Who is the MESSIAH
There is abundant evidence to identify who the Messiah is in the Old Testament alone. Rabbinical writings refer to 456 separate Old Testament passages used in reference to the Messiah and Messianic times ( Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Edersheim vol. II, pp.710-741).
Lets chart a course to discover just some of the revealing verses that explain who Christ the Messiah is and what he would do.
Isa.11:1-5: "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." Here we have the Branch mentioned which indicates the lineage of Jesus coming from King Davids Father Jesse. We also see him having the fullness of the Spirit even beyond what Solomon had. "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, "No prophet has ever had the fullness of the Spirit, some had one attribute such as wisdom (Solomon) but none had it all.
Zech. 6:12-13: "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts: saying, Behold, the man whose name is the branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." while many believe the Messiah will come and personally build the 4th temple in the Millennium. The temple built seems to refer to his body who was the temple of the Spirit of God. In Haggai 2:9 he states this promise. 'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. In Jn.1:14 John writes, this glory who is of the Father is now made visible in a new way. "The word became flesh and "dwelt" among us. The word for dwelt in Greek is skeinei which is from the Hebrew mishkhan which is the same root as shekinah , it means to tabernacle as God did in the OT tabernacle. "The word became flesh and tabernacled among us". No longer would God dwell in a temple made with hands but a living temple as the God/man.
Isa.48:16: "and now the Lord God, and his Spirit, have sent me." The "me" the one sent by the Lord God and His Spirit is the one speaking in this chapter. The "me" is the first and the last, the creator of heaven and earth. The speaker is God.
Isa.19:20: "And he shall send them a savior." We find in Isa. 63:8 "so he became their savior, In all their affliction he was afflicted and the Angel of his presence saved them."
Jer.23:5-6: "Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. in his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is his name by which he will be called THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." We see the branch is taken from the human lineage and he will also be called the LORD Yahweh who is our righteousness.
Here is described a descendant of David a man who will reign on Davids throne and is called the Lord, yet there is another who is Lord who raised him up. This is echoed by Isaiah 9:6 about the Son who is given, "of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom. To order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward even forever." What other man could deserve the title "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS? Except the sinless God/man. The mighty God of Isa.9:6.
The ancient Rabbis also believed that this verse was a reference the Messiah?
This verse is applied to the Messiah in a number of rabbinical writings. Regarding Jeremiah 23:6, the ancient' of the Prophets states: 'And I will raise up for David the Messiah the Just.
Rabbi Kimchi (I160-1235 C.E.), a highly respected Rabbi in his time, wrote of this prophecy: 'By the Righteous branch is meant Messiah ".
In the Midrash on Psalm 23, it is interesting to note the Messiah is given a divine designation. He is called, "Yahweh is a man of war' and "Yahweh our righteousness. Also in the Midrash on Lamentations 1:16, the name Yahweh is expressly attributed to the Messiah. If the ancient Rabbis are correct, then the obvious conclusion is that the Messiah (the righteous shoot) will be born into the world as a literal physical human being.
Zech.3:8-9: "Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, you and your companions who sit before you, for they are a wondrous sign; for behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH. For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua: upon the stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its inscription,' says the LORD of hosts, 'And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." This identifies him as the branch. He is God's servant, Jesus said he did not come to be served but to serve. He also says he will remove the sin in one day, which is exactly what happened when Jesus died. Continuing in his revelation he is told by the Lord in Zech.4:7 that he will bring forth the capstone with shouts of grace, grace to it. The day iniquity was removed was because of grace, the New Covenant.
Zech.12:10 "and they will look upon me (the word "me" is given two letters the Aleph and the Tov in Hebrew which is equal to the alpha and omega in the Greek) whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only Son." There the 1st person speaking is God, he addresses the subject pierced as himself and then addresses him in the 3rd person as the Son. When was he pierced ?
Isa. 53 is objected in Judaism as speaking of the Messiah. According to the Levitical law Lev.17:11 EX.12:13 only a blood atonement would provide the sinner with a covering for sin. From the beginning Of Genesis when Adam and Eve sinned God gave them the first covering from an animal he killed. From then it was taught that sacrifice was to be the only acceptable way to the Lord for forgiveness of sin. This is why Cain's work although it was his best was not accepted, he offered the work of his own hands. Abel's was from his firstborn of his flock, a blood sacrifice as was instructed by God to Adam and from Adam to his sons.Ge.4:3-7. God told Cain if he did what was asked he would be accepted and warned Cain that sin was before him. This sin turned into the first murder because he did not heed Gods instructions.
Before we go into Isaiah 53 we must look at the end of 52 In Isaiah 52:14 "his visage was so marred more than any man" This is speaking of a person not a nation that will suffer and die. 15 This servant was obedient to the Lord to "sprinkle many nations," with his blood gave his life as an atoning sacrifice.
Jews today interpret this chapter as describing the sufferings of Israel. Is it?
In Isaiah 53:1-12: "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? The arm of the Lord was most often associated with salvation. (Isa. 63:5 I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.) God had revealed his way of Salvation, the Jewish evangelists were those who would now teach the message, but from the scripture we find many not listening to their message, few believed.
V.2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." Jesus looked like any other, there was no outward appearance that would have people follow him. He became Jer.25:3-6 and Zech. 3:8-9 the Messianic Branch of Jesse (11:1, 10), who alone will restore the Davidic kingship to Israel. The branch, the line of the Messiah would come as a suffering servant first, instead of a King. (Ben Joseph instead of Ben David.)
