Jeff had an introduction to Isaiah 53 in his earlier dream before he fell and sustained head trauma. He was soon going to learn much more about this important bible verse.
The Head Trauma
Jeff had fallen in the rehabilitation center where he had been doing so well. Unfortunately, in the fall he struck his head hard on the floor and lost consciousness. He was found quickly by personally who had him initially evaluated and found that his vital signs were stable. He had an obvious gaping wound on the back of his head where he had struck the floor. Blood was everywhere – head wounds can be very bloody.
There was some concern about whether he might have overdosed on something knowing his past medical history. Narcan was initially given which is an opiate blocker so that if he has taken too much narcotic he should improve.
Nothing happened. His blood sugar was checked which was normal so hypoglycemia or low blood sugar was ruled out. His neurological examination was normal but there is always a concern after what appeared to be significant head trauma. An ambulance was called and he was transported to the hospital.
Jeff in the Emergency Room
When I reached the hospital, Jeff had been moved from the emergency room to the Intensive Care Unit or ICU. Only the sickest of the sick, the ones who needed very close attention, constant electronic monitoring, and aggressive nursing care are admitted. ICU care is very expensive, costing multiple thousands of dollars a day. Part of the cost is from dedicated nursing care; you might have one critical care nurse taking care of you all day. But most of the cost was due to expensive medication, equipment, liability insurance, and other costs buried deeply within the profit and loss statement of every hospital.
Jeff’s condition had worsened after the nurse talked to me. He was on a ventilator; a tube was down his throat into the trachea to help him breathe. He had another smaller tube down his nose into his stomach to suck out gastric juices so they could not regurgitate into his lungs. There were multiple intravenous lines each carrying various fluids and medications required to keep him alive. There was a tube placed through his urethra into his bladder to monitor his urine output, and monitors on his bared chest to watch his every heartbeat. There was another catheter into his radial artery in his right wrist to monitor his blood pressure, and a rectal probe to monitor his core body temperature. Jeff was – as they say – full accessorized.
Care in the Intensive Care Unit
Such aggressive care was only given to those who are very sick and often near death. Apparently, when Jeff fell at the rehabilitation center hitting his head on the hard floor, he had caused a blood clot to form on his brain putting pressure on the cerebral cortex producing lack of consciousness. Just after entering the room, the neurosurgeon came in and performed a quick neurological examination, glanced through the chart, and asked who I was.
“I am a friend – probably the only friend, of this patient. He has no family, they are all estranged from him and won’t come. I am the closest thing he has to family.”
“Well, that’s just great!” the gruff old surgeon snorted out. “I’m going to have to do a craniotomy to drain that subdural hematoma if he is going to have a chance of meaningful survival. Of course, you’re not a POA, right!”
“No, I’m not the power of attorney; as I said, I’m just a friend. Furthermore, I doubt he has a POA. As I said, all his family is estranged.” I was getting a little annoyed at the crassness of this guy glibly describing Jeff’s possible demise or lapse into a vegetative state. Sometimes, surgical doctors can “have an attitude” and demand quick decisions of families and patients. Of course sometimes, as in this instance, there was no time to lose. If Jeff was going to avoid brain death, quick evacuation of the blood clot was needed.
“Well, great, just great. If I’m going to avoid another ‘deadhead’ I’ve got to go in right now. Agreed?” He looked up at me expecting a quick answer.
“Of course,” I said. Knowing Jeff, he would not want to die without a fight, especially not since he was being given a second chance by God through an angel; that chance would be lost if an operation was not performed immediately.
I wondered at that point exactly what the angel meant when he told Jeff he would be dead in a year. Naturally, you suppose that the angel meant he would live for another year, but that warning could just mean he could die today – in which case, of course, he would be dead in a year. We are never given a promise of health, wealth, or life expectancy while dwelling on this earth; we are only given little time to find God before we leave this earth.
Then, I also wondered whether Jeff would ever be the same Jeff I knew from the last time we met. He wasn’t exactly a great guy; in fact, he was a miserable excuse for a human. But, he was my friend from many years ago and I would hate to lose him. That feeling surprised me a bit; we were never really friends, we never hung out together, or even socialized at all. As a matter of fact, we only met when Jeff wanted something; when he wanted to tell me about another nocturnal apparition. I felt a little guilty now that I hadn’t reciprocated a little bit; maybe tried to develop a friendship, maybe discuss his future, where he was going in his life. That kind of thing. Now, I may have lost that opportunity.
