Ponders Baptist Church - online
ready always to give an answer to every man that asks
The core of Christianity is the Christ. We are of the
opinion that most Christians arenít able to say what this means.
In other words, most Christians seem to us to be fuzzy on Christís
character and how the concept of Christ originated. Thereís a
reason for this: All defining information regarding the Christ
comes from the Bible, and compared to most other Bible
doctrines, direct and unambiguous Messianic references are
relatively scarce.

The word, Christ, is derived from the Greek verb, hrio, meaning
Ďto anointí. Christ, therefore, signifies the Anointed One. This is
the Greek translation of the Hebrew word, Meshiach, also
meaning the Anointed One. Meshiach is further anglicized to the
familiar Messiah. By definition, Christians are therefore
Messianic, or followers of the Anointed One.

We expect the Bible to explain what is meant by Messiah, but this
particular doctrine is not so clear as many other teachings in the
Bible. Make no mistake, the Bible defines what is meant by
Messiah and unambiguously identifies the One we call Anointed.
The problem is that this is accomplished though sparse verses
scattered across the Bible. They must all be pieced together like a
puzzle before the complete picture is discovered.

Here are some examples:

A principal attribute of the Messiah is that he is the begotten Son
of God, but how do we know that? The verses most commonly
referenced in that regard come from the second Psalm:

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare
the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son;
this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give
thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost
parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them
with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a
potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be
instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry,
and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a
little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

In ancient times, the kings of Israel and Judah were anointed with
oil as a symbol of their sovereignty. When searching scripture for
clues about the Messiah, it is sometimes difficult to discern
whether the Bible is referring to a king as an anointed one, or the
King as the Anointed One. We believe the above verses refer to
the Messiah because of the reference to a kingdom that extends
to the uttermost parts of the earth. Since no king of Israel has
ever ruled the entire planet, it is reasonable to believe that the
second Psalm refers to the Messiah as the begotten Son of God.

In Jesusí day, Jewish theologians concurred. By the scriptures, the
Messiah must be the Son of God. Thatís why Caiaphas asked the
following question the night Jesus was put on trial for blasphemy:

Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou
the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

Thus the second Psalm tells us that the Messiah will receive the
kingship of the whole earth from his Father. In a separate and
otherwise unrelated passage, the prophet Daniel describes the
scene where all power in heaven and earth is awarded:

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of
man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the
Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his
dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass
away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Question: Why is this passage Messianic?
Answer: Only one kingdom is indestructible.

Notice that Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man. In
doing so, he linked himself to this vision of Daniel. Jesus referred
to himself as the Son of Man while testifying before the High
Priest, thereby affirming his lordship. Let us return to the night of
Jesusí trial and examine how Jesus answered Caiaphas:

Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou
the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and
ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of
power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

There are many other Old Testament verses that speak of the
Messiah. Most are prophetic. Some are indirect and a bit
nebulous. Again, they are like puzzle pieces. One piece by itself
doesnít say much about the whole, but all the pieces fitted
together complete the picture.

Allow us to present one more verse that is distinctly Messianic,
this time through the prophet Micah:

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among
the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth
unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have
been from of old, from everlasting.

Question: Why is this passage Messianic?
Answer: If the Messiah is the Son of God, then this is the only
ruler that can be everlasting.