THE PROMISE OF THE DELIVERER (Faith in the Messiah)
Immediately after the very first sin, God promised He would send Someone to rescue mankind. Satan had deceived Adam and Eve, plunging mankind into a world of despair, misery, disease, and eventually death and hell. Sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it? So God came to the rescue, and promised He would send someone to UNDO the evil and misery that the devil had brought about. It is the theme of the entire Bible. The Jews called this coming deliverer the Messiah (The New Testament Greek equivalent would be Christos, which is where we get the word CHRIST). To the serpent (Satan) God said, “… (the Messiah) shall bruise thy head…” Throughout the Bible, God promised many times that He would send the Rescuer, and gave many clues to His identity. God promised the Jews He would send them a prophet like unto Moses (Deut 18:15, 18 Acts 3:22-23). He promised the Messiah would come thru Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then from the tribe of Judah (The book of Genesis). It says He would be a descendant of King David (2 Samuel). Psalms chapter 22 states that the Messiah would be crucified. In Isaiah 7 He would be born of a virgin, in chapter 53 the Messiah would have our sins laid on Him and God would punish Him instead of us. Micah 5:2 tells us that He would be born in Bethlehem.
There are hundreds of other promises in the Bible about this Deliverer. It was God’s intent that these prophecies of how, when, and where this Messiah would come, would help us to identify this Saviour when He arrived so that we could trust in HIM for our salvation. Do we know of anyone who has come close to fulfilling those predictions?
THE IDENTITY OF THE DELIVERER
Who was the person who met the requirements?
Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of a virgin from the tribe of Judah, a descendant of Abraham, was crucified between two thieves and buried in a rich man’s tomb. Each of these instances was predicted to happen. Biblically and historically, there is no other person who has fulfilled these prophecies other than Jesus Christ. He fulfilled to the letter every single prediction of the Messiah’s first arrival. (To include all of those prophecies here would get rather lengthy, but would gladly be made available upon request).
While several of these fulfilled prophecies of the identity of the Savior have been mentioned, let’s ask this question. Did Jesus actually admit to being the Messiah? Did He ever say that He was this promised Deliverer?
The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I THAT SPEAK UNTO THEE AM HE. (John 4:25-26)
…Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ (the Messiah, the Promised Saviour), the Son of the Blessed? and JESUS SAID, I AM:
and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Mark 14:61-62)
… To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. (John 18:37b)
Jesus also told people to look for Him in the only book that foretold His coming…
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)
Those Scriptures say it many times…
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31)
For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ (Messiah). (Acts 18:28)
So, was Jesus Christ the long promised Messiah, sent to UNDO what the devil had started?
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8b)
Did God send the deliverer? A total of 15 times in the book of John, Jesus Christ said of Himself,
… my Father hath sent me…(John 20:21)
So we see that Jesus Christ was actually sent by God for the specific purpose of being the long promised Messiah.
But what was He supposed to do? How was He supposed to pay for the sins of mankind? And with what?
Let’s find out.
FAITH IN THE BLOOD.
Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, God provided an object lesson that pointed to man’s future deliverer. When Adam tried to cover his shame and sin with the works of his own hands (fig leaves) God shed the blood of innocent animals instead (it may have been sheep), and took the coats off these animals to provide a covering for man’s shame. God Himself provided the very first object lesson. God shed blood and provided that covering – NOT MAN.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)
God instructed His followers to sacrifice innocent sheep, shedding their blood. We see that Abel did this. Abraham shed the blood of an innocent male sheep. Moses was instructed to kill a spotless male lamb, that its blood may protect the children of Israel from judgment. (When this lamb’s blood was applied over the doorposts, instead of judgment coming to the house, it would “pass over.” To this day, that is why the Jews call it the Passover.)
The Jewish high priest would enter into the tabernacle or temple, and shed the blood of an innocent lamb as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. What we mean by innocent is that the lambs had never done anything to deserve death, judgment, or bloodshed. They were detached from any sins a person may have committed. Completely innocent. But it HAD TO BE DONE.
Sin requires that blood be shed to atone for the guilty party
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. (Hebrews 9:22)
Sin requires death.
…the wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23)
At this point, let us pause to define a very important definition. It is the word SACRIFICE. A sacrifice is something that is a replacement. It gives its life IN EXCHANGE for another. It dies, INSTEAD OF the other. The sacrifice receives WHAT THE OTHER DESERVED. It pays the penalty IN PLACE OF the guilty.
