© Rosemary Bardsley 2009

The word ‘Christ’ is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew ‘Messiah’. Both words refer to the deliverer God had promised to send. For the most part the Jews were looking for a political/national human deliverer, whose actions would set them free from the tyranny of the Romans and re-establish Israel as a prosperous, independent nation ruled by a descendant of David, the greatest king in Israel 's history. In so limiting their concept of the Messiah the Jews were overlooking those portions of the prophecies which depict the work of the Messiah as encompassing the whole world, and the person of the Messiah as far more exalted than a national hero and a Davidic king.


Some Old Testament anticipations regarding the Messiah:


Deuteronomy 18:14-19 : Messiah as a prophet

The Messiah will be a prophet like Moses.

He will be ‘from among their brothers’.

God will put his words in this prophet’s mouth.

He will speak everything God tells him.

If anyone does not listen to this prophet God will call him to account.


Psalm 2:1-12 : Messiah as the King

The Messiah is the Lord’s ‘Anointed One’.

He is God’s King, installed in Zion .

He is God’s Son; God is his Father.

God will make the nations his inheritance, the ends of the earth his possession.

Wrath will be upon those who do not honour the Messiah.

Blessing is upon those who take refuge in him.


Psalm 22:1-31 : The suffering of the Messiah

He is forsaken by God.

He is deep and constant agony.

He is despised, mocked and insulted by the people.

He is surrounded by aggressive enemies.

His suffering is intense.

People cast lots for his clothing.

He declares God’s name among the people.


Psalm 110 : The Messiah is the Lord at God’s right hand

He is in the place of honour and exaltation.

He rules from Zion , even in the midst of his enemies.

He is a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

He conquers kings and rulers in the whole earth.

He judges the nations.


Psalm 132:11-18 : The Messiah is the King of David’s line

He is the descendant of David

His throne is for ever and ever

He is God’s anointed one

God will clothe this King’s enemies with shame

This king’s crown will be resplendent.


Isaiah 9 : The Messiah is the Son

The government is on his shoulders

He is called Wonderful Counsellor

He is called Mighty God

He is called Everlasting Father

He is called Prince of Peace

There is no end to the increase of his government.


Isaiah 11:1- 10 : The Messiah is the Son of David

He is the stump of Jesse

He is a Branch

The Spirit of the Lord is upon him – the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

He delights in the fear of the Lord.

He judges in righteousness and justice in the earth

Righteousness is his belt, faithfulness his sash.

He inaugurates a reign of peace

Through him the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord

He stands as a rallying point for all people.

His place of rest is glorious.


Isaiah 40:5-11 : The Messiah is the Sovereign Lord

The Messiah reveals the glory of the Lord

All mankind sees it

In his coming God comes [see verse 9]

He is the Sovereign Lord

He tends his flock like a shepherd


Isaiah 42:1-7 : The Messiah – God’s Chosen One

He is God’s servant

He is God’s chosen one, in whom God delights

God’s Spirit is upon him

He is humble and compassionate

He is faithful and just, establishing justice

He will not fail or be discouraged

God has called him in righteousness

God sustains him

God makes him a covenant for the people

God makes him a light for the Gentiles

He opens blind eyes, frees captives, releases those in darkness.


Isaiah 49:1-7 : The One prepared by God

The Lord called him before his birth

The Lord sharpened his mouth

The Lord prepared him in secret

He displays the splendour of the Lord

He is God’s servant to bring Israel back to God

God also makes him a light for the Gentiles, to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.

He was despised, abhorred.

Kings will see him and rise up, princes will see him and bow down.

He is the one chosen by God.


Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 : The Messiah is the Suffering Servant

He is God’s servant

He is highly exalted

He is grossly disfigured

He impacts many nations and kings

He reveals things not previously seen or understood

He was despised and rejected by men

He bore the sins of many and the punishment necessary for the acquittal of many

He was silent in the presence of his tormenters

This was God’s pleasure and will

Justification comes to many because he bore their transgressions.


Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:14-16 : the Messiah is ‘the LORD Our Righteousness’

The is the ‘righteous Branch’ or ‘righteous Sprout’ of David

The King who rules wisely and justly

His name is ‘the LORD Our Righteousness’

He rules an eternal kingdom


Daniel 7:13,14

One like a son of man

Coming with the clouds of heaven

Entered the presence of the Ancient of Days

Given authority, glory and sovereign power

All peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him

His dominion is everlasting and will not pass away

His kingdom will never be destroyed


Zechariah 6:12ff

His name is ‘the Branch’

He builds the temple of the LORD

He will be clothed with majesty

He sits and rules on his throne

He will be a priest on his throne


Some New Testament references to the Messiah [the Christ]

Matthew 11:2-6

Matthew 16:16-20

Matthew 26:63-64

Luke 2:26-32

Luke 3:15-17

Luke 4:41

Luke 23:35-43

Luke 24:46-47

John 1:41

John 4:25-29, 42

John 9:22

John 10:22-26

John 12:30-34