One of the greatest musical blessings to me is George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. The greatest blessing in the universe is the one of whom Handel wrote; the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible word Messiah is the Hebrew word משׁיח (mashiyack, which means in English anointed). The word Messiah is found four times in the King James Version. That’s twice in the Old Testament; Daniel 9:25, 26, as Messiah the Prince, and twice in the New Testament; John 1:41 and John 4:25 as Messia
“The word Christ is a Greek word, Χριστός (Christos), also signifying anointed. Hence, Jesus is called either the Messiah, or the Christ, meaning the same thing. The Jews speak of the Messiah; Christians speak of him as the Christ. In ancient times, when kings and priests were set apart to their office, they were anointed with oil (see Leviticus 4:3, 6:20.Also see 1Samuel 9:16, 15:1),to anoint, therefore, means often the same as to consecrate, or to set apart to an office. Hence, those thus set apart are said to be anointed, or to be the anointed of God. It is for this reason that the name is given to the Lord Jesus. He was set apart by God to be the King, and High Priest, and Prophet of his people. Anointing with oil was, moreover, supposed to be emblematic of the influences of the Holy Spirit; and since God gave him the Spirit without measure (John 3:34), so he is especially called the Anointed of God” (Albert Barnes commenting on Matthew 1:1; some emphasis mine cw).
CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH
The Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation (300-200 BC), of the Old Testament uses Christos for Messiah in the verses in Daniel. As I said, Messiah and Christ are one and the same. The woman at the well said “I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he” (John 4:25, 26)). When Simon Peter says in Matthew 16:16, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (by the way, almost all English versions agree with that wording), he was in essence saying “You are the Messiah, God’s anointed that should come”. John 1:41 says that Peter’s brother, Andrew, had told him “We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted , the Christ.”
The Jews were looking for the Messiah to come, and expected Him to be a warrior that would overthrow their enemies. Of course He did not come on the scene in that manner. They expected the Lion of Judah and instead He came as the Lamb of God. John the Baptist saw Him as the Lamb of God when he first saw Him. Later, as John the Baptist was in prison, he sent followers to ask “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?”(Matthew 11:3) Many think John had let human doubt discourage him. Remember, John was Jesus’ cousin, also a Jew, and perhaps he also thought that the Messiah was going to be more “lion-like” after he became well known. When He returns, He will come as the Lion, in all His fury toward His enemies in the lost world.
Although the word Messiah is only used twice in the OT, there are many more references that pointed to the coming of Messiah; some veiled and some not. Isaiah 7:14 is very striking “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. Then the verse is repeated in Matthew 1:23 with the interpretation “Which being interpreted is, God with us”. Messiah is God with us. Messiah the Prince is the Prince of Peace found in Isaiah 9:6. The “Jehovah who became our salvation” (y’shuah), in Isaiah 12:2 is the Messiah. The names Joshua, Jehoshua and Yeshua all mean salvation. Jesus means salvation. Joseph was told by the angel “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
MESSIAH IS THE LORD
Simeon understood exactly who He was as he waited for His birth “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ” (Luke 2:25, 26). The Lord’s Christ or anointed mean the same thing: Messiah, the One whom all Israel was expecting. Simeon and all devout Jews were looking for Him (as devout Christians are to be looking for Him in our day). He came then, born in Bethlehem, and many Jews at first received Him. Later, the Jews mostly rejected Christ, and it was mostly Gentiles who received Him. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:11, 12).
Paul states in 1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” No doubt he speaks of Messiah. Thomas, when He was confronted with the resurrected Christ exclaimed “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). He knew this One was Messiah!
John the beloved said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (John 1:17.18. He absolutely knew this is Messiah! Now alive forevermore!
Nathanael understood exactly who HE was when he “answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel” (John 1:49. The point is, this is the One Israel later rejected, as many reject Him today. He was, and is, the Messiah of Israel, the Christ of God, God manifested in the flesh. There will be no other. He says “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).
Friend, you must look to Jesus the Messiah, or be eternally lost. That is not my word, but God’s.