Do We Need a Messiah?
YOU might well ask that question, “Do we need a Messiah?” Yes, it would be logical to wonder whether a Messiah would have any real effect on you.
Some whose opinion you may respect would assure you that the answer is clear and unequivocal: You definitely do need a Messiah, just as much as everyone else does. An expert in Jewish law in the first century wrote of the Messiah: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him.” He thus highlighted the key role that the Messiah plays in our Creator’s purpose to bless all nations of the earth. (2 Corinthians 1:20) The Messiah’s function is so vital that his arrival and life are the focus of Bible prophecy. In a handbook used by millions over the last 70 years, Henry H. Halley asserted: “The Old Testament was written to create an anticipation of, and pave the way for, the Coming of [the Messiah].” But is his coming necessary? Why should you be concerned?
“Messiah” actually means “Anointed One” and is the equivalent of the well-known term “Christ.” This One, whom the Encyclopædia Britannica, 1970 Edition, refers to as “the ultimate redeemer,” had to come because of the irreverent actions of the first human pair, Adam and Eve. They were created perfect, with the delightful prospect of endless life in Paradise, but they lost that prospect. A rebellious angel, who became known as Satan the Devil, suggested that their Creator was too restrictive and that they would fare better by deciding for themselves what was good and what was bad.—Genesis 3:1-5.
Eve was deceived and believed that lie. Adam, apparently valuing his wife’s companionship above loyalty to God, became an accomplice in that Devil-instigated rebellion. (Genesis 3:6; 1 Timothy 2:14) By their actions, they did more than forfeit their own prospect of endless life in paradisaic surroundings. They bequeathed to their unborn offspring sin and its consequence, death.—Romans 5:12.
Our Creator, Jehovah, immediately determined the means to reverse the evil effects of the chain of events set in motion by the rebellion. He would accomplish a reconciliation by means of what would later be a legal principle in the Mosaic Law—like for like. (Deuteronomy 19:21; 1 John 3:8) This legal principle had to be satisfied if any of Adam and Eve’s hapless descendants were ever to receive endless life on a paradise earth, as the Creator had purposed for the human family. This leads us to the Messiah.
When sentencing the Devil, Jehovah God declared in the first Bible prophecy: “I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” (Genesis 3:15) One Bible scholar noted that “the story of the messianic promises as the Scriptures present it begins with [this] statement.” Another observed that the Messiah is God’s instrument that “will reverse the whole calamity of the fall,” bringing blessings to mankind in the process.—Hebrews 2:14, 15.
You may sense, though, that mankind at present is far from being blessed. Instead, the human race is mired in hopelessness and despair. Thus, The World Book Encyclopedia says that “many Jews still expect a Messiah to come” and that he “will correct wrongs and defeat the enemies of the people.” However, the Bible says that the Messiah has already come. Is there reason to believe what the Bible says? The following article will answer.