How To Recognize the Messiah
Who is the Messiah?
How can we recognize Him?
When will He come?
Centuries ago prophets spoke of the coming of a great leader. He would be sent by God and would be called God's Anointed One—the Messiah. The ongoing interest in the state of Israel awakens renewed interest in the Messiah. Here are six descriptions that identify Him:
- He must be of the lineage of Abraham. Moses recorded the promise of God to Abraham in the following way: "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 22:18).
- He must be of the tribe of Judah. When Jacob was dying, he said to his son Judah: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10).
- He must be of the house of David. In Isaiah's prophecy of the Messiah we read: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice" (Isaiah 9:7).
- He must be born of a virgin. The prophet Isaiah wrote: "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).
- He must be born in Bethlehem as foretold by the prophet Micah: "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" (Micah 5:2).
- He must be God. Isaiah clearly stated that when he wrote: "His name shall be called...The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
Two thousand years ago, a child was born in a stable in the town of Bethlehem. He was of the lineage of Abraham. He was of the tribe of Judah and the house of David. His mother was a virgin. The Messiah has come!
Who is the Messiah?
The only one who meets all the requirements is Jesus Christ. As a devout Jew, Jesus lived a remarkable life. He restored sight to the blind, healed crippled limbs, and even raised the dead. He astounded the Jewish leaders of that time by His insight, wisdom, and teaching of the Scriptures. By His words and works He proved Himself to be God's Anointed One.
Then, according to the predetermined plan of God, Jesus sacrificially gave Himself as God's Passover Lamb. He suffered and died to make reconciliation possible between God and mankind. As the prophet Isaiah predicted: "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not...But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:3-6).
Jesus, the Redeemer, the Suffering Servant of God, died on the cross of Calvary and was buried. On the third day He rose from the dead and appeared to hundreds of eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). By the resurrection, God clearly demonstrated that Jesus is the Messiah.
If you have not received Jesus Christ as your Messiah, He invites you to. "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).