Who is the Messiah? How can we recognise Him? When will He come?
Centuries ago the Old Testament prophets spoke of the coming of a great leader. He would be sent by God and would be called God’s Anointed One, the Messiah. The current interest in the state of Israel renews interest in the Messiah. Here are six descriptions that identify Him:
He must be of the seed of Abraham. Moses recorded the promise of God to Abraham in the following way: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” Genesis 22:18.
He must be of the tribe of Judah. When Jacob was dying, he said to his son Judah: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” Genesis 49:10.
He must be of the house of David. In Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah we read: “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice” Isaiah 9:7.
He must be born of a virgin. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” Isaiah 7:14.
He must be born in Bethlehem as foretold by the prophet Micah: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel” Micah 5:2.
He must be God: Isaiah clearly stated that, when he wrote: “His name shall be called… The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6.
Two thousand years ago, a child was born in a stable in the town of Bethlehem. He was of the seed of Abraham. He was of the tribe of Judah and the house of David. His mother was a virgin. The Messiah has come!
Who is the Messiah? The only one who meets all the requirements is Jesus. As a devout Jew, Jesus lived a remarkable life. He restored sight to the blind, healed multitudes, and even raised the dead. He astounded the Jewish leaders of that time by His insight, wisdom, and teaching of the Scriptures. By His words and works He proved Himself to be the Son of God.
Then, according to the predetermined plan of God, Jesus gave Himself as God’s Passover Lamb. He died for His people’s sins. As the prophet Isaiah predicted: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not… But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” Isaiah 53:3-6.
Jesus, the Redeemer, the Suffering Servant of God, died on the cross of Calvary and was buried. On the third day He rose from the dead and appeared to hundreds of eyewitnesses.
By the resurrection, God clearly demonstrated that Jesus is the Messiah the Saviour. He is not just the Saviour for the Jewish Nation but for the whole world as we are told in John’s first epistle “He is the propitiation (satisfying sacrifice) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 John 2:2.
If you have not received Him as your Saviour, He invites you to do so: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). Your attitude to the Lord Jesus determines your destiny for eternity. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” John 3:36.