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The messiah, the prophecies and the Talmud

 

 

 

Foreword

 

The coming of the Messiah is an interesting subject about which many prophecies exist.

   Next we consider various prophecies associated with the coming of the Messiah. The purpose is to go through what has been foretold in the Scriptures – the books of Moses, psalms and prophets – about the coming of the Messiah, the time of His coming, His life, His origins and whether or not these prophecies have already been fulfilled. Our goal is to learn if some of these prophecies have already been fulfilled.

    We will not restrict our study materials to the Bible, but will also use old commentaries written by various Hebrew rabbis (Midrash, Targum, Zohar, Talmud, etc.) because they are highly regarded by Jews.

   Surprisingly, we find in these old sources – especially in the oldest – powerful expectation of the Messiah’s coming, and a description of His supernatural features, presented in much the same way as in the New Testament. Consider the follow example taken from the Talmud. It indicates that prophets prophesied only for the days of the Messiah:

 

"All prophets prophesied only for the days of the Messiah" (Sanhedrin 99a. p. 670).

 

"The world was created only for the Messiah." (Sanhedrin 98b. p. 667).

 

 

1. The time of the coming of the Messiah
2. A prophet like Moses
3. The life of the Messiah in prophecies
4. One or two comings - the suffering of the Messiah
5. The message of the patterns and fulfillment
6. The nations search for the Messiah
7. The divinity of the Messiah
8. What is God like?
9. Access to God
 

 

 

1. The time of the coming of the Messiah

 

About the time of the coming of the Messiah: it is the view of present-day Jews that He has not yet come; He has not yet been on Earth. For that reason, they are still waiting for His first coming. Also, some Jews may talk about the time of the Messiah’s coming without actually believing in Him. What is typical of this view is the following statement made by a well-known Bible expositor, Rabbi Maimonides. It is a part of the current Siduur prayer book:

 

"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and despite being delayed, I shall wait for Him day after day, until He arrives."

 

But what is true? Has the Messiah already come? Is there generally any deadline mentioned in the Bible for His coming? Is it possible that the time for his coming has already passed? We will try to give answers to these questions below. We can already state that the deadline should have passed long ago. This is illustrated by the following points:

 

THE Prophecy of Daniel. It is good to pay attention to the prophecy of Daniel, which is one of the most remarkable prophecies about the arrival time of the Messiah. Daniel delivered this prophecy sometime between 500 and 600 B.C. The prophecy is about the re-building of Jerusalem and its temple, but it also reveals the time of the Messiah’s arrival. Daniel foretold that the Messiah would appear and die ("shall Messiah be cut off") at the latest when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. Daniel’s Prophecy:

 

- (Dan 9:24-26) Seventy weeks are determined on your people and on your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

26 And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.

 

Now we know from historical records that the Roman emperor Titus and his troops destroyed Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D. This remains one of the worst mass destructions in history. Daniel prophesied that the Messiah would appear and die before the destruction of the temple.

  Also, the prophecy refers to seventy year weeks, or approximately 490 years. We can see that this points to the same date. If we take as the starting point any statement by Persians about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and its temple and add 490 years, we always end up with a date before 70 A.D. The prophecy of Daniel clearly indicates that the Messiah should appear and be destroyed before the year 70 A.D., when the city of Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed. Later dates cannot be possible.

 

THE Prophecy of Jacob. The second reference to the time of the coming of the Messiah can be found in the story about Jacob’s blessing, which is told in the book of Genesis. This prophecy refers to how the descendants of Judah will not give up their right to rule their nation or transfer their right to self-legislate (later done by the Sanhedrin Council) to anyone else before the coming of the Messiah. This prophecy states:

 

- (Gen 49:10) The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.

 

As we now know, Judah lost its national unity, its existence as a state, and its right to self-rule in 70 A.D., at the same date upon which the temple was destroyed. This set the timeframe for the coming of the Messiah. Also according to this prophecy the Messiah would come before the temple’s destruction.

   In 6 A.D., the scepter (ruling authority) of Judah was already partially weakened and superseded. When the last king of Judah, Herod's son Archelaus, was removed from power and the Roman procurators took his place, the Sanhedrin lost some of its power. It is written that Rabbi Rahmon said at the time:

 

It came as a shock to the members of the Sanhedrin to realize that the right to control life and death had been taken away from them. They covered their heads with ashes and their bodies they covered with sack clothes, shouting, “Oh us poor things, we have lost the scepter of Judah and the Messiah has not yet come." (1)

 

We can conclude from prophecies (by Daniel and Jacob) that a clear timeline existed for the first appearance and death of the Messiah. He was to appear at the latest by 6 A.D. and to die before 70 A.D ("shall Messiah be cut off"). Both prophecies state that the Messiah would live no later than the first half of the first century. Later dates – after 70 A.D. – are impossible because they follow the destruction of the Jewish temple.

 

The DATE OF MESSIAH’S coming in EARLY Jewish sources. As we noted before, according to the Bible the Messiah's first coming should already have occurred. Many rabbis agree: the coming of the Messiah should have taken place a long time ago. Maimonides and many other expositors mentioned this in their works. It is also mentioned in the Talmud:

 

The explanation of Maimonides. In the foreword of this chapter we quoted a statement made by the well-known and appreciated Bible expositor, Rabbi Maimonides (RaMBaM). He pointed out the delay of the Messiah's coming: “...and despite being delayed, I shall wait...” (This view is the most commonly held among Jews at present.)

  Maimonides also referred to the coming of the Messiah when explaining the prophecy of Daniel in his letter "Igeret Teiman" (3 Chapter, p. 24). He wrote that the last times have already come, yet there is no sign of the Messiah. He well understood that the times described in the prophecy of Daniel should have already passed:

 

But Daniel has explained the depths concerning the last times to us. But because they are hidden, our learned – blessed be the memories of them – have prevented us from calculating the days to the coming of the Messiah, so that simple people would not be led astray when they see that times of the end have already come but the Messiah has not arrived. That is why our learned – blessed be the memories of them – have said: cursed be the man who calculates the times of the end. But we cannot claim that Daniel made a mistake in his calculations...

 

It is good to consider a statement made by historian Josephus, another Jew, who also wrote about the Book of Daniel. Josephus, who wrote in the first century, stated in an interesting way, that numerous prophecies of Daniel had become accurately fulfilled.  About the prophecies of Daniel he wrote:

 

Daniel has prophesied and written about all of this years ago. Similarly, his writings reveal the slavery of our nation and its destruction by the Romans. All these writings Daniel left to history, by orders of God, to give the reader and the observer of history a testimony about how God gave him a great honour, and to assure doubters who exclude the possibility of all guidance from their lives, to believe that God still takes care of what happens in the world." (Josephus Antiqv. X. 10 and 11).

 

The so-called tradition of Elijah addresses the same subject as that in Maimonides’s letter. In this tradition as well, the Messiah should have arrived almost 2,000 years ago. In this tradition, the Messiah’s coming was hindered for the sake of people's sins:

 

The world will stay for six thousand years: two thousand of them will be times of desolation, two thousand of them the times of the Torah, and two thousand of them the days of the Messiah, even though for the sake of our sins, which were very large, this happened. (Sanhedrin 97. a).

 

The Talmud. When we read the Talmud we find several references to how the Messiah should have come already. One of these statements was made by Rabbi Yehuda, who is commonly called just "rabbi". He stated about the times about which Daniel prophesied:

 

These times have already ended long ago. (Sanhedrin 9. b).

 

The Midrash of the Lamentations. The fact that the Messiah was expected during the time of the second temple appears in the Midrash of the Lamentations (the first temple was built by King Salomon and the second was built after the captivity in Babylon; the second temple was finished by King Herod and was destroyed in 70 A.D.). In the Midrash we read:

 

At the moment the temple was destroyed, the Messiah was born. (...) But a storm took him away.

 

THE Origin of the Messiah. Now that we have examined the timeframe for Jesus’ prophesied birth and death, we will look at his origin.

