Christ & The Hebrew People

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Christ & the Hebrew People

Christ & the Hebrew People


The Lord Jesus Christ is the central character of the New Testament scriptures. The opening words of the first gospel account, by Matthew, can be applied to the whole of the New Testament: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ" (Matthew 1:1). The four gospels are followed by the account of the preaching of Christ's apostles, and by the letters they wrote to believers in him throughout the Roman world in the first century AD. But information about Jesus Christ is not confined to the New Testament. (Cohen, 2001)

Christ & the Hebrew People

His coming was anticipated by men and women who lived before the New Testament books were written: "The people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John (the Baptist), whether he were the Christ, or not" (Luke 3:15).

This simple statement conceals a miracle. Yes. a miracle: something altogether beyond human achievement. And the miracle is this: there is throughout the Old Testament, on every page, a divine watermark revealing in advance the nature of Israel's coming Messiah. The Old Testament might appear to be just God's message to the Jewish people and an account of their history. But it is much more than this. There is something which is part of the very texture of the Old Testament and which cannot be removed without destroying the book as a whole. Simply stated, it is the fact that we have the life history of Jesus written centuries before he was born. In other words, you can read all about Jesus in the Old Testament. (Cohen, 2001)

It must be a matter of regret that all this information about Christ, revealed by the inspiration of God to His servants the prophets right from the dawn of human history, is so neglected. For Jesus himself, these scriptures explained the reason for his birth, the work he was to accomplish, and the glory in store for him, and for all who come to God through him. Our understanding of Christ will be diminished if we do not take account of the information presented about him in the Old Testament scriptures.

The word Messiah is part of everyday speech. Nowadays, it is used about men who have a powerful personality and a message to go with it. But the impact usually dies when they die and pass off the scene. Such usage is a mere distortion, a poor copy, of what the word Messiah means. It is a Hebrew word taken right out of the Old Testament. It means "anointed" which in Greek is kristos, our English word, Christ. In the Old Testament, Messiah was not an historical person. The word stood for the Promised One, the Coming King, the one "whose right it is" (see Ezekiel 21:25-27).

Messiah was the Great Deliverer for whom faithful Jews waited and longed. They and some of their neighbours talked about "when Messiah comes". One of the earliest disciples, after he had met ...
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