Posted in Christian History, Lesson

Messiah: the Heart of Christmas

Messiahmeanstome

For the month of December, this blog is going to focus on a simple statement:

What Messiah means to me

First of all, let this writer be clear that the people whose expectation is breathed into the word Messiah practice the Jewish faith. They are sons and daughters of Abraham.

Some would say Christians have tainted the meaning behind Messiah. The thought makes me sad. I hope a different truth will be revealed in this post and the ones following it.

At our church, our special Christmas service will be centered around the thought “What Messiah means to me.” Future posts will share simple recollections from Bible characters. Hopefully, these will demonstrate the awe and adoration Christ-followers have for Messiah.

Jewish Messiah

The Hebrew word “mashiach” renders itself to Messiah. The term literally means “the anointed one.” This term relates to the practice of anointing kings with oil. The “mashiach” (Messiah) will be anointed as king in the End of Days, according to Jewish teachings.

Messiah will be a descendant of King David and a great political leader, as his father David was before him (Jeremiah 23:5). He will follow Jewish law (Isaiah 11:2-5). In fact, he will be the greatest judge, making only righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15).

Jewish literature refers to the time after Messiah comes at Olam Ha-Ba, or the Messianic Age. This will be a time for all people to peacefully co-exist and when all Jewish people will return to their home in Israel.

Crime will be a thing of the past. In fact, there won’t be any sin (Zephaniah 3:13). While sacrifices will be brought to the Temple, they will only be offerings of thanksgiving.

What would Messiah mean to people who live in a war-ravaged country? Imagine it. This is what Messiah means to the Jews, now and in the first century.

My Messiah

It’s plain to understand why most Jews reject Jesus Christ as the anointed one they’ve been expecting for thousands of years.

He did not fight against the Roman oppressors. He claimed His kingdom was not of the Earth (John 18:36). But scripture is clear that Messiah will rule and reign from his father David’s throne.

The Jesus I know came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). To be the sacrificial Lamb required to pay the sin debt. To make everlasting peace between sinful man and a holy God.

To me, Messiah is a savior, redeemer and deliverer.

One day, though, Jesus Christ will come in his glory and fulfill the remaining prophecies about “mashiach.” He will destroy the armies of the world who will be fighting against Israel. He will usher in The Messianic Age (we refer to it as The Millennium).

All the expectations of the Jews will be met. Just as they were met for Simeon, Anna, John bar Zacharias, Simon Peter, Saul of Tarsus and a multitude of other quite Jewish individuals who lived in the first century.

What does Messiah mean to you?

Next week: Simeon’s Testimony

*References to Jewish beliefs are taken from this article at http://www.jewfaq.org

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Author:

Freelance writer and editor whose background in education and BA in English Language & Literature amps her love of all things books. Twenty years of parenting and 26 of marriage gives unique insight to her preferred audiences of women, young adults, and teenagers.

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