Thursday, December 21, 2017

Who Is The Messiah?

It's heartbreaking to think there are faithful people in large numbers who still await the coming of their promised Messiah - a word meaning "anointed one" - who is destined to lead them to salvation and glory.

Jews have waited for their prophesied Messiah since King David began building the First Temple in Jerusalem over 3,000 years agoTalk about loyalty, faith, and steadfastness. It's almost unbelievable; superhuman and saintly. 

Meanwhile, the true Messiah came and fulfilled His life's ministry regardless of the fact that many Jews refused to accept Him. That, too, had been prophesied around 700 B.C. (Isaiah 53)

This misunderstanding has separated Jews and Christians for almost 2,000 years, and it's all about the nature of Jesus Christ. Israelites of the the 1st Century were looking for a warrior who would re-establish the kingdom as it had been under David and Solomon, but they didn't understand the most important truth of all. The Messiah was for all mankind; the whole world, Jews and non-Jews; the Gentiles. And inevitably, everyone in the world from then until now. 

Many Jews couldn't live with the idea of their Messiah as a non-violent human sacrifice "taking on the sins of the world" and then being visibly resurrected to eternal life. A non-material heaven violated their fondest expectations.  Jesus saying, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36) was too much to take. 

After Jesus completed His mission, the predictions of His coming written by the prophet Isaiah - known as the Book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Bible - were removed. They clearly showed that Jesus was the promised king everyone was waiting for. 
Here are the prophesies and their New Testament fulfillment:

      Messiah Prophecy                                        Fulfillment In Jesus 
      (8th Century B.C.)                                        (1st Century A.D.) 

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a          Was born of a virgin named
sign: The virgin will conceive, and give birth        Mary  (Luke 1:26-31)
to a son, and will call Him Emmanuel
meaning "God with us"  (Isaiah 7:14)

Will have a Galilean ministry (Isaiah 9:1-2)       Ministry began in Galilee of                                                                              the Gentiles (Matthew 4:13-16)

Will be an heir to the throne of David                 Was given the throne of his
(Isaiah 9:7; 11:1-10)                                        father David (Luke 1:32,33)

Will have His way prepared (Isaiah 40:3-5)         Was announced by John the 
                                                                       Baptist (John 1:19-28)

Will be spat on and struck (Isaiah 50:6)              Was spat on and beaten
                                                                        (Matthew 26:67)

Will be exalted (Isaiah 52:13)                          Was highly exalted by God
                                                                 and the people (Philippians 2:9,10)

Will be disfigured by suffering                      Was scourged by Roman soldiers     (Isaiah 52:14, 53:2)                                   who gave Him a crown of thorns
                                                                  (Mark 15:16)

Will make a blood atonement (Isaiah 53:5)  Shed his blood to atone for our sins
                                                                  (1 Peter 1:2)

Will be widely rejected (Isaiah 53:1-3)        Was not accepted by many
                                                                                         (John 12:37,38)

Will bear our sins and sorrows                     Died because of our sins
(Isaiah 53:4-5)                                           (Romans 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24-25)

Will be our substitute (Isaiah 53:6-8)           Died in our place (Romans 5:6-8)

Gentiles will seek Him (Isaiah 11:10-14)      Gentiles came to speak to Jesus
                                                                 (John 12:20-21)

Will be silent before His accusers            Was silent before Herod and his court
(Isaiah 53:7)                                             (Luke 23:9)

Will save us who believe in Him                 Provided salvation for all who believe
(Isaiah 53:12)                                           (John 3:16)

Will die with transgressors                      Was numbered with transgressors
(Isaiah 53:12)                                        and crucified with two thieves
                                                                (Mark 15:27-8; Luke 22:37)

Will heal the brokenhearted                      Healed the brokenhearted
(Isaiah 61:1.2)                                         (Luke 4:18,19) 

God's spirit will rest on Him                    The spirit of God descended on Jesus
(Isaiah 11:2)                                            (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10)

Will be buried in a rich man's tomb          Was buried in the tomb of the wealthy
(Isaiah 53:9)                                          Joseph of Arimethea
                                                             (Matthew 27:57-60; John 19:38-42)

He will judge the earth righteously           Jesus is given authority to judge
(Isaiah 11:4-5)                                       (John 5:27; Luke 19:22)

What more can anyone say? If you know the Bible is from God this is proof of the Messiah and His eventual return; the Second Coming of Christ.

Note: Muslims have their own version of a Messiah, known as The Mahdi, or Twelfth Imam, whom they believe will come to save them from Armageddon. Because Muslims deny the divinity of Christ, and scoff at the idea that He was the Son of God, their Messiah is not the Judeo-Christian one. The Mahdi of the Muslims will come only for them, and they believe that the more mayhem and violence there is in the world the sooner he will come. So, many Muslims see violence - or jihad - as a duty for their salvation