Lesson Three – The Expected Christ

The Expected Christ

Lesson Aim:  To reveal the Christ who was prophesied and to show how He was able to carry out God’s plan for a kingdom family.


If we had lived during the Roman Empire and were looking for the Messiah, how could we have known Jesus of Galilee was the One, while even the “prophets of old” wrestled with the Old Testament prophecies (I Pet. 1:10, 11)?  Jesus would have told us to search the scriptures because they bear witness of Him (John 5:39).  In this lesson we want to capture a view of God’s projection of the One who was to come by studying these same scriptures.  In a later lesson we will watch these prophecies be fulfilled and hear the New Testament writers put them in their proper context.

We will not proclaim a scripture as prophecy which was not used by the writers of the New Testament.  We recognize that there may be many others that tell us of the Christ.  For instance, Job said, “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”  Job 19:25.  The New Testament writers make use of it, but no inspired writer quotes Job verbatim, and so this type will not be used.


During the time of the Roman Empire, which is Daniel’s fourth kingdom, many were waiting for the Messiah.  The word Messiah belongs to the Hebrew language.  In the Septuagint it is translated CHRISTOS which means the Anointed One.  CHRISTOS is the Greek word that gives us our English word, Christ.  Jesus is His proper name and it means saviour.  Jesus is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Joshua.  Christ is His title and both words together give us the Anointed Saviour.

We can be sure at that time, just as today; there were many different views of the “Coming One.”  John the Baptist asked, “Are you the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”  Matt. 11:3.  At one time an elderly man named Simeon was the most informed person about the coming of the “Lord’s Christ.”  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen Him (Luke 2:26).

The Samaritan woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.”  John 4:25.  She appeared to be looking for a teacher and a leader in the Christ.  Others were looking for the Christ as the son of David.  They were impressed with Jesus as a possibility when they witnessed His performance of miracles (Matt. 12:23).  For instance, when Jesus fed the multitudes they were willing to accept Him as the Prophet and make Him king (John 6:14, 15).  Some were expecting both the Prophet and Elijah to appear again.  John the Baptist confessed that he was not the Christ and he even denied that he was Elijah or the Prophet; however, Jesus said, “and if you are willing, he is the Elijah who was to come.”  Matt. 11:14; Mal. 4:5; John 1:20, 21.  Moses spoke of a prophet like himself (Deut. 18:15, 18).  Daniel spoke of Messiah the Prince (Dan. 9:25, 26).  Some Jews were looking for two different persons, as we understand from the following scripture.

Some of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, ‘This certainly is the Prophet,’  others were saying, ‘This is the Christ.’  Still others were saying, ‘Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?’  John 7:40, 41

We shall see in our future lessons that Jesus was indeed both the Christ and Prophet.  Others understood that this Coming One was the son of God.  Martha said, “Yes Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God even He who comes into the world.”  John 11:27Yes, the people were looking for the Lord’s Christ, and they had good reason because God had been speaking of Him through His prophets and faithful children throughout history.  Jesus left the Pharisees aghast when He told them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.”  John 8:56.

Before we begin to consider the prophecies about Christ we should know we cannot separate Jesus Christ from God’s kingdom.  Therefore, we need to understand how far God’s plans and purposes concerning His kingdom with Jesus as king had progressed at the time of these prophecies.  Also, we will want to consider how the prophecies about Christ correlate with what had already happened, and how this will advance God’s plan.

By way of review let us recall that when God’s kingdom reaches its highest spiritual level it will be functioning on the family plateau.  Also, we want to remember that faith is the characteristic in man which is non-offensive to God.  God had made covenants with Abraham based on his faith, but they were also for all who had faith.  God maintained His kingdom in Israel as a tool of evangelism for the Jews and also for the Gentiles.  The Messiah was first projected as “the seed of Abraham” when God said, “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”  Gen. 22:18.

The Melchizedek priesthood was functioning during the time of Abraham; consequently, the Christ was portrayed as a priest on that order (Psa. 110:1-4).  We remember the family type nation God wanted through Abraham was not the nation He attained.  Moses, as a lawgiver, was added as a part of God’s recovery plan; consequently, the Christ was projected as a replacement for Moses as a lawgiver (Deut. 18:15, 16).

