Jesus as the Messiah in the Old Testament
Christians often use Old Testament passages to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied in the Jewish writings. How would you respond to this and should a Muslim disagree with these passages?
‘Aissa al Maseeh, Jesus the Messiah. As Muslims we adhere to the belief that Jesus was the Messiah and thus we agree with our Christian brethren that he was the Messiah. Concerning the passages used by Christians which foretell the crucifixion of the Messiah for the sins of the world, it is important that we first understand what the term Messiah means. The term for Messiah in Hebrew is, “Mashiach“, Christians naturally claim that every Messianic passage is about Jesus and thus he is, “Ha Mashiach” or, “the Messiah”. To begin with, there is not a single passage in the Old Testament that refers to a person known as, “Ha Mashiach“, the Messiah. There are many Messiahs in the Old Testament, with the term Messiah merely meaning, “anointed one”. The Christian would therefore have to demonstrate for us a single occurrence of the term, “the Messiah”, referring to one specific Messiah alone. Rather there are many Messianic passages in the Old Testament because in Judaism, there were many Messianic figures.
To be anointed was a common practise in their faith:
After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. – Exodus 28:41.
Therefore being the Messiah does not deify Jesus, nor does it mean that every Messianic passage could be about him. This would mean that not every suffering Messiah would also be Jesus. A popular passage used to prove that Jesus was foretold of being crucified for the sins of the world is the chapter of Isaiah 53. To respond to this chapter as an evidence, we can ask the Christian concerning verse three which reads as follows:
“Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” – Isaiah 53:3.
Why did people hide their faces from him? Isaiah 52, says of the suffering servant:
“Just as there were many who were appalled at him – his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness – ” – Isaiah 52:14.
When did Jesus have a disfigured face and when did he hide this disfigured face? There is not a single passage in the New Testament which mentions that Jesus had a disfigured face. Since this is the case, we must then ask, how can this possibly refer to Jesus?
and Allaah knows best.