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Who is the Messiah?

He was born in Bethlehem in Judaea in the land called Palestine during the Roman occupation in the first century. Some thirty years later, Pilate, the Roman governor, sentenced him to death. He was crucified, died and was buried. However, on the third day, he rose again. His teaching and life influenced the history of the world uniquely. Today there are many opinions about him, but if we want to know the whole truth, it is the New Testament that gives us the most reliable information. Among Muslims he is known as Isa Al-Masih – Jesus the Christ, Allah’s Rasul – Apostle, and His Nabi – prophet. They may know about his birth and something about his teaching from the reading of the Qur’an. However, the full details are available in the New Testament.

Isa al-Masih, Jesus the Christ

We learn that his birth and life were unique. His authority was supreme. At the age of about 30 Jesus started his ministry, preaching with God’s authority to people about the great things God had done for them. His arrival was not only confirmed by angels, but also by another prophet, Hazrat Yahya (John the Baptist). When Hazrat Yahya saw Jesus, he pointed to Him and said to those around him, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He was referring to the fact that Jesus was to be the sacrifice that God would provide, like the ram in the case of Hazrat Ibrahim and his son, or the lambs sacrificed as sin offerings (Genesis 22:13; Leviticus 6:24-30).

The name “Isa” or “Jesus” is itself important because of its meaning, “The Lord saves” (Matthew 1:29). This name was given to him not by his family, but by God Himself. God was telling us that He planned to save us through the person of Isa. His title, “The Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Messiah”, which in Arabic is “Al-Masih” and means “anointed for a special purpose.”

Isa Saffaiyatu’llah came from Heaven

His claim was that he came down from heaven (John 6:38). He boldly said, “You are of this world but I am not of this world” (John 8:23). People around him were amazed at his teaching. They realised that their religious teachers used to quote others as their authority for any ruling they made, but Jesus was different. They regarded him as “one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matthew 7:28-29). Other prophets used the introduction “the Lord your God says . . .”, but Jesus said, “I tell you”, or, “Truly, I tell you.”

The Way to Life

Jesus is the answer to many who pleaded with God, “Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD” (Psalms 4:6). He claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25). This is something no other messenger or prophet has claimed: Jesus is the only one whom God has appointed as the gateway to draw people to himself. That is why Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6).

Redeemed and Free

He said, “I came, not to judge the world, but to save it” (John 12:47). Many people in his day thought to make him their ruler and king, to establish a worldly kingdom. He refused: “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and said that he “did not come to be serve; he came to serve and to give his life to redeem many people” (Mark 10:45). He claimed the authority to free people from slavery and the punishment of sin. He said, “. . . everyone who sins is a slave of sin. If the Son sets you free, then you will be free really free” (John 8: 34, 36).

The Open Invitation

There were many people in those days who were unwilling to face up to his claims upon them; the same is true today. Many try to ignore Isa. However, Jesus has clearly said, “He who is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23). We cannot sit on the fence or just hope that everything will be all right. Jesus is the final word of hope, which God has spoken to the people of this earth (Hebrews 1:1-2).

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No other prophet has given such a clear assurance as Jesus has done. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Steven Masood

My Isa

Come see this ‘Al-Masih’, this Messiah
He is all Truth, He is never a liar
I have found this Messiah
He lifted me out of my sin and mire

My ‘Kalima’, this Word that became flesh,
He came to set you free from entanglement of life’s mesh
’Nabi’, He came as a Prophet, Priest, and King
He can bring true forgiveness over the din of sin

This ‘Rasul’, a Messenger sent by God
He never came to rule with an iron rod
His message was only that of love
The only perfect kind you receive from above

My Isa came as a Servant
He is full of compassion and very fervent
He came not to be served but to serve
Sinners would not have the nerve

You see He gave His all for you and me
The Injil says He died on a cruel tree
He is now watching today
To see who will lay their sin at the foot of the cross
So that you will no longer have to be a loss

It doesn’t matter who you are
God truly isn’t very far
Reach out to Him, this Isa, and you’ll see
Everything you need in Him, to be

Ann Stein

All Biblical quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Published in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd.

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