Bowie Apostolic Church
Day 31: He is Risen
by From the Pastor's Desk on April 1st, 2013

Psalm 16:10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. 

Luke 24:6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 

Matthew 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

There have been many men who claimed to be the Messiah before and after Jesus Christ was revealed as Messiah. Not only that, but there are a few who without claiming it themselves were proclaimed as Messiah by others. It seemed that early on, they all did the same thing: revolt against the gentile nation that was set over Israel. Initially, the Messiah was an anointed king. This is what the Messiah is referred to as in scripture. However, through the process of time, the “legend” of the Messiah began to surface. This legendary Messiah was to be a warrior-king that delivers Israel from the yoke of it’s oppressors. This led to men rising up to do the same types of things, but really were not the Messiah. They all failed.

Some of these men were:

1.) Judas Maccabeus – He led the revolt against the Seleucid Empire from 167 – 160 AD. Maccabeus literally means the hammer. He was zealous for God and many people thought he was the messiah. If this did not originate their predispositions about the Messiah waging war against their oppressors, it did contribute. However, Judas Maccabeus died.

2.) Simon of Perea – A former slave of Herod the Great. According to the antiquital historian Flavius Josephus “He burnt down the royal palace at Jericho, and plundered what was left in it. He also set fire to many other of the king's houses in several places of the country, utterly destroyed them, and permitted those that were with him to take what was left in them for a prey. He would have done greater things, but care was taken to repress him immediately.” This man was killed and beheaded.

3.) Theudas -   A man who claimed to be a prophet of God. According to Flavius Josephus “It came to pass, while Cuspius Fadus was procurator of Judea, that a certain charlatan, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the Jordan river; for he told them he was a prophet, and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it.” This man was also beheaded.

4.) Simon Bar Kochba:  Led a revolt in 132 AD. His name “Bar-Kochba” literally meant “son of a star.” One Rabbi Akiva proclaimed him as Bar-Kochba and therefore identifying him as the messiah. Just as it was done for Jesus Christ, Bar-Kochba proclaimed a year 1. There are coins found in archeology that display this inscription. After coins printed with year 2, his revolt against the Romans was crushed. He was killed.

One of the ways the enemy can cause people to lose faith is to have plenty of copy cats. The copy cats that preceded Jesus detracted from the faith of Israel to the point that people reacted with a "here we go again" mentality when Jesus arrived. The mere fact that there were false messiahs that would arise after Jesus also tells us that there were people who not only did not believe in Jesus as the messiah (probably because from their perspective he had the same end as the previous two messiah attempts) they were some that still were hoping for the messiah to arrive. 

This sheds light on what the bible says about His first disciples not wanting to follow Him after his arrest. Despite the fact that they saw Jesus do things that no one else had done in the history of Israel, the status quo loomed over them in regard to the previous Messiahs. They had also forgot how they were used by God by the commissioning of Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:1.

But here we are following a man named Jesus Christ of Nazareth who also was killed just like all the other Messiah claimants. So what’s the difference? Why is no one even thinking about following Simon Bar-Kocba, Theudas, Judas Maccabeus or Simon of Perea? 

If you ever want to have a test for the real Messiah, here are a couple of tests.

Test Number One: which Messiah got up? Did your Messiah get up? I know my Messiah was killed. I know it was gory. I know they were merciless, but my Messiah got up. Theudas did not. Simon Perea did not.

Test Number Two: Which messiah sent his spirit back to bear witness? Did your Messiah send His Spirit back to you? The Spirit of the Messiah bears witness to the resurrection of the Messiah. My Messiah promised this and fulfilled it. Simon Bar-Kockba did not.

Jesus passes both of these tests. Because it was prophesied that He would see no corruption, this obviously means He would get up from the grave. However, without His Spirit we could not even begin to bear witness to the resurrection. Many can claim what they want about Jesus, but He got up from the grave and His Spirit was sent into the lives of every believer.

The reason why no one is following the others? Simple.

Nobody follows a dead Messiah.

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