primary point of the New Testament is that Yeshua (Jesus) is
the Jewish Messiah of the Old Testament. While each of the
four biographies on the life of Jesus that have come down to
us have their own theme, they still all make one primary
point: Yeshua is the Messiah.
The New Testament begins with the words:
The book of the
generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of
This opening statement of the New Testament sets the stage
for the entire New Testament (Mat. 1:1).
I. MESSIAHSHIP KINGSHIP JEWISHNESS
Giving Yeshua the title of Messiah points
to His Messiahship and has reference to the Messiah spoken
of in the Old Testament. The word Christ is simply the Greek
word for the Hebrew word Messiah.
Giving Jesus the title of
the son of Abraham, points to the Jewishness of Yeshua
since, throughout biblical history and theology, Jewishness
was always associated with the covenant that God made with
Giving Jesus the title of the son of David, points to His
Kingship, because the kingship of the Jews was sustained
through the House of David.
The entire New Testament revolves around this opening
statement of Matthew 1:1. It will be repeated, developed,
and enlarged upon by the various writers of the New
Testament, as will be seen in the following Scriptures.
Messiahship: Matthew 1:16: and Jacob begat Joseph the
husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called
Messiahship: John 4:25-26: The woman said unto him, I know
that Messiah comes (he that is called Christ): when he is
come, he will declare unto us all things. Jesus said unto
her, I that speak unto you am he.
Kingship: Matthew 2:1-2: Now when Jesus was born in
Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold,
Wise-men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is
he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the
east, and are come to worship him.
Kingship: Matthew 27:37: And they set up over his head his
accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Jewishness: John 4:9: The Samaritan woman therefore said
unto him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me,
who am a Samaritan woman?
Jewishness: Galatians 4:4-5: but when the fulness of the
time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born
under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the
law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Jewishness: Hebrews 2:16: For verily not to angels does he
give help, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham.
His Messiahship, His Kingship, and His Jewishness are the
dominant claims of the New Testament. This is true in the
Gospels, the four biographies of His life, as well as in the
rest of the writings of the New Testament that deal with the
theology of the life of Yeshua. He is clearly portrayed as
the Messiah of the Old Testament.
A. The Son of Joseph
Most of what the Gospels have to say
place Yeshua precisely into the mold of the Old Testament
Messiah. He would be the One to whom the rabbis referred as
the “Messiah, the Son of Joseph,” meaning Joseph, the
Patriarch, who was characterized by suffering.
This is seen in John 1:45: Philip finds Nathanael, and said
unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and
the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
B. The Son of David
But He is also portrayed in the four
biographies as the very Messiah to whom the rabbis referred
as being “Messiah, the Son of David.”
This is found in Luke 1:31c-33: and shall call his name
JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the
Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne
of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of
Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
II. AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE TWO MESSIAHS
How could both aspects be true in the
same person? The answer of the Talmudic rabbis was to
declare that it could not be. Hence, they adopted the Two
Messiahs Theory, making one as the Suffering Messiah and the
other the Conquering and Reigning Messiah.
The New Testament declares, however, that there is an
alternative to the two-Messiahs view and goes on to show how
the two aspects can indeed be true of the same person.
A. The Uniqueness of His Birth
First, as has already been stated, the
primary point of the Gospels is to portray Yeshua as the
Messiah who came to suffer and die for sin. He was the One
the rabbis would have called “Messiah, the Son of Joseph.”
Jesus was the Messiah who came into the world in both a
normal and a miraculous way; normal, in that He came into
the world by birth as do all other human beings; miraculous,
in that He was given birth by a virgin.
This is recorded by Luke 1:30-31 and 34-35:
And the angel
said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with
God. And behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring
forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. Verses 34-35
state: And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be,
seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said
unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power
of the Most High shall overshadow you: wherefore also the
holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God.
And in Matthew 1:21-23: And she shall bring forth a son; and
you shall call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save
his people from their sins. Now all this is come to pass,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord
through the prophet, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be
with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call
his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.
The Virgin Birth of the Messiah, first hinted at in Genesis
3:15 and later developed by Isaiah 7:14, is viewed by the
Gospels as being fulfilled in the birth of Yeshua.
His Davidic lineage is established by the fact that both
Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His stepfather, were
descendants of King David. So on His mother’s side, Yeshua
was a descendant of David by blood, and on His stepfather’s
side by adoption.
B. The Place of His Birth
Furthermore, His birthplace was in
Bethlehem, although His parents lived in Nazareth. This is
recorded in Luke 2:3-7: And all went to enrol themselves,
every one to his own city. And Joseph also went up from
Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the
city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of
the house and family of David; to enrol himself with Mary,
who was betrothed to him, being great with child. And it
came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled
that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her
firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and
laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in
Thus, the birth of the Messiah is the fulfillment of Micah
5:2, which declared that the Messiah would be born in
C. His Suffering and Death
1. Isaiah 53
More than anything else, the sufferings and death of Yeshua
fit into the mold developed by Isaiah 53.
a. The Historical Personality
He is portrayed as the historical, individual personality
fulfilling, to the letter, the content of Isaiah 53.
b. The Innocent Sufferer: Isaiah 53;4-6, 8b, 9b
He was innocent of any sin and so suffered innocently as we
see in II Corinthians 5:21: Him who knew no sin he made to
be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness
of God in him.
c. The Voluntary and Willing Sufferer
He was a voluntary sufferer and willingly allowed Himself to
be mistreated by those who took Him captive, according to
John 10:17b-18a: I lay down my life, that I may take it
again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of
Not only did He submit Himself to the mistreatment resulting
in suffering and death, but He did so silently, without any
d. The Silent Sufferer: Isaiah 53:7
One of the very things that surprised and amazed men at His
trial was His total silence, never vocalizing protest
against the injustice of the false accusations.