  The Bible clearly describes the Messiah’s lineage. We are told that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Indeed, all three of them received a similar promise. The Messiah would not only be from the tribe of Judah, but he would be a descendant of its royal branch -- from the house of King David. If a person did not come from this family line, it was impossible for him to be the real Messiah:

 

A promise to Abraham (also Isaac and Jacob got the same promise – Gen 26:4 and 28:14):

 

- (Gen 22:18) And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.

 

Tribe of Judah

 

- (Micah 5:2) But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

The descendant of David – a promise to David

 

- (2 Sam 7:8,12,13) Now therefore so shall you say to my servant David, Thus said the LORD of hosts, I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:

12 And when your days be fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, which shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

 

WAS JESUS A descendant of DAVID? The Messiah must come from the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, come from the tribe of Judah, and come from its royal branch: from the house of King David.

   If we consider the alternative that Jesus who lived in the first century is the Messiah, it is worth noting that He was a descendant of exactly the right house, line and royal family. Among other things, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 43 a) does not deny that Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah and to the house of David. The Talmud confirms it:

 

Jesus, who was of royal origin.

 

Although there were twelve tribes in Israel, of which Judah was only one, Jesus descended from just this tribe and from its royal branch, from the house of King David. The Gospels do not mention anywhere that somebody was against it. On the contrary, people called Him the son of David, which indicates that they knew Him to be a descendant of King David. If this were not true, His opponents would certainly have used it against Him to refuse His position as the Messiah; however, this did not happen, as we are told.

   We shall look at some passages in the New Testament, which are connected to this issue:

 

- (Hebr 7:14) For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.

 

 - (Luke 1:31-33) And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

 

- (Matt 1:1) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

 

 - (Rom 1:1-3) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God,

2 (Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

 

 - (Matt 15:22) And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

 

 - ( Rev 22:16)  I Jesus have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

 

Therefore, people during the time of Jesus did not doubt His origin but were excited in other ways. The following description is a good example of this:

 

 - (John 10:22-25) And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

 

THE Genealogies and the deadline for the coming of the Messiah. If we return to the matter of the date when the Messiah was to come, there is still one special reason why He should have appeared before the year 70 A.D. when Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed.

   Temple archives contained the genealogies of all tribes (from which the ancestry of Jesus could be verified), but they were destroyed. If someone still wanted to prove that he was the Messiah and from the house of King David after this, he could no longer do it. This was no longer possible because the only sure and reliable evidence concerning the origins had disappeared, and it became virtually impossible for anyone to prove his genetic background in a convincing way. Therefore, the Messiah should have come before the disaster of 70 A.D.

 

 

 

 

2. A prophet like Moses

 

As we are going to study prophecies foretelling the Messiah’s arrival and describing his life, perhaps the best starting point is to consider a promise given to Moses that is recorded in the book of Deuteronomy.

   This promise describes a certain prophet whom God promised to raise up from among Israel at a later time. It does not refer to all prophets of Israel, but to only one, whom God will bring out. This prophet would speak God's words, and his significance would be so great that if someone were to refuse to listen and were to turn his back on Him this person must answer to God. He faces the judgement of God. Another special feature was that the prophet would resemble Moses in some way and would be even more important than Moses. In this prophecy is said:

 

- (Deut 18:15,18,19) The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 

As far as this prophecy and Jesus are concerned, it is interesting to note that He said that Moses had written about Him. He told listeners that His arrival was mentioned in the books of law, prophets and psalms, and that the Scriptures testified about Him. Also, the Apostles believed that Jesus was the fulfilment of the prophet, just like Moses.

   One of the fundamental truths recorded in the New Testament is just this fact: Jesus fulfilled both the law and the prophecies (Matt 5:17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.). He came here to fulfil both, and to do the will of God, as several Bible verses explain.

   A good question is, how reliable are these claims by Jesus and the Apostles? Is it reasonable for us to believe that Jeshua’s claims are true? If Jesus made the following claims about Himself, then they must be one or the other, lie or truth. If they are true, then they prove His significance:

 

- (John 5:39-40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

- (John 5:45-47) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.

46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?

 

- (Luke 24:44-45) And he said to them, These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

 

- (Acts 3:22,23,26) For Moses truly said to the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you of your brothers, like to me; him shall you hear in all things whatever he shall say to you.

23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

26 To you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

                                

People expected THE coming of this prophet. One fact that can be found in the texts of the New Testament is that people expected the coming of a prophet like Moses. Their Scriptures taught them to expect a Messiah, who would appear at about the same time as Jesus appeared.  

  We learn about their feelings of anticipation in the Gospel of John. People recognized in John the Baptist features similar to those that they were taught to watch for, and they asked him if he was this prophet whom they were expecting. John answered in the negative, however:

 

 - (John 1:19-28) And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? And he said, I am not. Are you that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say you of yourself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said to him, Why baptize you then, if you be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there stands one among you, whom you know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s lace I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

WAS JESUS THIS FORESEEN PROPHET?

 

- (John 1:43-46) The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and found Philip, and said to him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said to him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see.

 

In these verses we read that Philip advised Nathanael to come and see whether Jesus really was the person about whom Moses and the prophets prophesied. The same also applies to those of us living now: We should study, in the light of the Scriptures, whether this is true, and whether these Scriptures point to Jeshua.

   When studying His life it is, indeed, significant that in Him we find numerous features of character, life and work that are similar to Moses. Let’s look at each feature:

 

Moses was meek

 

- (Num 12:3) (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on the face of the earth.)

 

Jesus was meek

 

- (John 5:41) I receive not honor from men.

 

- (John 6:14-15) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

 

- (John 8:53-55) Are you greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom make you yourself?

54 Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God:

55 Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

 

- (Matt 11:28-30) Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

Moses was faithful

 

- (Num 12:6-8) And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream.

7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house.

8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

 

Jesus was faithful

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

- (John 8:55) Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

 

- (Hebr 3:1-6) Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house.

4 For every house is built by some man; but he that built all things is God.

5 And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

 

When Moses was born, a king gave orders to kill children

 

- (Exo1:15-16) And the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:

16 And he said, When you do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the stools; if it be a son, then you shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.

 

When Jesus was born, a king gave orders to kill children

 

- (Matt 2:16) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

 

Moses grew in wisdom

 

- (Acts 7:22) And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

 

Jesus grew in wisdom

 

- (Luke 2:46-47,52) And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

 

Moses went to his brothers, but at first they did not accept him

 

- (Acts 7:35) This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made you a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

 

At first, Jesus was not accepted, either.

 

- (John 1:11) He came to his own, and his own received him not.

 

Moses was a teacher

 

- (Deut 4:1) Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives you.

 

Jesus was a teacher

 

- (John 3:1-2)  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him.

 

- (Matt 5:1-2) And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came to him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying: …

 

Moses was a shepherd

 

- (Isa 63:11) Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

 

Jesus was a shepherd

 

- (John 10:11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

 

Moses was as a mediator

 

 - (Exo 20:18-19) And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said to Moses, Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

 

Jesus is the Mediator

 

- (Hebr 8:6) But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

 

- (Hebr 12:24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.

 

Moses prayed for people

 

- (Exo 32:31-32) And Moses returned to the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.

32 Yet now, if you will forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray you, out of your book which you have written.

 

Jesus prayed for people

 

- (Luke 23:34) Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

 

- (John 17:20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

 

- (Luke 22:31-32And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.

 

Moses chose to follow the will of God rather than to seek a glorious position

 

- (Hebr 11:24-26) By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect to the recompense of the reward.

 

Jesus humbled himself

 

- (Phil 2:5-7) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

 

- (Hebr 12:2) Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Moses knew God intimately

 

- (Exo 6:2-3) And God spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am the LORD:

3 And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

 

- (Num 12:7-8) My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house.

8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

 

Jesus knew God intimately

 

- (John 8:54-55) Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God:

55 Yet you have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like to you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

 

- (John 7:28-30) Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, You both know me, and you know from where I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom you know not.

29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me.

