“Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.” – Daniel 9:25
Jesus is the Messiah, or anointed one. In the Old Testament, God anointed prophets, priests, and kings with oil as an outward representation of the inward transformation that took place. Anointed individuals were set apart and strengthened to carry out their God-appointed tasks. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled the roles of prophet, priest, and king. As a prophet, he proclaimed truth to people. As a priest, he interceded for people. As a king, he humbly ruled over people. In the Old Testament, there were prophets, priests, and kings. In the New Testament, there was only need for one who fulfilled all three offices – Jesus the Messiah.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago, he entered a broken world. People were in need of truth, forgiveness, and direction. As a prophet, he provided truth to understand God, man, and their relationship. As a priest, he provided new life for mankind by giving up his own. As a king, he provided direction for the lost and helpless. A snapshot of our world proves that this brokenness still exists today. It is evident in the Ivy League student who spends all of her efforts to excel in school because truth to her is academic success. It is apparent in the girl who loses her virginity in a moment of indiscretion and no longer believes in her worth. It is seen in the rich businessman who looks at his wealth and wonders what it will ultimately afford him. Jesus is the solution to the student, the girl, the businessman, and to you and me.
In the course of my life, I have found truth, forgiveness and direction in Jesus the Messiah. In my eighth grade summer, I began to ponder the purpose of my existence. I had many friends, good grades, and a comfortable life, yet I still felt so empty. I wondered whether there were more to life than academic success, financial gain, and family security. I wondered whether my life had a deeper meaning. I soon realized that my purpose was found in Christ. He called me his son and revealed to me the truth that he loved me unconditionally.
Even after becoming a Christian, I struggled with sin. During one period of life, I was struggling with lust. After disclosing this fact to some trusted individuals, I found freedom for several months. However, I ended up falling back into temptation. At that moment, I felt condemnation and self-hatred. I did not want to return to God because I felt ashamed of my wrongdoing. I felt like I had disappointed him too many times and did not deserve his love anymore. As I fell onto my knees in a moment of desperation, I saw a picture of my Heavenly Father running towards me to embrace me. Instead of condemnation and hatred, I received compassion and love. God reminded me that there was no sin too great for him to forgive and that He loved me just as I was – sins and all.
During my senior year in college, I met a fork in the road. I could stay in a thriving church in Northern California or return to a dying ministry in Los Angeles. I realized that God knew best, and so I fasted and prayed for guidance. It was during this time that I read over the story of Moses, who said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). I felt inadequate and unable to bring about change to my home church in Southern California. However, the conviction that God placed upon my heart was to return and serve. I obeyed and the immediate result was disastrous. I felt lonely, tired, and depressed. More than that, I did not see any change in the ministry. Fast forward several years and God has proven to be beyond faithful. He has ignited a fire in the hearts of our members, and our ministry has never been so passionate about Jesus. Our junior high students now request more prayer meetings and Bible studies when church services are over. Our high school students apply to serve our ministry at the cost of their own comfort and time. Our college students take lesser paying jobs so that they are more available to further God’s kingdom. God proved that he knew best and would guide those willing to submit to his authority as king.
Jesus is anointed to carry the office of prophet, priest, and king. Not only did he do this two thousand years ago, but he also does this today. Though our world seems more broken than ever, there remains hope for restoration. In the midst of the heartbreak of seeing a dark world, we can still rejoice because we have a God who provides truth, forgiveness, and direction. His name is Jesus, and he is the anointed Messiah.
Photograph by Wallpaperest.
Dustin Lang is the High School and College Pastor of 3 Strands Ministry, the English Ministry of West Hills Presbyterian Church in West Hills, CA. He is currently pursuing a MDiv at Talbot Theological Seminary. He values Ninja Turtles, Toy Trolls, and Yoshinoya Combo Bowls.