The following sermon transcript does not match the video version of the sermon—it matches only the audio version. Here's a brief explanation why.
John MacArthur routinely preaches a sermon more than once on the same date, during different worship services at Grace Community Church. Normally, for a given sermon title, our website features the audio and video that were recorded during the same worship service. Very occasionally, though, we will post the audio from one service and the video from another. Such was the case for the sermon titled "Losing Your Life to Save it," the transcript of which follows below. The transcript is of the audio version.
Tonight, we’re going to consider again the subject of Jesus as the Messiah. For those of you who weren’t here last time, you might want to get that message, download it off of Grace to You website, or get ahold of a CD, or talk to somebody who heard it and took some notes because it really is preparation for what we’re going to say tonight.
And to begin with, I want you to go back to the first chapter of John because what we’re doing in this study of Messiah is really a footnote to our study of the gospel of John. In the first chapter of John, there is a statement made in verse 41 by Andrew, Andrew the first of Jesus’ disciples says to his brother Simon, “We have found the Messiah.” “We have found the Messiah.”
He had made the most significant discovery ever and he and his brother, Simon Peter, knew exactly what it meant that the Messiah had come because the revelation concerning the coming Messiah was all through the Old Testament. They had a familiar understanding of the Old Testament, the testimony to that is also given in John chapter 1 when Philip finds Nathanael and says, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, and it is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” Now when they said, “We have found the Messiah,” and they all knew what that meant, they had made the greatest discovery that any Jew could ever, ever hope to make.
Last time we took a look at what the word means, it means “the anointed one.” That is to say one who is set apart for mediating service to stand between God and man in the theocratic kingdom, the kingdom where God rules. There were three mediators who were anointed officially kings, priests and prophets. They mediated for God. Kings mediated the rule of God in the theocratic kingdom. Priests took the sins of man and brought them before God through the sacrificial system providing an offering for sin. And prophets spoke the Word from God to man. They were all mediators. They were all in between God and man.
But the promise of the Old Testament was that there would come a perfect mediator who would be the perfect king, the perfect priest, and the perfect prophet. And, of course, the message of the New Testament is as these men said in John 1, it is none other than Jesus of Nazareth. He is the perfect mediator, the...the one that God has finally and ultimately and singularly anointed to be His ultimate King, Priest, and Prophet. So we looked at the office or the title, Messiah, last time.
Now I want to give you two points in our study tonight, and you’re going to have to think you’re way through with me on this one. I want to look at the person of the Messiah in addition to His office from last time, and then if we have time, the ministry of the Messiah. We considered again last time the office or the title of the Messiah fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we pointed out. Now we’re going to look at His person and His ministry. These are both essential to the fulfilling of the office. Only a certain kind of person can be the ultimate mediator, only a certain kind of person can be God’s perfect King, perfect Priest, and perfect Prophet. And He must fulfill His responsibility by a certain and specific and unique ministry. So the office is one thing. It leads us to the person that is qualified for that office, and the ministry that that person then renders.
To be the perfect Mediator, the perfect Anointed One who would bring God and man together perfectly and eternally, to be the One who is the Reconciler who brings unholy sinners into fellowship forever with holy God, requires a very unique person--not just anyone can do that. In theory, any man could be a king. In theory, any man could be a priest. Any man could be a prophet. But the final and ultimate King, Prophet, and Priest had to be more than man; he had to be unique. He had to be both God and man in order to fully represent man and fully represent God. He had to possess two natures, the nature of man and the nature of God, indivisibly united but not combined to form a third nature. In John 1:14 it’s described this way, “The Word”...the eternal God...“became flesh and dwelt among us.” The Messiah/Mediator must then possess all the perfections, all the powers, all the prerogatives, all the attributes of the one true, living God. At the same time, He must possess all the attributes, all the powers, and all the features of humanity. He must be fully God and fully man. That is required of this Mediator, this Anointed One, the Messiah.
