Jesus Christ is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. In fact, "Christ" means "Messiah" or "Anointed One." Any time we refer to Jesus as Jesus Christ, we are proclaiming Him to be the Messiah.
Is Jesus the Messiah?
Some people in Jesus' time understood He was the Messiah, even before He sent the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). On the night He was born to Mary, angels announced His arrival as “Savior” to the shepherds (Luke 2:16–17). Later, God revealed the truth about Jesus to Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:34–38). Others confessed their belief about Jesus meeting the requirements spelled out in the Law and from the Prophets (Matthew 5:17; 6:16).
Jesus' arrival on earth matched what was said about Him centuries before, He was a prophet, had priestly duties, was kingly, and more. Spend just fifteen minutes looking at some of the ways Jesus met these requirements. Here are some of the Old Testament prophesies and expectations of the Messiah and how Jesus fulfilled them.
• Isaiah 9:6 — a Hebrew man from the tribe of Judah (Luke 3:30).
• Micah 5:2 — born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4–7).
• Isaiah 7:14 — born of a virgin (Luke 1:26–27).
• Deuteronomy 18:18 — a prophet like Moses (Compare Deuteronomy 34:10 with John 8:38. See also John 3:14–15). Jesus delivered people from their sin while Moses delivered people from Egyptian slavery. Moses was God's representative whereas Jesus actually is God (John 10:30). Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land whereas Jesus brings us to heaven for eternity (John 14:1–3). Jesus was akin to Moses and a prophet much greater than Moses.
• Genesis 14 and Psalm 110:4 — a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6:20; 7:2). Hebrews 7 compares Jesus to Melchizedek. In part, it talks about Melchizedek blessing Abraham and Abraham giving a tithe to Melchizedek. Melchizedek was the greater who blessed the lesser (Hebrews 7:7). The Levites later received tithes from the Israelites. But because Levi is Abraham's descendent, it can be said that Levi also paid tribute to Melchizedek through Abraham, thus the priestly order of Melchizedek is greater than that of Levi. The author of Hebrews writes that perfection cannot be attained through the Levitical priesthood or no other priest in the order of Melchizedek would be sought. Jesus is the High Priest through whom perfection can come (Hebrews 10:1–18). Jesus is also greater than Abraham (John 8:58).
• Isaiah 11:1–5 — a king. Jesus was born from the kingly tribe of Judah (Luke 3:30). He was identified as the King of the Jews by the wise men at the beginning of His life on earth (Matthew 2:1–2) and by the Roman government at the end of His earthly life by the Roman government (Matthew 27:37). Jesus also proclaimed Himself as King of the Jews (Mark 15:2) and said He would sit on a throne (Matthew 19:28; 25:31).
• Matthew 22:42 — the Son of David. Matthew provides the most references to Jesus being of David's lineage, including 1:1; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31; 21:9, 15; and 22:42.
• Isaiah 53 — a suffering man (Mark 15; Matthew 27). See also Acts 8:26–40 for an account of a man who was reading Isaiah 53 and was led to understand who Jesus was.
Another way to check to affirm Jesus as the Messiah is to look at the way God established communication and relationship with His people through a series of feasts and how Jesus' death on the cross paralleled those feasts. This is no coincidence. Read about the feasts in Leviticus 23.
• Passover—Jesus is the Passover Lamb, crucified on the very day Jews slaughtered lambs to prepare for Passover (John 1:29).
• Unleavened Bread—Jesus was without sin, unleavened (John 6:35).
• Firstfruits—Jesus was the first to defeat death (1 Corinthians 15:20).
• The Weeks—Jesus sent the Holy Spirit on the feast day in which Jews celebrate the harvest (Acts 2)
• Trumpets—Jesus' return will be announced by trumpets (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 1 Corinthians 15:52).
• Day of Atonement—Jesus' return will result in the Jews repenting and receiving Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 11:1–6, 25–36).
• Tabernacles or Booths—Jesus will once again dwell with His people (Micah 4:1–7).
There is so much more. Hundreds of Old Testament verses point to a Messiah with detail and specificity. Jesus met each one or will meet each one when He returns again as described in the New Testament. Yes, Jesus is the Messiah.
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