This month I have focused on the promises God has made to us. This week, just prior to Easter, I want us to focus on the Person promised, Christ Jesus. The Old Testament promise of the Messiah.
The dominating theme of the Old Testament is about Christ Jesus and the fact that He is the coming Messiah. The Old Testament term Messiah is equivalent to the New Testament term Christ, the “Anointed One.” This term is rooted in a verb which means to spread a liquid over. It eventually came to be used when spreading oil over objects and over people, so it came to mean anoint. The term refers to the expected King and deliverer of the Hebrews, who would free them from the yoke of aliens, and again make them a great nation. The first promise of the Messiah, although not using that name, is first announced in Genesis 3:15. The same promise was repeated to many individuals through the ages.
There are some named Jesus mentioned in the New Testament other than our Lord Jesus Christ. There was Jesus Barabbas, Jesus son of Eliezer, Jesus surnamed Justus, and Jesus son of Sirach. So, Jesus was our Lord’s human name, Lord was His identity, and we understand His office is Messiah, or Christ. Our Lord is Jesus the Anointed One.
Jesus our Lord identifies Himself as the Messiah. When He met the Samaritan woman at the well and told her of her past, she responded by saying, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” As they continued their conversation she also said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ) “When He comes He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
People were eagerly awaiting the coming of the Messiah. The Bible in Luke’s gospel gives us an example of Simeon to whom it had been revealed that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ, the promised Messiah. God did give him that opportunity.
Have you ever wondered why God allowed Christ Jesus to come, fulfilling His promise to us? Even before the beginning of the world, the Bible says God loved us and wanted a close, personal relationship with us that would bring great joy and fulfillment in our lives. For that reason, Jesus willingly died on the cross to pay for our sins and rose again to give us the gift of eternal life. By faith in Him and what He accomplished on the cross and the resurrection we can have that personal relationship and the eternal gift of life. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned . . .” (John 5:24)