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Awaiting the Coming of the Messiah


In summing up the contents of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, we see that the Jews, possessing such an abundant and thorough description of His character and many events of His life, could without difficulty acquire a true faith in Him. In part they should have known, that the Messiah was to have two natures: human and Divine, that He would be the greatest Prophet, King and High Priest, anointed by God (the Father) for these services, and would be a Good Shepherd.

     The prophecies also attested to the fact, that the main objective of the Messiah would be the defeat of the devil and his servants, the redemption of mankind from sins, the healing of their spiritual and physical ailments and reconciliation with God; that He will sanctify the faithful and establish a New Testament, and His spiritual blessings will extend to all humanity.

     The prophets also revealed many events in the life of the Messiah, specifically: He will be descended from Abraham, from the tribe of Judah, from the line of King David, will be born to a Virgin in the city of Bethlehem, will preach peace to people, heal illnesses, will be meek and compassionate, will be betrayed, condemned though innocent, will suffer, will be pierced (by a spear), will die, will be buried in a new grave, during the time of His crucifixion darkness will descend. Then the Messiah will descend into hell and will lead the souls of people from it, after which He will rise from the dead; they also predicted that not everyone will recognize Him as the Messiah, but some will even feud with Him, though without success. The result of His redemption will be the spiritual renewal of the faithful and the outpouring of the grace of the Holy Spirit on them.

     Finally, the prophets determined that the time of His coming will coincide with the end of the political independence of the tribe of Judah, which will occur no later that 70weeks” (70x7= 490 years) after the issuance of the decree to restore the city of Jerusalem, and no later than the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem, that He will destroy the antichrist, that He will come again in glory. The final result of His activity will be the attainment of justice, peace and happiness.

     Also, those names, which the prophets gave to Him, attest to the nature of the Messiah and the greatness of His deeds, such as: Lion, David, Branch, Mighty God, Emmanuel, Adviser, Leader of the World, Father of the future age, Conciliator, Star, Seed of the Woman, Prophet, Son of God, King, Anointed (Messiah), Redeemer, God, Lord, Servant (of God), Righteous, Son of man, Holy of Holies.

     All this abundance of prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament Holy books reveal to us the great significance the prophets assigned to their mission of teaching the Jews to believe correctly in the coming Christ. In addition, the hope that at some time an extraordinary Person will come, Who will deliver people from disasters, spread from the Jews among many nations, which is why Haggai call ChristDesire of all nations.” Truly, among many ancient peoples (Chinese, Hindus, Persians, Greeks and others), there existed a legend about the coming of a God-person into the world long before the birth of Christ. Some called HimHoly,” others —Savior.”

     Thus the Old Testament prophets prepared the necessary conditions for the successful spreading of the New Testament faith. Truly, many ancient written monuments of the time period between 200 BC until the beginning of the 2nd century AD witness that, during that time, the Hebrew nation intensely awaited the coming of the Messiah. Among these written monuments can be mentioned the Book of Enoch, the Book of Baruch, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sibyl Oracles, the ancient parts of the Talmud, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the notes of Joseph Flavian (a Jewish historian of the 1st century of our era) and others. Quotes from these sources would require too much space. Reading these ancient written monuments, it may be concluded, that the faith of the Jews in the Messiah sometimes reached amazing proportions. Thus, for examples, several ancient writers called the coming Messiah the Son of Man and the Son of God, existing prior to the appearance of the world, king and judge righteous, rewarding the good and punishing the evil (in the second part of the book of Enoch).

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