Monday, April 13, 2009

Messiah, Pt. 2: The Spirit of...Jehovah is Upon Me

With the knowledge that the Messiah is to be born, we are shocked that there is really no information about his life growing up. Evidently, that is not the important part. Why? The works of the Messiah as an adult are what will change the world, according to the Tanakh.

However, this development--the coming of the Messiah--is not without event beforehand. The Prophet Isaiah tells us of someone is to come before the Messiah. "A voice cries out: 'Clear a road through the desert for Adonai! Level a highway in the Aravah for our God!' " Malachi calls this one Elijah. (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; 4:5) Obviously, the coming of the Messiah is important. It is so important that someone is preparing the way for him when he comes.

Now, it isn't till after this that the Messiah is commissioned to spread Good News. What Good News is this? Again, Isaiah tells us: "The LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn." (Isaiah 61:1-2) Surely, this is very Good News that the Messiah is to preach to the world. The Scriptures also tell us that when the Messiah would speak to people, he would use parables, explaining the riddles of long ago. (Psalm 78:2) How would he manage all of this?

The Power of the Messiah

The Scriptures say that the Messiah is to have the spirit of God upon, directing him and using him. He would be anointed with this spirit. (Isaiah 11:2; 61:1) This spirit that he is anointed with will help him to proclaim the Good News that he was sent to declare. His words will be so powerful that many great ones will adore this one. "The kings of Tarshish and of the islands—tribute they will pay. The kings of Sheba and of Seba—a gift they will present."-Psalm 72:10

The Messiah will be a wonderful person that is truly worthy for us to follow. He will command our attention and draw us to him with our words--the rich and powerful, poor and helpless alike. His ministry will show him to be a tender and compassionate person, meek to the extreme. (Isaiah 40:11; 42:2-3) From the way that the Messiah is presented in the Scriptures, he will be a truly compassionate person, kindhearted and one having a knowledge of our needs. He will also be powerful! How?

Moses was a very powerful person. He performed many powerful signs, as anyone who has read the Torah will know. Moses had a type of communication with God different from any person before or after him on this earth. Yes, Isaiah and Daniel had wonderful visions of God in heaven, but the relationship with Moses was much more intimate. Still, there was one statement made by the prophet Moses that should draw our attention, a very important statement concerning the promised Messiah.

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him...I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him."-Deuteronomy 18:15, 18

The Messiah will be a prophet like Moses. He will speak the very words of God and we will all be commanded to listen to his voice. Obviously, the spirit from God that rest upon the Prophet-Messiah will give him this power. So far, from the things that we have seen about the Messiah, he is someone that we must follow, for he will have the Spirit of God on him and he will speak the words of God.

In fact, we are commanded to follow this Messiah, for he is called a son. Psalm 2:7, 12 say, "You are my son; I, today, I have become your father...Kiss the son, that He [God] may not become incensed and you may not perish from the way, for his anger flares up easily. Happy are all those taking refuge in him." If we do not obey this son, the very anger of God could come upon us. It is that important that we do everything that he says.

The Messiah Brings Light to Israel

Finally, there are two more prophecies about the Messiah's life that are important to look at. One is a rather obscure prophecy at the beginning of the prophet Isaiah that portends great things for two of the tribes of Israel. "However, the obscureness will not be as when the land had stress, as at the former time when one treated with contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali and when at the later time one caused it to be honored—the way by the sea, in the region of the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people that were walking in the darkness have seen a great light. As for those dwelling in the land of deep shadow, light itself has shone upon them." (Isaiah 9:1-2) The people from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun will be priviliged to have a "great light" shine upon them from the Messiah. At first they were in darkness, treated with contempt, but now they are honored. What joy for the people of those tribes!

Not only, though, will Naphtali and Zebulun be blessed, but all those in contact with the Messiah will have a blessing. As stated above in Isaiah 61:1-2, the Messiah will bring blessings to all.

You may ask, 'how can the Messiah, a man, accomplish all of these things? Is there anything else, besides his having the spirit of God, that will make him so effective? Yes. While having the spirit of God in him, there is something else that sets the Messiah apart from all other men. What is it? The Messiah will be a perfect man!-Isaiah 53:9

While the birth and life of the Messiah are to be truly magnificent, what exactly else is in store for him? Put simply, the Messiah has to die! There are more outstanding Scriptures chronicling the death of the Messiah then any other type in the Tanakh. In the next part of this series, this is what we will explore.