As you pointed out, “the Messiah” is not in the text. Of course we have interpretations of passages that refer to the Messiah, but in the Hebrew text, “the Messiah” is not found in the Tanakh.
Prior to Rabbi Skobac pointing this out, I didn’t realize this. So I tried to search for “the Messiah” in the Hebrew and I couldn’t find it either.
In the English, “the Messiah” is only found in Dan 9:25.
25 Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
But, in the Hebrew, there is no “the” in front of Messiah.
Some other translations:
Know, therefore, and discern that seven weeks [[of years]] will elapse between the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Yerushalayim until an anointed prince comes. It will remain built for sixty-two weeks [[of years]], with open spaces and moats; but these will be troubled times.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an Anointed One, the ruler, will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times.
Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
Knowe therefore and vnderstande, that from the going foorth of the commaundement to bring againe the people, and to builde Ierusalem, vnto Messiah the prince, shall be seuen weekes and threescore and two weekes, and the streete shalbe built againe, and the wall euen in a troublous time.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times.
Know and understand this: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt Until one who is anointed and a leader, there shall be seven weeks. During sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, With streets and trenches, in time of affliction.
So you are to know and understand that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until Messiah the Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with streets and moat, even in times of distress.
Know therefore and understand: from the time that the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of an anointed prince, there shall be seven weeks; and for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with streets and moat, but in a troubled time.
And thou dost know, and dost consider wisely, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem till Messiah the Leader is seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks: the broad place hath been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times.
And here’s the interesting point, Jesus never called himself the Messiah either. Rather, he most often called himself the “son of man”. He didn’t correct anybody when people called him the Messiah, so he could still be considered the Messiah.
Besides, Jesus did claim to be the Messiah at least once.
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
For myself, yes, I believe Jesus is the Messiah, not just a Messiah. And he is also the Christ, even though he never explicitly called himself “the Christ” or “the Messiah”. Others have claimed he was and he accepted it, but the words never came out of his mouth. He seemed to have intentionally avoided ever saying that. But what he has repeatedly stated was he was the “son of man”. Why would Jesus have freely called himself the “son of man”, but the words Messiah or Christ never came out of his mouth?
All I’m getting at is there’s probably something else going on that we don’t fully understand. And I’ve never heard or read anything that has explored this in depth. Anyways, it’s not really a point to debate about, but more a curiosity to explore.
Though Jesus did not directly state he was the Messiah, yes, he did indirectly claim to be the Messiah.
Even if there is, it isn’t necessarily what you want it to be.
But as you’ve stated, Jesus said he was the Messiah. So, it’s not just what I want him to be. I can say he’s the best player in chess, but Jesus never said that about himself. If Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, then I’m just simply agreeing with what he said.