We’re studying the life and all the expectations of Mashiach, the Jewish Messiah. We’ve spent weeks and weeks learning about Him and one of the striking things that most people are unaware of is that there are two distinct profiles of Mashiach in Scripture and they appear to describe two completely different people. One we spent a lot of time learning about, Mashiach ben Yosef, a suffering Messiah who would die to make atonement for the people, but who would rise from the dead after three days. The other Messiah described in Scripture is Mashiach ben Da’vid, a warrior Messiah. Where does He fit into the picture and when will we see Him enter into human history? That’s what we’re going to focus on this time.
I want to read about an incredible event that kicked off Jesus ministry.
Luke 4:16-21, ‘Jesus came to Nazareth, where He’d been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. He opened the book and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He’s sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favourable year of the Lord.” He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”’
After that claim, they tried to kill Him by throwing Him off a cliff, but He made His way through the angry crowd and made His way to Capernaum, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and from His base of operations there, He began His three years of ministry before His execution, death and resurrection. That was Jesus as Mashiach ben Yosef. Fulfilled perfectly, just as Scripture said.
I’m once again using the research of Dr Eitan Bar from the ministry of One For Israel. He’s a Messianic Jew who is incredibly well educated and his main ministry is to refute the teachings of orthodox rabbis who deny Jesus as the Messiah. He’s a very smart guy.
Over the past 2,000 years a picture, a profile if you will has developed, on who Jesus is and what He’s like. He’s loving, merciful, gracious, patient, kind, compassionate, gentle, forgiving and willing to put Himself in the place of our punishment, rather than us be punished…for our own crimes. That’s a Messiah that’s easy to love and want to be like.
Another attitude that has developed over the past 2,000 years is an abhorrence for mixing religion with violence, or it might be better to say that we have an abhorrence for using religion as the excuse to commit violence. Something the official church did repeatedly on both sides of the theological spectrum, conquering and slaughtering in the name of God, under the banner of a cross. Christianity has a very stained reputation as a result, but Christianity isn’t the only religious system that sanctions violence against unbelievers. Most of the world’s religions are guilty of the same crime, but it’s true to say that in this regard, Christianity has really transformed itself over the past centuries and in real terms, no longer sanctions violence. Now, we simply see Jesus as meek, mild and never, ever raising a hand for any reason whatsoever.
This could be a problem, because the majority of Bible believing Christians are expecting Messiah son of Joseph to return and establish His kingdom on earth, when they should be preparing for Messiah son of David, a warrior King.
What was the purpose of the suffering Messiah?
To make atonement for sin, to pay for the redemption of all those who would believe in Him, and put their faith and trust in Him. We’ve established that quite solidly over the past weeks.
What is the purpose of the warrior King Messiah? That’s what we’ll be learning about.
Isaiah 63:1-4, ‘Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colours from Bozrah, this One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It’s I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? “I’ve trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption has come.”’
Every reference to this individual is with a capital letter, indicating this is not just an ordinary man, or even a senior official, this is talking about God and specifically the Messiah. His clothing is stained with the blood of people He slaughtered and He slaughtered them in the day of vengeance and in His year of redemption.
This is not ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’, this is a violent response to wickedness and rebellion.
This seems to present a picture of Messiah that we would never even consider. We’ll look at this more next time.