Several folks have asked me about the title of the last sermon in our sermon series. “Who is Cyrus?” they ask. Cyrus the Great was the King of Kings, the Emperor of Persia.
…is NOT Cyrus the Great. This is Xerxes, Emperor of Persia, attempting to conquer Greece. He was a relative of Cyrus the Great.
In the Bible, Xerxes marries Esther, and she helps save her people from a plot to kill them. When we want to show Xerxes as a good guy, we show him like this:
I share these images, though, because how we portray god-like emperors today is relevant to how we understand the word Messiah, or Christ, one who is anointed or chosen by God to be a champion of God’s people.
This is Cyrus:
…and this Sunday at 4:30, we’ll talk about how this non-Jewish anti-hero came to be called a messiah.