30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

 

God provided help and healing for his nation through Moses

 

- (Exo 15:25-26)  And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

26 And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you.

 

- (Num 21:9) And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

 

God provided help and healing for his nation through Jesus

 

- (Matt 4:23) And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

 

- (Matt 8:16-17) When the even was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:

17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.

 

God fed people through Moses

 

- (Exo 16:14-15) And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, on the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they knew not what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.

 

God fed people through Jesus

 

- (Matt 14:19-21) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and broke, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

 

Moses gave people water from a rock

 

- (Exo 17:5-6) And the LORD said to Moses, Go on before the people, and take with you of the elders of Israel; and your rod, with which you smote the river, take in your hand, and go.

6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

 

Jesus gives living water

 

- (John 7:37-39) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.

38 He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

- (John 4:10-14) Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that said to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water.

11 The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water?

12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 

Moses released the people of God from slavery

 

- (Exo 3:7,10) And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

 

Jesus releases the people of God from the slavery of sin

 

- (John 8:31-36) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

 

- (Luke 4:17-21) And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

People followed Moses

 

- (Exo 32:26) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.

 

People followed Jesus

 

- (Matt 16:24-25) Then said Jesus to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

 

Moses fasted for 40 days

 

- (Exo 34:28) And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote on the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

 

Jesus fasted for 40 days

 

- (Matt 4:2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

 

Moses’ face shone

 

- (Exo 34:35) And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

 

Jesus’ face shone

 

- (Matt 17:1-2) And after six days Jesus takes Peter, James, and John his brother, and brings them up into an high mountain apart,

2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

 

Moses did miraculous signs

 

- (Deut 34:10-12) And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like to Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

11 In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,

12 And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.

 

Jesus did miraculous signs

 

- (John 2:23-25) Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself to them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

 

- (John 7:31) And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ comes, will he do more miracles than these which this man has done?

 

- (John 20:30-31) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name.

 

 

 

3. The life of the Messiah in prophecies

 

- (Acts 8:26-35) And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join yourself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understand you what you read?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus.

 

In the verses from the Acts above, there is an interesting description of a eunuch of Candace, queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch was reading the writings of the prophet Isaiah but did not completely understand what he was reading. He did not comprehend whether the prophet was referring to himself or to someone else, which is why he asked Philip for advice. Philip helped him understand the Bible passage.

   Also now when we read the prophets, we should study what they prophesied about the Messiah’s coming and his life. In the Scriptures, there are numerous prophecies connected with the Messiah, and we should study them so that we can get a good overall picture of His life. 

   Below, we will look at old Jewish sources and commentaries written by several respected rabbinical authorities. It might surprise many people to learn that these sources provide a description very similar to the description of the Messiah we find in the New Testament. There are very few differences. We will list each prophecy and then identify the fulfillment of that prophecy.

 

AN offspring of THE woman who will crush THE head of satan. One prophecy about the Messiah was that He would crush the head of the serpent (Satan) and restore humanity’s relationship with God.

   In Genesis 3 we learn that when the first man and woman lived in the Garden of Eden they fell out of God’s grace and entered into sin when they acted on the lie told by the serpent (Satan). God responded by putting enmity between humans and Satan; He promised them that the seed of woman would appear who would “…bruise (Satan’s) head.” Through this seed, humans would be restored to their place with God. First, the woman’s seed would have to be wounded, which is probably a reference to his death.

   As far as the fulfillment of this promise is concerned, the New Testament indicates clearly that it was fulfilled in Jesus. He crushed the head of Satan on the cross through his death and resurrection. Jesus was the offspring of the woman who was to fulfill God’s promise:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Gen 3:15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 2:14-15) For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

 

 - (1 John 3:8) He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

 

The New Testament teaches that the Messiah was the person who would bruise the head of the serpent. Interestingly, old Jewish sources do the same. Jewish sources teach that the Messiah is the offspring of the woman who will finally bruise the head of the serpent and fulfill God’s promise to restore the offspring of the woman. We will consider some respected Jewish rabbis’ explanations of Gen 3:15:

 

Jonathan Ben Uzziel was regarded as the wisest student of Rabbi Hillel. Ben Uzziel explained that this offspring of the woman is, "the Messiah king, who is wounded to heel.”

 

Radak, Rabbi David Kimchi, stated that this verse is associated with the Messiah. He emphasized that the Messiah is a descendant of King David:

 

"You bring salvation for your people, by the Messiah, through the hand of the son of David, who will wound Satan, who is the head of evil room, king and prince..."

 

In Midrash (Shemot Rabbaa 30), the Fall of man and corruption of all tribes as a consequence of that Fall were described in an interesting way. The quote explains that the Messiah, who is a descendant of the family of Peres and from the tribe of Judah, will finally fix the situation. The quote also describes the final occasion when death will be destroyed eternally.

   (Paul wrote as well, 1 Cor 15:26: The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death./ In Revelation 21:3-4 is said the same: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."):

 

"This is the history of Peres and it has a deep significance. (...) When Holy God created His world, there was no angel of death yet. (...) But when Adam and Eve fell into sin, all the tribes were corrupted. And when Peres rose, the history started to come true by him, for from him the Messiah will be descended and during his days, the Holy God will swallow death, as has been said: He will destroy death eternally.”

 

THE Messiah bore our sins and died for THE sake of THEM. The quote above (Midrash: Shemot Rabbaa 30) states that "… when Adam and Eve fell into sin, all the tribes were corrupted." In the New Testament we read the same message: that sin entered the world through one man. Paul wrote in Romans 5:12, “Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned.”

   However, the good news is that even though people have fallen into sin and sinned, the Scriptures indicate that Jesus has already borne our sins. This is how He fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53, which referred to this several times:   

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:5,6,8,11,12) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (1 Peter 2:23,24) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:

24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

 

 - (1 John 3:5) And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

 

 - (John 1:29) The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

 

 - (1 Cor 15:3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures

 

 - (1 Peter 3:18) For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit

 

The New Testament teaches that the Messiah bore our sins. What do the old Jewish sources teach about the Messiah?  

   They teach the same thing. In Jewish sources we find that one task of the Messiah is to bear our sins, that He is wounded for the sake of our sins, and that He dies for the sake of our sins -- just as the New Testament teaches. Many sources refer to this atonement through the Messiah. We will study some of them below.

 

Rabbi Elia de Vidas – who lived in the 17th century – wrote simply that the Messiah is wounded for the sake of our sins. If someone will not accept this, he will suffer and carry his own sins:

 

"So the Messiah suffers for the sake of our sins and He will be wounded; and who does not want for the Messiah to be wounded for the sake of our sins, he will himself suffer and bear his own sins."

 

In the Lochot Habberit (242 a) we read much the same message about the atonement of the Messiah as found in the New Testament: that He will give his life to death for people (compare Matt 20:28: ... Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."):

 

"He (the Messiah) will give Himself and His life to death, and His blood will reconcile His people.”

 

Rabbi Maimonides wrote in his commentary (in Midrash rabba, p. 660), that the Messiah took the sins on his shoulders and that He had to suffer because of this. This took place so that no one of Israel would get lost (cmp. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.):

 

"God made already in the beginning a covenant with the Messiah, and told Him, 'My righteous Messiah, those who are entrusted to you, their sins will bring to your shoulders a heavy burden and your ears will hear a large shame and your mouth will taste bitterness and your tongue will stick to the roof of your mouth and your soul will be powerless under grief and sigh. Do you submit to this?' And He answered, 'I will receive happily all these pains, so that no one of Israel will get lost.' Immediately when the Messiah had accepted all these pains in His love, as has been written in the book of Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and afflicted.”

 

Midrash of the book of Ruth refers to the sufferings of the Messiah and that He has been wounded for the sake of our sins. It explains the verse of book of Ruth 2:14 as follows:

 

"... baptize your piece of bread to wine vinegar, are those sufferings, about which has been written that He has been wounded for the sake of our sins.”

