January 09, 2018

Long Ago and Now

Jeremiah 33:10-18

In the past God spoke . . . through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things.

—  Hebrews 1:1-2

The expectations about a Messiah changed throughout Israel’s history. At first the anointed one was seen as a king who descended from David and ruled over Israel.

Then God’s people longed for an ideal kingly Messiah, also of David’s line, who would rule justly and establish a meaningful time of peace. This king would be a wonderful counselor and the true representative of almighty God.

Later, after the release from exile, the Medo-Persian rulers would not allow Zerubbabel, the prince descended from David, to be king. Instead they chose the high priest Joshua to be Israel’s leader. So then the concept of two anointed ones became the norm.

Another stage began after the Old Testament Scriptures were complete. When Rome took over Palestine, the people mistakenly began to expect the messiah-king to militarily defeat their Roman oppressors.

Into this situation Jesus of Nazareth arrived. And he fulfilled all the expectations from the Old Testament. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament law, was the true heir of David, be­came the suffering servant of Isaiah 42-53, and proved to be our chief prophet, only high priest, and eternal king.

Jesus is all we need. Let him speak to you today.

Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords, speak to us today so that we can follow you and speak to ­others, in your name. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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