Carbon-14 dating?”
“Researchers at the Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometer were asked to provide a date using the Carbon-14 dating method. As you may know, this method requires the actual destruction of a portion of the specimen so it cannot be done too often. They determined the age of the Dead Sea Scrolls to be between about 300 B.C. to 68 A.D. – when the Romans came and destroyed Jerusalem and the surrounding villages.”
“So it is possible that the Dead Sea Scroll could have been written after Christ’s death in 33 A.D.!”
“Of course, there has been particular interest in the Isaiah scroll. Remarkably, the Isaiah scroll is the best-preserved scroll in the entire Dead Sea collection and has been carbon-14 tested at least four times ranging in dates between 335 and 107 BC – many years before Christ’s birth. It turns out that this scroll is by far the oldest copy we have, being 1,100 years older than its nearest competitor, the Leningrad scroll dating from about 1010 AD. It was written in Cairo and is now housed in Leningrad, Russia. So it seems, Son of Earth, fairly indisputable by both carbon-14 dating and by paleography dating that the Isaiah scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls predated Christ’s birth by more than at least a century.”
“Well, OK angel. So we have an ancient copy of Isaiah to examine – so what?”
“Son of Earth – the Dead Sea scrolls also contained twenty-one partial copies of Isaiah, as well as a complete copy in the Isaiah scroll. But I want to tell you one more thing before we move on. The Isaiah scroll is virtually identical to copies of Isaiah from hundreds of years later; it has been copied faithfully letter by letter from one generation to the next; it hasn’t changed over centuries. But what I really need for you to remember, Son of Earth, is that the chapter clearly referring of Jesus existed at least a century – and probably for multiple centuries – prior to his birth.”
When the angel spoke those words, the room trembled, the light increased even more in intensity, and I was in some physical pain listening to the angel announce this important fact. Science and theology both date Isaiah to prior to Christ’s birth. By the time the angel made this emphasis, I was getting a little fatigued; after all, I was asleep trying to get rest when the being occupied by inner thoughts. But when the angel made that dramatic emphasis, I took notice. He could again peer into my soul, almost read my thoughts, and made me clearly understand and remember what he was saying.
“Why this is so important, Son of Earth is because what I am to tell you next. Some have thought that Isaiah 53 merely applies to some ancient leader or great rabbi living in the past. But God in his wisdom has identified exactly about whom these words were spoken.”
“But how is it possible to show one name out of the many billions who have lived on this earth over time?”
Yeshua – the Messiah: Christ in the Old Testament
“Many people, Son of Earth, have searched for centuries for what you are about to year, but it was not time yet for them to find this out even though it is truly ‘hidden in plain sight.’ You see, the Hebrew name for Jesus – Yeshua – is encoded throughout the Bible beginning at the very first verse, Genesis 1:1,
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.”
“Starting with the very first word in the Bible, with the Hebrew letter yod – the fifth letter in the Hebrew word B’raisheet¸the name of Yeshua was found. If you start with that letter and then count forward every 521st letter, the letters that spell Yeshua Yakhol or ‘Jesus is able’ is found. “
“Furthermore, Son of Earth,” the angel continued, “every major Messianic passage in the Old Testament contains the name Yeshua encoded within the Hebrew text. Anybody with a Hebrew Old Testament can count these intervals out and verify what I am saying is true. Do you comprehend what this means?”
“I was a little nervous at that point because it was clear the angel was testing me a little, or he was trying to get me to verbalize the importance of encoding Jesus’ name throughout the Old Testament. I stood there in front of the angel’s light, feeling like I was being examined by a strict and impatient teacher during final exams.”
“Well, angel, first I guess it is important because it alludes to Christ in the Old Testament. Doesn’t this kind of go against what the Jews say – you know, that Christ wasn’t really the Messiah?”
“Right, the angel said. That is one important implication of what these Jesus codes mean; that Jesus was foretold in what Christians call the Old Testament centuries before his life on earth. What else?”
“You mean there’s more!” I regretted saying those words because I felt the angel’s displeasure as soon as the words came out of my mouth.”
“Yes, there is more.”
“Well, for another thing, it means there must be great accuracy in every letter in the Old Testament. I mean, if you just changed a few letters here and there, then these codes wouldn’t work out.”
“Yes,” said the angel. “That is correct. As we have discussed earlier, the Jewish scribes have for thousands of years used great pains to ensure that not one letter would be changed in the entire Old Testament. What else?”
“Well, let me think a bit.”
“I was again getting a little bit nervous because I was kind of running out of ideas.”
“Angel, look, I’m just a little nervous here with your brilliant light shining through me and your booming voice reverberating through my head. Can you give me a hint?”
“Son of Man, I will just tell you. You see, it means that letter, every what you call in the King James version of Scripture a “jot or title” must be perfect because any substitution of the letters or words when written down by their respective authors would invalidate these codes. This means that Scripture is rather like a giant puzzle that is precisely put together to have both an obvious meaning – the surface meaning of the text – but also an underlying message. Such perfection could only be from God – God is the author of every letter and word of every book in the Bible.”
“OK, now I see what you are getting at,” I said rather lamely. “I guess that is important; really important.”