So we ask the question in history, “Was anyone fully God and fully man?” There’s only one answer and you already know that answer, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of Man and Son of God. He demonstrated His deity and I need to just put that down in your minds, although these are familiar things, they need to be a part of our discussion tonight. He demonstrated His deity. Any examination of the record of His life found on the pages of Holy Scripture makes clear that He was fully God. For example, while you’re in the first chapter of John, be reminded of the opening of that chapter, “In the beginning was the Word,” referring to Jesus, “the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” In other words, He is eternal being. He always existed as God; He always existed with God. He possesses infinite being. In verse 15 John the Baptist gives the testimony that though He came after me in the physical world, “He has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” The same thing is repeated in verse 30. “After me comes a man,” says John the Baptist, “who has a higher rank than I for He existed before Me.” In the eighth chapter of John in the fifty-eighth verse, Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” Infinite being. In John 17 He says to His Father in verse 5, “Restore to Me the glory I had with You before the world began.” He is an eternal, infinite being.
Secondly, He possesses infinite power which belongs to God. He demonstrates His power over disease, His power over demons, His power over nature, His power over death again and again and again. His power is indicated in John 1:3, “All things came into being through Him. Apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” In Him was life, He is the very life itself that is manifested in the creation that He has made.
His power is indicated in chapter 5, “Truly, truly I say to you, an hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live...will live.” Verse 29, “They’ll come forth, those who did the good to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil to a resurrection of judgment.” In other words, He has the power to give life; He has the power to raise all the dead at the end of human history, those unto glory and those unto damnation. Infinite being, infinite power belongs to Jesus Christ.
Also, infinite wisdom. If you look at the end of chapter 2 of John’s gospel, “He was in Jerusalem at the Passover...many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus on His part was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” Infinite being, infinite power, infinite wisdom. He knew everything that could be known; everything was known to Him.
He also possessed infinite presence, infinite presence. John 3:13, “No one has ascended into heaven but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.” He is in heaven. He is on earth. He fills the universe. He is the One who possesses the very omnipresence that belongs to God. He says to Nathanael, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you...I saw you.” In other words, He knows what is not apparent to His eyes. He knows what’s inside a man. He knows the geographical position of people. This is infinite presence. He is everywhere at all times. The testimony of this is given repeatedly. At the end of the book of Matthew He says, “Lo, I am with you always.” He possesses infinite sovereignty. That scene in John 1:3 in His creative power. He has all the sovereignty that belongs to the Creator.
Hebrews 1 says, “He is the heir of all things, through whom He made the world. He is the radiance of God’s glory, the exact representation of His nature who upholds all things by the Word of His power.” Not only is He the Creator, but He’s the sustainer of the entire universe. Everything that exists in the universe, He made. And everything He made, He sustains. This is Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. Colossians 1:16, “By Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities”...those are titles for angels...“all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” He is the undiscoverable, invisible power that holds the unit that we know as the atomic unit together. He holds everything together. He possesses all things that belong to God: infinite being, infinite power, infinite wisdom, infinite presence, infinite sovereignty and thus He has infinite glory, infinite glory.
John 1:14, “We beheld His glory.” And what was it? It was “the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” We see His glory manifested through His life. We see it in His Transfiguration. We see it demonstrated in Revelation chapter 1, and again in Revelation chapter 5 when all heaven gives Him praise and honor and glory because of who He is. In Hebrews chapter 1, verse 6, “All glory goes to Him.” It says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Hebrews 13:8.
So when we talk about Jesus being God, there is ample, repeated evidence and testimony to His deity given on the pages of Holy Scripture. Philippians 2 says, “He was in the form of God but thought it not”...in the morphe of God, or the essence of God...“but thought it not something to hold on to but emptied Himself of that when He became a man and came down and took on the form of man, became a slave all the way to the cross He went to die.”
So when we talk about the person of the Messiah, we have to have someone who is fully God, who possesses all the attributes of God, and that person would be the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 14:9 Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long with you and yet you haven’t come to know me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” What a statement, what a statement.
