Bible Study: Messiah/Christ

The Good News is about his Son. In His earthly life He was born into King David’s family line, and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Romans 1:3-4)

If you’ve ever heard of Jesus, you’ve probably heard the word “Christ” or “Messiah.” What do those things mean? Isn’t that just Jesus’ last name? Let’s look what what it means for Jesus to be the Messiah, Christ, in the Bible!

The word “Messiah” actually means “Anointed/Chosen One” in Hebrew, and its Greek version is “Christ.” To anoint someone back then usually meant pouring oil on them to symbolically declare that they are set apart and chosen by God for a special task, oil being a symbol for the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, three kinds of people were anointed: prophets (1 Kings 19:16), priests (Exodus 28:41), and kings (1 Samuel 15:1).

The Old Testament, from the very beginning of Genesis, is riddled with clues of a mysterious person God will send. We learn more about this person as we keep reading the biblical story. In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve introduce sin and death into the world because of Satan’s temptation, God curses him and promises that “the seed of the woman” (a human being) would crush his head, and Satan would strike his heel. Skip ahead to Genesis 12, where God promises Abraham an innumerable number of descendants. Through Abraham’s family, God promises to bring blessing to the nations!

Fast forward to Deuteronomy 18, as Moses is warning Israel about false prophets, he tells them that God has promised to raise up a Prophet like himself from among them. He would speak the very words of God, and know God “face to face.” Fast forward again to 2 Samuel 7, after David thinks about building God a House (Temple) to dwell in. God promises David He’s building him a house (dynasty)! One of his descendants would sit on his throne forever, build God a Temple, and establish an eternal Kingdom before God. Lastly, in the Psalms and Prophets (most notably Isaiah), we learn that this person would not only be a King/Prophet, but God Himself who comes to deliver His people! (Isaiah 9:6-7, 52:13-53:12)(Psalm 110)(Daniel 7:13-14), etc. And that’s just scratching the surface!

What do we mean when we call Jesus “Christ”? We’re saying that He is the long-awaited King, Prophet, and Deliverer who’s been anointed by God’s Holy Spirit to establish the eternal Kingdom of God on Earth! He has been chosen by God to save, teach, and rule over His people forever, and it was His victory over sin and Satan through His death and resurrection that set the Kingdom in motion. If you’d like to learn more about Jesus being the Messiah, check out the Gospel of Matthew, who focuses on Jesus being the fulfillment of Old Testament promises!

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)

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