Why is Jesus called "the Christ"? What does "Christ" mean?

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples,
which are not written in this book:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God;
and that believing ye might have life through his name."
John 20:30-31

Why is Jesus called "the Christ"? What does "Christ" mean? Would not this information be very important if the purpose of John in writing his Gospel was so that we might believe that "Jesus is the Christ..."? Let us search the scriptures to see what they say!

A Biblical Definition: comparing scripture with scripture

"...We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ."
John 1:41
"...I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ..."
John 4:25

These two passages of scripture define Christ as Messiah. Therefore, we can say that the word Christ means the same as Messiah or:

Christ = Messiah

Another passage that adds some light is:

"The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ."
Acts 4:26

Here in Acts 4:24-30 the disciples are praying and in the midst of the prayer, they quote from an Old Testament passage. The passage quoted is Psalm 2:2 and it says:

"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his Anointed..."
Psalm 2:2

So, when we compare these two passages, scripture with scripture, we see that the word "anointed" in Psalm 2:2 is translated the word "Christ" in Acts 4:26. To simplify, then, we can say:

Christ = Anointed

Now, if what we have concluded here is true, that Christ means Messiah and Christ means Anointed, then, logically Messiah and Anointed mean the same thing. What saith the scripture?

When we go to the concordance and look up the word "anointed" in Psalm 2:2 we find that the Hebrew word used is "Mashiyach". We also find that this same Hebrew word is translated "Messiah" in Daniel 9:25-26. So, if we compare Daniel 9:25-26

"Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."
Daniel 9:25-26

to:

"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his Anointed..."
Psalm 2:2

We find that the Hebrew word "Mashiyach" is translated both "Messiah" and "anointed" and that Messiah, does indeed, mean anointed.

In conclusion, when these passages are diligently compared, we find that the English words "Messiah", "Anointed", and "Christ" all come from the same Hebrew word and, therefore, can and ought to be used interchangeably. In other words, when we say Jesus Christ, or Jesus the Christ, we could just as accurately say Jesus the Messiah or Jesus the Anointed of the Lord.

Why is this so important?

Please notice some of the things the Old Testament scriptures said concerning this one who was to come... the Anointed One... the Messiah... the Christ...

Daniel 9:25	He would appear on earth at an appointed time in history
       9:26	He would die but not for himself, or he would die for others
Psalm  2:1-2	the nations, people, kings, and rulers would be in rebellion
		against Him and the Lord that sent Him.
       2:6	He would be made King in Zion
       2:7	He would be called the Son of God
		He would rise from the dead
       2:8	He would inherit the nations and possess the whole world
       2:9	He would break the nations with a rod of iron
       2:12	His anger and wrath will one day be kindled and many will perish
		He will bless all those who trust in Him

Who is this anointed one? the Messiah? the Christ?

Concerning Jesus, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother said:

"We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ."
John 1:41

Jesus Himself testified that He is the Christ:

"The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that unto thee am he."
John 4:25-26

And He was condemned to death for this testimony:

But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
Mark 14:61-64

Martha said to Jesus:

She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
John 11:27

In the conclusion of the Gospel of John, John writes:

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples,
which are not written in this book:
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ,
the Son of God;
and that believing ye might have life through his name."
John 20:30-31

Peter said:

"...Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Matthew 16:16

and later at Pentecost, he boldly proclaimed:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:36

As Paul was in Thessalonica reasoning with them out of the Scriptures, it was written:

"...opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."
Acts 17:3

then in Macedonia...

And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Acts 18:5

Similarly, it is written that Apollos:

"...mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ."
Acts 18:28

What about you, who do you say that Jesus is?


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