 

In Pesikta Rabbat (35-37), which is a part of the Midrash literature, we find that the suffering of the Messiah happened for the sake of people’s sins. He had to go through many difficult tribulations and be the object of derision because of those sins (compare Matt 26:38-39: Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.):

 

"Our rabbis have taught: once the patriarchs will arrive to him in the month of Nisan (about the time of the Passover) and say, Ephraim, the Messiah our righteousness, although we are your fathers, You are greater than we, because You have suffered for the sake of the sins of our children and You have experienced difficult and large trials... You have become an object of laughter and derision among the nations of the world for the sake of Israel, and You have sat in the dark and depth... Your skin has been torn off and your body has dried up like a tree... and Your power is like a pot shard. All this You have suffered for the sake of the sins of our children.”

 

Also in another Midrash (Midrash Bamidbar Rabbaa, par. 12) is found a reference to the idea of atonement (compare 2 Cor 5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.) It refers to “Metatron,” who is often identified with the Messiah:

 

Simultaneously, when Israel was building the temple, the Holy God commanded the angels to make into the paradise ‘a cabin for a young man, whose name is Metatron, that he would take the souls of righteous people to God and to reconcile the sins, which Israel has done in the Diaspora’.

      

THE Messiah bore our illnesses.  The Messiah came to repair all the consequences of the Fall including the diseases that entered then. He took them all on Himself, as was prophesied in the book of Isaiah. We learn in the New Testament that Jesus did this for us:

 

Prophecy:

 

 - (Isa 53:4, 5,10) Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 8:16-17) When the even was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:

17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.

 

- (1 Peter 2:21,24) For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

 

Old Jewish sources teach the same message as found in the New Testament.

   One of these references is found in the book of Zohar, which explains that the Messiah is to take each illness, pain and punishment on Himself:

 

"It is written, 'He was pierced for our transgressions' and so on. The Messiah (...) will take each illness, every pain and all punishment of Israel on himself; they will all come and remain on Him. And if He hadn’t in this way lightened the burden of Israel and taken it to bear, so a single person wouldn’t have been able to bear the punishment of Israel for offences of the law; and like this it is written: Surely He took up our infirmities."

 

From the Talmud of Babylon (Sanhedrin 98), we can find the same subject that the Messiah took up our diseases:

 

"The Messiah – what is His name? The rabbis said: His name is 'Leper, learned man’, for it has been written that He carried our sorrows and took up our infirmities. We deemed Him a leper, we supposed that God smote and afflicted him.”

 

The so-called Musaf prayer is one of the annual prayers of Yom Kippur and apparently dates back to the 9th century. In the Musaf prayer we learn that it is by the wounds of the Messiah that we are healed, and that the Messiah has carried the sins of the people:

 

"The Messiah, our righteousness, has turned away from us. We have been beaten broken and because of that, we have no spokesperson. Our crimes and the yoke of our bad deeds are a heavy burden. But He has been wounded for our sins. He carries our sins on His shoulders, so that we would get forgiveness. And by His wounds we are healed; it has come the time to create an eternal new creation.”

 

Birth in Bethlehem. The birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem came true in Jesus, because he was born there.

   Several Jewish authorities explaining Micah 5:2 refer to the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem. These refer to the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, in the same town where King David was born (1 Sam 17:12). It is noteworthy that today the town of Bethlehem is not inhabited by Jews. Only Arabs live there now, and it is known as an Arabic town.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Micah 5:2) But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 2:1-2) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

 

Task begins from Galilee.  Prophets saw that the Messiah would affect much of the area of Galilee and would give it a new brilliance.

   This can be said of Jesus, who lived in Galilee and moved from there to other places. Also, the word "Light", which appears in these and other verses, is, in the Jewish sources, often associated with the Messiah. Light is regarded as one name for the Messiah. 

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 9:1-2) Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them has the light shined.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 4:12-17) Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelled in Capernaum, which is on the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

Anointed with THE Spirit. The phrase "anointed with the Spirit" can be applied to Jesus better than to anyone else. We read in several Bible passages that Jesus was anointed with the Spirit. He healed sick people, freed people from demons, and helped people in many other ways, just as his disciples did later on.

   Many old Jewish sources connect Isaiah 11:1-2 and 61:1-3 with the Messiah. Good examples of that are the texts below, which refer also to the family tree of the Messiah.  

 

"This is how Judah benefited, for from him were descended Peres and Esrom, from whom king David and the king Messiah came, he, who will save Israel; look at how many difficulties the Holy God gave, until he raised the king Messiah from Judah, him, about whom has been written, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him." (Midrash Tanhuma, Bereshit va-jeshev.)

 

Why do your brothers praise you, Judah (verse 8), because the whole Israel is called Jews according to you, and not only therefore, but also because the Messiah will come from you, He who will save Israel, as has been written, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, Isa 11:1." (Midrash Tanhuma, Bereshit vajehi, 64.)

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 11:1-2) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD

 

- (Isa 42:1) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

 

 Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 3:16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 61:1-3) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 4:14-21) And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

- (Acts 10:38) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

 

Sinless. Another feature of the prophesied Messiah is that he should live a pure life absolutely free of wrong-doing. As described in the book of Isaiah, the Messiah would be described as “God’s righteous servant.”

    This feature of purity is found in Jesus. Both His closest disciples and his enemies testified to Jesus’s purity and goodness. This is important because it would have been easy for his disciples to see his faults, and his enemies surely would not have provided any statements of a positive nature.  One example of these positive statements is found in the Talmud, in which it was written about Jesus’s crucifixion that he was, "near the kingdom of God" (Sanhedrin 43. a.):

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:9,11) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (1 Peter 2:21-22) For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

 

- (1 John 3:5) And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

 

 - (Hebr 7:26) For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

 

- (Luke 23:4) Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.

 

 - (Matt 27:3-4) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that.

 

- (Matt 27:19) When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have you nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

 

 - (Luke 23:39-41) And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If you be Christ, save yourself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Do not you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss.

 

- (John 8:45-46) And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.

46 Which of you convinces me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do you not believe me?

 

THE Public arrival In Jerusalem. The prophecy of Zechariah (Zec 9:9) foretells that a gentle king will ride in Jerusalem on an ass. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an ass. Only Jesus’s entry fit this Prophecy:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 9:9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and on a colt the foal of an ass.

 

- (Gen 49:10-11) The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.

11 Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

 

- (Ps 118:24-26) This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I beseech you, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech you, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (Matt 21:1-11) And when they drew near to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

2 Saying to them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them to me.

3 And if any man say ought to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them; and straightway he will send them.

4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 Tell you the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, and sitting on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,

7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.

8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way.

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

 

Old Jewish authorities recognized Zechariah (Zec 9:9) – a king who is riding on an ass – to be a prophecy about the Messiah. In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 97. b) we read that the son of David will arrive during a generation, which is either completely righteous or completely sinful. If that generation is sinful, he will come as a gentle person riding on an ass:

 

"The son of David will arrive during a generation which is either completely righteous or completely sinful; during a time that is completely righteous, such as has been written Isa 60:21, all your people will be righteous and possess the land forever; or during a time when all people are sinful, as has been written Isa 59:16, “He saw that there was no one, He was appalled that there was no one to intervene… in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven (Dan 7:13), and it has been written, gentle and riding on an ass: if they are righteous, He will come with the clouds of heaven, if not, gentle and riding on an ass.”

 

The Midrash (Midrash Kohelet Rabbati 1.) refers to the coming of a gentle Messiah who rides into the city on an ass. This was done by Jesus.

   In addition, the Messiah was compared to the first savior, to Moses. We have already noted similarities between them:

 

"Such as was the first savior, so will be the last. As is said about the first savior (Ex 4:20): he took his wife and son and put them on the back of an ass, the same has been said about the last savior, that he is gentle and rides on an ass (Zec 9:9). Such as the first savior gave manna (Ex 16), such as has been written, look, I give to rain for you bread from heaven, so also the last savior will give manna, such as has been written (Ps 72:16), let corn abound throughout the land. Such as the first savior opened a spring, so the last savior will give water, such as has been written (Joel 3:18), and a fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house.”

