Messiah is Sinless

second-coming2For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, Rom. 8:3

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor. 5:21

FYI: When the first English translators came to the word sarkos they were not sure how to translate it, as there was no equivalent word in the English. They decided to follow the Greek example of taking the root of the word sarx with mean living body both animal and human. So they choose the second word for meat or flesh as the translation. Before it was used in the Bible in this way the English word flesh was just another word for meat. Stew pots at the time were called flesh pots. But because of it use in the Bible in this way the Bible forever changed the English language. In modern English we occasionally use flesh to mean meat, but more often than not we only use flesh when referring to an injury,  as in flesh wound, and we certainly don’t cook in flesh pots any more. Flesh means to us exactly what sarkos means in Greek, our fallen human nature.

Because of our weak flesh we cannot stand before a holy just God. There is no amount of effort on our part that can overcome this fault. We need a mediator who’s flesh is not weak. He looked like us in our sinful flesh bodies, but His nature was sinless.

Messiah is the Firstborn of the Dead

Our culture has little left of the honor and respect that used to be bestowed on the first-born. In past generations they were highly respected in the family. They were often given a double portion or the lions share of the inheritance. They were given the responsibility for aging parents and indigent siblings. All this began to change with the discovery of the New World, as non-first-borns could easily move farther west and make their own way in life. Wealth and position could be earned rather than granted. However in the ancient world everything was under the first-borns control. And so our Savior is the First-born.

Firstborn from the Dead

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. Col. 1:18

In the congregation we get used to hearing these terms and sometime we don’t give them a second thought. But the dead do not give birth. The dead do not bring life. Our Messiah came out of the tomb as if it were a womb, the first to be born in this manner. From time to time the prophets and Messiah Himself raised the dead, however this was the first time ever that a dead person walked out of the tomb by He own power.

Firstborn of all Creation

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15  

This is not that He is a creation, but rather it is by His authority as the first born that all things were created.

The Destroyer of the First-born

We tend to get our understanding of the Exodus from movies and children story versions, However The Angle of Death or The Destroyer of the first-born of Egypt was the Lord Himself. As the first-borns of Egypt were an honored class, and the son of Pharaoh destined to be a god, they were wiped out to make the point that the god’s of Egypt were impotent in the face of the God of the Hebrews.

By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the first-born might not touch them. Heb. 11:28

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. Ex. 12:12

Messiah’s/Christ’s Genealogy

Matt 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38  family-tree-hi

One of the confusing things for the first time Bible reader is that the genealogies in Matthew and Luke are completely different. Some people’s faith can be shaken by this realization. Others use it as a way of attacking the veracity of the Bible. However there is a simple enough answer for this. Matthew presents the genealogy of Joseph while Luke provides the genealogy of Mary.

Joseph’s lineage was from David, through his son Solomon, and included all the kings of Judah. Mary’s lineage descended from David by his son Nathan. Mary and Joseph were both descendant from Judah and David, and therefore very distant cousins.

The reason that we know that Luke’s genealogy of Mary’s, is because the Talmud tells us that Mary was the daughter of Heli (in a very unflattering curse). The confusing part is that this genealogy lists Joseph as the son of Heli, instead of Mary. We alway list both sons and daughters in a genealogy. However only sons are listed in ancient genealogies. So Joseph is listed as Hali’s son because Mary had to have been an only child or the oldest of all daughters. Mary’s husband Joseph therefore, was considered her father’s heir.

Melchizedek

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Peter Paul Rubens

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Peter Paul Rubens

What does after the order of Melchizedek mean?

Melchizedek is one of the most enigmatic persons in the Bible. His kingdom was called Salem i.e. peace, his name is a title i.e. King of Righteousness, and he has no genealogy or tribal distinction. He comes from nowhere and disappears just as quickly.

FYI: Tradition holds that he was Shem, Noah’s son.

His first mention is in Gen 14, where he met up with Abraham after Abram’s victory over the four kings from Mesopotamia.

And Mel-chizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth;  20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Gen. 14:18-20

1   For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him;  2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.  3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.  Heb. 7:1 -3

Bread and wine is usually indicative of a blessing, but none is mentioned. Whoever he was Abram felt he was worthy of a tenth of the plunder. Continue reading

Messiah/Christ is the Creator

1The eternal pre-existence of Christ/Messiah as it is called by the theologians causes many to see a paradox. Although Messiah was born at a very specific point in time and space, He is also eternal. He pre-existed everything in creation. This can only be because God is not limited by time and space.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15  

. . . all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:3

In order to have created all things He must have pre-existed all things, and that by definition is something eternal.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

The Greek word here is Logos which means word, speech, message, book. Its meaning contains all that is communication. What He communicated was all of creation, all that makes up the atoms, particles, and the genetic code of the universe. He wrote it all in six days. Continue reading

Messiah as Teacher

second-coming2And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Matt. 9:11 

The Greek word didaskalos means teacher, and it is where we get our word didactic, or to give moral instructions in a pleasant and entertaining way.

A teacher of this kind is by definition effecting change in the student behavior, and are presenting their lives for emulation.

“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; Matt. 10:24 

Who your teacher is will greatly effect ones behavior.

. . . it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-elzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. Matt. 10:25

. . . in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” Matt. 15:9 

Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matt. 16:12 

Although many teach there is really only one Teacher, and it is His teachings that we all strive to emulate.

But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. Matt. 23:8 

Continue reading

Rabbi/Rabboni

second-coming2Only John gave Messiah this title. Rabbi roots from the Hebrew rab which means “great one” the “i” mean “my.” It means to claim one as a master or teacher.

FYI: Rabbi is teacher in Hebrew, Rabboni is teacher in Chaldean

Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” John 1:38

This group of people (we don’t know their number or if they were all men or if some women were present) have heard John declare that this Man was the Lamb of God, and now they want to move on to the greater teacher. In asking were He was staying they were asking to be taught by Him for being taught in the first century meant to live with the teacher. Andrew was so excited by all this that he went and told his brother Peter that they had found the Messiah.

Messiah welcomed them into his living arrangements. Unlike the preachers of today, who stand up on Sunday and then are gone for the rest of the week. They maintain the interest of their followers by keeping them at a distance all this is because familiarity breeds contempt but mystery intrigues. The instructions of the New Testament are to disciple others, and our Lord set the example. There must be a certain amount of openness in ones life. We must be friends, share our lives, break our bread and in general be open in most of our ways. There needs to be what used to be called the communion of the saints. Messiah opened up all to those who followed He allowed them to become intimates with Him. They saw Him on good and bad days. They saw how He dealt with the ups and down of everyday life.

Messiah offers the same opportunity to everyone.

For he says, “At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2Cor. 6:2 

It is Nathanael who announces first that he understands what other title  the Messiah is entitled to be called.

Nathana-el answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” John 1:49

Nicodemus who is afraid to be seen with the Messiah never-the-less acknowledges that He is his Rabbi.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” John 3:2

Then last but certainly not least is Mary Magdalene, who in her great grief recognizes her Teacher when He calls her name.

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rab-boni!” (which means Teacher). John 20:16

What a comfort that our great teacher in our darkest grief calls us by name, and leads us out to greater pastures.

To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3