Saturday, 7 April 2018

'Christ' Indicated Fulfilment

When the Apostles affiliated the title 'Christ' (Messiah) with the person Jesus, it was to assert that the gospel was the very means by which God was indeed fulfilling the promised destiny of the Israelis.
Each of the Judaisms in the first century AD (such as the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, temple-priests, Zealots, Essenes, and the Qumran community, etc) were a case of the Jews scurrying - in light of their predicament, including a looming threat from Rome - to answer the questions:
Who might the Messiah be?
How must we hasten his kingdom?
What will his (the Messiah's) community look like?
Who in Israel will qualify for it?
Each of the groups among 1st century Judaisms were claiming 'this is the way' and 'we are the people' - they even baptised (immersed).
John the Baptist's ministry and message fit perfectly into that scene. John was unique among the prophets in that he publicly identified Jesus as the Messiah. John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. Jewish ethnicity alone wasn't to be the qualifier, he warned.
So the gospel of Jesus the Messiah was the Apostles' answer to those questions.
Israel's Messiah was Jesus of Nazareth. The true Israel among Israelis who would be blessed to experience Israel's promises, was all Israelis who repented and believed in Jesus.
The cross came to be understood as central to that scheme and message. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead powerfully affirmed it.
The gospel was the joyful announcement to Israelis that God had fulfilled His promises to Israelis and that the blessing was being experienced by all Israelis who repented and believed in Jesus as the Messiah who had died for them and whom God had raised from the dead.
What God had done for Israelis, He had done for all mankind. So at the direction of the Holy Spirit the same announcement and its blessing soon spread among the nations.
The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the very fulfilment of Abraham's promise, it's the substance of what was foreshadowed by the law, the fulfilment of Prophecy.
Not just good news - it's great news!

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