 

Rabbi Saabia Gaon (882 942 A.D, Mikraoot Gedolot) explained the verse of Zec 9:9 to students. He, too, associated the verse with the Messiah:

 

"He is the Messiah our Righteousness; and has it not been written about the Messiah that he is gentle and rides on an ass; but he arrives as humble and not as proud with horses; and as far as the coming with the clouds of heaven is concerned, there is a question of the heavenly host of the angels, and in this is that greatness which the Creator gives the Messiah.”

 

A Righteous helper and A GOOD shepherd. Two features associated with the Messiah were that he had to be a righteous helper and a good shepherd. This is found in many prophecies – Zec 9:9, Isa11:1-5, Isa 42:1-4 – and others. Old Jewish sources associate these characteristics with the Messiah.

   As far as the Lord Jesus is concerned, in Him these prophecies came true perfectly. He was a very good shepherd who pitied people's weaknesses, he paid no heed to who people were, and all weary and burdened people could always go to Him. There is certainly nobody but Jesus who better fits the description of the prophesied Messiah.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 9:9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and on a colt the foal of an ass.

 

- (Isa 42:1-4) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment to truth.

4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 14:14) And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

 

 - (Hebr 4:15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

- (Matt 11:28-30) Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 11:1-5) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 22:16) And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 40:10-11) Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 10:11-14) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees: and the wolf catches them, and scatters the sheep.

13 The hireling flees, because he is an hireling, and cares not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

 

Miracles and preaching THE gospel. Just as miracles were associated with Moses’ life they were also part of Jesus’s work. As did Moses the “first saviour,” Jesus, too, healed the sick, raised people from the dead, released the imprisoned and helped people. This fit the Scriptural prophecies of the Messiah.

   We find an interesting dialog written in the Talmud (Sanhedri 97. b). One sign by which the Messiah will be known is that he will sit at the place of the poor and the sick, and will both release and bind people:

 

"Will I get to the future world? Elijah answered, if the Lord allows. Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Levi said, I see two and I heard a third voice (the mystery of three numbers). He asks still, When will the Messiah arrive? Elijah answered, Go and ask himself! Then rabbi Yehoshua asked, Where will he stay? At the gate of Rome! And what is the mark, by which he will be known? He will sit at the place of the poor and the sick, and he will release and bind them simultaneously: one he releases and one he binds.”

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 42:1, 6, 7) Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit on him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 11:2-6) Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

3 And said to him, Are you he that should come, or do we look for another?

4 Jesus answered and said to them, Go and show John again those things which you do hear and see:

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

And blessed is he, whoever shall not be offended in me.

 

- (Mark 7:37) And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He has done all things well: he makes both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

 

 - (John 7:31) And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ comes, will he do more miracles than these which this man has done?

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 61:1-3) The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 4:16-21) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

 

 - (Luke 4:43) And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

 

- (Luke 8:1) And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,

 

THE will of THE Lord comes true THROUGH him. The most important feature of the prophesied Messiah was that the will of the Lord would come true through Him. That was more important than anything else, even miracles.

   Concerning the life of Jesus, we can truly say that the will of God was fulfilled through Him. He always did the will of His Father (John 4:34). He Himself told people, "Which of you convinces me of sin?” (John 8:46); and, "And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. As he spoke these words, many believed on him.” (John 8:29, 30). 

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 40:6-8) Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; my ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.

7 Then said I, See, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 10:5-10) Why when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body have you prepared me:

6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure.

7 Then said I, See, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God.

8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin you would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Then said he, See, I come to do your will, O God. He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.

10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

- (John 17:4-5) I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 4:31-34) In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

32 But he said to them, I have meat to eat that you know not of.

33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Has any man brought him ought to eat?

34 Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

- (John 6:38) For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

 

Speaks according to THE will of THE Father. One feature of the Messiah was that he would speak according to the will of His Father. The promise given to Moses said that God would raise up from among people a prophet like Moses. If someone then would not listen to him, he would be held responsible for that before God.

  Jesus spoke according to the will of His Father. Always when He spoke, He uttered the will of His Father. The most important message given by Him was about eternal life, because He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it. If Jesus’s words were true and we reject His words, then we also reject eternal life:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Deut 18:18-19) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 8:24-27) I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.

25 Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning.

26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

27 They understood not that he spoke to them of the Father.

 

- (John 8:28-30) Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spoke these words, many believed on him.

 

- (John 12:47-50) And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

48 He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.

 

King. One name of the Messiah is King. In the book of Zechariah it was prophesied that a king would come to Jerusalem riding on an ass. Several other verses that we are going to look at also refer to the kingship of the Messiah.

   These verses perfectly describe the Lord Jesus. People regarded Him already in his time as a king, and He described Himself as being greater than Solomon, the greatest king of Israel (Matt 12:42: The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.).

   It’s important to note that He described His kingship as being not of this world, but another world. He explained that His kingship had not yet been fully fulfilled, but it would be fulfilled at a later time (Luke 19:12: He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.).

  

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 9:9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and on a colt the foal of an ass.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 12:12-15) On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.

14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, your King comes, sitting on an ass’s colt.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Jer 23:5) Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 1:32-33) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

 

- (John 1:47-49) Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael said to him, From where know you me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

49 Nathanael answered and said to him, Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.

 

- (Matt 27:35-37) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and on my clothing did they cast lots.

36 And sitting down they watched him there;

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Micah 5:2) But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 19:11-12) And as they heard these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

 

- (John 18:36-38) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said to him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.

38 Pilate said to him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, I find in him no fault at all.

 

- (Rev 19:11,16) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.

16 And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

Priest. One name of the Messiah is priest. It appears in Psalm 110, in which He is called a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. The same psalm also refers to how He sits at God’s right hand and now only waits that His enemies to be made a footstool for His feet.

   These verses fit Jesus very well. He really came to be the eternal high priest in the order of Melchizedek, just as Paul described in the letter of Hebrews. He has gone to Heaven and sits on the right side of God, as described in several Bible verses:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 110.1-4) The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.

2 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you in the middle of your enemies.

3 Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: you have the dew of your youth.

The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 5:5-6) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.

6 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Hebr 6:20) Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Hebr 10:12-13) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From now on expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

 

- (1 Peter 3:22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

 

- (Eph 1:20-21) Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

 

Prophet. Another name given to the Messiah is “prophet,” which was included in the promise given to Moses.

  People regarded Jesus to be a prophet, and to be the fulfillment of the promise given to Moses. In addition, Jesus described Himself as a prophet “greater than Jonah …” through whom the whole population of Nineveh repented when he preached there. (Matt 12:41: The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.)

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Deut 18:15,18,19) The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 21:10-11) And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

 

- (John 6:14) Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

 

 - (John 7:40) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

 

- (Matt 21:44-46) And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

 

- (Acts 3:22,23,26) For Moses truly said to the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you of your brothers, like to me; him shall you hear in all things whatever he shall say to you.

23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

26 To you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 

THE Prince of peace and peace by him. Various names have been given to the Messiah, and one of them is the Prince of Peace, as found in Isaiah 9:6. Chapter 53 of the book of Isaiah tells of peace that can be gotten by the Messiah. Old Jewish sources associate both these passages with the Messiah.

   When we consider the fulfillment of these verses, we find they fit Jesus: He promised to give the world His own peace, which is quite different than the peace we see in the natural world. The Bible also teaches us that we can find peace with God through the Lord Jesus -- just as prophesied in the book of Isaiah:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 14:27) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

 

- (Phil 4:6-7) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Rom 5:1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

 

Judge. One role of the Messiah is that of judge. He will at one time condemn people, as indicated in Psalms 2, Isaiah 11:1 4, Jeremiah 23:5, and other verses. Old Jewish sources have always considered these verses to be Messianic prophecies.

