See part 2 of this sermon on Jesus the Promised Messiah.
We are going through a series of sermons on the many names of Jesus in the Bible. The particular name of Jesus that we will study this morning is “Christ”. Since God has a lot to say about His beloved Son and His exaltation, we’ll be looking at numerous Bible passages this morning.
Though the Bible has many themes which interrelate with each other, perhaps the dominant theme of the Bible is the establishment of the Kingdom of God. As with any kingdom, there must of necessity be a King.
The name “Christ” comes from the Greek word “Christos” which means anointed. When a new king was installed over Israel, a prophet would take some special oil and anoint him to consecrate him as the new king. So, by calling Jesus “the Christ”, it signified that He was the long awaited Anointed One who would be King over Israel and deliver them from their enemies. Christos is the Greek word from which we get Christ, but in the Old Testament, the corresponding Hebrew word for the Anointed One is mâshi^yach from which we get the English word Messiah. So Messiah and Christ both have the same meaning of the Anointed One of God, one being Hebrew and the other being Greek. So we’ll use them interchangeably.
This morning, we’re going to take a flyover view of Messiah’s (or the Christ’s) role in Scripture. I call it a flyover because we’ll take a quick glance at six different aspects of Messiah’s rule of His kingdom on earth. Each of these six parts could easily be an entire sermon series in itself, but we’ll attempt a half hour “flyover” and take a just a peek at the six parts. Hopefully, when we’re done, you’ll have a feel for the significance of Messiah (the Christ) in Scripture.
The six parts are:
On one occasion, Jesus was asking His disciples who people were saying that He was. He then asked them the pointed question, “But who do you say that I am?”
14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter’s response was a “bulls eye”. It’s not surprising that Peter knew about the coming Messiah and concluded that Jesus was the Christ. After all he’d traveled with Him, dined with Him, ministered with Him, and listened to His teaching for three years, you’d expect Him to know this.
Jesus had an encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well. This woman was not even a Jew, but a Samaritan who was hated by the Jews, yet somehow she also was quite familiar with the fact that Messiah was coming. Jesus confirmed to her that He was, in fact, the Messiah.
25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus *said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” John 4:25-26
How in the world did a Samaritan lady know that a Messiah was coming into the world? God is very gracious, so He is in the habit of telling us all the important things He’s going to do in history before He does them! Because Messiah’s rule is extremely important, God foretold in His Word numerous times of the coming Messiah.
I. Messiah Prophesied
24 “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place.
25 “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.
26 “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.
27 “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”
This prophecy is broken into three periods of time:
Seven weeks V25
Sixty-two weeks V25
One week V27
The word translated “weeks” is literally “sevens” which specifies no time period. The New International Version and other translations actually translate this as “sevens”. Since the context of Daniel’s prayer was in years, he would have naturally interpreted the “sevens” as periods of seven years which is how all commentaries I’ve looked at interpret it. The only other key ingredient to know in correctly interpreting the chronology of this prophecy is that the Jewish calendar consisted of 360 days rather than the 365 days of the Gregorian calendar.
The 483 Years in the Jewish
and Gregorian Calendars
(360 days per year)
(7 X 7) + (62 X 7) years = 483 years
X 360 days/year
(365 days per year)
444 B.C. to 33 A.D. = 476 years
X 365 days/year
+116 days in leap year
+24 days (March 5-March 30)
The decree mentioned in v25 was made by Artaxerxes Longimanus. We won’t read it, but it is found in Nehemiah 2:1-8 and was issued on March 5, 444 B.C. Adding the seven “weeks” and the sixty-two “weeks” of years, we get 483 years, which takes us to the very day of Jesus’ triumphal entry in Jerusalem on March 30, 33 A.D.
So the Jews and even the Samaritans were anticipating the coming of the Messiah because of this and numerous other Old Testament prophesies announcing His coming.
This several hundred year old prophecy in Daniel describes to the day when the Messiah will be offered as king to the nation of Israel which brings us to the second phase of our flyover.
II. Messiah Offered
9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;?behold, your king is coming,?sitting on a donkey’s colt!”
16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. John 12:9-17
The crowd was rejoicing and celebrating Jesus’ arrival. During this period, the Jews were subjects of the hated Roman Empire. They thought Jesus was the Christ who would set up an earthly kingdom and would deliver them from their Roman oppressors. Did you notice though in V10, even in the midst of all this celebration, the chief priest were plotting how they could kill both Jesus and Lazarus since Lazarus was living proof of Jesus’ Messiahship!
Amazingly, in just a few short days, some of these same people calling to make Him King reject Him and are shouting even more passionately for His crucifixion! Jesus described this rejection in a parable.
III. Messiah Rejected
12 And He began to speak to them in parables: “A man planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 2 At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, in order to receive some of the produce of the vineyard from the vine-growers. 3 They took him, and beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 4 Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; and so with many others, beating some and killing others. 6 He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ 8 They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this Scripture:
‘The stone which the builders rejected,?This became the chief corner stone;
11 This came about from the Lord,?And it is marvelous in our eyes’?” Mark 12:1-11
Jesus tells this parable to relate how He would be rejected and ultimately killed. He is the Son of the vineyard owner that the religious leaders (depicted in the parable as the vine-growers) would kill. He was the chief corner stone that the builders (that is the religious leaders) rejected. God is the vineyard owner Who will ultimately bring judgment on the wicked vine-growers.
This parable relates how the nation of Israel rejects Jesus as their Messiah. We can’t take the time to look at the details now, but this rejection led to His arrest, a mockery of a trial, His crucifixion,burial and His resurrection. This bring us to the next event in the time-line of Messiah’s life.
This time period is a “parenthesis” in the seventy weeks of Daniel. Messiah is cut off after week sixty-nine. Then there is a “parenthesis” inserted between weeks 69 and 70. This period of time is of undisclosed duration. It is the church age that we are presently in. We’ll see in a few minutes that the church, that is, all true Christians will be removed from earth and taken to heaven for this 70th and final “week” of Daniel. This has to be because the 70 weeks is a very specific time line for Daniel’s people, the Jews. Therefore the church will be removed for God to deal on earth with the Jews for those final 7 years.
But let’s look at what happens after Messiah is cut off, which is another way of saying He is killed.