April 1, 2019

365 Days of the Great Names of God, Day 122: Messiah

Messiah: Anointed One

"This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1 NLT)

God, who knows the answer to every question and who, in fact, IS the Answer to every question, often uses questions in His story to make a point or convict or reveal truth.

He asked Adam in the garden of Eden, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9).

He asked Job, "Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?" (Job 38:33)
He asked Jonah, "Have you any right to be angry?" (Jonah 4:4)

Many of God's questions were directed toward specific people at a specific time. But in the New Testament, Jesus asks a question that is for all people, for every time.

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.'

'But you,' He asked them, 'who do you say that I am?'
(Matthew 16:13-15 CSB)

The NIV translates Jesus' question, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15 NIV) 

Peter rightly responded to Jesus' query with a name so full of hope and promise, it inspired one of the most famous musical works ever composed.

"Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!'" (Matthew 16:16 CSB)

Apart from the title, the name "Messiah" does not appear once in 
George Frideric Handel's best-known work. But its meaning and implications are reflected over and over in "The Messiah's" Scripture-based lyrics.

The Messiah is the Anointed One, the Christ: "The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ" (from Chorus #44: "Hallelujah").

The Messiah is King: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in" (from Chorus #33, "Lift  up your heads, O ye gates").

The Messiah is a suffering, dying, glorified Servant: "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities" (from Chorus #24, "Surely He hath borne our griefs").

The Messiah is Prince of Peace: "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace" (from Chorus #12, "For unto us a Child is born").

And so: "What about you? Who do you say I am?"

When we truly know the Answer to this question, we can do nothing less—and maybe nothing more—than sing "Hallelujah."

"Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

The kingdom of this world is become
The kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of kings, and Lord of lords,

(From "The Messiah;" Chorus #44, "Hallelujah;" George Frideric Handel;

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!