When I was taking courses for my Certificate in Messianic Studies, one of the questions was “Why do we need a Messiah?” At first you may think ,”What a silly question from a course that teaches about Messianic Judaism and Yeshua!”
Then, again, when you think about it, maybe it isn’t so silly because the answer is: everyone; yet, not everyone will agree. Most of the people I know who are Gentile (not Born Again) were raised being taught about Jesus and salvation their whole lives, and you would think they would know all about the need for a Messiah. But the impression I get is that they are taught that, so long as they are a good person, they get to go to heaven because Jesus died for their sins. It’s like a Third-Party Salvation, there’s no “ownership” of their own sinfulness and personal need for Yeshua. He died for their sins means that just be a good person and you’re in.
What is good? Is it being nice to people? Is it not murdering? Is it treating animals with affection? Yeshua told us- in the B’rit Chadasha (Good News, or Gospels) when a man addresses Yeshua as, “Good Rabbi”, Yeshua says, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but my Father in Heaven.” WOW!! The Messiah, the Son of God, the Suffering Servant and Victorious King says He is not good. If He’s not good, what are we? Isaiah got it right- we are worms, and our righteousness is nothing more than filthy rags (menstrual rags is the actual translation) compared to God.
We all need a Messiah to save our eternal soul. Of course, many do not believe in the concept of a “soul”. Many do not believe in God and are convinced that we are all responsible for ourselves and are accountable only to our own beliefs. Do these people need a Messiah? Of course they do, they just don’t know it!
There is a God who created everything we know, and even things we don’t know about yet. He is our Father who loves us. He is also the judge of the world, who cannot judge any way but justly, holding us all accountable for our words and actions. The Torah teaches us that if we break even one commandment we have broken them all, and we all are sinners. David tells us in Psalm 40:12 his sins are greater than the hairs on his head. This from a man G-d said was a man after His own heart! Need more?- Proverbs 20:9 asks “Who can say I am without sin?”. The answer is no one. The Gospel story of the woman accused of adultery (John 8:7) has Yeshua asking all the “righteous” men in the town to throw a stone if they are without sin. Not even a pebble was tossed. 1 John 1:8 sums it up for all of us- if we claim to be without sin we are just deceiving ourselves.
We all have sin, and are sinners from the moment we were born, born into a sinful world. The only way we can be cleansed of our sin, and thereby be with God, is to atone through the shedding of innocent blood (Lev. 17:11). The problem is that this atonement was to be made at the Temple, which no longer exists. This leaves us in a quandary- we need to atone but cannot do so because the physical Temple of God is no longer in existence. So where can we turn to? We can turn to the Messiah, who was the atonement for our sin (Isaiah 53). Only through Him can our sins be atoned for in accordance with the sacrificial system God put in place from the beginning of time.
So the answer to the question, “Why do people need a Messiah?” is this: to atone for the sin we all have so that we can be in the presence of God through all time. It is up to those of us who understand this to help those who do not acknowledge it to see the truth of God’s Plan of Salvation, the means of how we are saved, and thereby expose the lies of the Enemy that they have been taught to believe.