In John 10 and verse 30, another one of those kinds of statements, “I and the Father are one.” So clearly, whoever is qualified to be the Messiah must be fully God, and Jesus is the only one who meets the qualification. He must also be fully man. And He demonstrates His humanity. His humanity is demonstrated in the entire record of His life. He was conceived in the womb of a woman, albeit by the power of the Holy Spirit--the seed was planted by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb without a human father. That seed grew in the normal way that any fetus grows in the womb of a mother. His mother was a real woman who was actually pregnant who gave birth in the normal way and out of her womb came a baby wrapped in cloth, placed in a manger, who lived and grew in wisdom, stature, favor with God, favor with man. This is normal humanity. For thirty years He lived as a man in the world in a small village, small town, and was indistinguishable from any other man. Although to those who knew Him well, His perfections must have been obvious. But when He was born, it became very clear that He was unlike any other. And Mary knew it. Mary was betrothed to Joseph; Matthew 1, “she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.” When he had considered this because she was pregnant and he had not had relations with her because they were only engaged, “an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, you’ll call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins’....Joseph awoke from his sleep, did as the angel of the commanded, took Mary as his wife and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son and she called His name Jesus.”
A pregnant woman has a normal human birth. Out comes a child who is none other than the Son of God, at the same time He is a man. His humanity is also demonstrated by His genealogy. If you look at the genealogy in the book of Matthew, you follow the genealogy all the way--that tracing of the family history of Jesus, Son of David, Son of Abraham--all the way from Abraham down, all the way down to Joseph. If you follow the genealogy in Luke, chapter 3, it follows the line all the way down through Mary. He had actual ancestors, human ancestors. He didn’t just fall out of the sky; He was a real man.
And that is indicated to us again and again by many things in the New Testament. In Acts 13:22 we read, “After He had removed Him, He raised up David to be their King, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David, the Son of Jesse, a man after My heart who will do all My will from the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.’” Jesus was actually a physical descendant of David. John gives testimony to the humanity of Jesus in the very outset of his wonderful epistle that we call 1 John. He says, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands concerning the Word of Life and the life was manifested and we’ve seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. And we have seen and heard and we proclaim to you.” In other words, he’s saying, that eternal life which was before us was manifested to us and we heard Him and we saw Him and we stared at Him and we touched Him with our hands. He is not a phantom; He is a real man.
First John 4:2, “By this you know the Spirit of God, every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus is not from God, this is the spirit of antichrist.” If you deny the humanity of Jesus, that’s antichrist talk. Who fits this? Who is fully God and fully man? None other than Jesus of Nazareth. And consequently we hear the testimony of the apostle Paul, those wonderful familiar words, 1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” There is one God and one mediator.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ then fits the unique criteria for being the mediating Messiah. The Jews, of course, through the centuries anticipated the Messiah; starting in Genesis 3:15 they began to anticipate the Messiah, the One who would come to crush Satan. Genesis 3:15 promised that there would be a seed of a woman who would crush the serpent’s head while Himself being wounded in the heel. So the rabbis early on believed that Genesis 3:15 referred to Messiah--would be wounded superficially while at the same time He would totally destroy Satan who had destroyed the human race through the temptation and the Fall in the garden. If you go back far enough, perhaps they thought the Messiah would be Abel. Abel was the seed of the woman; Eve had a son, Abel. Maybe it would be Abel who would crush Satan’s head. But Abel was murdered. Well, maybe it would be Cain. No, it wouldn’t be Cain. He killed Abel and was cursed by God.
Well then it had to be another child and the Old Testament provides an answer to that--it was Seth. It was Seth. Go back with me to Genesis for just a moment. This is very instructive and this is going to give you a really sweeping picture of how we get to the statement “we have found the Messiah.” It’s not Abel. The Messiah is not going to come, it’s not going to be Abel, it’s not going to come...He’s not coming through Abel; it’s not...it’s not going to be Cain, and He’s not going to come through Cain. There’s going to be another, another Son. So in verse 25 of Genesis 4, Adam had relations with his wife again, gave birth to a son, named him Seth and said, “God has appointed me another offspring in the place of Abel.” And then starting there you have the genealogies of Seth. And the genealogy that comes from Seth runs all the way down to verse 29 in chapter 5. And when you get all the way down to the end of chapter 5, you see a name that becomes familiar to you, Lamech “became a father of a son,” and he called his name...What?...Noah, Noah. The anointed one, the one who crushes the serpent’s head in that primitive understanding of Messiah, will come through the line of Seth, and so the genealogy traces the line of Seth all the way down to Noah. Well, we know the Messiah had to come through Noah because everybody else in the world was drowned except Noah and his sons and their wives, and his wife.
