OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESIES ABOUT THE MESSIAH
- The word Messiah comes from the Hebrew word ‘Meshach’ meaning ‘anointed one’.
- A Messiah is someone called, anointed and appointed by God to serve Him in a specific way.
- In the Old Testament, there were many Messianic prophesies that talked about the coming of a Messiah.
- A prophesy refers to a ‘prediction’ of what is to happen in future.
- The Messianic prophesies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
2nd Sam 7:3 – 17
Nathan prophesied that the Messiah would;
- Be a descendant of King David.
- Establish an everlasting Kingdom.
- Rule over Israel forever.
- Deliver Israel from her political enemies.
- Always be supported by God.
- Be a great king whose kingdom will be kept strong.
Isaiah 7:10 – 16; 9:1 – 7; 53; 61:1 – 2
(i) The Messiah would be David’s descendant/rule on David’s throne.
(ii) He would rule forever.
(iii) He would be rejected and despised by many/ a man of sorrow/ suffering servant/ he would be treated harshly/ arrested and sentenced to death and executed in a shameful way. (Isaiah 53).
(iv) He would be born of a young woman/virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
(v) Messianic reign/rule would bring happiness/ joy to the Israelites.
(vi) He would be wounded for people’s transgressions/ would suffer for human sin. (Isaiah 53:5).
(vii) Peace/prosperity would prevail during the Messianic reign (Isaiah 9:7).
(viii) He would be called: (Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 7:14);
- Wonderful counselor.
- Mighty God.
- Everlasting father.
- Prince of peace.
- Anointed of God.
(x) He would have characteristics of ‘Normal’ human being/child. (Isaiah 53:2).
(xi) His suffering would be through God’s will/ it would be initiated by God. (Isaiah 53:10).
- Isaiah 61:1 – 2 refers to the Messiah’s character i.e.
(b) He has been anointed by God.
(c) Been sent to bring the good news to the poor.
(d) Been sent to bind up the broken hearted /bring freedom to the captives.
(e) Come to proclaim the year of favour from God.
Jeremiah 23:5 – 6
That God would raise David’s descendant.
This king would:
(i) Rule wisely.
(ii) Advocate justice and righteousness.
(iii) Save Judah from her enemies and ensure that the Israelites lived securely.
(iv) Would be called ‘The Lord is our righteousness.
MICAH’S PROPHECY ABOUT THE MESSIAH
Micah 5:1- 5
Micah the prophet predicted that:
(i) He would be David’s descendant.
(ii) He would be born in Bethlehem; David’s city.
(iii) He would lead his people with authority and strength of God.
(iv) He would bring the Israelites peace to fulfill God’s promise to King David.
THE PSALMIST’S PROPHECY
Psalms 41:9, 110:1 – 2
- The Messiah would be betrayed by his close associated which was fulfilled by Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
- He would rule from Zion.
- He would be honored by God and rule as His representative on earth.
- The messiah would enjoy God’s protection and victory over his enemies.
Isaiah 53, 61:1-2
Isaiah presents the servant of Yahweh as follows:
(i) The servant will succeed in his work and will be highly honored.
(ii) This success and honour will surprise many who have witnessed his suffering.
(iii) The servant is despised, rejected and ignored by those who are with him.
(iv) He has nothing attractive, very odd, ordinary and simple.
(v) He is harshly treated, arrested and sentenced to death and killed.
(vi) His body will be buried with bodies of rich men.
(vii) He endures all done to him in humble silence.
(viii) He accepts the sufferings which should have been received by others for their sins. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities.
(ix) Through his suffering human beings are reconciled to God.
(x) It was God’s will that the servant would suffer.
(xi) His death is a sacrifice to bring forgiveness of sins.
THE CONCEPT OF THE MESSIAH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Luke 1:26 – 38, 2:1 – 23, 23:1 – 35, 24:50 – 51
‘Messiah’ is a Hebrew word meaning the ‘anointed one’.
In Greek it is Khristos.
Jewish expectations of the Messiah were as follows:
(i) He would be a ruler from David’s line who would conquer and overthrow the Roman rule.
(ii) He would be stationed in Jerusalem and other nations of the world would pay homage to him/appear in Jerusalem full of glory.
(iii) He would be a perfect ruler through whom they would receive God’s blessings, joy and peace. No more suffering and death.
(iv) He would bring judgment to all the enemies of Israel.
(v) He would be a ruler without sin and would not associate with the poor, sinners and non- Jews/gentiles.
(vi) The Messiah would strictly follow the Law of Moses/ uphold Mosaic Law.
(vii) He would conquer the enemies of Israel as a military ruler.
(viii) He would avenge Israelite enemies.
