what of the night?”

"The hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)

An Excerpt from WWN XXXVI – 12 (03)

P. 2

A Contemplation on Jesus the Christ

"Thou art the Christ"
su ei o cristoV

Alone with His disciples near the source of the Jordan River within the shadows of Mt. Hermon, Jesus asked His disciples a question, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" (Matt. 16:13). The answers gathered from their mingling with the multitudes covered a broad spectrum, none of which were correct. Then Jesus turned the question to them, "But who say ye that I am?" To this question, Peter quickly replied, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (vs. 15-16). ["Christ" is the Greek equivalent for the Hebrew "Messiah" - John 1:41] The Messiah was not only the hope of Israel, but is also the hope of the human race.

Until we get the Biblical relationship between the "Messiah" and His designation as "the Son of God" correct and in context, we can never perceive who the Son of man really was. He who came in the "flesh" was the Word (John 1:14), and that "Word was God"[qeoV hn o logoV] (1:1) even as qeoV was God, in other words, Divine.

The Messianic second Psalm places in context the relationship between the "Messiah" and the designation "Son of God." In the setting of a "controversy" between "the Lord and His anointed" (משיחו - Messiah), with "the kings of the earth" (vs. 2), the Kingship and the Son-ship of the "anointed One" is declared. Observe carefully these verses:

I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (vs. 6-7)

In the New Testament, this decree of Son-ship is applied to both the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5); however, in Hebrews, Paul links the second Psalm with the promise given to David concerning the kingship of Solomon, "I will be his father, and he shall be my son" (II Sam. 7:14), and applies both the promise and decree to the incarnate Word. Then in the Book of Revelation, He whose "name is called The Word of God" rides forth as "King of kings, and Lord of lords" to "smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron" (19:13, 15-16), as prophesied in the second Psalm (v. 9).

When Jesus appeared to a group of His disciples after His resurrection, He "opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45). In the days that followed the Messiah's ascension, as the study of the Old Testament prophecies began in earnest, it is interesting to observe the unfolding of that understanding.

Apparently, they first read carefully the third section of the Hebrew canon. Psalms, its first book, is cited as the reason for the first business meeting presided over by Peter (Acts 1:15-20). On the day of Pentecost, Peter quotes freely from the same hymnal (2:25, 34-35); besides declaring that a prophecy of Joel had been fulfilled before their eyes (2:16). With what wonder they read - "The sun shall be turned into darkness" (Acts 2:20; Joel 2:31), as they recalled the terrible day of the crucifixion that "when the sixth hour (noon) was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (Mark 15:33). Did they also note the prophecy of Amos where God said He would "cause the sun to go down at noon"? (8:9).

As they continued their study, (it appears to have been backward through the canon) they called the attention of the throng gathered together on Solomon's porch, to the promise given Moses that God would raise up a prophet like him to speak to the people (Acts 3:22). They emphasized God's pronouncement, that failure to hear the words of this prophet would bring serious consequences (v. 23). It is likewise applicable to the words of Jesus directed to this hour of time.

Finally, when confronting the very leaders who had plotted the death of the Messiah of Israel, the decreed Son of God, Peter boldly proclaimed:

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12.