   We believe that these prophecies will be fulfilled at the latest when Jesus returns to Earth to establish the millennium (we also referred above to how Jesus mentioned a man of noble birth who “went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” - Luke 19:12). After this, we must all appear before the judgment seat of God and the Messiah, so that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, good or bad:

 

Prophecy:

 

 - (Ps 2:10-12) Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

 

- (Isa 11:1-4) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

 

- (Jer 23:5) Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 5:22-23) For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son:

23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

 

- (Matt 16:27) For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

 

- (2 Cor 5:10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.

 

- (2 Tim 4:1) I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom

 

 

 

 

4. One or two comings - the suffering of the Messiah

 

As we study the prophecies about the Messiah, we see that some of them are prophecies connected with His sufferings and death. These prophecies appear often in the Books of Prophets and psalms; they indicate that sufferings had to be one part of the Messiah’s life. We will now study some of these prophecies:

 

Rejected. One feature in the Messiah’s life had to be that he is rejected. Several verses in the psalms and in the book of Isaiah refer to this.

   However, what is remarkable in all these passages is that the old Jewish sources have connected them with the Messiah as well. Also these sources have understood that the Messiah will be rejected by people, but what has not been understood is that this already happened almost 2,000 years ago. We can see it in the next examples:

 

- Isa 8:13-15. The Talmud connects these verses with the Messiah the son of David (Sanhedrin 38. a).

- Isa 28:16. One of the most well-known interpreters of the Torah, Rashi, rabbi Yaruhi Shalomo, such as also the Targum, says about this verse, that it means "Messiah-king, who will be as a touchstone of Zion.”

- Ps 118. Rashi (see Mikraot Gedolot- commentary) writes that the rejected capstone mentioned in Psalm 118 refers to the Messiah who will be born in Bethlehem, and about whom Micah (5:2) prophesied. (It is a curious coincidence, if this capstone would not mean Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem and whom most have rejected.)

- Isa 53 is commonly associated in old Jewish sources with the Messiah.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 8:13-15) Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

 

- (Isa 28:16) Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (1 Peter 2:4,6-8) To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

6 Why also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.

7 To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

 

- (Luke 2:34) And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

 

- (John 1:9-11) That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came to his own, and his own received him not.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 118:22-23) The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Acts 4:11-12) This is the stone which was set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:1-3) Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 12:35-43) Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you.  Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come on you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.

36 While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord, who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

 

Belief in the Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection still creates a stumbling-block for many people – as it did in Paul’s time (1 Cor 1:23: But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness).

   The next passage describes the difficulties experienced by a young student who turned to Jesus, the Messiah, and who was confronted by people who did not understand. This illustrates what happens when the “cornerstone” comes between a father and son.

 

This issue was once experienced by a certain young student. He found by accident – when he supervised the installation of a high tension wire on the slope of Carmel Mountain – a torn New Testament that had been thrown away into a bush. The father of the student taught Talmud in a local school, and this is why this student knew the rabbinical writings well. When he first read the New Testament, he immediately understood that Jesus is the Savior that he had searched for from the Old Testament and from scriptures of forefathers. Two weeks later, he confessed his belief to his father. His father promised him money, a residence and even a wife, if he were to give up his conviction – in devout families, parents choose a spouse for their children, and of course they have more experience in this than the young. The student was still at his home having Easter meal with the family. After the supper, it was their custom to sing Hallel psalms. After the psalm 118, the youth asked his father, "Father, what was the stone which the builders rejected?” The father fell completely silent. ”Father, what was that stone the builders rejected?” Again the father fell silent, even though he always answered questions regarding the Easter evening. So the son asked a third time, “Father, what was that stone, that became the cornerstone?” Then this young student who believed in Jesus asked for a permission to answer himself. The father nodded. And the answer of the young man was puzzling, "It is what is between the father and son!" The family that was used to the cabalistic mysteries understood immediately of whom he was talking: in Hebrew, a stone is ‘even’. If one reads the first part of the three-letter word, one gets "aav", in other words "father". The latter part, reading from the middle, forms a word "ben" or "boy" – and all of them knew that Jesus had come between the firstborn son and his father. Soon, the student had to leave his family and change his name. The new surname of our friend, Atsmon or Independent, describes the huge change in him. As an expert of the Oriental languages and Greek, he was entrusted with the main responsibility for translating the New Testament into current Hebrew. (1).

 

HE is resisted. Just as one of the distinctive features of the Messiah was that he would be rejected, so he would be resisted, as we learn in Psalms 2 and 110. This was true of Jesus.

   Significantly, old Jewish sources associate both these psalms with the Messiah. Rashi (Rabbi Yarchi Shalomo) explained Psalm 2: "Our rabbis have taught that this refers to the king Messiah, and according to this interpretation, it is applicable also to David himself..."

   Midrash said about Psalms 110:1: "Sit at my right hand," that, "He says this to the Messiah; and His throne has been prepared in grace and He will sit on it."

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 2:1-2,5-12) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

5 Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Acts 4:25-27) Who by the mouth of your servant David have said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

27 For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 110:1,2,4) The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.

2 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you in the middle of your enemies.

4 The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 10:12-13) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From now on expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

 

Selling price 30 PIECES OF silver

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 11:12-13) And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 26:14-15) Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,

15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

 

Money IS thrown into THE house of THE Lord 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 11:12-13) And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 27:3-5) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

THE Payment of potter's field

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 11:12-13) And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 27:3-7) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

 

THE Disciples FORSOOK him

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 13:7) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, said the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand on the little ones.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 26:31-32) Then said Jesus to them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32  But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

 

- (Matt 26:55-56) In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are you come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid no hold on me.

56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

 

- (Mark 14:50) And they all forsook him, and fled.

 

Silent before HIS prosecutors

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 27:12-14) And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

13 Then said Pilate to him, Hear you not how many things they witness against you?

14 And he answered him to never a word; so that the governor marveled greatly.

 

mocked

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.

 

- (Isa my 50:6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Mark 14:65) And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say to him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.

 

- (Matt 27:27-31) Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered to him the whole band of soldiers.

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30 And they spit on him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 22:7,8) All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 27:39-43) And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, You that destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself. If you be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

 

THE Final suffering

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 26:38-39) Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.

 

- (Luke 22:41-44) And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

42 Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.

43 And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

 

numbered with THE transgressors

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 22:37) For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

 

- (Luke 23:32-33) And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

 

made intercession for THE transgressors

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 23:33-34) And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

 

was crucified and pierced

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 22:12-18) Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped on me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the middle of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue sticks to my jaws; and you have brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare on me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots on my clothing.

19 But be not you far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste you to help me.

 

- (Isa 53:5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 27:31) And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

 

- (John 19:18) Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 12:10) nd I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 19:34-37) But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bore record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said true, that you might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

 

When specific features of the Messiah are mentioned, one especially graphic feature is that he would be wounded and even pierced. This was true about Jesus, according to witnessed events recorded in the Scriptures. Even though many references to the Messiah’s kingship are found in the Bible as well as rabbinical sources, yet these wounds and piercing were foretold as trials suffered for the sake of others. 

   Another remarkable feature is that Jewish sources associate these verses, which refer to the suffering of a certain person, to the Messiah. This can be seen in the explanations of Zechariah 12:10, and in the fact that the Messiah will be wounded. Let’s look at these separately:

 

Zec 12:10. This verse refers to piercing of a certain person whom rabbis have understood to be the Messiah. They concluded that it cannot refer to anyone other than the Messiah. Consider the following:

 

- Radak (Rabbi David Kimhi) mentions it;

- Ezra mentions it;

- The Talmud (Sukkah 52 a) teaches that Zec12:10 refers to the Messiah:

 

"In the right is certainly He who explains that as a reason is killing of the Messiah, the son of Joseph, for that suits the verse well, “They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him..."

 

- Rashi has referred to the common view among the rabbis that the verse refers to the Messiah:

 

"Our rabbis have interpreted that this refers to the Messiah, the son of Joseph.”

