The Christ of Faith

For the followers of Jesus, he was the anointed one, the Messiah, the Christ.  They believed that Jesus the Christ implied that God was unique in Jesus of Nazareth, in his life, death and resurrection.  Jesus reconciled humanity to God and us with one another.  He redeemed mankind.  He rose from the dead.  Christians believe in Jesus Christ, the savior, who was not like everyone else, since he was the Christ of faith.  As later doctrinal statements will say, he was truly human and truly God, the son of the Father, filled with the Holy Spirit.

The ode to Bethlehem (Mic 5:2-5:2)

“But you!

O Bethlehem of Ephrathah!

You are one of the little clans

Of Judah.

From you,

Shall come forth

For me

One who is

To rule in Israel.

His origin is from of old,

From ancient days.”

This is a very complicated passage that was used by the New Testament gospels of Matthew, chapter 2, and John, chapter 7, as a prediction of where the Messiah would be born.  Micah directed this ode directly to Bethlehem, a town about 6 miles south of Jerusalem.  The ancient name was apparently Ephrathah, similar to the name of the territory of Ephraim, but a small clan of people.  King David was from this small town of Bethlehem.  Thus, this new ruler of Israel would be from this same place or part of the Davidic bloodline.  There is confusion about the little phrase “from me.”  Was this new ruler to be from God or Bethlehem?  Would he be like the ancient good old days of David?

The son of man (Dan 7:13-7:14)

“As I watched

In the night visions,

I saw one,

Like a son of man,

Coming with the clouds

Of heaven.

He came

To the Ancient One.

He was presented

Before him.

To him,

Was given dominion,

Glory,

Kingship.

All people,

All nations,

All languages

Should serve him.

His dominion is

An everlasting dominion.

It shall not pass away.

His kingdom is one

That shall never be destroyed.”

Daniel also saw in his night visions, something like the son of man coming from heaven. This son of man went to the Ancient One and presented himself to God. However, he was given dominion, glory and kingship over all people, nations, and languages. Everyone would serve him, since his kingdom would last forever, and never be destroyed. This had been often interpreted as the coming of the Messiah, the savior. The usage of the term ‘son of man’ may be a reference to Jesus, since he and his disciples used this term. However, in the Book of Ezekiel, Yahweh used this term for Ezekiel. Here it may also mean a symbol of faithful Jews or the archangel Michael, although he might not be a son of man.

Cyrus the Anointed Messiah Christ (Isa 45:1-45:1)

“Thus says Yahweh

To his anointed,

To Cyrus.

I have grasped his right hand,

To subdue nations before him,

To strip kings of their robes,

To open doors before him.

The gates shall not be closed.”

Second Isaiah calls Cyrus the anointed one, in Hebrew the Messiah, or in Greek the Christ. This is the only reference of an anointed person or a messiah who was not an Israelite. Cyrus, the King of Persia from 559-530 BCE, more than two centuries after the lifetime of Isaiah, was really a favorite of both Yahweh and the author of Second Isaiah. Cyrus the Great created the largest empire in the world with present day Iran the last vestige of that empire as he took over many countries. Second Isaiah continually insisted that Yahweh was behind Cyrus as he is clearly the anointed one of Yahweh. Yahweh has grasped his right hand, so that he could subdue various nations. Yahweh would help Cyrus strip kings of their robes. He would open doors for him, since no gates would be closed to Cyrus.

Yahweh judges (Ps 110:5-110:7)

“Yahweh is at your right hand.

He will shatter kings

On the day of his wrath.

He will execute judgment

Among the nations.

He will fill them with corpses.

He will shatter heads

Over the wide earth.

He will drink

From the stream by the path.

Therefore he will lift up his head.”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh giving this king, probably David, the power to judge. Thus the Christian interpretation of the Messiah as king, priest, and judge would be based on this psalm. Here there is a role reversal from the first verse as Yahweh is at the king’s right hand. Now this is a king who shatters other kings on the day of wrath. He too will execute judgment on the other nations as well. He will fill their countries with corpses. He will shatter their heads on the earth. He will drink from the streams along the pathway so that he will lift up his head. Yes, this is a difficult psalm to understand, so that the Davidic Christian messianic interpretation is certainly possible.