Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Messianic Hope

Last week - wrapped up Old Testament with the Intertestamental Period.

Now, the First 70 years - birth of a new millennium, Birth of Christ.

Short overview:
538 BC - Return from Exile (under Persian rule)
330 BC - Alexander the Great conquers Persia (under Greek rule)
326 BC - Alexander dies - his kingdom divides into 4 parts - we looked at the Ptolomies (Egypt) and the Selucids (Syria and Palestine)
175 BC - Antiochus Epiphanes rules - hated the Jews - forced Hellenization on them, desecrated the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar in the Holy of Holies to Zues
164 BC - the Maccabean Revolt - guerrilla warfare - Jews had limited self rule - religious freedom - cleansed and rededicated the temple, etc.
63 BC - Pompey takes Jerusalem and conquered Syria and Palestine (Rome)
40 BC - Herod becomes King (appointed by the Roman Senate) - half Jew (from Edom, Idumea, considered himself Jewish) - practiced the religion but without the lifestyle
 BUT - since he was not of pure bloodline and did not practice a Jewish lifestyle, he was tolerated, but hated by the people.

NOTE:  "under the rule of...."  non-Jewish pagan nations

Jesus is born.
Herod dies - just after Jesus' birth

Herod's son, Archelaus, takes the throne.  Immediately clashes with the Jews, sends in troops, kills 3,000 at Passover at the temple!!
More uproar results - Roman troops dispatched - they capture & crucify 2,000 insurrectionists.

6 AD - Archelaus is replaced by a Roman Governor
NOW, 1)  Judea is ruled DIRECTLY by Rome with a governor - no more Jewish King
            2)  the people pay taxes DIRECTLY to Caesar (tribute) - goes against the Jews who say they give tribute to no one except God.

Enter:  Judas the Galilean - Luke 20:22 - introduced the philosophy of the Zealots - saying wrong to pay taxes to Caesar.

Next 60 years - tension, conflict, uprisings, revolts ............  AND, then it gets worse!!!!

54 AD - Nero becomes Emperor which leads to the final 4 - Felix, Festus, Albinus, Florus (who was the worst).  Nero hates Christians, and hates Jews

66 AD - Florus forcefully takes money from the temple treasury which causes a riot which brings in the troops to the Market area - they randomly slay, capture, crucify 3600 men, women, children.
66 AD - Beginning of the Jewish Revolt - lasts 4 years.
70 AD - Jerusalem falls under Roman general Titus - the temple is destroyed down to its foundation

During this time develops ........... The Messianic Hope

Messiah = an anointed leader who would arise and deliver
Hope = EXPECTATION!!  Based on the word, the prophets - all the way back to the Garden of Eden

Who Messiah would be:  1).  a man - (human, Jew)
                                       2)  foretold = predicted, promised, expected
                                       3)  anointed = chosen, gifted, empowered
                                       4)  of David's lineage - "tribe of Judah, house of David"

What Messiah would do:   1) deliver - from oppression, oppressors
                                          2)  lead - the people in the effort
                                          3)  rule - the nation - KING
                                          4)  restore - the Kingdom to Israel, to former glory of Solomon

into this atmosphere comes ............ Jesus of Nazareth
with marvelous teachings, incredible miracles, preceded by John the Baptist (first prophet in 400 years), preaching the Kingdom (of God), common man with a heart for the common people.

Question??  What are the people going to do??
Answer:  press Him to be Messiah!!!
PROBLEM!! - (absurdity) "riding a donkey colt?" - military victors don't ride donkey colts.  He's accepting their praise and admitting He's the Messiah, but not the Messiah they wanted - He's God's Messiah

Why??  Because He's NOT the people's Messiah - He's the LORD's Messiah!! - so He will deliver, lead, rule, restore
BUT, according to God's  plan, wisdom, timetable, will - not according to the people

So... (few days later) - Mark 15:6-15 - they chose the insurrectionist, rejected the Messiah - because they wanted a Messiah who would deliver them from Rome, not their sins.

Question:   how much different are we?  you?   Is yours the Lord's Messiah, or your custom-made Messiah?

The Problem:  I (tend to) project ONTO Christ - my views
                                                                        - my morals
                                                                        - my rationale
                                                                        - my politics
                                                                        - my conclusions

Objection:  I've accepted Christ......

Compare:  Matt. 16:13-18 - Peter's confession, Jesus' confirmation and praise....

                 Matt. 16:21 -25 - don't have in mind things of God, but the things of men

Matt. 16:24-25 - must follow HIM as He is, not what I want Him to be.

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