 

- Rabbi Moses Alsheikh referred to Zec. 12:10 and made the same connection to the Messiah. It’s interesting that he also mentioned the task of the Messiah to reconcile the sins of people – the same task that is noted in other sources and which forms the foundation of the New Testament:

 

"'They shall look on me, for they raise their eyes on me in perfect repentance, when they see Him whom they have pierced, the Messiah, the son of Joseph; for our blessed rabbis have said that He will take on Him all the guilt of Israel and that He will then be killed in the war of bringing about atonement, quite like Israel would have pierced Him, for because of their sins He has died; and so that full atonement would belong to them, they repent and look on this blessed and say that nobody else can forgive them, who mourns for him, who died for the sake of their sins: this is what means 'they shall look on me'".

 

He is wounded. The opinion that the Messiah would be wounded is expressed in many writings by rabbis. They understood that this would happen. Today they still are not able to associate the prophesied wounding of their Messiah with the real wounding of Jesus.

   Another important aspect of the Messiah mentioned in these quotes is atonement: The Messiah is wounded for the sake of our sins. This is an point that was already noted as being in accordance with the teachings of the New Testament (compare 1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures):

 

- Rabbi Elia de Vidas wrote about wounding of the Messiah in the 1600s:

 

"So the Messiah suffers for the sake of our sins and He will be wounded; and who doesn't want that the Messiah is wounded for the sake of our sins, he gets himself to suffer and to bear his own sins".

 

- In the book of Zoharin the same issue is mentioned:

 

"It is written: 'He was pierced for our transgressions' and so on. The  Messiah (…) will take each illness, every pain and all punishment of Israel on Himself; they will all come and remain on Him. And if He hadn’t in this way lightened the burden of Israel and taken it to bear, a single person would not have been able to bear the punishment of Israel for offences of the law; and like this it is written, Surely he took up our infirmities."

 

Midrash of the book of Ruth refers to the suffering of the Messiah and Chapter 53 of Isaiah. In some of its passages the verse Ruth 2:14 has been explained like this (Midrash Ruth Rabbaa, parasha 5.):

 

"... baptize your piece of bread to wine vinegar, are those sufferings, about which has been written, that he has been wounded for the sake of our sins.”

 

One of the annual prayers of Yom Kippur is "Musaf" that originated sometime in the 9th century. It refers to the suffering and wounding of the Messiah as described in Isaiah 53:

 

"The Messiah, our righteousness, has turned away from us. We have been beaten broken and because of that, we have no intercessor. Our crimes and the yoke of our bad deeds are a heavy burden. But he has been wounded for our sins. He carries our sins on His shoulders, so that we would get forgiveness. And by His wounds we are healed; it has come time to create an eternal new creation.”

 

Death. References to the death of the Messiah are found in the books of Isaiah, Zechariah, and Daniel.

   It is worth noting that rabbinical commentaries associate all these passages with the Messiah. Those rabbis grasped that these Scriptures refer to the Messiah, but they could not see that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus. 

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:8,9,12) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

- (Gen 3:15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

 

- (Dan 9:26) And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and to the end of the war desolations are determined.

 

- (Zec 12:10)  And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 20:28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

- (Luke 23:44-46) And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.

45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the middle.

46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into your hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

 

- (1 Cor 15:3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures

 

THE garments are divided

Prophecy:

 

 - (Ps 22:18) They part my garments among them, and cast lots on my clothing.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (Matt 27:35) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and on my clothing did they cast lots.

 

- (John 19:23-24) Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my clothing they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

 

Isaiah 53

 

We referred earlier to the sufferings in the Messiah’s life and to His death. The books of the Prophets contain many references to His suffering. Isaiah Chapter 53 is especially important because it describes the last days and hours of the Messiah’s life and His suffering, and it explains the significance of His death.

   Today, though, Jews reading Isaiah 53 meet a huge stumbling block. It is not read in synagogues. Instead, they skip from Chapter 52 over to Chapter 54. They may explain that Chapter 53 does not refer to the person of the Messiah, but describes the nation of Israel and its sufferings across the centuries.

   This cannot be true because Isa 53:10 refers to a guilt offering, and as such it was required to be perfect and blameless (Read Leviticus 5); there is no way that this can refer to a nation.

   Richard Wurmbrand, a Jew, wrote about an occasion when he and other members of a synagogue discussed just this topic:

 

   (... ) This is just what we did.

   It was Friday evening: The Jews had assembled early in their synagogues to read the Holy Book or to dispute before the service.

   I sat beside the rabbi, and I asked so loudly that also those who sat near heard, "Rabbi, I have been informed that there is a book, written by a Jew – as far as I can remember – the prophet Isaiah. Is it worth reading?”

   "What a question!” he answered. ”If you only read it! Its content is pure gold.”

   "Rabbi, I have read many books expecting to find valuable information but only to be disappointed. Are you sure that the same does not go for the book of Isaiah?”

   "Young man, such a thought in itself is a sin. As a matter of fact, the book has not been written by Isaiah, but by God himself. Isaiah was only a pen.”

   "Rabbi, where I can find the book of Isaiah?”

   He pulled it from the shelf and handed it to me. Before opening the book, I asked him once more to assure that it really is the word of God.

   Then I opened chapter 53 and asked, "Rabbi, to whom does this refer?” And I read aloud the verse in which a suffering servant of the Lord is described. ”This description fits Jesus to the dot," I said. ”He has to be the Messiah.”

   The rabbi shouted, "You should not read that chapter, but rather chapter 11.”

   Then I turned towards the Jews. ”Dearest friends! You have heard the rabbi confirming that each word of this book is by God. Then also this description of suffering Jesus must be inspired by God.”

   The rabbi left the synagogue angry and banged the door shut behind him. He surely thought that I would be polite enough to leave as well, but instead, I stayed behind to explain the prophecy of Isaiah to the Jews. (2)

 

Even though modern Judaism does not associate Isaiah chapter 53 with the Messiah, it is interesting to note that it was not always so. We can find many writings of rabbis speaking about connection between Isaiah 53 and the Messiah. Often, the older the explanations are, the more probably they refer to the Messiah. Let’s look at some of these explanations:

 

Well-known Rabbi Moses Alshekh (1508-1600) explained that Isaiah 53 was connected with the Messiah. He mentioned that this was also the view of the old learned:

 

"Our old learned have preserved for us the testimony of traditional knowledge that this refers to the Messiah. Because of this, we must also follow them and believe that this prophecy refers to David, in other words the Messiah, who will appear like this.”

 

Midrash Tanhuma, dated in the ninth century, and later Jalkut Shimoni explain that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is the Messiah:

 

"This is the king Messiah, who will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted, higher than Abraham, greater than Moses and higher than the ministering angels.”

 

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 98. b) has referred to the Messiah in connection with this same chapter and explained how He carried our sorrows:

 

"The Messiah – what is His name? The rabbis said, His name is 'Leper, learned man’, for it has been written that He carried our sorrows and took up our infirmities. We considered Him a leper, we supposed that God smote and afflicted him.”

 

Rabbi Moshe Cohen ibn Crispin said in the 1300s that he believed that Isaiah 53 referred to the king Messiah, because it was the teaching of the rabbis:

 

"They (certain contemporary commentators) compare without consideration the expression 'my servant ' to the idea ‘you, O Israel, my servant,’ in Isaiah 41:8, in which the prophet speaks about the nation of Israel. However, this does not refer to Israel, it says merely 'my servant’. Therefore, we cannot interpret the word in the same way. (...) I would like to interpret that it (Isaiah 53) refers to king Messiah as the rabbis have taught, and carefully, as long as I am able, I try to hold on to the literal meaning: this way, I may possibly avoid the far-fetched interpretations of which the others have been guilty."

 

Jonathan Ben Uzziel, regarded as the wisest student of the famous rabbi Hillel, understood that Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah. He started his explanation about this chapter:

 

 "See, my servant the Messiah will act wisely.”

