Jesus is the Messiah. The word “Christ” means the anointed one, it’s a messianic title. When you call Jesus “Christ,” you are acknowledging that He is your Messiah.
Anyone can say that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, but the true test is if we follow the Messiah.
Here’s the funny thing: humans aren’t too happy with the Messiah we got.
Many people followed Jesus while He was ministering on earth. But then He was turned over to the Romans, mocked, spit on, whipped, and eventually crucified. What’s up with that?
The two disciples on the Road to Emmaus talked with the resurrected Jesus unknowingly. Here’s what they were talking about:
the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel
They thought He was the Messiah, but then crucifixion happened! They left the city. They took off. They gave up. Guess we were wrong.
Twice in Luke 24 Jesus shows them from Scripture that the Messiah had to suffer and be resurrected.
When the Apostles begin teaching in Acts, a repeated theme is pointing out from the Law and the Prophets that the Messiah had to suffer and be resurrected (Acts 3:14-19; 17:1-3; 26:19-23).
The biggest thing that made them doubt the Messiahness of Jesus was His suffering and death. Jesus and the Apostles say no, actually, His suffering and resurrection are the biggest proof that He is the Messiah!
Israel didn’t want a suffering Messiah. They wanted a triumphal Messiah. His awesomeness would make them awesome. He was supposed to overthrow the Romans and restore Israeli prominence. Instead He submits to the Roman authority and gets crucified by them on a cross.
You would think that now, after we have the completed Gospel lived out and the full Scripture revealed to us, we’d be cool with a suffering Messiah.
We are, as long as we’re talking about Jesus suffering for us. Jesus died and now I’m happy all the day!
We throw the suffering on Jesus and now Jesus makes the American Dream come true for me. I get health and wealth and my best life now! Yippee! Thank you, suffering Jesus!
We’re cool with a suffering Messiah as long as I just get the benefits. But the New Testament tells us to follow Christ, to have the mind of Christ, that only if we suffer with Him will we be glorified with Him, that we are living sacrifices, that we are to take up the cross, deny ourselves, and follow the Man of sorrows acquainted with grief.
Wait, wait, wait! I have to follow Christ in His sufferings? No thanks!
We don’t like the suffering Messiah anymore than the Jewish people of His day did.
No one likes suffering. No one likes to be around suffering people. No one wants to follow a suffering person into their very suffering so it becomes ours too.
We signed up for the good stuff and that’s it.
If you’re not suffering in following the suffering Messiah, there’s a real good chance you’re not following the suffering Messiah. You’re probably just following the Bestest, Funnest Messiah of Your Dreams.