And so, after the Flood in chapter 9, Noah had three sons which will be the Son. Verse 25, there’s a curse pronounced on Canaan, “a servant of servants, he shall be to his brothers. He also said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem.’” Shem, Ham and Japheth, and God chooses Shem. Shem’s line is then given. We are going to follow the line of Shem in chapter 11, verse 10. This is where you get the word Semitic. So the line goes through Seth. It goes through Noah. It goes through his son Shem. And the genealogy of Shem is given in chapter 11, starting in verse 10, and it comes all the way down, verse 27, Terah became the father of Abram who later had his name changed to Abraham. And then in chapter 12, God gives the promise of the seed, the Messiah, and through the Messiah the blessing to the descendants of Abraham and to all the nations of the world will come. It comes through Abraham.
So very important to understand that. Abraham is a descendant of Shem who lives, according to verse 28, in Ur of the Chaldeans, but who migrates down to the land of Canaan in verse 31. And there God comes to him and gives him the promise that through him this descendant of Seth, descendant of Noah, descendant of Shem, through him is going to come the promised seed, the promised salvation, the promised blessing. God then goes through Abraham and Abraham has two sons. An illegitimate son, Ishmael, is overlooked; the legitimate son, Isaac, becomes the next heir. Isaac has two sons: Jacob and Esau. God chooses Jacob. So the line is pushed through Isaac, through Jacob. Jacob has a whole lot of sons, a dozen. Which of them does God choose? Go to chapter 49, verse 10, “The scepter,” the scepter, the right to rule, “shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes.” What does Shiloh mean? The One whose right it is, the One whose right it is to rule. The Ruler will come through Judah and to Him shall be the obedience of the nations.
The Messiah then comes through Abraham, through Isaac, through Jacob, through Judah, and through him the obedience of the nations will come. And for all who are obedient, they will experience the fulfillment of the promises given to Abraham back in chapter 12. So we’re looking now for someone connected to Judah, someone in the tribe of Judah, if you will.
Some rabbis taught that Moses might be the Messiah. He was a prophet. He was meek. He was the redeemer of Israel, led them out. He began life in Egypt. He was endangered by a hostile king. But it couldn’t be Moses because Moses in Deuteronomy 18 prophesied that someone else would be the Messiah. But who in the line of Judah? Who? From the time of Judah, hundreds of years pass; no Messiah, no Anointed One. And then we meet a man by the name of Jesse who is a descendant of Judah and he has a son and his son is David, his youngest son is David. And according to Isaiah 11, we read this, “A shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what his eyes see, or make a decision by what his ears hear. But with righteousness he will judge the poor and decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Also righteousness will be the belt about his loins, and faithfulness the belt about his waist. And in his reign, the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the young goat, the calf the young lion and the fatling together. A little boy will lead them. The cow, the bear will graze, the young will lie down, the lion will eat straw like an ox. A nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Then in that day the nations will turn to the root of Jesse who will stand as a signal for the peoples and his resting place will be glorious.”
Who’s that talking about? The Messiah who is a descendant of Jesse. Jesse had a number of sons but the descendant would come through the son that we know as David. Turn to 2 Samuel, and in 2 Samuel chapter 7 there’s this amazing promise given to David. Second Samuel chapter 7 and verse 12, “When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you who will come forth from you and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My name, I will establish a throne of his kingdom forever.”
