142 – THE MESSIAH 5
If Jesus had not died on the cross, his coming to this world would have been useless. The climax in the life of Christ was, undoubtedly, his death on the cross. Jesus himself stressed this. “From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day” (Matt.16:21; Luke 18:31-33). And Jesus said: “”When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative” (John 8:28). “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).
Everything about the mission, life, ministry, and glory of Christ hinged on the cross. Without death there would not be a resurrection through his death on the cross. If Jesus died of a natural death, there would not be resurrection, and without resurrection there would not be justification of sinners. “…He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom.4:25). There would not be salvation for anyone: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor.15:17-18).
Let us look at the glorious things that happened in the life of Jesus after the resurrection. And if that happened after the resurrection, they did not exist before.
- First, if Jesus had not risen from death, he would not be the Lord of the Universe, according to the words of the apostle Paul: “But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of man. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil.2:7-11).
- If Jesus had not risen from the dead, he would not be the Messiah, for the apostle Peter declared to the people on the day of Pentecost: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—that Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). If Jesus were already the Messiah (Anointed), Peter would have said: “You have crucified the Messiah,” but he said: “…that Jesus whom you crucified […] God has made Him both Lord and Christ”. Before the resurrection Jesus was not Lord, neither the anointed Messiah.
- It is also obvious that, without the resurrection Jesus would not be Savior. “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation” (Heb.5:5-9).
- A prince is the heir to the throne of the king, and Jesus became a prince only after resurrection, because before that, he was not. Peter makes this subject clear: “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31). It is important to note that this world already had a prince (heir), and this prince was not Jesus, for this one had not died or risen up. Since Jehovah was the owner of this world, and also the king of this world, the prince heir of Jehovah was another, and not Jesus, for Jesus declared: “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30; Ps.24:1; 47:2,7,8).
- Jesus became the Son of God the Father when he rose from the dead, as Paul said: “And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to your children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee” (Acts 13:32-33). If Jesus became the Son of God in the Resurrection, when Mary gave birth to him, he was not. When he came out from Mary’s womb, he was the Son of man who had to die.
- After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and said: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt.28:18). Jesus did not have all the power before that.
- “…Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him” (1 Pet.3:21-22). By this text it is evident that the angels did not submit themselves to Jesus, but were all of them submitted to Jehovah (Ps.103:19-20).
- Without the cross, Jesus would not be the Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:40-42).Before the Resurrection Jesus was not a judge (Rom.14:9-10). If Jesus did not have any of these attributes before the resurrection, but only after it, Jesus and Jehovah are not the same person, for Jehovah had those attributes. Jehovah was the Lord (Gen.15:2,8; Is.43:11).
Jehovah was savior (Is.43:11).
Jehovah had all the power (Gen.17:1).
Jehovah was judge (Gen.18:24-25; Ps.94:1-2).
The restoration of the kingdom of Israel would be the work of the Messiah of Jehovah. The prophet Jeremiah highlighted the time of this glorious restoration. The kingdom of the North was taken to Assyria in the year 722 BC. This kingdom of the North comprised ten tribes (1 Kings 11:31-32). The kingdom of the South, that is, Judah, was left and taken to Babylon by Nebuzaradan, the head of the army of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the year 582 BC. Jeremiah prophesied the restoration to happen seventy years later (Jer.29:10). The deliverer messiah should come in the year 512 BC. But he did not come, and the kingdom was not restored. The prophet Daniel read Jeremiah’s prophecy and confirmed it(Dan.9:1-2).
But Daniel gave another prophecy, marking 490 years for the coming of the Messiah (Dan.9:24-25).Cyrus, king of Persia, gave the order in the year 457 BC. Four hundred and ninety years were fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ, that is, in the year 33 AC.
Pilates asked Jesus saying: “Are you the king of the Jews?” The answer of Christ was: “My kingdom is not of this realm” (John 18:33-36). And Jesus did not take the kingdom of Israel, but ascended into heaven (Acts 1:8-11). The truth is that two thousand years have passed, and the prophecy of Daniel has not been fulfilled. Jesus Christ will return to take his Church with him. It is the rapture. Jesus, though, will never take this world as the messiah of Jehovah, for his kingdom is not of down here (2 Tim.4:12; 1 Pet.1:3-4; John 14:1-4). The true Christians are pilgrims and foreigners in this world(Heb.11:13-16).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira