The purpose of the Messiah was to bring God and humanity back together as it was in the Beginning.
We had it all in perfect harmony with the Creator.
He created us with a freedom of choice, though, because love cannot be forced into existence. Love is what brought us into life and carries us through. Along with that freedom comes mistaken choices, as we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives. Along with love comes forgiveness, something we must ask for and accept.
Adam and Eve’s sin introduced spiritual darkness into humanity, the separation of humans from Yahweh.
It did not cause Him to hate us. His love never ceased. Because of that chasm we cannot bridge on our own, the darkness envelops us, and we are vexed by the powers of darkness in this world. It is a constant struggle one cannot overcome of their own volition to subdue. Jesus was well aware of that struggle when he started his mission to bring the lost sheep back into the fold.
Do you remember when the Holy Spirit began to draw you to hear God’s Word?
Do you recognize the influences or influencers that tried to keep you from God?
What was more powerful; God’s Spirit or the worldly influences?
Jesus Christ knew He was reaching into a congregation of conflicted men.
He affirmed the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2) when He began His ministry the day he went into the synagogue of Nazareth and read from the scroll of that prophet. As He read from the Holy Scriptures, one can imagine the mixed reactions going on. Christ deliberately unrolled the lengthy scroll to that specific passage to identify Himself as the Messiah, imbued with the Spirit of the LORD Yahweh to share the good news of salvation.
Though rejected in Nazareth, Jesus went on from there to become the Light in the darkness.
Many people were healed of their afflictions. More importantly, many repented of their sins and turned their hearts back to God. No longer slaves to sin, they were freed of their bonds to darkness and became children of the Kingdom of God.
How much of your faith relies upon the written Word of God?
Can you explain your faith?
If so, why is your faith in Christ important to the way you live your life outside of the church?
Psalm 118:22–24 introduced the word picture of a rejected stone, a messianic prophecy of Christ, that would become the chief cornerstone.
In historic Israel, the cornerstone represented the first and strongest part of a permanent structure. It was selected from quarry by a master architect who made sure of its quality and integrity before putting it to use. If any flaws were perceived that stone would have been rejected.
Many Jewish leaders and religious experts considered themselves devoted to Yahweh when Jesus arrived on the scene.
He did not fit their misconstrued conception of the Messiah. Some listened to His message and responded in faith, but unfortunately many others rejected Him and continued to live in darkness. Rejected by some because He did not fit their ideals as Messiah or king, Jesus became the Cornerstone for the Christian faith for those who would listen, take heed, and believe.
Do you believe in the power of prayer?
Have you ever experienced a miracle you could only attribute to God’s power or grace at work?
How did you respond?
The Messiah was going to accomplish miraculous healings that no earthly physician could hope to achieve (Isaiah 35:4–6).
Jesus referenced this prophecy when he sent a word of encouragement to John the Baptist after he had been captured. The Lord was working miracles in the throngs of people who came to Him to hear Yahweh’s message of salvation. It was a positive message of God’s assurance that everything was occurring according to His will, even within the direst of circumstances.
Have you ever participated in a large gathering in support of a popular figure?
What was the atmosphere like and how did it affect you?
How did the popular person react to the adulation?
Can you express some of the emotions that Jesus may have been experiencing as he entered Jerusalem that day?
What do you think was behind His calm demeanor, what with the foreknowledge of the events about to take place during the week?
Zechariah foretold the Messiah would enter Jerusalem in triumph, accompanied by shouts of joy and adulation from its citizens, riding on a donkey colt (Zechariah 9:9).
The verse goes on to say that while the King was endowed by Yahweh in righteous and victory, He expressed serene humility as He entered the city, never the spectacle and pride of an earthly king.
Make no mistake about the Messiah.
He gave credit where credit was due. He pointed out on many occasions that His authority to proclaim the good news and to bring about healing and reconciliation came from Yahweh (Psalm 118:25-29). Many of His followers present at the triumphant entry shouted the acclamations of Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of Yahweh! We bless You from the house of Yahweh!”. It is important that we know in our hearts that the salvation that comes through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ was authorized and blessed by our loving God.
What is the cost for not accepting and acknowledging Christ, the Messiah for who He really is?
Why do you think the price of a slave (30 shekels) is significant here?