Now Jeff, that big lout of a guy, looked so exposed, so defenseless, so helpless. He was getting only a minimal amount of sedation, just enough to keep him from involuntarily yanking at the restraints which tied both arms to the bed rail. I am frequently asked by patients whether people can hear what you’re saying when they are sedated on a ventilator. Usually, I say they might, and it is important to talk to them just in case they did.
Families find it comforting to be able to talk with patients; they often have a lot to say to their sick and sometimes dying relatives; things they never said while the patient was alive – usually things they wish they had said. Sometimes, forgiveness comes too late, sometimes it is too late to say those difficult words “I love you.” We wait until someone is dying to realize you love somebody. Family members need to feel their dying family members can hear them, even though they might not respond. Often, the desperate wife of her dying estranged husband will interpret a twitch or some involuntary movement as the patient responding to her voice.
I was pondering these things while sitting in the waiting room with family members and friends of the sick and dying ICU patients. Some were crying, some were just looking out the winder, some were deep in their own thoughts. A few were talking on the cell phone, usually about meaningless distractions like what they would eat tomorrow or when they might see a new move – anything to pass the time.
Families often don’t know what to do in this curious situation. They are afraid to go home; afraid their friend, mother, the wife might suddenly deteriorate and die before they could get back. Most planned to either see their patient leave the ICU to go to a step-down bed in the hospital or be with the patient when they died. It could be a multiple week vigil while patients decide whether they are going to live or die. Usually, there are some good days interspersed with many more bad days; days in which patients get worse, much worse. Conferences are held with grim doctors and nurses, questions are asked about advanced directives, whether they wanted their family member resuscitated to continue their suffering, or let them pass into eternity comfortably. It was a long hard trip for most families whether their family member lives or dies.
Sometimes families will make friends with other families; there is little to do while waiting for endless hours. It is good when families can comfort each other, and help each other through the bad times – for there are lots of bad times. But sometimes it can only make the waiting more difficult as your friend’s wife or parent or brother dies. Usually, they break down, cry uncontrollably, sometimes become angry and even throw furniture. Security has to be called, and family members restrained. It can be hard to watch your new waiting room friend break apart into little pieces when they realize the end has arrived.
Jeff has a Seizure
It was while I was pondering all of this that things got busy in Jeff’s room. Monitors were going off, alarms were going wild, and several nurses ran to his bedside; he was having a seizure. A seizure is not uncommon in patients who have subdural hematomas; pressure from the clot on the brain can irritate a few brain cells and cause a grand mal seizure. There are usually written protocols the nurses can follow in such circumstances; medication is drawn up quickly and administered to the patient even before the doctor is called.
Seizures cause intense electrical discharge within the brain, use up a lot of glucose, and can cause permanent brain damage if not aggressively treated. Eventually, Jeff stopped seizing, and a call was made to the neurosurgeon who prescribed some medication. Even though it is common in such circumstances, it was not a good sign. His surgery had to be sooner rather than later; the clot needed to be drained quickly before there was more damage.
The neurosurgeon saw him later that day and he was taken to surgery a few hours after that. I was the only friend Jeff had, and I had to stay there. What else could I do? I called the office and told the secretary to cancel my appointments for the next few days.
I needed time for an old friend.
The surgery lasted about an hour, and when Jeff returned to his room he was different. His hair had been shaven from the left side of his head, and a thin tube protruded through the bandages into a plastic bag hung from a pole next to his bed. The fluid draining from his head was lightly red, and gently dripped drop by drop into the bag. He was still attached to a ventilator by a tube down his throat, and there was still a tube into his bladder draining thin urine. Finally, there were several intravenous lines into veins in both arms, and a plastic tube up his left nostril into his stomach.
He was different.
The next day, he was attached to an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine to measure his brain waves to see is he was still having seizures. Seizures can be more difficult to see when somebody if heavily sedated. Thankfully, it seemed like his electrical activity was settling out, and he was probably going to recover.
It would be another two days until he regained consciousness; slowly at first, but then he was gradually allowed to wake up completely. He recognized me the third day and was able to follow simple commands such as squeezing my hand. Later that day, he was taken off the ventilator and allowed to breathe by himself. He still couldn’t talk well; he was so weak he could hardly move. He had a raspy voice from having the breathing tube between his two vocal cords, but his voice got stronger the fifth day.
