One of the most exciting and anticipated future events on both the Jewish and Christian calendars is the return of the Messiah. Jewish people are expecting Him for the first time, Christians are expecting Him for the second time.
God imposed a very harsh discipline on His people for not recognising Him the first time around and they came under judicial blindness, and this has resulted in the world-wide spreading of the Gospel and is now returning back to Israel and the Jewish people in ever increasing numbers. The interesting thing is that 2000 years ago, Jewish people didn’t own personal copies of the Bible, they relied on the teaching of their religious leaders. In spite of that, God still expected them to be waiting for His arrival and when He turned up – fulfilling dozens and dozens of prophecies, the official response of the Jewish nation (not necessarily from the general population) was rejection. The judgment was severe. Blindness and dispersion throughout the world.
Remember that judicial blindness upon the Jewish nation was not for Jesus’ crucifixion, their judicial blindness was for not recognising Him when He came. The blindness was pronounced the week before the crucifixion when Jesus looked over the city and wept over it.
Luke 19:41, ‘As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it and said, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they’ve been hidden from your eyes. For the day will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they’ll level you to the ground and your children within you, and they’ll not leave in you one stone upon another, because you didn’t recognise the time of your visitation.”’
There are vastly more prophecies about the return of the Messiah (the 2nd time) and the same commands are laid out for us who believe, to be watching and waiting for Him. There are many Christians today who dismiss prophecy as insignificant and the return of Jesus as something we don’t need to pay any mind to. As though the return to earth of Jesus Christ is ho-hum and none of our business. If God disciplined His people with such a severe punishment for ignoring His first coming, how much more severe will His punishment be on believers who have multiple copies of His word on their shelves, access to world renowned Bible teachers and Bible study resources at our fingertips – for free – on the internet…if we dismiss His imminent return as something of unimportance and insignificance? If He didn’t want us to watch for and anticipate His return, He wouldn’t have told us what was going to happen and how history future would unfold in the lead up to the culmination of all human history.
Remember prophecy serves several purposes. It proves that the God who tells us what is going to happen before it happens is in fact God Almighty and is the Orchestrator and controller of history. It proves the authorship of the Bible to be divine and not human. It also proves and verifies who Jesus, the Messiah is. So on this program we’re going to look at some prophecies regarding the coming of Messiah.
Isaiah 7:14, ‘Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.’
A very notable characteristic of the Jewish people is the fact that the Mashiach – the Messiah – has always been central in their life and religion, over the centuries their understanding of Messiah has varied but it’s always been there. We know this because from the fall of Eve and God’s judgment on satan in the garden, God promised that the seed of the woman would one day destroy the seed of the serpent. That was the very first indication that God would send a Messiah. (Gen 3:15)
This first prophecy about Messiah was vague and certainly gave no indication as to when He would bruise satan’s head, and over time as more prophecy was given, the vague picture became clearer and more defined. Some prophecies were a little confusing because some talked about a Messiah who would be like a mighty warrior, a deliverer to His people. Other prophecies described Messiah as One who would suffer greatly on behalf of His people. It’s for this reason that some Jewish people, who believe in and long for their Messiah, actually believe there could very well be two Messiah’s…one who will suffer for His people and another who will deliver them.
How about this for a confusing prophecy!
Isaiah 9:6-7, ‘For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.’
This prophecy says that the child who would be born to “us”, which means he’d be born and given to Israel, and He would be all of the following:
These 2 verses clearly reveal the Trinity – the triune Godhead. We see Jesus as the child/human being born as God the Son ruling an earthly kingdom that was originally ruled by king David; we see the attributes of God the Holy Spirit in Him as Wonderful Counselor; we see God the Father named equally with the Son as Mighty God and Eternal Father and the fact that it’s the zeal of God Himself that will ensure this prophecy will be fulfilled in its entirety means God approves of and is orchestrating it all. God is ZEALOUS about this particular prophecy. What’s interesting is that you cannot see two separate individuals or two Messiahs in this prophecy…it’s describing one individual with all those titles and attributes.
Here’s another prophecy that we rarely think of in relation to Jesus.
Haggai 2:6-9, ‘For thus says the Lord of Hosts, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the desire of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord of Hosts. “The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,” declares the Lord of Hosts. “The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former”, says the Lord of Hosts, “and in this place I will give peace,” declares the Lord of Hosts.’
This passage has some very interesting points as well:
In the next program, we’ll focus on another prophecies revealing Messiah that you might not be familiar with.
Researched in part from a study by Mark Eastman and also by Chuck Missler