Jesus The Messiah
Two Prophetic Visions of the Messiah
God sent his spokesmen, the Old Testament prophets, to encourage his people with the promise of the Messiah, who would deliver God's people from their oppressors and usher in God's eternal reign of peace and prosperity on earth.
The prophets described the Messiah in two ways -
• A Suffering Servant
• A Conquering King
Disappointment With God
For hundreds of years before Jesus' birth the Jews had been waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. Every year on the most sacred day of the year - The Day of Atonement,or Yom Kippur, when devout Jews offered sacrifices for their own and the nation's sins - they celebrated the Festival of Passover in hope that the prophet Elijah would appear heralding Messiah's arrival. But the years had come and gone without any sign of Messiah's coming. It seemed that God had forgotten his promise.
Announcing The Arrival Of The Messiah
But God had not forgotten. In fact he announced the impending arrival of the Messiah to two couples beforehand.
• God sent an angel to a young woman called Mary, engaged to a man named Joseph, telling them that Mary had been chosen to give birth to the Son of God, and that he was to be named Jesus, because "He will save his people from their sins" (MATTHEW 1:18-24)
• A devout Jew named Simeon and an old prophetess named Anna (LUKE 2:25-38) had been waiting for the Messiah.