For centuries leading up to the conception and birth of Jesus, God had promised through the prophets that he would send an anointed king to save his people, Israel.  This king would come as a servant and would mysteriously save his people through his suffering.  This king would be glorified somehow, and in doing so, would bring redemption, salvation, and glory to not only Israel but to the entire human race. 

And so it happened in a way that went far beyond Israel's expectations. In other words, God was extremely generous in fulfilling his promises. In the fulness of time, this foretold King was conceived in the womb of Mary, a virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the name given to him was Jesus. In Hebrew, this name is Yeshua (from which we get the modern day name of "Joshua"), and it literally means "God saves!"

The title "Christ" (in Hebrew: Messiah • in Greek: Christos) means "The Anointed One."  In the Old Testament, priests, prophets, and kings were anointed with a flask of consecrated oil, and in several instances, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven to confirm such a sacred appointment (e.g., with Saul and David, kings of Israel). Jesus experienced this appointment in his baptism in the Jordan River, by the hands of John the Baptist, when the Holy Spirit rushes upon him, as he was baptized.

The salvation Jesus brought - as the anointed priestly and prophetic king - was far greater than the temporarily political and military victors of his royal Israelite predecessors. In fact, many of Jesus' contemporaries expected him to amass an army, defeat their Roman oppressors, and bring political sovereignty to the people of Israel.  Instead, Jesus conquered the greatest enemy we all face: the powers of darkness (the demonic world) and the grip that sin has over our lives. He did this in the most incredible way: by allowing those powers to seemingly destroy him!

Jesus suffered a most excruciating death upon the Roman instrument of torture and death: the Cross.  Yet, he did so completely voluntarily, without any struggle on his part.  He gave his life freely as a gift, in order to atone for the sins of Israel and the entire world.

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