By the time Jesus Christ came into the world, the Jews had been captured, freed, and captured again with quite regularity. Indeed, as they drew further and further away from the teachings of God, their captivity extended over decades, centuries, and millennia.
By this point in Jewish history, it was firmly entrenched in their minds that the Messiah would come as a great and powerful king who would free them permanently from their captors. He took on the attributes of great generals in history and it was cemented in Jewish minds that He would restore the Davidic royal line and take His rightful place on the throne.
Jesus Christ, descendant of King David and rightful heir to this mortal throne, came into the world in a meek and lowly manner. The God of heaven and earth was born in a stable and laid in a manger, for this was all His earthly father, Joseph, could provide for his wife as she delivered into the world the prophesied Messiah.
But this Messiah, Jesus Christ, came into the world to redeem us from the fall of Adam, not to free the Jews from — that wouldn’t come for several thousands of years, and even is still a greatly awaited event by Jew and Christian alike. He came as the Messiah, even the Lord and Redeemer, to redeem our spirits and to break the bands of death. And this He did.
“While teaching the multitudes in the temple (see Matthew 23:37–39). As Jesus preached in Jerusalem during the final week of His mortal ministry, He publicly lamented the fate of the city’s inhabitants who would not believe in Him. He told them He would return to Jerusalem in glory with His angels and said, “Ye shall not see me henceforth and know that I am he of whom it is written by the prophets until ye shall say: Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord” (JS—Matthew 1:1), thus fulfilling the messianic words of Psalm 118:26” (Jonathan H. Stephenson, “‘I Am He’,” Ensign, Apr 1999, 7).
And though He fulfilled the law of Moses, was born into the world as prophesied, performed miracle after miracle, confounded the learned and delighted the unlearned with His wisdom and knowledge of the Kingdom of God, still billions do not accept Him as their Savior.
And yet, to this day, millions DO accept Him as the Son of God, acknowledging His divinity. And although He is the Messiah of every man, woman and child, again, many do not recognize Him as such. Interestingly, this does make this truth any less so.
I testify to you that Jesus Christ came at the meridian of time as the promised and foretold Messiah, delivering us from the bondage of sin and death. Because of His great and loving sacrifice, we have hope for an eternal reward. Without Him, we would have lived forever in sin and been silent in the grave. Only through His Atonement and Resurrection did the plan of salvation become complete. Through Him and only through Him will redemption be found as well as that eternal happiness we all long for which is within our grasp if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior and take the hand He has outstretched to us.
He will, I testify, return in glory and power. First will come the foretold heavenly sign, coming east to west, and then Jesus Christ will return as the God of Heaven and Earth and His millennial reign will begin.
This is a day I long for and anxiously await. For though I have far to go in my quest for perfection, I grow weary of the pervasiveness of wickedness in this world. I, for one, will shout with joy when He returns, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
This article was originally published in February 2008. Minor changes have been made.