(ix) He would be born in a royal family.
(x) He would lead Israel into economic/political prosperity.
(xi) He would come after the return of Elijah.
(xii) He would perform miracles and mighty deeds.
There are several references in the New Testament which show how Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah’s coming. These are;
1. Luke 1:26 – 27: Old Testament prophesies that Jesus Christ would be born in David’s lineage is confirmed when angel Gabriell was sent from God to a young woman i.e. Mary, Joseph’s fiancée. Joseph came from David’s lineage.
2. Luke 1:32: Nathan’s prophecy that God would make David’s descendant rule over Israel forever is affirmed by angel Gabriel during the annunciation. The angel said, ‘.........the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David and will reign over the house of Jacob forever.’
3. Isaiah’s prophecy of the virgin conception in Isaiah 7:14 is fulfilled in angel Gabriel’s message to Mary that she was going to conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, Luke 1:35.
4. Isaiah’s prophecy that the Messiah would be named Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14 is fulfilled in Angel Gabriel’s message to Joseph that Mary’s son would be called Immanuel.
5. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the small town of Judah which was also the birth place of King David (Luke 2:5). This was in fulfillment of Micah’s prophecy Micah 5:1 about a ruler of Israel whom God would raise up from the town of Bethlehem.
6. Jesus was hailed as the Messiah descended from David by the blind beggar of Jericho who shouted ‘Jesus son of David! Take pity on me.’ Luke 18:38. This was a fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy that was echoed by Jeremiah that the Messiah would come from David’s family (2nd James 7:12 – 13, Jeremiah 23:5-6).
7. Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah who would bring salvation to the whole world (Isaiah 42:6, 46:13, 52:10) is echoed in Simeon’s prophecy in the temple in reference to baby Jesus (Luke 2:29 – 32)
8. When Jesus taught in the synagogue in Nazareth at the beginning of his ministry, he quoted from Isaiah 61:12 to affirm that he was the messiah that Isaiah had talked about Luke 4:18 – 19.
9. Isaiah’s prophecy about the messiah who would work miracles Isaiah 29:19, 35:56, 61:1 was fulfilled when Jesus turned water into wine at Cana in Galilee, raised the dead, cast out evil spirits and carried out a number of healing miracles. Through these miracles, Jesus was showing that the Messianic age had come.
10. Isaiah’s prophecy of a suffering servant in chapter 53 is fulfilled through the passion and death of Jesus.
(i) He bore human sins.
(ii) He delivered humanity by dying on the cross.
(iii) He submissively bore suffering and disgrace.
(iv) He was despised and rejected.
(v) He was mocked and spat on.
(vi) He was pierced and wounded in the sides.
(vii) He was crucified with thieves.
(viii) He was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
(ix) Through him God’s everlasting kingdom was established.
(x) He was innocent of sin and yet treated as a criminal.
(xi) Through Jesus’ wounds, many have been forgiven their sins as Isaiah put it ‘.........with his stripes we are healed.’ Isaiah 53:
THE ROLE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6; Luke 7:20-35.
- John the Baptist was the link between Old Testament and New Testament.
- He prepared people for the Messiah’s coming by asking them to repent and be baptized. He baptized people in the Jordan.
- John held a prophetic ministry and it is believed he had the power and spirit of ElijahLuke 1:16 – 17.
- He had similar characteristics of Elijah e.g. he lived an austere life of fasting and praying, ate honey and locusts and wore camel skins.
- He preached to the people about Jesus, Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world John 1:29.
- He introduced Jesus Christ to the people of Israel as the Messiah.
- John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. God revealed that Jesus was his son through the descent of the Holy Spirit and proclamation by his voice.
- John the Baptist condemned evils that were being carried out in Israel by Herod.
- He condemned the Pharisees for hypocrisy and the pagan Roman authority.
- John the Baptist broke the prophetic silence that had lasted over 400 years between Malachi and himself.
- He ushered people to the Messianic age.
- He foretold that the coming Messiah was greater than him.
(i) Preached in the wilderness.
(ii) He was imprisoned for challenging Herod’s behavior.
(iii) Lived on locusts and honey in the wilderness.
(iv) He led a solitary life.
(v) He was beheaded.
(vi) He was misunderstood to be the Messiah. Luke 3:15
(vii) Rebuking Herod the tetrarch because of marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife and other evils he had committed.
(viii) Had a challenge in identifying Jesus as the Messiah. Luke 7:19 – 20
(ix) Pharisees and tax collectors rejected the baptism of John / they hadn’t been baptized by John the Baptist. Luke 7:30
(x) He was was falsely accused of /considered being demon possessed. Luke 7:33.