Jesus the promised Messiah
Last Sunday, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Canberra, in celebration of Harmony Day organised an event at the ACT Legislative Assembly to highlight the various teachings found in world religions regarding the concept of the Coming of the Promised Messiah (Reformer).
I represented the Christian position and was joined with representatives from Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. Here is a brief summary of my address:
The word Messiah means ‘anointed one’ or ‘the chosen one’. In Old Testament times, prophets, priests and kings were anointed with oil when they were set apart for positions of responsibility.
The history of Israel from the time of the prophets onwards is of a nation constantly under attack and oppression. According to the Hebrew prophets, the Messiah is a king-like figure from the line of David who would, among other things, rescue Israel from her oppressors, return Jerusalem to the Jewish people, and usher in a new age of peace.
When Jesus was born the mantle of Messiah fell firmly on his shoulders. Christians believe that God took human form and lived among us. We believe that his birth fulfils a messianic prophecy in Isaiah Chapter 9 v 6:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
In the New Testament, affirmations of Jesus as the Messiah are found in the four Gospel narratives and in the Acts of the Apostles, e.g.
In a conversation with Jesus, a Samaritan woman says she knows the Messiah is coming. Jesus replies, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25-26)
When Jesus asks his disciples who they think he is, Peter answers, "You are the Messiah of God." (Lk 9:20) Peter’s reply meant that Jesus was the one whom God had anointed, namely, the Messiah.
Jesus healed people with physical infirmities. He brought healing to people with all kinds of mental, spiritual and emotional troubles. He healed a Canaanite woman's child and a man living in an unclean cemetery. He had power over the wind and the waves.
Christians believe that Jesus’ life on earth shows us how we should live and how God should rule our lives. He provides the model that we should follow.
All of what Jesus tells us can all be summed up in the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule doesn’t say, “Treat others as they treat you.” It says, “ Treat others as you would like them to treat you.”
In the light of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, his followers understood that he really was the Messiah and they began to see how many prophecies of the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus.
Christians believe that we are living between the two comings of Christ. The first is that of his coming 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. The second coming is that which we believe will happen at the end of time when Christ will come in glory.
In the meantime it is up to all of his followers to act as true representatives of his kingdom, which he inaugurated at his birth.