It was at that time that Jeff told me he had another dream.
The Angelic Visitor
Jeff could hardly talk, but he wanted to tell me his next dream – it was obviously very important for him. The nurses got a little angry with me because Jeff seemed more agitated when I was in his room. They insisted I could only stay a few minutes because Jeff’s heart rate would increase to dangerous levels after I came into the room. I naturally protested, saying I was a doctor and Jeff was not angry with me but probably wanted to tell me something. The nurse would hear none of it and threatened to call security if I didn’t leave immediately. I left the room knowing I could talk with Jeff when he was more himself.
Jeff gradually got better and on the seventh day after surgery was able to be discharged from the intensive care unit. I was glad to see him get out, both because I could escape his nurse who apparently regarded me as enemy number one, but also so I could hear his next dream. After all that went on with Jeff, I was sure he had a story to tell me.
When I came into his room on the step-down floor, he had a lot to say. First, he looked a lot better. The drainage tube protruding through a hole in his skull had been removed, and he was finally detached from his bladder drainage tube. He still had an intravenous line in his arm, which he would likely keep until discharged from the hospital.
“Dave, it was really wild. I know I was out for a few days, but it seemed like only a few minutes.”
“So, do you remember anything from those few days? Were you in pain, did you have any dreams?” I was interested in whether there had been another angel dream, and prodded him a little. It turned out he was anxious to tell me what happened.”
“Yes, Dave – I met the angel again. This time, it was a little different. You see, the angel told me I might die; he wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me. He was actually concerned about my well-being. You see, Dave, angels can’t see into the future. They’re not like God who knows the “end from the beginning”
– they have no greater understanding of the future other than what is written in Scripture; in other words, no more than what a Bible literate man might know. Anyway, the angel seemed more sympathetic toward me. But then, what he told me in the beginning really scared me.”
“What was that?”
“He said he knew I still had not made a decision about God, and if I died before I could make that decision, I was lost and his work would be a failure. He knew that I was putting off this decision, feeling that I had at least another year to decide.”
“So, was the angel more interested in “his work” than in you?”
“No, I don’t think so. I could sense real sadness on his part, almost like we were developing a friendship and he was becoming worried about me. Huh, imagine that – friendship with an angel.” Jeff chuckled briefly at the thought and then started back with his story.
“The angel started where he left off – back to Isaiah 53. This seemed to be a big deal for him, and he wanted me to understand why. You know, Dave, I had read most of the Bible before when I was younger – but don’t remember being particularly impressed with that passage. The angel was impressed, though. And it was not just because it seemed to talk about a man much like Christ written about seven hundred years before his birth, but also because of the hidden messages found within the original Hebrew text – and nowhere else in Scripture.”
“Like what?” I asked, wondering where this was leading.
“There are over forty names of individuals and key places having to do with Christ’s life that appear within the critical text of Isaiah 53.”
“You know, it’s funny because how well I remember these things – it is as though it were imprinted on my memory. The names and locations are all relevant to Christ because it seems like the author wanted it to be very clear that the text referred to Christ, and not to someone or something else.”
Jeff seemed to get quiet, winced in pain a few times as he adjusted his body position. He was still hooked up to monitors, so when he made these adjustments, the monitors squealed in protest drawing the attention of the ever-present yet somehow annoying nurse just outside the room. Her face showed instant irritation with my presence in the room.
“Well, let’s see how many I can remember. There’s “Nazarene” – certainly a well-known identity of Christ. It’s a small town in northern Israel where Christ grew up with his family. The word appears about a dozen times through Isaiah, as well as the word “Galilee” – the region of Israel where Christ grew up. Then there are many other names and locations relevant to Christ’s life all encoded within this small text of Scripture. Look, Dave, do you have a piece of paper and a pen?”
“Well, not right on me. But let me ask this ‘nice’ nurse right outside the room if she has some paper I might use.”
The nurse, whom I referred to later as the malevolent ‘Nurse Rached’ from the infamous novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, begrudgingly gave me several pieces of paper after muttering something under her breath about doctors – I could barely hear she said something, but couldn’t quite make out the words. Anyway, I handed the paper along with a pen to Jeff, and he made a little chart showing some of these names and locations relevant to Christ’s life referenced in Isaiah 53.
“Dave, it’s pretty amazing, even I the ever skeptic would have to say the sheer number and specificity of these references make you sit up and take notice.”
