Messiah, Psalms

Messiah – Whose Son is He?

This was a question Yeshua (Jesus) asked the Pharisees to which they immediately replied “The son of David”. There was no hesitation in their answer; everyone knew that Messiah was to be the son of David. They may even have thought that it was a strange question to ask. They were totally unprepared for what Yeshua said next. It completely baffled them. He said, quoting Psalm 110 verse 1, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

This psalm quoted by Yeshua would have been regarded as Davidic and also Messianic so there was no debate by the Pharisees regarding this.

Yeshua having been questioned by many religious leaders had the final say by asking them a question they could not answer. In Matthew’s Gospel account we read that no-one dared ask Yeshua any more questions from that day on.

David’s Lord

King David's Statue
Statue of King David, Jerusalem

The real point here is that the Messiah was to be not just greater than David, but his Lord, and one that the Almighty would address and invite to sit at His right hand until He puts Messiah’s enemies under His feet. There is an old hymn which begins ‘Hail to the Lord’s anointed (Messiah), Great David’s greater Son’.

So how can Messiah be both David’s Lord and also His Son? These could not be reconciled by the Pharisees; for once they were left speechless! It is clear from the genealogies contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke that Yeshua was descended from David as to His humanity.

Messiah

As to whether He was the Messiah there are many references in the New Testament which, at least in most English translations, tend to be lost as they are translated ‘Christ’ from the original Greek word ‘Christos’ which means ‘anointed’. The equivalent word in Hebrew is ‘Moshiach’.

Yeshua, after His arrest, was brought before the Sanhedrin and the High Priest specifically asked if He was the Messiah, to which He replied “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” That was enough for the High Priest who accused Him of blasphemy and tore his robe. He, of course, would have recognised that Yeshua was referring to Daniel 7:13-14 and was making Himself equal with God sitting at His right hand.

The High Priest

The High Priest tearing his robe was highly significant. It was a violation of Leviticus 21:10 – ‘The priest who is chief among his brothers, on whose head the anointing oil is poured and who has been consecrated to wear the garments, shall not let the hair of his head hang loose nor tear his clothes’. Was this a sign that the Levitical priesthood was coming to an end as the Great High Priest Yeshua after the order of Melchizedek (see Hebrews 4:14-16, also chapters 8 and 9) was about to enter the holy places by means of His own blood . Interestingly Yeshua’s clothes were not torn – in John 19:23-24 we read that His ‘tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.”’  Also the curtain or veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom and the writer to the Hebrews, in 10:19-21, declares that this was in fact the flesh of the Messiah – ‘Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.’

Finally, the fact that the Messiah is the Son of David is still accepted today by religious Jewish people although most of them do not accept that He has already come, so my question to them would be this. How can anyone today who claims to be Messiah prove their heritage of the line of David when all the genealogies were destroyed in the Temple in AD 70? That is why the genealogies in Matthew and Luke are so important. Messiah will come a second time – the one who is, who was and who is to come!

 

 

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Messiah, Salvation

The Rock that is Messiah

swiss rock

When people you know have supported you and helped you through thick and thin they are often regarded as a rock. We might even thank them and express this to them by saying “You’ve been a rock!”. Without diminishing that in any way we know too that none of us are perfect and we are more than capable of also letting people down by what we say and do or by what we leave unsaid and undone.

What do we mean when we say that someone has been a rock. A rock is steadfast, sure, immovable, upright and strong. These are all characteristics of the Almighty. A rock can also give the sense of being everlasting – some rocks not having moved for many generations.

There are over 100 references to rock in Scripture and many are used in relation to the Almighty and to His Messiah.

The first mention comes in the book of Exodus (17:6) when the Almighty tells Moses (Moshe) that He will stand before him on the rock at Horeb, that Moses is to strike the rock and water will come out of it and the people will drink. That is not what happens in the natural but this is also symbolic that water representing life would come out of the rock.

When Jesus(Yeshua) met the woman at the well (John 4) He said to her that if she drank of the water He would give her she would never thirst again. It would become a spring of water welling up to eternal life. As Jesus reveals knowledge about her personal life and she perceives that He is a prophet she also then says that she knows that Messiah is coming and that when He comes He will tell us all things. Jesus replied “I who speak to you am he”.

Could it be that Messiah could also be regarded as a Rock and in the same way as the Almighty was regarded in the Old Testament, the Scriptures that Jesus used. Interestingly the Almighty is described as the Rock of Salvation. The hebrew word for salvation used is Yeshua and appears in 77 verses in the Old Testament. Jesus was given the name as announced and commanded by the Angel of the Lord (Matthew 1:21) for “He will save His people from their sins”.

If we needed any further confirmation that Jesus, the Messiah is also the Rock then the apostle Paul (Sha’ul) wrote to the Corinthians that the Israelites, at the time of Moses, all drank from the same spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Messiah (Christ). That means of course that Jesus existed before His birth, not as Jesus but in another form and John, at the beginning of his Gospel, refers to Him as the Word that was there in the beginning and that all things were made through Him.

Jesus Himself said that “before Abraham was, I am”, thus using the name of God but also showing that He existed before He was born on the earth. He also described Himself to John as recorded in the book of Revelation as both the root and offspring of David.

rock

If you have come to Jesus, know that your sins are forgiven and are walking as His disciple then those references to rock can be a real comfort in whatever situation we are in. A rock can be a refuge, a hiding place from the storms of life. The Almighty is the Rock

  • of salvation
  • of Israel
  • of refuge

What a wonderful picture this is of a Saviour who will never leave us or forsake us.

Jesus, however, is also a rock of offence and it was prophesied that many will stumble over Him. I hope that is not your experience.

As we remember His death (and resurrection) at this time of year and we recall that He was laid in a tomb cut out of a rock, let us ensure that we build our houses on the Rock and not on the sand.

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I!