If you don't believe that Jesus is “Lord,” then you're not living in the 21 st century A.D.! The year, of course, is the same, but you'd call it the 21 st century CE (“Common/ Current/ Christian Era”), or some such, because “A.D.” (in Latin) stands for “the year of the Lord”. In the same way, if you don't believe that Jesus is the “Christ,” then you would say that Julius Caesar, for example, became dictator, not in 44 “B.C.” (“before Christ”), but in 44 B.C.E. (“before the Common/ Current/ Christian era”).
Three Synonymous Words
The term “Christ” means “anointed.” Its Hebrew equivalent is “Messiah.” In Israelite culture before Jesus was born, prophets, priests, and kings were anointed, usually with oil being poured on their heads. Many men, then, were called “God's anointed.”
1 Samuel 2:10 “The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.” (See also Isaiah 45:1; 1 Samuel 16:6; 2 Samuel 23:1; etc.)
However, some passages speak of a special person whom God would anoint once for all. This man, then, receives the special title, “ the Messiah,” or “ the Christ.” We even see the term “Messiah” used as if it were a proper name itself.
Daniel 9:25-26 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; …
Many Prophecies – One Man
But there are actually quite a number of passages anticipating a special person. In addition to references to the “anointed / Messiah,” some ancient Hebrew passages speak of God's “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 53), and one speaks of a special “Prophet” (Deuteronomy 18:18) So, by the time of Jesus, the Jews (as the primary recipients of these prophecies) seemed to expect several people to fulfill the prophecies. (See John 1:19.) It would have been quite difficult to imagine that ONE MAN could fulfill ALL the prophecies! But the Suffering Servant was Jesus (Acts 8:30 -35), and the ultimate Prophet whom Moses foretold, was also Jesus. (Acts 3:19-26) And so it is with “the Messiah” – Jesus Himself fulfills all the prophecies.
Jesus' followers knew that He was the Christ:
John 1:41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).
And Jesus Himself claimed to be God's “anointed.”
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
John 4:25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming ” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
The Scriptures written by Jesus' followers cite ancient Jewish prophecies and apply them directly to Jesus. For example, from the history book, Acts :
Acts 4:24 “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.' (quoting from Psalm 2:2 and following – InkMan)
27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”
And from the doctrinal treatise, Hebrews:
Hebrews 1:6 When He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.” …
8 But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” (quoting from Psalm 45:6-7 – InkMan)
On the Pentecost following Jesus' crucifixion, His disciples taught that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They said that His resurrection fulfilled prophecies such as Psalm 16:9-11 “concerning the resurrection of the Christ,” and concluded:
Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
And so the Bible repeatedly refers to Jesus as God's anointed (His Christ). For example,
Acts 10:38 “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
And “Jesus” becomes synonymous with “the Christ,” and he is called “Jesus Christ” some 185 times. (Matthew 1:1, 18; etc.)
In summary, Jesus fulfilled all the ancient prophecies about the Coming One. (For a thorough, four-page list, see http://www.MyPreachingPen.com/files/JesusFulfilledProphecy.pdf.) He is truly the hope of Israel.
Acts 4:8 “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel … 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth , whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Written by Ink Man
Quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible.