What kind of Messiah do you have?
Acts 17: 3 “… on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.”
Paul, Silas and Timothy are persuading the Jews that they missed Jesus when he was here because they were looking for the wrong Messiah. Their Christ was political and would powerfully remove the Roman oppression. Jesus Christ came to suffer and die and this was prophesied in their Scriptures but they were blinded to them. The team use those Scriptures to prove Jesus was the Messiah, he was God’s Son and he was before all time. This Jesus HAD TO suffer and rise from the dead. Importantly, this Jesus is alive today.
This was such a difficult teaching to hear because for the Jew their Messiah is not what we understand as a Saviour who lays his life down. It is impossible that in one sentence the words Messiah, suffer and rise from the dead are together!
Their Messiah is: A political leader descended from King David. A professional of the Jewish law and the commandments within it. A charismatic leader. A military leader. A great judge.
The most important thing is this. The Jewish Messiah is a human being, not a god or a demi-god. He has certainly not come from heaven and once he is dead he doesn’t rise again.
The team were demonstrating from the Jewish Scriptures that Jesus was their Messiah but that he was indeed eternal and so is alive today because he rose 3 days after he died.
The most important thing they were demonstrating was the aliveness of Jesus. He is eternal.
Everyone needs to discover what kind of Messiah they have or are searching for?
Even the Christians! Some are so earthly focused that they have reduced their relationship with Jesus to all about what happens here and now. But the offer of Jesus is to discover and live your life through the filter of eternity.
Jesus had said many things to the Jews that had got him into trouble but his claim of pre-existence was the one they balked at the most. Especially when he said he was alive before their ancestral father, Abraham, was born.
John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
This was the most incredible, confrontational and boldest statement Jesus ever made.
We cannot contain Him to a time and a place and a nation. We cannot hold on to Him, He is beyond our grasp, we cannot understand all that there is to know about Him, He is beyond our capability to think. He is pre-existent, before Abraham was born, I am!
There have been no accidents in your life, neither your birth, nor your death, nor anything in between. He knows the beginning and the end for each one of us.
We can invite Jesus into our existence – but there is a far greater invitation: for us to live our lives in His pre-existence in knowing that He knows everything there is to know about us in the big picture of life. He left His pre-existence to enter our existence so that we can live our lives in the light of our own eternal existence with Him.
That is the Messiah we explain and prove by words and our life.