The Long Prophesied Machiach – Messiah
ADVENT ! COMING !
In Advent, we celebrate a prophecy that began when God addressed the couple in the “proto-evangelium” the fore-gospel that although the couple had sinned, God had prepared a way of redemption and restoration to the favor of God. We read: “I will put enmity between you and the woman; and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. He is also the Gentile Messiah, but first He came to Israel. We read in Romans chapter one: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (vs 16)
My theological construct dictates that the Gentile has been engrafted like a grape vine into The Vine, the Covenant of Abraham. We are all Messianic Jews spiritually. As these are unquestionably our roots, and we are people of the Book (Bible literally) it is our faith evermore being more fully revealed to us by Holy Spirit.
The flag of the State of Israel is a prayer shawl. It is a sign of reverence, of ownership and a sign of Divine favor. In the middle of it is the Mogen David, Star of David. According to tradition it is supposed to have some semblance the King David’s shield. In Christian symbolism, it has had some editing. One triangle is said to represent David, the king of Israel, and the other is said to represent Jesus, King David’s greater son. (Matthew 22:42-45) This is the same as the Jewish community of faith has believed however, they do not believe that Jesus is that messiah. Some have speculated that there were two Messiahs to come: Messiah son of Joseph (a suffering Messiah) and Messiah son of David (a Kingly Messiah). Some Jewish rabbis have speculated that there will be two messiahs. These ascribe Jesus as Messiah to the Gentiles while another Messiah yet to come will redeem Israel.
A remarried divorcee in my first parish as rector objected to my placing a flag of Israel at the rear of the church first among a colonnade of flags to the front ending with that of the United States and the Church denominational flag. I tried to explain it to her. I tried to point out the Jewish antecedents of everything in the sanctuary and building, but whether because of the severity of the previous marriage or God forbid, some latent anti-Semitism, this highly educated mother of two still would have had me remove it. I only lasted five years in that really wonderful place perhaps because like today I am not PC.
Let us remember that there is only one Covenant with God. It is the Covenant of Redemption. Although there are minor covenants along the way, there has only been or ever will be the One Covenant fulfilled in Our Lord Jesus Christ. As we mystically imagine what it must have been like during all of those years of Israel’s past from Abraham to Jesus, imagine then what must have happened after those 400 silent years from Malachi to Matthew, when there must have arisen some skepticism about the God of Israel, even those centuries after the return from Babylon and perhaps the miracle of Hanukkah, when this well oiled system was interrupted by Bethlehem, two old believers in prophecy in that same temple, and a movement arising among the people by an itinerant, camel-haired wearing hermit preaching REPENT ! Perhaps many of you know that the longing for God in the heart is not squelched by the Sadducees of our own day. The playing out of the drama of redemption is still playing out. The human heart has not changed and God has not changed. The skeptics are still skeptical and the haters are still hateful.
However Messiah has come! As we immerse ourselves in that fact, let us remember that Messiah is always coming. He is the God who comes. He came in Eden, He came in Redemption, He comes to us each and every hours when He has taken up residence in our souls and He comes wherever we go to those to whom we go. He is coming still in the flesh in glory before all is said and done and Advent proclaims all of these truths. The question remains, will we live like all of this is true. Will remember that we are on His mission ; that we must live in the joy, peace and purpose of that mission until God calls us home? Should He in that day call individually or if He calls us collectively “when he comes again in power and glory to judge the world?” Until that time, brother and sisters in the kingdom of God, Shalom, Maranatha!