In the beginning, God created the earth. He made beauty and order out of chaos and darkness, and made life. The Creator made these wonderful creatures in His own image; He called them Humans. These Humans were made custodians over the earth. They were made to reflect God’s rule over the earth. God blessed these Humans to be fruitful and multiply the earth.
Now these rulers were granted a choice by means of a tree called The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. So far, God has been calling the shots on what is good and not good (Evil). When He did so, everything was good and beautiful. When He did so, there was LIFE.
He then gave humans a choice. Would they continue trusting Him to call the shots? Or will they seize this knowledge to define good and evil for themselves? Well, they chose the latter. They had help doing so. Help from a serpent who symbolized all of evil and rebellion against God and His good world.
As a result, God’s rule through humans got usurped. And these custodians (without God’s rule) turned God’s good world, bad. Everybody did what is good in their own eyes at the expense of others.
The Hope of Humanity
The ancient biblical Hebrew concept behind the word sin (khata) is to fail or to miss the mark. That is what happened to the humans. They failed at fulfilling their assignment as the image of God. Humans didn’t reflect God’s rule to the earth; they reflected theirs – each with their own opinion of what is only good for themselves (most times). And this sin has taken root within them on the inside. It has become a part of who they are.
However, God did not leave his good creation to perish in chaos. He loved his good world so much. So He gave a prophecy – a word of hope to creation. Here it is:
“I am declaring war between you (the Serpent) and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He will wound your head, you will wound his knee.”
A human will arise born of a woman who will crush the head of this Serpent and put an end to evil. However, the way he will accomplish that is to be wounded, thus bitten on the heel by this being of evil. Who is this human that will bring back God’s rule over all creation and put an end to all evil?
He will definitely not be like the others. A new human fulfilling the true purpose of being God’s image is needed. This human will rule the earth by reflecting the Creator’s love, rule, life,
The Call of Abraham
God moved this restoration project into second gear by choosing a man named Abraham (by then Abram). He instructed Abram to come out of his land and follow Him. God blessed him and his descendants that through them, God will bless the whole world (Genesis 12:3).
There is more. God gave Abraham another blessing when He changed his name from Abram to Abraham.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful…Genesis 17:6
Remember that blessing? The same one He blessed humans when He made them.
The Call of Jacob
Jacob was the grandson of Abraham. God called him while he slept on his way fleeing after he deceived his father and elder twin brother.
God blessed him with the same blessing He gave Abraham in Genesis 12:3.
“Your descendants will be as the dust of the earth. They will stretch from west to east and from North to South. All the families of the earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants.”
A King From Judah
The project became clearer when Jacob (now Israel) was about to die. He called his kids and blessed them. From this blessing, he prophesied that through his son Judah a King will rise up that will rule all nations.
The scepter shall now leave Judah; he shall keep a firm grip on the command staff until the ultimate ruler comes and the nations obey him.
A snippet of hope was revealed. God’s rule is coming back through this king. He would rule all nations and make them, in turn, a reflection of God’s rule, love, life
Is King David The One?
The descendants of Jacob grew to be a great nation called Israel. Then finally along the lines of history, a great king from Judah showed up – a man after God’s heart. His name was David. Everyone thought he was the one called to reflect God’s rule the over nations. However, he too messed up. He gave in to the evil – that serpent.
David committed adultery with his soldier’s wife and killed him to cover it up. He regretted his deeds but it still remained the fact that he wasn’t that offspring of the Woman – that king from Judah.
However, God assured David. That the long-awaited King from the beginning will rise out of David’s dynasty (2 Samuel 7:11-13).
Sadly, the descendant kings from David gave in to that same evil from the Serpent. They gave in to the pleasure of greed towards money, sex, and power. Some even worshipped other gods.
None represented God’s rule as the true image. These kings not only followed their selfish desires, they led the nation into idolatry which got them banished from their own land.
It seemed as if all hope was lost during these moments. But God still kept the hope alive. He did that through his prophets. They kept telling the people about the promised Messiah (which means the anointed one) who will save Israel as it’s king and extend the Creator’s good rule to the nations. One particular prophet who gave more information about this Messiah was the man named Isaiah.
He spoke about this anointed person (The Messiah) who would set his people free from the effects of evil (Isaiah 62:1-2). Then He also spoke of this king who would be bruised just like God mentioned in Genesis 3. This time he is bruised with the evil of all of humanity. This evil kills him. But then suddenly, this King rises and emerges victorious. Strange scene (Isaiah 53).
Jesus the Messiah
After many centuries of waiting for this promised Messiah, Jesus showed up. He was from the line of David, the tribe of Judah, the descendant of Abraham, and an offspring of the Woman promised by God to Adam.
He went about announcing the good news of God’s kingdom and exhibiting what God’s rule looks like – doing good, expressing selfless love, and saving people from the effects of evil and death such as healing diseases, casting out oppressive demons, and raising the dead. Cool!
The Messiah had arrived. Jesus announced this when he participated in the public reading of Scripture in the synagogue. He read the same text in Isaiah 61:1-2 and declared that he was that anointed person. Yes, he was the long-awaited Messiah.
Peter revealed who he was through the inspiration of the Spirit. He was the Messiah (Christ), the son of the Living God.
Christ is not Jesus’ Surname
Christ is not Jesus’s surname. It is the known English derivation of the Greek word Kristos which meant “The Anointed One.” That is exactly what The Messiah means. The Messiah is the Hebrew term for that same phrase.
In Jesus’ day and that of the early apostles, he wasn’t called Jesus Christ (as we do know). He was referred to as Jesus the Messiah. He was the promised Messiah of God unto Israel and the whole world.
Jesus’ Unexpected Mission
Many Jews in his day, especially the common folk, believed him to be the long-awaited Messiah. Up until he was crucified. Then they lost hope. Because they thought he would rise up an army and save them from the Romans. That didn’t happen.
Jesus came to fulfil the Scriptures. Like God said in the Book of Genesis and through Isaiah’s prophecy, the Messiah was to be bruised by the Serpent – which was the orchestrator and embodiment of all evil. Evil gave Jesus its best shot in the grave. It bit him on the heel with its most deadly poison.
However, it was through this bruising that Jesus emerged as victorious. He bruised the head of the Serpent, defeating it for good by taking all of humanity’s evil into himself through the cross.
(Check out our post on Yahweh – Lord and how Jesus fits into that).
Jesus the True King
There on that cross, the project of restoring God’s reign, life and goodness over the earth took a huge turn. Jesus resurrected as a new human victorious over sin and death and made that life available to all humanity.
He reigns as king over all creation, and now His rule is spreading rapidly, changing lives one at a time. Those who believe in Him are transformed into new humans, empowered by God’s Spirit to extend His rule by announcing the good news of what God has done in and through Jesus.
These people, just like Jesus, reflect God’s rule distributing His love, goodness, and life to all around them. Many call them “Christians,” which means the Anointed-Ones or Messiahs just like Jesus. These are the first fruits of humanity made anew, fulfilling their assignment as the blessed image of God, and trusting the Creator on what is good and evil as they gradually extend the reality of God’s rule to all.
Are you one of them?
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