So God says to David, “It’s going to be one of your sons. It’s going to be one of your sons.” Now the line narrows to this son of Jesse. From Judah narrows down to the descendant of Judah named Jesse; from Jesse’s sons it narrows down to David. And from David it narrows down to one of his sons, and it will not be Solomon. It will be someone other than Solomon. Solomon himself ends up cursed and the kingdom splits. But the Messiah will be a descendant of David. The Jews knew this. In fact, the rabbis call Messiah “Messiah ben David,” “Messiah ben David.” You remember when Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem in the triumphal entry, what did the people say? “Hosanna to”...Whom?...“the Son of David.” “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
The prophets make this clear. Hosea 3, Ezekiel 34, Amos chapter 9, Jeremiah 23, Micah chapter 5 says He’ll come from the town of Bethlehem, which was David’s town. So all over the Old Testament there is indication that the Messiah will be a descendant of David.
Let me just take you to Psalm 89 because this is kind of a wonderful way to pull it all together. Psalm 89, verse 27, “I shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth,” says God, “My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever. My covenant shall be confirmed to him. I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven.” Verse 34, “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.” These are God’s promises to His Messiah. “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever and his throne is the Son before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon and the witness in the sky is faithful.” In other words, I made a promise to David, I’m going to keep that promise to David--the Messiah will be a descendant of David. And so the genealogy of Jesus begins in Matthew 1, “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”
But from David, nine centuries pass, nine centuries. No Messiah. Hosea 3 gave an indication that it would be a long time. Listen to Hosea chapter 3, verse 4, “For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without a king, or prince, without sacrifice, or sacred pillar, without ephod or household idols, afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God.” That’s the future salvation of Israel. “And David their king. And they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.”
Hosea says it’s going to be a long time--it’s going to be a long time before the Messiah comes, and he doesn’t even talk about how long a time will it be between His first and second coming to establish the kingdom; centuries passed--almost as long between Judah and David, as between David and Messiah.
In that intervening time some people thought Hezekiah was the Messiah. He was the good son of Ahaz. And then there was just a long line of false messiahs. There was Theudas who was killed; didn’t work out. Then there was Judas of Galilee who was killed. And then there was Simon of East Jordan who was killed. And then there was a strange claimant to be the Messiah by the name of the wonder-working Bedouin who was killed. There were some rabbis, though, who were studying Daniel, and they knew that Daniel said it would be sixty-nine times seven years, 483 years between the decree of Artaxerxes to the coming of Messiah. They did those calculations just like you and I can do them from Daniel 9, and they were ready and expecting the Messiah to come in the very time Jesus lived. But how would they know? How would they know if the Messiah actually came?
Well, it fell to one prophet to answer that question. Turn to Isaiah chapter 7. How are we going to know? When nearly 2,000 years have gone by since the original promises were made, and thousands more years since Genesis 3:15--how are we going to know? How are we going to be sure? Isaiah 7:14, verse 13, “Listen now, O house of David, is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men that you will try the patience of my God as well?” You don’t want to become impatient with God’s purposes. Here is what you look for. “The Lord Himself will give you a sign.” You’re going to know when the Messiah arrives. How you going to know? “A virgin will be with child and bear a son and call His name Immanuel.” Is that specific enough for you? Does that leave anything open to question?
“The Lord Himself will give you a sign: a virgin will be with child.” “A virgin will be with child and bear a son who will be Immanuel?” Do you know what Immanuel means? “God with us.” Was there ever a virgin-born child? Listen to Matthew 1 again. Here’s the answer to the question. Matthew 1:20, “The angel says to Joseph, ‘Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means God with us. And Joseph awoke from his sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son, and he called His name Jesus.” Does that leave any doubt?
Who qualifies? Only Jesus qualifies. He is a child fully human who is God with us, fully divine. Isaiah later in chapter 9 added this, “A child will be born to us, a son will be given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders.” That means the rule of the universe. “And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father. Prince of Peace, of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end on the throne of”...Whom?...“of David.”
