Dr. Kevin Anderson – “The Mission of the Messiah”
“[Jesus] told them, ‘This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’” -- Luke 24:46-48 niv
At the end of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus appeared for the last time to his disciples. He opened up the meaning of the Scriptures to them and unfolded how they were part of God’s ancient plan of salvation. Jesus outlined three main elements in God’s plan: the Messiah’s suffering, resurrection, and the worldwide proclamation of repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name.
The original “eyewitnesses and servants of the word” (Luke 1:2), as well as those of us who are Christ-followers today, have been called to take part in the mission of the Messiah. It is not our mission; it is his mission. We often need to be reminded of this. Sometimes “missions” seem like an enormous burden on our shoulders, and we feel like its success is completely up to us. But what we really need to do is seek his direction as we bear witness to his saving work in our own lives and offer the grace of repentance and forgiveness of sins to others.
The third element of the Messiah’s mission will come to pass as surely as his death and resurrection did. Christ himself will accomplish God’s scriptural plan (Luke 24:46) which “must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). Paul repeated this threefold messianic mission in his speech before King Agrippa: “I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22b-23).
The question is: Are you fully on board with the Messiah’s mission? The risen Christ wants to convey his message of salvation through you.
- Dr. Kevin Anderson, Associate Professor of Christian Studies & Philosophy