By Irvin Baxter
The Messiah was the “anointed one” or the coming “King of Israel”
We could also think of the Messiah as being the savior. Many believe to this day that the Messiah has not yet come and they are still in search of him. The only clues available about the coming Messiah are contained in the prophecies of the Old Testament. In order to understand who the Messiah is let’s look at the prophecies which describe and speak of Him.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
We learn here that the Messiah is going to be born of a virgin. Honestly that sounds impossible and definitely should make finding the Messiah very easy.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2
In this passage we discover that Bethlehem is the prophesied birthplace of the coming king.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. Jeremiah 23:5
The King, the Messiah, will be a descendant of David.
Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Jeremiah 31:15
At first glance this prophecy may not seem to have anything to do with the Messiah, but we will find that this directly relates to the time of the Messiah’s birth. Children were going to be slaughtered or killed at the time of His birth.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9
Now we are seeing some things that will occur during the life of the Messiah. We learn from the psalmist that He will actually be betrayed by a friend.
And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. Zechariah 11:12
The prophet Zechariah speaks of the Messiah on more than one occasion and we will look at another one of his prophecies. However, in this prophecy we discover that the Messiah would be sold or worth thirty pieces of silver.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. Psalm 22:16
Within these two prophecies we understand that the Messiah would be crucified, He would be pierced in His hands and His feet. Now what makes this prophecy even more interesting is the fact that the Book of Psalms was written around 1,000 BC and crucifixions were not instituted until approximately 500 BC. So the Messiah was foretold of dying in a way that was unknown to man at that time.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. – Psalm 22:18
We find another unique prophecy about the Messiah; that lots would be cast for His clothing.
So let’s look at the overall picture and see what we know about the Messiah. He would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and be a descendant of King David. At the time of his birth children were going to be slaughtered. Later on in His life He would be betrayed by a friend, sold for thirty pieces of silver, crucified, and lots would be cast for His clothes. Now in all honesty it would seem a little unreal for one person to fulfill all of these prophecies.
But there was a man; this man was Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1:18-23 we find that He was born of a virgin. In Matthew 2:1 we find that He was born in Bethlehem. In Revelation 22:16 Jesus was the offspring of David. In Matthew 2:16-18 Herod decreed that children under the age of two be killed at the time of Jesus’ birth. In John 13:18 Jesus was betrayed by a friend. In Matthew 26:15 He was sold for thirty pieces of silver. In John 19:16-18, and 37 we learn that He was crucified. Finally, in Matthew 27:35 we read that lots were cast for His clothing.
There are many more messianic prophecies in the Old Testament than I’ve listed here, but this last one is amazing. In Daniel 9:24-27, the famous prophecy of Daniel’s 70 weeks is recorded. In verse 26, it states that the Messiah would come and be cut off before the city and the sanctuary were destroyed. We know the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD. Thus, the Messiah had to be here before 70 AD. Who was the Messiah that came prior to 70 AD, and was he cut off?
Jesus Christ was the only man to ever meet every specification given to us in the Old Testament. It is without question that Jesus Christ was and is the Messiah.
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