The stunning accuracy of Scripture takes us right to Bethlehem. And then ultimately to the final reign of Messiah. The Old Testament has a number of names for the Messiah. Psalm 2 says He is King, King. They knew the Messiah would be a king. That’s why Philip and Nathanael were having the conversation and Nathanael says, “You are the Son of God...You are the King of Israel.”
Isaiah 7:14 says He will be Immanuel. Matthew 1:23, He’s called Immanuel. Daniel 7:13 and 14 says the Messiah will be the Son of Man. He’s referred to as the Son of Man from His own lips about eighty times in the New Testament. Isaiah calls Him the slave of God. Paul calls Jesus the slave of God in Philippians 2. In Numbers there’s another magnificent title given to Messiah, Numbers 24:17, this is worth writing down because you probably haven’t seen this one, Numbers 24:17. “I see Him but not now, I behold Him but not near. A star shall come forth from Jacob, a scepter shall rise from Israel.” The Messiah will be a star and a scepter. He will be a bright glorious shining star.
Listen to Revelation 22:16, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright and morning star.” Ezekiel 34, Ezekiel 34, verses 23 and 24 say the Messiah will be the Shepherd. Do I need to remind you that in John 10 He says, “I’m the Good Shepherd? The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”
The Old Testament uses one other very important term to describe the Messiah and it’s the word redeemer, redeemer. In Isaiah 59:20, “‘A Redeemer will come to Zion. And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,’ declares the Lord.” A Redeemer will come to Zion. That’s none other than Jesus. Call His name Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.
“He partook of flesh and blood that through death He might render powerless Him who had the power of death,” that is the devil, “and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” He redeemed us; bought us with His blood, redeeming us.
So when you look at names or titles, King, Immanuel, Son of Man, Servant or Slave of God, Star, Shepherd, Redeemer, they’re all identifying Jesus, and the New Testament declares that. So when we ask the question: What person fits the unique requirements to be the Messiah? The answer is, Only one, only one. And those men, those five men that we’ve been getting to know in our study of John, understood it. Remember, they met with Jesus, they asked Him questions, they took the knowledge they had of the Old Testament. Their Messianic theology and they measured Him against it and they said, “We have found the Messiah.” Perfect King, perfect Priest, perfect Prophet, the Mediator who can truly provide reconciliation or us with God.
Sadly, John 1 also says, “He was in the world, the world was made by Him, the world didn’t know Him. He came to His own and those who were His own didn’t receive Him.” Is it unimaginable that the religious scribes, Pharisees, rabbis, priests who studied the Old Testament all the time screamed to execute the Messiah? The greatest crime of history, by far. Unthinkable; unimaginable. Is it not the ultimate tragedy that the world still doesn’t know Him? When simple, diligent look at Scripture points unmistakably to Him as the one Mediator, as the one Redeemer. That’s why Jesus said this, “Search the Scriptures, for they are they which speak of Me.”
Well, that leaves us to talk about His ministry. We’ll do that next time. What did He have to do to make reconciliation, provide mediation? You already know that, but we’re going to take a fresh look at it next week.
We thank You, Lord, again for the treasure that we hold in our hands, treasure of divine truth, treasure of Your Word. We are blessed, blessed beyond words to express in gratitude, and we will continue to be blessed than try to find words even in glory when we are perfected. We will still struggle to be able to express even in a perfect condition our gratitude for what You have done for us in Christ. We thank You that we can stand and say with the disciples of old, “We have found the Messiah. We have found the Lamb of God, the one of whom the Old Testament writers spoke, the Son of God, the King, the Priest, and the Prophet who is the anointed Messiah. And this is what we celebrate at this time of year; this is what we celebrate every waking hour of our lives, with grateful hearts. And we thank You again for Your truth which is alive, powerful, penetrating, and for us joy-producing to see these truths. The pieces we know, but to see it all just to strengthen our faith, encourage our hearts, erase our doubts, eliminate our fears and increase our assurance, our confidence and brighten our hope. For that we are grateful. For everything that You have given us, O God, in Christ and by the work that You have done, O blessed Holy Spirit, we praise You and thank You. Amen.
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