Elijah was one of the greatest Prophets that ever lived. His name means “My God is Yahweh!” a couple of years ago we covered his story in full. It is all in the book of Kings and it is a pretty incredible story. He really worked for God, he was not just his mouthpiece like many of the prophets; this man called down fire from the sky, he single-handedly killed hundreds of the false priests of Baal. Then he ran from one angry woman –the evil queen Jezebel.
He announced a 3 year famine on Israel and God feed him with Ravens and he brought a dead boy back to life. He eventually got depressed by all the death and killing, he really never meant to be a soldier, and God gave him some time off, a journey, and a personal visitation, followed by retirement preparation and eventually when his apprentice Elisha was ready to step up to the plate, he was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot; now there’s the way to make a memorable exit. So why are we looking at him?
The Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD"; he is prophesied to return before the appearance of the Messiah announcing his coming. In Jewish ceremonies, there is always an extra unoccupied seat reserved for the prophet Elijah especially at Passover. They wonder if this guy is ever coming? He did, you missed it! It's ok, He'll be back.
In the New Testament, Jesus makes it clear that John the Baptist is "the Elijah" who was promised to come in Malachi. He is born 6 months before Jesus (his cousin) and the “Spirit of Elijah” rests on John – note that John is born at Passover. He indeed was “the Elijah” who prepared the way for the Messiah – the harbinger of Jesus Christ.