Longing for the Messiah!
Each year it’s a bit of challenge for me to put myself into the shoes of a conquered people under the foot of Roman armies and law. Their country’s peace from time to shaken by pseudo messiahs leading revolts to throw out the hated Romans. For the rebels, and I feel shame putting it that way, this was the kind of Messiah they were looking for. A warlord who would conquer and kill the hated Romans and bring back Jewish honor. Like I said, it is difficult to either condemn or feel what they felt unless you’ve been a conquered people.
My grandfather was born before the War Between the States. I heard second hand the stories from the sons and daughters of the Southerners who had been conquered. I’ve read the deeds of people who “legally” had their lands taken from them. Something by the way that Lincoln didn’t want to happen. They hated those “@#*& Yankee Carpetbaggers.” That’s as personal as it gets for me. However, by the time I came along my parents and teachers didn’t have the same experience and talked with pride about America’s sacrifices and heroism in the two World Wars and Korea.
There were others in Jerusalem that longed for a Messiah for a much different reason. They made the connection between their sin and the sin of a nation called to be holy and separated unto the Lord. They longed for the Messiah, Isaiah prophesied would come. “But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him.” (Isaiah 53:5–6, The Message)
Why did God do this? Because before you and I were a twinkle in our mother and dad’s eyes, God the Father knew us, loved us, chose us and determined to cleanse us from our sins by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ (Messiah). No Roman or Carpetbagger’s blood could do this or bring peace to our hearts and one day to all the world. “God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.” (1 Peter 1:2, NLT)