V.3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." Israel rejected him just as prophesied they paid no attention to his message because they followed their leaders. He laments that his own did not recognize him as the servant when He came. They did not know the time of their visitation.
V.4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted." It was God himself who afflicted him but not for him own sins but for others sins.
V.5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." The Day of Atonements key element was blood a substitutionary atonement for our peace. He was "pierced" ("wounded) and "crushed" ("bruised") these describe a violent and painful death which would come from the crucifixion. His shed blood was for our sake God punished him in our place and in return gave us peace (beauty for ashes) this was like the OT type of animals that covered, but his blood atoned for sin permanently.
If you have seen matza it is unleavened bread ,striped and it is pierced. The Matza corresponds to the flesh of the Lamb. It is striped it is pierced and it is broken. He was pierced for our transgressions, and he was broken. By his stripes we are healed. It has no leaven, leaven is a picture of sin. It is a picture of Jesus who had no sin but took our sin. After the middle matzoh is broken it is wrapped in a linen and hidden from view. just like he is buried. The children search through the house to find it and when they do they receive a gift.
V.6 "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." He was separate from sinners, we have gone astray he did not. He carried the sins away. His servants sacrifice was the Lords plan. He imputed the sins of Israel and the world to His servant, so that they could be forgiven. Ezek. 36:25-27 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.." This coincides with Jer.31:31 the future new covenant, God had to forgive Israels (and the worlds) sin to pour out his Spirit on them and the Gentiles .
V.7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth." Here is the picture of the innocent lamb slain Lev.22:19-20 a male without defect a image of the blameless Passover lamb. The Sanhedrin would inspect the lambs meticulously for up to 74 different types of defects spots or blemishes. If they could find nothing wrong with the lamb they would approve of it being sacrificed for the Passover. The very day the Sanhedrin were out inspecting the lambs they put Jesus on trial. And finding no sin in him , nothing he was guilty of , they had the Romans crucify him. They sacrificed him not knowing they were fulfilling the inspection of the lamb for the Passover .
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
V.9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth." the Rabbis claim the Messiah is not a person but Israel itself this verse eliminates Israel and even Isaiah as there was to be no violence or deceit. Israel had a history of having this as well as Isaiah saying he was a man of unclean lips among the people who were the same.
V.10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. The pronouns used are him, his, a person in the singular not collective as in a nation. Although he would die for sin he would live again.
V.11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities." The many" refers to the believing remnant of Israel. Although the nation Israel is most often mentioned as the servant in the Book of Isaiah (chapters 40 through 66 especially Isaiah 44:1 and 41:8-9), it does not mean all the servant passages are speaking of Israel. Israel is consistently shown to be sinful and corrupt in other books as well as Isaiah. Isa.1:4), blind 29:10, and unrighteous 48:1.The servant mentioned in these passages is perfect 53:9, he gives sight to the blind which was considered a messianic miracle 42:7, and is righteous (53:11, Jer. 23:5-6). The servant of the Lord in these passages can only be the Messiah. Again this is a prophecy of a resurrection who will make people right before their God by taking their sins away.Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." In this passage the servant is the Messiah .
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." He died among those who were considered sinners (between two thieves, as well as being buried in a sinners tomb) he took their sin and stood in the gap as a high priest for all. The servant is pictured as a victor who shares in the spoil with God. His exaltation is because as a servant he willingly gave Himself as a sacrifice to atone for the guilt of sinners having none himself. He is then resurrected inheriting the promise of rulership on Davids throne with a kingdom that will never end (Isa.9:6).
In Isaiah, 49:1-12, God commands the Gentiles as well as the Jews to listen to what He has to say and mentions that God has brought Him forth from His mothers womb (vs.1 = Isa.9:6). In Verses 5-6 he reveals the purpose of the servants coming, He will be salvation for both Jews and Gentiles throughout the world.(Gen.12)
After he arose salvation was brought to the Gentiles by the Jews just as it was prophesied: Isa.11:10: "and in that day there shall be a root of Jesse who shall stand as a banner to the people . For the Gentiles shall seek him, And his resting place shall be glorious."
Isa. 60:1-3 1"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
Isa. 65:1-2 "I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.' 2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations"God did not completely reject the nation Israel but now turned his focus to those not originally called. It was Gods intent for Israel to bring the ordinances to the world but hey failed so he did a new thing.
Jer. 31:31-37: "The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-- the LORD Almighty is his name: "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight," declares the LORD, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me." This is what the LORD says: "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done," declares the LORD.
Only Judaism has the prophecies like this there is no other book written with this ability. Only the NT a continuation of Judaism proves their fulfillment.
There are two kinds of Prophecies in the OT the suffering servant prophecies of Yeshua (Ha mashiach) ben Yoseph In psalms. And the Davidic messiah who is the conquering king that will subdue the enemies of Israel and the world.
The reason the Jewish people today and in the time of Jesus did not accept him as the Messiah is because they were looking for the conquering King. Someone who would overthrow Rome.
Jesus in his 1st coming came as the son of Joseph adopted into an earthly family since his origin is not from man. He came as a lamb who would sacrifice his life with the body he took at his incarnation. At the 2nd coming he comes as the son of David to set up the kingdom, as a lion who will rule with a rod of Iron.
When would he restore the kingdom. Even John the Baptist did not fully understand the two comings. After seeing all the miracles when he was arrested he wondered when the kingdom would be restored. Asking are you the one or should we look for another.
The Jewish people await his 1st coming today, while Christians know this as his 2nd coming. The same Messiah who came as a prophet died and rose again will come back from heaven to rule as our King. Are you ready?