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Messiah 

After Samuel anointed David king over Israel, the spirit of God came mightily upon David from that day (1 Sm 16:1, 13). The prophet Nathan declared God's promise to make the throne of David's offspring an everlasting kingdom (2 Sm 711b-17; see 2 Sm 22:51, Ps 89:20-37). The messiah came to mean the idealized Davidic king whose coming was hoped for by Israel. This understanding reflects the influence of the "royal" psalms concerning God's anointed, such as Psalms 2, 18, 20, 45, and 132. The prophet Isaiah states the hope and expectation for the king who would establish the throne of David and his kingdom and "uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore" (Is 9:7; see Is 11). Similarly, the prophet Jeremiah declares the coming of the days when God "will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land" (Jer 23:5). And Ezekiel prophesies concerning the time when David will be the king and one shepherd of the people of Israel, and "David shall be their prince forever" (Ez 37:24-25). Christians believe Jesus Christ to be the fulfillment of the messianic expectation of the OT. The Davidic ancestry of Jesus is established in the NT (Mt 1, Lk 1). Jesus is explicitly identified as the Messiah in the NT (Mt 1:1, 1:18, 11:2; Lk 2:11). Jesus' identity as the Messiah is recognized by Simeon (Lk 2:25-35), and by Peter (Mt 16:16, Mk 8:29). In the Gospel of John (1:40-41), Andrew says to his brother Simon Peter, "We have found the Messiah." Jesus identifies himself as the Messiah in his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:25-26). Jesus is the suffering messiah who rose from the dead, who reigns in heaven, and who will come again in power and glory (Mk 8:31; Lk 24:26; Acts 2:36, 3:18, 3:20-21, 5:31, 26:23). Jesus is understood in the NT to be the Messiah, the Christ, and "Christ" is used as a name for him in the letters of Paul (see Rom 1:1, 5:8; 1 Thes 1:1). The Prayer Book Catechism affirms that Jesus is the Messiah, the one "sent by God to free us from the power of sin, so that with the help of God we may live in harmony with God, within ourselves, with our neighbors, and with all creation" (p. 849). The Messiah who comes "to take away transgression, and rule in equity" is celebrated by the hymn "Hail to the Lord's Anointed" (Hymn 616). An important theme in the season of Advent is the victorious return of the Messiah, when "every eye shall now behold him, robed in dreadful majesty" ("Lo! he comes, with clouds descending," Hymn 57). See Jesus Christ. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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