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“Messiah” (מָשִׁיחַ/h4899) means “anointed one.” The word “Christ” (Χριστός/g5547) also means “anointed one” (see: John 1:41). The messiah was prophesied about in the Old Testament. The Old Testament said that the messiah would rescue the nation of Israel. Jesus fulfilled all of these Old Testament prophecies about the messiah. Jesus was the messiah.
See: Prophesy (Prophecy)
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In the Old Testament, people anointed with oil anything or anyone that was given to God. The word “anointed” means that oil was poured or sprinkled on them. Different people and things were anointed with oil (see: Exodus 28:41; 40:9; 1 Samuel 16:1-13). The king was sometimes called “God’s anointed” (see: 1 Samuel 2:10, 35).
When Israel and Judah were sent to Assyria and Babylon for their sinning, God began to speak about the messiah whom he would send. He would send this person to save his people and restore the nation of Israel. Prophecy said that the messiah will be a descendant of King David. The messiah will be a righteous and caring king. Also, he will defeat the enemies of God’s people and will rule forever (see: Psalm 2:2-7; 46:6-7; Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-16; Ezekiel 34:1-31; Daniel 7:14). Prophecy also said that the messiah will be the son of God (see: Psalm 2:7; 89:27).
Jesus fulfilled these prophecies. He is truly God’s messiah or christ. His disciples called him the messiah. Martha (see: John 11:27), Peter (see: Matthew 16:16), and even demons called him the messiah (see: Luke 4:31-35, 41).
Jesus rarely used the words “messiah” or “christ” to talk about himself. He did say that God anointed him. He spoke about Old Testament verses about the messiah. He used these verses to talk about his purpose for coming to the earth (see: Luke 4:18; see also: Isaiah 61:1,2). After he was made alive again, Jesus said he fulfilled the Old Testament promises about the messiah (see: Luke 24:27, 44-49).
Jesus was also called God’s son (see: Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:1-3; Luke 3:21-22), a descendant of David (see: Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; Romans 1:3), and a king who will rule forever and ever (see: Revelation 11:15). All these things fulfilled prophecies about the messiah.
See: Anoint (Anointing); Sin; Righteous (Righteousness); People of God; Son of God