In Matthew 27:12-14, we read: And when he was accused by the
chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said
Pilate unto him, Hear you not how many things they witness
against you? And he gave him no answer, not even to one
word: insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
e. The Vicarious Sufferer: Isaiah 53:4-6, 8, 10, 12
All His sufferings, however, were vicarious; that is, He was
suffering for the sins of others rather than His own.
This is recorded in I Peter 2:21-24:
For hereunto were ye
called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an
example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin,
neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was
reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judges righteously: who
his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree, that
we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by
whose stripes ye were healed.
f. The Death of the Messiah: Isaiah 53:8, 12
The death of the Messiah is seen by the New Testament
writers to be the fulfillment of all the factors regarding
the death of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53. Just as the
suffering of the Servant ended in death; after scourging,
mockery and crucifixion, so too, Yeshua died. Just as the
Suffering Servant was treated as a criminal and died a
criminal’s death; so Jesus, by dying a death by means of
crucifixion, died a criminal’s death along with two other
criminals. The death of the Suffering Servant was a result
of a judicial sentencing and a judicial judgment.
Yeshua underwent two trials, the first was a religious one
in which He was condemned on false charges of blasphemy and
sentenced to death; the second was a political trial by the
Romans on false charges of fomenting rebellion against
Caesar. Again, He was sentenced to death and underwent the
Roman-type of tortuous death.
Although, like the Suffering Servant, He was assigned a
criminal’s grave, He was, nevertheless, buried in a rich
man’s tomb, according to Matthew 27:57-60:
And when even was
come, there came a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph,
who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: this man went to
Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate
commanded it to be given up. And Joseph took the body, and
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own
new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a
great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
g. The Resurrection of the Messiah: Isaiah 53:10-11a
Isaiah passage, the Suffering Servant does not stay dead but
is resurrected to see the results of His sufferings and
death. Three days after the body of Yeshua was buried in a
rich man’s tomb, His death gave way to resurrection. The
Gospels record that forty days after the Resurrection, He
ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of God,
just as the Suffering Servant was to be:
exalted and lifted
up, and shall be very high (Is. 52:13).
h. Justification and Reconciliation: Isaiah 53:5-6, 11b
Finally, the Isaiah passage concluded that the Suffering
Servant would bring justification and spiritual healing to
those who would accept His substitutionary death on their
behalf. He would bring justification, redemption, and
reconciliation to many. Whether or not Jesus had done this
will be discussed later.
2. Psalm 22
Not only is the life of Yeshua portrayed as fitting the mold
of Isaiah 53, but it is also portrayed as fitting the mold
of Psalm 22.
a. Psalm 22:1
While dying on the cross, Jesus cried out the first verse of
the psalm in Matthew 27:46: My God, my God, why have you
b. Psalm 22:18
The Roman soldiers gambled for His clothes, according to
Matthew 27:35: And when they had crucified him, they parted
his garments among them, casting lots.
And John 19:23-24: The soldiers therefore, when they had
crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to
every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was
without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said
therefore one to another, Let us not rend it, but cast lots
for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be
fulfilled, which say, They parted my garments among them,
And upon my vesture did they cast lots.
c. Psalm 22:6-8
While Yeshua hangs on the cross, the people ridicule, using
almost the very same words found in Psalm 22:8. Matthew
27:43 states: He trusted on God; let him deliver him now, if
he desires him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
d. Psalm 22:14-15
As in Psalm 22, when His side was pierced by a spear, a
mixture of blood and water poured out which is the sign of a
e. Psalm 22:16b
Finally, His hands and feet, having been nailed to the
cross, were pierced just as those of the person in Psalm 22
Summary: The Jesus of the New Testament is portrayed as the
Messiah of the Old Testament with regard to His suffering
and death. In all, Jesus fulfilled about three hundred
prophecies dealing with the coming of the Messiah by His
life, suffering, death, and Resurrection. According to the
New Testament, He fulfilled all that the rabbis expected of
the Messiah, the Son of Joseph.
III. THE NEW TESTAMENT SOLUTION TO THE
But what about the prophecies dealing
with the Messiah as a king? What about His coming to restore
peace and prosperity on the earth? What about the messianic
figure that the rabbis termed “Messiah, the Son of David?”
