Why does the Bible refer to Jesus as the Messiah?
If we didn’t grow up with solid teaching about the Old Testament, it’s easy to wonder why it is in our Bibles and how it relates to the person of Jesus as revealed in the New Testament.
While we probably need to take a class (or 10) to even begin exploring what the entire Bible says about our messiah, this video from The Bible Project is a good place to start. It begins by explaining why we need a messiah in the first place.
When God created the world, He placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden and gave them authority over everything He made. He commanded them to do something: be fruitful and faithful stewards over everything He gave them. He also commanded them not to do something: eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they did, they would die. As we know, the serpent persuaded Eve to try the fruit, which she also gave to Adam. Together, they disobeyed God’s command, bringing brokenness and death into the world.
Yet in the midst of God’s punishment for their sin, He gave the first promise of a savior. Eventually, He said, the “seed” of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
But that’s only three chapters of the Bible. What about the rest of the Old Testament? It turns out that God reveals information about humanity’s savior throughout the entire Bible. When He calls Abraham, He tells him that through his offspring, He will bless all people in the world. He tells Abraham’s great-grandson, Judah, that a king will come from his descendants who will bring flourishing and peace. While Judah’s descendant, David, is a king after God’s own heart, he is still a fallen man and is not the promised messiah. But God does say that the messiah will come through David’s line. Even during the darkest days of Israel and Judah, when the majority of kings rejected God, God’s prophets maintained that the messiah would come and bring restoration.
Then, finally, Jesus came, a King, not just of Israel, but of all people. He saves us, not from outside oppression, but from the oppression of sin and death, giving us real power to combat the evil in our lives. And He will come again to complete His victory over evil and suffering and to bring His kingdom to earth forever.
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