While God was working with His people through the Law they committed a terrible sin.  They asked for a non-divine king to replace God.  He first gave them Saul and later replaced him with David.  David pleased God, but he was a non-divine king; therefore, he made some serious errors that got the citizens of God’s kingdom on earth in trouble.  Again, we find many prophecies which show the Christ as a king through the root of Jesse, David’s father.  Also the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all channelled through the promises to David.  We read from the Psalms, “The Lord has sworn to David a truth from which He will not turn back; the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.” Psa. 132:11.

The prophets connected Jesus to every major character of the Old Testament.  Therefore, if we had lived during the Roman empire we would be looking for one who was the seed of Abraham, a priest on the order of Melchizedek, the prophet to replace Moses, and a king from David’s family who would accept both the Jew and Gentile.  We would be looking for an all powerful king whose scepter would be righteousness.  Only God’s Christ could fulfil our expectations.

We can see by the prophecies about Christ that God had carefully planned for Him to carry forward His plan for the man-dimension of His kingdom.  He had even planned a king’s reception for Christ upon one of His entrances into Jerusalem.  God pre-planned that He would be mounted on a colt, the foal of a donkey.  The people in their innocence would greet Him as their king (Zech. 9:9).  The Psalmist had predicted, “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes thou hast established strength.”  (Psa. 8:2).

Again from the Psalms we read, “Thy throne O God is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom.”  Psa. 45:6.  The scepter of righteousness was missing from God’s kingdom when the man-kings reigned, but it would not be missing from the hand of the Messiah when He reigned.  Christ would not reign over physical Israel, or over any other land area kingdom.  He would, as God said, “Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet.”  Psa. 110:1. 

When the Messiah came, God would be able to accomplish a work through Him which would not be believed (Hab. 1:5).  It was prophesied that all who would come in the Christ’s name would be blessed (Psa. 118:26).  The Holy Spirit would work with the Christ while He was incarnate and work for Him later.

Behold, My servant, whom I upheld; My chosen one in whom My soul delights.  I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.  Isa. 42:1

Isaiah also prophesied how God’s kingdom with Christ as king would have an evangelistic plan to convert the Gentiles (Isa. 9:1, 2).  The Gentiles would have an equal opportunity with the Jews to relate to the Messiah as the root of Jesse (Gal. 3:28).  They were prophesied to be sons of God in His family when the Messiah reigned as king (Hos. 1:10; 2:23; Amos 9:11, 12; Isa. 9:7; Dan. 7:14, 27; Isa. 49:6; 54:13).  Since Gentile means nations, we can conclude from the following scripture that the “root of Jesse,” which is Jesus Christ, would be a signal to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

Then it will come about in that day that the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious.  Isa. 11:10

All covenants were prophesied to be fulfilled through Christ, and new ones were made with the Israel of God (Isa. 55:3; Jer. 31:31).  We are even told through which city and tribe the Messiah would enter the world.  Micah prophesied the following.

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.  His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.  Mic. 5:2

The sign to the entire world “the anointed one,” Christ, had arrived was that a virgin would bear a child, according to Isaiah.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:  Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.  Isa. 7:14

God was ready for His last big move in time to have His kingdom as a family.  Everything that was still lacking would be taken care of by the Messiah.  It is all a very beautiful projection up to this point in our lesson; however, one thing was spoken of by the prophets that cast an ugly shadow upon the Christ’s forthcoming trip to earth.  In the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah the prophet went into great detail about the Messiah as the perfect sin offering.  Consider the following excerpt.

Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the booty with the strong; because He poured out Himself to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.  Isa. 53:12

If the Jews were not fully informed about the Coming One it was because they had not searched the scriptures.  In our next lesson we will reveal a “count-down” list for those who lived during Daniel’s fourth kingdom, the Roman empire.  This list will leave no margin of error concerning their ability to identify the Messiah.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What do the words Jesus and Christ mean?
  2. What were some of the different views the people had about the Christ?
  3. Who did John the Baptist represent?
  4. Who was the original Prophet?
  5. How could those who lived during the Roman empire identify the Christ?
  6. How did the prophecies relate Christ to God’s purposes and plans?
  7. What is the scepter of God’s king over His kingdom today?
  8. Write a paragraph about God’s kingdom based upon the following scriptures:  Hos. 1:10; 2:23; Amos 9:11, 12; Isa. 9:7; Dan. 7:14, 24; Isa. 49:6; 54:13.
  9. What was the sign to all the world that they might know the Christ had arrived?
  10. What was God’s last move to have a kingdom like a family on earth?

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