So, we saw that the principle of a sacrifice was laid out in Genesis and was followed consistently throughout the Bible. Innocent animals died and shed their blood in exchange for sin. It was the innocent animals sacrificing their lives to cover the shame of the guilty, and to pay for their crimes. The innocent lamb would be spotless, symbolizing the purity of the sinless FUTURE SACRIFICE.
But a lamb was not the solution. It was only delaying God’s action against those sins until the next year, when this sacrifice would have to be repeated again; and the next year, and the next year, etc… Why? Because it was ONLY TEMPORARY, not permanent. In fact, it was to be used only until the person it pictured (the Messiah) would arrive; until HIS BLOOD, and ONLY His blood, could PERMANENTLY take our sins away.
So while a spotless lamb was a perfect picture to help us understand, and to point us to the Messiah, as far as taking sins away??? Its blood just wasn’t good enough.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (Hebrews 10:4)
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? (Hebrews 10:1-2a)
This is saying that the sacrifices could not make a person sinless, which is why they had to be repeated every year. If the sacrifices could have washed the sins away permanently, WE WOULD NOT NEED A PERMANENT SOLUTION.
An animal is inadequate. An animal (a lamb) was only a picture to help us understand. There was something better. NO! SOMEONE BETTER, who would actually provide a PERMANENT solution.
HE HIMSELF would come.
HE Himself would BE the solution.
But wait! He would have to be sinless.
So just WHERE ARE WE GOING TO FIND THAT?!?!? A SINLESS HUMAN BEING? I don’t know of anyone that is sinless.
The only person without sin – is GOD.
But now we run into TWO MAJOR PROBLEMS.
First, GOD CANNOT DIE!
And second, GOD DOESN’T HAVE BLOOD!
…so…GOD BECAME A MAN…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… (John 1:1, 14)
..God was manifest in the flesh… (1 Timothy 3:16)
Now able to die…
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law (in the flesh, capable of dying) (Galatians 4:4)
With sinless blood…
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. (1 John 3:5)
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (1 Peter 2:22)
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
God would send a LAMB.
This would be GOD’S Lamb.
He would shed HIS blood.
IT WAS JESUS CHRIST.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD. (John 1:29)
JESUS CHRIST WAS GOD’S LAMB. GOD WOULD SACRIFICE HIM. And also, did you see what John said? He would take our sins away. But not just that of the Israelites, but of the WHOLE WORLD. We can be free. Free from the bondage of sin and from guilt. When you looked thru those commandments on page 8, did you break them? Then you are guilty. You are condemned. But God wants to free you from that guilt; from the condemnation, FROM THE PUNISHMENT. God is offering you mercy. He punished Jesus INSTEAD OF you, so you could go free and so that He could restore a Father/child relationship with you. No rituals, no sacrifices, no superficial outward shows, no good works to perform in order to earn his favor – the payment has been made already – God just wants A RELATIONSHIP. You don’t have to do ANYTHING to earn God’s favor. He already loved you. He is offering you amnesty. Forgiveness. Just accept HIS payment. Accept HIS BLOOD as YOUR PAYMENT.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5b)
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Ephesians 1:7)
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things… But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18-19)
For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: (1 Corinthians 5:7)
Do you get that Bible picture? If you trust in HIS blood to cover you, (you are pronounced forgiven), then on judgment day, instead of being judged as you deserve; judgment will PASS OVER you.
So do you see? Over and over again that its the “…the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
N O T W A T E R !
Accept His death for you payment. “The wages of sin is death…” so…
… Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (1 Corinthians 15:3)
And you, that were…alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: (Colossians 1:21-22)
How is it that “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” can get a person to heaven? Remember, it is a confidence in His ability.
Ability to do what?
To meet the requirements to be the sinless sacrifice that was promised for you and I. The Bible says that 2000 years ago, God the Son paid for every single sin of every single person for all time by the sacrifice of Himself on the cross. That means ALL of your sins. Even your future sins. Remember,
By the which will we are sanctified THROUGH THE OFFERING of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for ALL.
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, WHICH CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY SINS:
But this man [this sinless perfect man], after he had offered ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God; (Hebrews 10-12)
Do you believe that? If God cannot lie, then why wouldn’t you? When you realize that the Lord Jesus Christ – who is God – can make no mistakes, cannot lie, has already paid for all your sins on the cross, wants to save you more than anything else in all the world, and that you can put your complete confidence in Him as God to carry out his promise for your salvation – that is trust, that is confidence, that is faith. Faith therefore, is not a confidence in YOUR ability, but a complete confidence in the ability of JESUS CHRIST and His sinless blood, shed to complete the sacrifice.
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)