The Messianic Hope | T. D. Alexander

At the heart of the Old Testament is the expectation that God will send a unique king, associated with the Davidic dynasty, who will bring God’s blessing to the nations of the world. Significantly, he will sacrifice his life to atone for the sins of others. Beginning in the book of Genesis, God intimates that his plan to redeem the world from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience will centre on one of Eve’s descendants, who will overthrow God’s enemy, the serpent, identified elsewhere in the Bible as the devil or Satan. This hope is subsequently linked to Abraham, with the expectation that one of his descendants will be a king, through whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed. The path towards the fulfillment of these promises eventually leads to the Davidic dynasty. Through David and his son Solomon, God establishes Jerusalem as his holy city where he dwells among his people. When subsequent Davidic kings fail to trust God fully, various prophets predict that God will raise up a righteous Davidic king whose reign will be characterised by justice, peace and prosperity. As God’s vicegerent, the promised Davidic king will redeem others through sacrificing his life to atone for their sins. Although the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC brings to an end the rule of Davidic kings in Jerusalem, God intimates through his prophets that he will send a new Davidic king. Jewish expectations regarding this divinely pledged king are prevalent in the first century AD. By this stage the designation “Messiah,” meaning “anointed one,” is used alongside other titles to denote this promised king. [Read More]