Additional resources: The Christian Family Newsletter / amazingfacts.org / hopetv.org



Jesus, the Christ (Messiah)

This website offers a no-nonsense, Bible-based introduction to Jesus.

Holy Bible

We pray that you will gain the blessing of the Living God as you read.

(The three versions of the Holy Bible used on this website are: KJV = King James Version - this is used unless otherwise noted; NKJV = New King James Version; NIV = New International Version - these will be identified when used.)

Definition

The two terms - Christ and Messiah - have the same meaning. The word "Messiah" in Hebrew (Old Testament) is the same word as "Christ" in Greek (New Testament); both words mean, "anointed." "(Andrew) first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, 'We have found the Messias,' which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus." John 1: 41, 42

Why is it important to understand this?

This fact brings the Old and New Testaments together as a cohesive whole. The Messiah as foretold in the Old Testament was to be the fulfillment of the sacrificial system. Daniel 9:24-27 (See Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10)  Each and every sacrifice offered upon an altar to God pointed to Messiah's (Christ's) redeeming sacrifice upon the cross. Israel's leaders had come to expect a different type of Messiah (Christ) than was ultimately given them. (They looked for a political Messiah (Christ) who would reign on Earth at that time and deliver them from the Romans.) This fact in no way makes Jesus, the Christ's (Messiah's) crucifixion any less significant. These leaders were so caught up in their own agendas that they blindfolded themselves against seeing the Truth that Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) came to offer them. Matthew 15:13, 14

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah (Christ).

Isaiah 61:1, 2; Luke 4:18-21; John 4:25, 26

He performed miracles. John 6:2  He lived a perfect life. Hebrews 5:8, 9; 1 John 3:5  He gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice. Hebrews 10:10-12

Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) worked miracles for the benefit of others, never for Himself. Luke 4:16-21; John 6:38  The more miracles He performed, the greater the crowds grew. John 2:23; 6:2   Miracles were an evidence of God's power as well as of His vital concern for each of His creatures. The miracles affected the masses in individual ways. While some people came to believe in Him as a result, others looked upon this display of unearthly actions as deception. Matthew 9:34; John 12:37  And yet, miracles were not the crowning acts of Jesus' mission. They were a reflection of God the Father, as was every aspect of Jesus' life among us. John 5:20-24; 6:38  But they were not the ultimate reason for His arrival upon Earth.

Rather, He came to seek and to save those who were lost in His own earthly lifetime - as well as those who lived and died before and after He did. Luke 19:10  Each and every male and female who ever had lived (His coming was prophesied) or would live upon this planet was to be touched by His life and drawn to God by His example and His death. Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified), will draw all men unto me." John 12:32 (See also John 3:14)

In coming to earth and living as a human, Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) searched for the faithful. Luke 19:10  In living a sinless life, He gave us an example of how we can live within the Father's will by submitting our wills to His. He also prepared Himself to be the perfect sacrifice. In giving His life on the cross, He saved all who are willing to choose to believe in and serve Him. John 3:16  In rising from the dead, He displayed His victory over the grave and gave us hope - that one day He will raise us up also. Luke 14:14; John 5:28, 29; John 11:24, 25; Acts 2;32; 24:15; Romans 6:8, 9; Phillipians 3:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 1 Peter 1:3-5; I John 2:17, 25, 28; Revelation 20:4-6  By ascending to heaven, He showed us the path upon which He will lead us to His home - physical resurrection and ascension with newly glorified bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:44-55; Philippians 3:20, 21; Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17

In Old Testament times, people were drawn by God through His promises of the arrival of the Messiah (Christ) and the sacrificial system that pointed forward to His death for them. In New Testament times (which includes today), people are drawn by God through the reality of Jesus, the Christ's (Messiah's) sinless life and substitutional death for us and by God's public acknowledgment of Him during His life on earth. Also, throughout earth's history, God, the Holy Spirit has moved upon people's hearts.

God draws us to Himself, reveals His will for us and expects our acceptance or rejection of Him. If we accept Him, we offer our will to Him as a sacrifice. If we reject Him, we insist upon retaining our right to determine our own eternal destiny. If we embrace sin and cling to it, we will be destroyed when God destroys sin altogether. Matthew 25:41  It's our choice.

Jesus studied Old Testament scripture.

Jesus, the Christ (Messiah), Son of God and Son of man, read deeply of His Father's letter to humans, the Holy Scriptures. It was His textbook, teaching Him of His mission on Earth and the expectations His Father had of Him. (See John 5:39)  As He read, He saw Himself revealed in the scrolls (scriptures) as He had been before He temporarily laid aside His glory. He also saw the prophecies of His human existence. He humbly, but boldly, set about His tasks on Earth, knowing that He would be misunderstood and mocked in His efforts to turn people's attention to the greater and more serious matters of God and eternity. John 7

Jesus taught Truth.

Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) spoke with authority and power, amazing the leaders and teachers because of His knowledge and clarity of speech. John 7:14-16  If they had not been so self-centered and greedy, they might have believed in Him themselves. They, more than any that heard Him, should have known that He spoke Truth and fulfilled the prophecies. (Many of them did, in fact, believe. Mark 5:22-24; 35-42; John 3:1-21; 12:42, 43  However, before the crucifixion they were too weak in their belief to counteract those who were bent upon murder.) His sinless life, truthful teachings, ultimate sacrifice upon the cross and glorious resurrection combine to give each resident of Earth relief, hope, forgiveness and redemption. Nowhere else can a person go to find such rest from confusion and stress. Only in Truth do we find complete fulfillment and storm-quieting peace. 1 John 5:20

What can we do?

God created each person with the gift of individual free choice. Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Isaiah 65:12  (Jesus owned and practiced free choice. Isaiah 7:14-16  He is our ultimate example.) No one else can make the decision for us whether we should believe in and embrace, or reject, the Savior's sacrifice. Each of us must cast his or her own vote. God draws people to Himself, but never denies the free choice that He included within each person to decide whom to look to for leadership - God or self. Serving anything or anyone other than God is allowing pride and self-satisfaction to reign. Without the God-given gift of free choice, no accountability is possible. The word "justice" assumes that "accountability" is present. Personal accountability is a very important part of God's salvation plan! No one can place their responsibility for choice upon another. As Joshua said: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." Joshua 24:15

This is the basis of our faith - to believe or not to believe. However, how can a person believe or disbelieve when they do not know or understand the facts? Once you have discovered and evaluated TRUTH, you will be able to come to the conclusion that is right for you. How can you do this?

Elements of the question for your consideration.

Additional resources: The Christian Family Newsletter / amazingfacts.org / hopetv.org