I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel – the Messiah – has already come.
Acts 28:20, NLT*
This is the Apostle Paul, talking to the local Jewish leaders in Rome after he arrives as a prisoner.
What strikes me is the latter part of the verse: “I believe that the hope of Israel – the Messiah – has already come.”
For years the Jews had been waiting for the Promised One. They expected Him to rescue their nation from Gentile domination and restore it as a powerful kingdom.
The kingdom Jesus said had come, and the liberation, didn’t match their understanding. And of course some of the prophecies are waiting even yet to be fulfilled at His return.
Think about what it means, though, to believe the Messiah has already come. Yes, we’re waiting for Him to come back – which means living in a way that will meet with His approval no matter when He does – but how does it change our outlook?
The Kingdom of God has come, even though it hasn’t yet been outwardly manifested. The Holy Spirit rules in our hearts and can work in and through us. We are under the authority of the King, not of a decaying world system.
We have been and are being liberated from the hold of darkness. Our spirits have been brought out into the Light.
We have hope. Peace. A Source of joy.
God has ransomed, redeemed and restored us, and has adopted us as His own children – every Jew and Gentile who believes.
He has come. We are free. What difference will this reminder make in our days?
Our God and King, teach us afresh the wonder of Messiah’s coming, and help us to live fully in Your hope, as ambassadors of Your Kingdom who are anticipating its fullness.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.