This week’s word of the week, Christ, has significant meaning to those of both the Jewish and Christian faith. Christ is from Christos in the Greek and from mashiah in the Hebrew, and it literally means messiah, or anointed one, or a coming deliverer. It has different meaning to each of those two groups.
In the Jewish religion, Christ signifies the hope that is yet to come. The Christ, or Messiah, is not a present or past reality but a future one. They are waiting on the anointed one of God to come to earth and establish his reign. They long for the Messiah of the Lord to come to earth.
For Christians, however, Christ is a reality. We believe that the man Jesus was the Christ as stated in the New Testament. He fulfilled every one of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies of the messiah. We do not have to hope that He is yet to come; we have hope in our lives because He has already come. He came to earth to live an earthly life while maintaining His God-ness. He died an earthly death and was raised again by God, which brings us the opportunity to be delivered from our sins. He was the anointed one by God to deliver us.
The amazing thing about the Christ is that the person of Jesus Christ exists in the past, present, and future. Jesus existed before the creation of the world, as described in John 1:1-3. Jesus did not exist at that time in the incarnate state of his earthly ministry. But because Jesus is God and God does not change, he was human in some way and had awareness and knowledge of his human nature. In the incarnation he was revealed in bodily human form. Jesus came to earth in order to be the mediator between humans and God, and thus to provide for our salvation as well.
The title Christ is given to Jesus so that we may see Him clearly for who He is - our deliverer, anointed by God to grant us salvation.