Monday, December 21, 2020

Advent Words Day 23 ~ Messiah


Day 23: Messiah

"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

John 20:31


The closing of the Apostle John’s letter has one purpose: belief. More specifically John wants to make sure his readers are very clear on what they believe and what their believing results in. By reading his words of the accounts of Jesus’s life and ministry throughout his book, It is John’s belief that we should come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. The results of believing in His name, which represents all that He is, brings life – full and eternal – to those who believe.


What exactly does it mean that Jesus is the Messiah? The Greek word used in this verse is actually ‘christos”, which is Christ. The word Christ in Greek means “the anointed one”. The word messiah comes from the Hebrew word for anointed one ‘mashiach’. So Messiah and Christ are both synonymous for the anointed One. In our culture we often think of Christ as the second part of Jesus’s name – Jesus Christ. But it is actually a title, Jesus the Christ – Jesus the Anointed One, the Christ, the Messiah.


That then, leads us to ask why Jesus is called the Messiah? Throughout the Hebrew Bible, and more specifically by the Prophets, God promised to send a king, one who would be anointed by Him to deliver His people. Over time the Hebrew people began to anticipate that this Messiah would be a king who would bring military and political domination that would free them from bondage and rule by foreign nations.


In the Hebrew Bible it was kings and high priests and, occasionally, prophets who were referred to as the ‘anointed ones’. We see in the New Testament that each of these offices is associated with Jesus:

“I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” 1 Timothy 6:13-15

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.Hebrews 9:11

“After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”John 6:14


In Luke 4, Jesus stood in the temple and read from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah reading the words found in Isaiah 61:2-3:

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives

    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

    and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn." 

Luke 4:21 tells us that Jesus concluded reading these words, saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. 


The Lord anointed Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah.  Jesus as the Messiah fulfilled Israel’s anticipation as the deliver – The Savior King. Jesus would spend his ministry giving his disciples the true understanding of the Messiah’s rule, to deliver us from our sins.


Jesus the Christ is the promised King, High Priest and Prophet.  The Messiah, the Savior has come!

Share you responses on Instagram using #adventwords2020 or in the Words Art & Faith Challenge group on Facebook. 

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