Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
“Jesus is the Christ”
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Psalm 40:7)
The writings of the Old Testament prophets abound in predictions of the Messiah, the Christ. God promised Abraham, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” When Jacob blessed the tribe of Judah, he spoke of Shiloh, to whom the gathering of the people would be. Moses spoke of that Prophet whom the Lord God would raise up, whom the people of God would hear. In the Psalms and the prophets Messiah is given a variety of titles: — The Anointed of the Lord — The King — David’s Lord — The Child Born — The Son Given — The Mighty God — The Everlasting Father — The Prince of Peace — God’s Servant whom He Upholds — Messiah the Prince — God’s Elect in whom He Delights — The Branch — The Lord Our Righteousness — The Messenger of the Covenant.
All these names and titles belong to the Messiah. But are they all fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth? If they are, then he is the Christ. If they are not, we must look for another. The prophecies of the Old Testament give us eight specific things which must characterize the Messiah. By these eight things, the Christ is identified. And these eight things can be, with honesty, applied to no man in history, past or future, except Jesus of Nazareth, who is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God.
The time of Messiah’s coming was clearly marked out in prophecy. God told no one the day and hour when Christ would come. But he did identify the time in history. Those looking forward to the coming of Christ could not predict it. But those looking back cannot mistake it. Christ has come!
The coming of messiah must fit into a very specific time frame. Christ had to appear before the destruction of civil government in Judah (Genesis 49:10), while the temple was still standing in Jerusalem (Haggai 2:6-9), about the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, which would be 453-457 years after the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem began in 33 A.D. and the year that Christ died (Daniel 9:24-27). 37 years later, 70 A.D., Jerusalem was destroyed.
The Messiah had to come into the world during the time that Jesus of Nazareth lived upon the earth. He could not come at any other time.
The place where Messiah would be born was plainly foretold. — “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; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
The family from which Messiah must come was the house of David (Psalm 132:11; Isaiah 11:1). The Jews debated about many things. But they never questioned the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. They knew he was David’s son.
The miracles performed by the Lord Jesus declare him to be the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David (Isaiah 29:18; 35:5-6; 42:6-7). Those miracles are the very things by which the Lord Jesus identified himself to the disciples of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:1-6).
Meek and Lowly
The Messiah must be one who comes as a King distinguished by his humiliation, meekness, and lowliness (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-9).
Death by the Hands of Wicked Men
It was prophesied that the Messiah must suffer and die by the hands of wicked men (Daniel 9:26; Isaiah 53:1-12). Our Lord’s tormenters used the very words and performed the very deeds he had predicted by his prophets (Psalm 22). And those words which describe the betrayal, shame, crucifixion, and death of Christ (Psalms 40 and 69) could find fulfilment only in the death of Jesus of Nazareth.
Resurrection from the Dead
The Scriptures declared plainly that Messiah would rise from the dead before his body had begun to decay (Psalm 16:9-11; Isaiah 53:10-12).
The Holy Spirit
And the prophets plainly asserted that messiah, the Christ, would set up his kingdom among the Gentiles by the outpouring of his Spirit upon them (Isaiah 49:5-6; Joel 2:28-32; Galatians 3:13-14).