5. JESUS OF NAZARETH IS THE REDEEMER OR CHRIST
The Jews called the coming Redeemer the Messias (in Hebrew), or the Christ (in Greek), i.e., the Anointed One. The “anointed of the Lord” was the usual epithet among the Jews for prophets, high priests, and kings, because they were anointed in. sign of their mission on their appointment to office, and this anointing symbolized the light and strength of the Holy Ghost, and reminded them of the duty of clemency. The coming Messias was to be prophet, priest, and king, all in one, and the greatest of them all, hence it was usual to call Him simply, “the anointed of the Lord.” This unction of the Messias was not a physical, exterior act, but the interior dwelling of the Holy Spirit (Ps. xliv. 8; Acts x. 38).
1. Jesus of Nazareth is the Redeemer, because all the prophecies have their fulfillment in Him,
Jesus often appealed to this circumstance (John v. 39; Luke xviii. 31), especially in His conversation with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus (Luke xxiv. 26). St. Matthew points out in his gospel how the prophecies are fulfilled in Christ. Many Jews have been converted on comparing the life of Christ with the prophecies.
2. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messias, because the kingdom founded by Him on earth has been enduring.
The success of many of those who claimed to be the Messias has ever been merely temporary; but Jesus of Nazareth has had His followers in every age. Had His kingdom, the Church, been the work of men, it would have been destroyed long ago. That it has survived, in spite, too, of so much persecution, is a proof that it is God’s work, and that its founder must be the heaven-sent Messias (Cf. the words of Gamaliel, Acts v. 38).
3. Jesus Himself claimed the name of Redeemer.
On the occasion of His conversation with the Samaritan woman, and in presence of the high priest Caiphas.
The Samaritan woman said to Christ at the well: “I know that the Messias cometh Who is called Christ,” and Christ replied: “I am He Who am speaking with thee” (John iv. 25, 26). The high priest Caiphas said to Christ: “I adjure Thee by the living God that Thou tell us if Thou be Christ the Son of God,” and Christ answered: “Thou hast said it” (Matt. xxvi. 64). On another occasion St. Peter was commended for calling Him “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. xvi. 16).
4. The angels announced Him as the Redeemer.
When they appeared to the shepherds near Bethlehem, and in St. Joseph’s vision.
An angel stood by the shepherds and said: “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people; for this day is born to you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord” (Luke ii. 10). When St. Joseph was thinking of dismissing our blessed Lady, an angel appeared to him in sleep and announced the birth of Christ: “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. i. 21). Since Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ or Messias, He is called Jesus Christ, and this is the name He Himself uses in John xvii. 3.
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