While the rabbis sought to solve the paradox by developing
the Two Messiahs Concept, the New Testament offers a
different alternative. Instead of two Messiahs, each coming
one time, the New Testament speaks of one Messiah coming two
A. The First Coming of the Messiah
He first comes by birth into the world;
He lives His life on the earth, eventually undergoing a
period of suffering which ends in death for the sins of
Israel; He is then resurrected and returns to His place in
Heaven. At some future time, He will return to set up the
Messianic Kingdom by reestablishing the Davidic throne and
will reign over a Kingdom of peace, prosperity, and security
But in the meantime, anyone who will believe and accept the
substitutionary death for his sins will be justified and
reconciled with God and have a living relationship with the
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
B. The Second Coming of the Messiah
After the death and Resurrection of
Yeshua, the New Testament looks forward to His return to set
up the Kingdom. A number of passages in the New Testament
speak of one Messiah coming two times.
1. The Kingship of the Messiah
Of these numerous passages, we will quote only the following
Matthew 19:28: And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say
unto you, that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration
when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye
also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve
tribes of Israel.
Matthew 24:29-31: But immediately after the tribulation of
those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not
give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and
the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall
appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall
all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the
Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory. And he shall send forth his angels with a great
sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 25:31: But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the
throne of his glory.
Luke 1:32-33: He shall be great, and shall be called the Son
of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the
throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the
house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be
Acts 1:6-7: They therefore, when they were come together,
asked him, saying, Lord, do you at this time restore the
kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you
to know times or seasons, which the Father has set within
His own authority.
Romans 11:25-27: For I would not, brethren, have you
ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own
conceits, that a hardening in part has befallen Israel,
until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all
Israel shall be saved: even as it is written, There shall
come out of Zion the Deliverer; He shall turn away
ungodliness from Jacob: And this is my covenant unto them,
When I shall take away their sins.
I Corinthians 15:20-28: But now has Christ been raised from
the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. For since
by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the
dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be
made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the
firstfruits; then they that are Christ’s, at his coming.
Then comes the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to
God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule
and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he has
put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that
shall be abolished is death. For, He put all things in
subjection under his feet. But when he said, All things are
put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did
subject all things unto him. And when all things have been
subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be
subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that
God may be all in all.
Hebrews 9:27-28: And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men
once to die, and after this comes judgment; so Christ also,
having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall
appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for
him, unto salvation.
Revelation 20:4-6: And I saw thrones, and they sat upon
them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls
of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus,
and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the
beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon
their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and
reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead
lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This
is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has
part in the first resurrection: over these the second death
has no power; but they shall be priests of God and of
Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
All these verses indicate that Yeshua is to come again and
establish a Kingdom. Connected with the Kingship passages in
the Old Testament were also the Sonship of the Messiah with
God and the God-Man Concepts. Both of these ideas are also
to be found in the quotations just cited from the New
Testament regarding the Messiah.
2. The God-Man Concept and Jesus
Another factor regarding the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6-7 and
Jeremiah 23:5-6 was the God-Man Concept. In other words,
Messiah was to be both man and God at the same time. Does
the New Testament teach the same thing about Yeshua?
In the New Testament Book of Philippians 2:5-8, we read:
Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who,
existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an
equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied
himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the
likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he
humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the
death of the cross.
Furthermore, in the New Testament Book of John 1:1-2, and
14a, we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the
beginning with God.
Verse 14a states: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among
3. The Sonship of Jesus with God
Again, the Jewish writers of the New Testament see in Yeshua
the messianic requirements of the Old Testament, right down
to the God- Man Concept. Now only one thing remains. Does
the New Testament make Jesus the Son of God as demanded by
Psalm 2:7 and Proverbs 30:4?
Going back to Luke 1 when Gabriel announced the coming
miraculous birth of the Messiah to Mary the virgin, we read
in verses 34-35: And Mary said unto the angel, How shall
this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and
said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the
power of the Most High shall overshadow you: wherefore also
the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of
According to this passage, Jesus Messiah would be called the
Son of God because of His miraculous conception and Virgin
Birth. In every way, this is in keeping with the demands of
the Old Testament.
Years later, when Yeshua is about to begin His career of
public ministry, we read in Matthew 3:16-17:
And Jesus when
he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo,
the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of
God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a
voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.
In conclusion, the New Testament proclaims Yeshua to be the
Messiah of the Old Testament. The New Testament solution to
the Old Testament paradox is that there will be only one
Messiah, and this Messiah comes two times. This seems to be
consistent with the Old Testament, since the Old Testament
often speaks of the suffering and the conquering aspects of
the Messiah in one and the same passage, giving no
indication at all that two persons are meant.
All scriptures are in the
American Standard Version unless otherwise noted.
enjoyed this Bible study, Dr. Fruchtenbaum
recommends the following messianic Bible studies
mbs 003: The Basis of the Second Coming
of the Messiah
mbs 007: Jews, Gentiles, and Christians
mbs 011: The Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53
mbs 012: The Messiah of the Old Testament
mbs 014: Why Did the Messiah Have to Die?
mbs 016: Nicodemus, A Rabbi's Quest
mbs 026: Zionism: What It Is and What It Is Not
mbs 087: The Book of Romans and the Jews
Also the Ariel series on Christology by Dr. Fruchtenbaum