The Bible is more than just history. It proclaims a message. This message tells us about who God is and who we are. It shows us the biggest problem in all the world, God’s solution in Messiah and our need to respond.
God is the creator of all things, he holds all things together and has designed all things to glorify his name. God is both holy and loving, forgiving and just, the ruler of the universe and protector of the meek. God is the source of everything good, beautiful, sweet, right, true, meaningful and honorable. He is the fountain of all joy, peace, grace, life, satisfaction, love, justice and wisdom.
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…”
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Man was created in the image of God, both male and female. We were created to bring glory to God by enjoying him forever. However, Adam and Eve betrayed God in the garden by aspiring to take his place. We continue to betray God today when we value our opinion or human tradition over his Word and seek to find our life and joy in something else besides him. All of us (both religious and secular) have gone astray and deserve God’s holy wrath.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;”
Our biggest problem in all of life is that you have betrayed God. You rightly deserve eternal punishment because the God whom you have betrayed is infinitely holy and worthy of all worship. Therefore all your other problems are as nothing compared to the fact that one day you will stand before God in judgment. As we try and follow the 613 commandments of the Torah or the inclinations of our conscience, we see more clearly how sinful our hearts are.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
We cannot solve the problem of our sin, for sin is rooted so deeply in us that we are unable to reach God’s standard of holiness no matter how hard we try. The good news, however, is that God can fix this problem and has always had a plan to do so. His plan is both perfectly just and infinitely loving, and brings glory to his Name alone. The Messiah is God’s solution to our sin. God gave the first promise of the Messiah immediately after Adam and Eve’s first sin when he spoke of an offspring of the woman who would crush Satan and his work. From there on we read about the Messiah on every page of the Tanach in prophecies of many kinds.
From these prophecies, we learn many things. The Messiah will be an offspring of King David, born in Bethlehem. He will be rejected, suffer and die for the sins of his people, after which God will raise him from the dead. All this will happen before the destruction of the second Temple. In this way, God will establish a New Covenant with his people in order that they may know the Creator personally. This Messiah is the very Son of God and in the end will bring God’s judgment on the world, establishing his reign of justice and peace forever.
Without a doubt, Jesus is the Messiah that the Tanach speaks about. He has come already to suffer and die for our sins as the once-for-all sacrifice. After three days in the grave, he rose to life and conquered death. The New Covenant of free grace and eternal salvation is available to anyone, both Jew and Gentile, who would find their soul’s refuge in Jesus. By faith in him, God forgives a person of all his sins and empowers him to love and follow after God. All who trust in Jesus will escape the infinite punishment that we all deserve for our sins and will enjoy eternal life with God forever.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”
“He was despised and rejected by men; … he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, … And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.”
God does not tell us this amazing message merely for our knowledge. Rather, he demands a response to his offer of love. God has set life before us in the Messiah and now we must humble ourselves and receive it. For those who reject or ignore this offer, they will meet God as judge alone. But for those who receive it, God will be to them Savior and Friend. Turn from your sin to God through His one and only Son, Jesus, who died to bring you to God.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”