“OK, Jeff. Can you remember any of these names and places?”
“I guess one of the most interesting for me was that the names of the apostles are referenced here – imagine that! For example, the name of Peter (Kepha) appears in Isaiah 53:3, beginning with the second letter of the fifth word and counting every 19th letter from right to left. The name of John (Yochanan) also appears in Isaiah 53:10, starting with the fourth letter in the 11th word and counting every 28th letter from left to right. Andrew (And’drai) appears in Isaiah 53:4, beginning with the first letter of the 11th word, counting every 48th letter from left to right. Then, there is Philip, also within this same passage. Thomas (Toma) also appears in Isaiah 53;2, starting with the first letter in the eighth word and counting every 35th letter from left to right. Simon, the Canaanite, (Shimon) appears in Isaiah 52:14 beginning with the first letter in the second word and counting every 47th letter from right to left. Thaddeus (Taddai) appears in Isaiah 53:12, beginning at the first letter of the eighth word and counting every 50th letter from left to right.”
“As you remember, Dave, there were two James‘ (Ya’akov). The first was James the son of Zebedee and the brother of John. Jesus nicknamed these two brothers “Boanerges” meaning “sons of thunder.” James was among the first martyrs by decapitation at the command of Herod Agrippa 1. The other James was the son of Alphaeus, another of the twelve original apostles. He is usually called ‘James the Younger.’ It is interesting to note, Dave, that the name ‘James’ occurs exactly twice in the critical text.”
“What is also interesting is that the name of Judas, the betrayer of Christ, does not appear within the critical text. However, the name of his replacement, Matthias (Mattiyah) does appear in Isaiah 53:5 starting at the fourth letter of the seventh word. Joseph, the name of Christ’s step-father, is mentioned in Isaiah 53:2, as are the names of the two High Priests with relevant roles during Christ’s lifetime – Caiaphas (Isaiah 52:15) and Annias (Isaiah 53:3). The words for ‘bread’ and ‘wine’ are mentioned in Isaiah 53:1 and Isaiah 53:5 respectively.”
Then, there are several multi-word references of obvious Christian contexts such as ‘let him be crucified’ (Isaiah 53:8) and ‘the evil Roman city’ (Isaiah 53:9). “From the atonement lamb’ is found starting with Isaiah 52:12, ‘the disciples mourn’ in Isaiah 53:12, and several words relevant to the crucifixion itself including ‘cross’ in Isaiah 53:6 and ‘pierce’ in Isaiah 53:10.”
“But, probably the most direct of all is the announcement in Isaiah 53:10 that directly describes the identity of the individual described in Isaiah; namely, ‘Yeshua (Jesus) is my name.’
“Well, fine Jeff, but couldn’t all of that be a coincidence? I know it seems a little far fetched to think that naming many of the twelve apostles (except Judas), as well as many other names relevant to the Christian story might be a statistical fluke – but couldn’t it be? Surely, you can’t base your life upon names garnered by some computer programs out of ancient Hebrew text!”
I was playing the devil’s advocate, here. To me, it was all fascinating; that the major characters associated with Christianity and Jesus’ story could be all mentioned in text hidden in plain view within Isaiah 53 – the clearest Messianic text in the Bible, seemed too much to be a likely coincidence – but could it be? How can you tell whether this was real – or just a coincidence?
“Well, Dave, that’s exactly what I was pondering after the angel had talked to me about Isaiah 53 and all its hidden meaning buried right under the surface in plain view for thousands of years. Rabbis and scribes had talked about and copied these very Scriptures not knowing there was a hidden meaning right there in front of them, and that this hidden message would go a long way to prove the authenticity of Scripture in general, as well as the importance of its message.”
“But Dave, the angel knew I needed more. I needed more than just some possible coincidences in one chapter in one Biblical book to base any life-changing consideration. It seems to me that changing my life, giving up all the things I really enjoy forever is just too much to ask! And yet, that is exactly what this angel guy was asking of me. But you know what, Dave – the angel decided to show that this hidden Messianic content is not just in Isaiah, but is spread throughout the whole Old Testament – literally starting with Genesis!
I was about to find out.
 Isaiah 46:10
 John 1:1,2
 Missler, Dr. Chuck; Cosmic Codes, Koinonia House, Coeur d’Alene, ID, 2004, pp. 155-165.
 Matthew 4:21
 Matthew 17:1
 Mark 3:17
 Acts 12:2
 Mark 15:40