“And if God is the author of Scripture, then every promise, every teaching, and every command is true. That is the additional message of these codes. But there is more.”
“OK, angel. Lay it on me!”
“Son of Earth, you were asking how can we know about whom Isaiah 53 was written, the book that provided a detailed description of the Messiah hundreds of years before he was born. The answer to that question is in Isaiah 53:10 that described the trial, death, and burial of Christ,”
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasures of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
Beginning with the second Hebrew letter yod that occurs in the phrase He shall prolong – or in the Hebrew – ya’arik Kyray, and counting forward every 20th letter, the Hebrew phrase for Yeshua Shmi or “Yeshua [Jesus] is my name.”
“So,” I said trying to understand, “The Old Testament tells us very clearly that Yeshua – the Hebrew equivalent name for Jesus – is the name of the name in Isaiah 53 that was ‘put to grief.’”
“Now, I found that pretty interesting, but was wondering whether all of this could be by chance; I mean, in Hebrew ‘Yeshua’ is only four letters and would be expected to pop up a lot throughout Scripture. The angel answered my question before I could even ask.”
“Son of Earth, your limited intellectual capacity and learning force me to limit your dream at this point. Sometime in the future – if you continue to live of course – you will have another dream to further discuss Isaiah 53 as well as multiple other pertinent Scriptures.”
“And with that, the angel’s light slowly drew down, and I woke up. I knew that I could tell no one else in this hospital about my dream; they would probably lock me away. That’s why I had to call you. I had to tell somebody, Dave. Well, what do you think?”
“Listen, Jeff, I want to talk to you about something. I know you’re having all these dreams but I don’t want you to develop any faith – if indeed you do develop any – based upon dreams. Dreams by their very nature aren’t real and can’t serve as a good foundation for real faith. You have to put in some effort to figure these things out. Don’t just ask me; research it out.”
“OK Dave, I hear you. But it is interesting.
I could tell Jeff was having a crisis of faith; or more exactly, a crisis of ‘unfaith.’ Over the past several dreams, factual information was given to him in dreams – apparently by an angel or some hallucination – that was all outside usual Christian arguments for faith. Rather than talking about philosophical arguments for religious belief that few non-Christians find convincing, actual hard, scientific facts and statistical analysis were difficult to ignore.
The implications of this information seemed staggering. Did God in his wisdom put special codes in the Hebrew Old Testament – in plain sight of every Christian that ever lived – that would go a long way toward validating Scripture as being – well – supernatural! What was really interesting too is that such codes and sequences couldn’t be found in other religious literature, or in secular books – only the Scriptures!
Of course, while Jeff was in the hospital and rehabilitation, his access to research materials was somewhat limited. But he attacked his physical therapy with a vengeance; he was anxious to get better and get out of that hospital. I would ask him later how he managed to get through physical therapy in only a week and he would tell me that he might have only less than a year to live and there was a lot to do! What would you do if you thought you might have a very limited amount of time to re-evaluate your life and determine what some dream of an angel might be telling you?
Well, Jeff got out of the hospital but would have to go to a physical therapy in-patient facility for further recuperation. Jeff was disappointed he couldn’t go home and ‘catch up on his reading.” I asked him, ‘what reading?’ and he only looked at me and said, ‘You know!’
Jeff became more sullen, somewhat withdrawn during this time period. He didn’t want to see anybody else but me which was a little awkward because I was still trying to run my practice and be with my family; my responsibilities. But Jeff was persistent as only Jeff could be and I felt my personal time slipping away while I tried to answer Jeff’s many questions.
Jeff would ask me a lot of questions – questions that most skeptics have about Christianity, such as belief in an afterlife. Jeff understood what the angel was implying; that if the Old Testament was true and reliable about the Messiah of the New Testament, then the New Testament must be true and reliable as well. This had all kinds of other implications such there being a judgment – a time when God examines our every thought and action (or lack thereof) throughout our entire lives. And if there is a judgment, there also must be something we are judged about; namely, sin. These implications are what many agnostics and atheists are running away from, for if you don’t believe in God, then you don’t believe in ultimate sin.
Anyway, after Jeff was in physical rehabilitation again, I got a call from a nurse. Jeff had pushed himself too hard, fell and hit his head on the tile floor causing him to lose consciousness. A CT scan would show no permanent damage, but he wouldn’t wake up.
“Something is wrong,” the excited nurse blurted on the phone, “and he is going back to the hospital. Your name is listed as his emergency contact and you will need to go to the hospital to talk with his nurse about advance directives and end of life issues.”
I certainly wasn’t ready for this, and I certainly didn’t want to be put in the awkward position of being Jeff’s emergency contact. He had never discussed making me his decision-maker, although there was nobody else he trusted. Throughout his life, he had managed to alienate just about every friend or acquaintance he ever had. His practice of using people, of taking advantage of people’s good nature had driven most everybody away; most wouldn’t even talk to him anymore. The unfortunate reality was that I was the only friend he had on earth, and maybe the angel was the only friend he had in heaven.
“OK,” I said. “I’ll be right over.”
 Isaiah 53
 Jeffrey, Grant R., The Signature of God. Waterbrook, Colorado Springs, CO., 2010, p. 265.