 

Rabbi Maimonides (Rambam), referred to Isaiah 53 in his commentary in Midrash Rabba (p. 660). In addition to this, his description very much resembles Psalm 22, which has commonly been regarded as a description of the Messiah’s crucifixion:

 

"God made already in the beginning a covenant with the Messiah, and told Him: 'My righteous Messiah, those who are entrusted to you, their sins will bring to your shoulders a heavy burden and your ears will hear a large shame and your mouth will taste bitterness and your tongue will stick to the roof of your mouth and your soul will be powerless under grief and sigh. Do you submit to this?' And he answered, 'I will happily receive all these pains, so that no one of Israel would get lost.' Immediately when the Messiah had accepted all these pains in His love, as has been written in the book of Isaiah 53:7, he was oppressed and afflicted.”

 

Well-known rabbi Levi Ben Gershom referred to Isaiah 53. He associated it with the Messiah, as do all the other earlier sources:

 

"Really, the Messiah is this kind of prophet, such as Midrash says; See, my servant will act wisely (Isa 52:13)... Moses got with miracles one nation to serve God, but the Messiah will get all the nations to serve Him.” (1)

 

One or two comings? When we study Scriptural prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, we easily find two lines: one refers to His suffering, humiliation and death and the other His ruling as a victorious and sovereign king whose kingdom is eternal.

   Judaism has tried to resolve this apparent contradiction by developing the notion that perhaps there are two Messiahs. Several rabbis fit these two seeming contradictions together by proposing that the first one comes as the Messiah, the son of Joseph, who suffers and will die; and then after him will come the Messiah, the son of David, who will rule as a winning king.

   However, there is also another way to explain these prophecies. It is much more reasonable to view these prophecies as fulfilled in one person -- Jesus -- who comes two times and so fulfils both lines of these prophecies.

  We will study this in the light of the next explanation written by a certain messianic Jew:

 

I tried energetically to explain to the rabbi the enormous difference, which prevailed between the description of Rambam and the real Messiah described by the Bible. The theory of the learned separated these two Messiahs from each other. Another, "Mashiach Ben Joseph", will come first and will die in a war, and yet another, "Mashiach Ben David", will come as a winning king. According to this theory, there must be two Messiah figures, even though Tanach speaks only of one Messiah, who must come twice: first, He must come to atone the nation by His death and to save them from the eternal judgment and to open the gates of salvation to the Gentiles by his resurrection, and second, He must come once again as winning King of kings and Lord of lords. Tanach does not lead to understand that there would be two Messiahs, as there is neither a biblical reason to believe that the Messiah will come when whole Israel celebrates two Sabbaths properly.

   "On the contrary, honored rabbi," I exclaimed, “Jesus alone fulfils all the demands, connected with the Mashiach Ben Joseph, because the spouse of His mother Miriam (Mary) was called Joseph and because He resembles Joseph, the son of our father Jacob, by whole his biography. He is also expected to fulfill all prophecies concerning the Mashiach Ben David, when he soon returns on the clouds of the sky with great glory and brightness to establish His kingdom on the earth.”

   I could not help noticing that when I explained prophecies in the messianic way, the interest of the rabbi was awakened, and he listened to me more and more attentively. Little by little, he stopped interrupting me so aggressively. (3)

 

As far as the teaching of the New Testament is concerned, it clearly refers to these two lines: to the suffering and humiliation of the Messiah and to His coming on the clouds of the sky and with brightness. It is, therefore, not a question of two different Messiahs, but of one who will fulfill the prophecies of both lines. We believe that this best suits Jesus, who has already fulfilled the prophecies of the first line.

   Let’s study these lines separately:

 

The humiliation and the death of the Messiah

 

 - (1 Peter 1:10,11) Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you:

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

 

- (Acts 26:22-23) Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.

 

- (Acts 3:18) But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled.

 

- (Luke 24:25-27, 32) Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

 

The coming of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven

 

- (Hebr 9:28) So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.

 

- (Zec 14:5) …and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with you.

 

- (1 Thess 3:13) To the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

 

- (2 Thess 1:7-9) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power

 

- (Matt 24:30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 

- (Rev 1:7) Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

The verses above refer to the Messiah, to the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven. It is interesting to note that this coming is not ignored in the Talmud, which refers to the coming of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven when explaining Daniel 7:13. This verse also describes the Messiah’s humble nature and His riding on an ass, which accurately describes the first coming of Jesus. We believe that He will fulfill both lines of the Prophecy:

 

"The son of David will arrive during a generation which is either completely righteous or completely sinful; during a time that is completely righteous, such as has been written Isa 60:21, Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever; or during a time when all people are sinful, as has been written Isa 59:16, “And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor… I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven (Dan 7:13), and it has been written, lowly and riding on an ass: if they are righteous, He will come with the clouds of heaven, if not, lowly and riding on an ass.”

 

If we look in the old Jewish sources we will find that this subject of the Messiah’s coming two times is not new there, either. Sidur, the official prayer book of the Jews, refers to two days of the Messiah, to two comings. This prayer is apparently from the 9th or 10th century and it is repeated during the annual Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur):

 

"May Your will be with You, the Lord, our God and our fathers’ God, that we would obey Your commandments in this world and would deserve, live and see and inherit a good part and blessing on the two days of the Messiah and in the coming eternal life.”

 

 

 

 

5. The message of the patterns and fulfillment

 

In proceeding with our survey, we should consider the message found in patterns. The Scriptures teach us about the Passover and the laws, about making offerings and God’s covenant, about the priesthood and the tabernacle – all taught to us through the writings of Moses. These also convey a message for people of our day. They gain a new meaning and fulfillment in Jesus, whose nature, as we already noted, was quite similar to that of Moses. Let’s study some examples:

 

THE New covenant. One of the prophecies in the Scriptures was written by Jeremiah. It is called the Covenant of Jeremiah.

   His prophecy came after the nation of Israel had broken the covenant God made on Mount Sinai with his people through Moses. The condition of that first covenant was that the people would obey the law. But they were unable to meet that condition.  

   Jeremiah prophesied about the establishment of a new covenant, one that was not written on tablets of stone – as the Old Covenant had been – but would be written in the hearts of people, and through which people’s sins would be forgiven. Jeremiah’s prophecy pointed to the establishment of a deeper relationship with God than was previously possible.

   Regarding the fulfillment of this prophecy, the New Testament very clearly declares that a New Covenant is established through Jesus, the Messiah. He is the mediator of the New Covenant (as Moses was mediator of the first covenant) and He assures us that a covenant based on better promises. This New Covenant came into force after He shed His blood and died. Now, all people can participate in fellowship with God through Jesus the Messiah.

 

Old Covenant

 

- (Ex 24:7-8) And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD has said will we do, and be obedient.

8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.

 

- (Jer 31:31-33)  "Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was an husband to them, said the LORD:

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

New Covenant

 

- (Matt 26:26-28) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

 

- (2 Cor 3:6) Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

 

- (Hebr 7:18,19, 22)  For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw near to God.

22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

 

- (Hebr 8:6-7) But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

 

- (Hebr 9:15-17) And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.

 

Passover. One celebration in Israel nowadays is Passover, which Moses gave to the nation of Israel. It was celebrated then and is still celebrated nowadays to make sure they remember their nation’s departure from Egypt and rescue from the punishment of the Egyptians. They were rescued -- the punishment passed over them (pesah / Passover means “to pass over”) -- because they had sacrificed a lamb without defect. The lamb’s blood protected them (compare Leviticus 17:11).

   What is the modern-day fulfilment of the Passover, in the New Covenant? The New Testament clearly teaches that animals and their blood are no longer needed for protection. Instead, we learn in the New Testament that Jesus was perfect, without blemish or defect, and that He replaced the Passover lamb because he died at that hour. He shed His blood so our punishment would pass over (pesah / pass over) us.    

   The first Passover served as the model for the perfect act of sacrifice by Jesus Christ – God gave us that pattern so we could recognize the meaning of Jesus’ sacrifice. The Passover taught us that we can be saved from punishment. Now, in the New Covenant, we need no other model. All who put their trust in Jesus are saved from eternal punishment:

 

Moses set the first Passover:

 

- (Ex 12:3-5,8,11-14) Speak you to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.

5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: you shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

11 And thus shall you eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’s passover.

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.

13 And the blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

14 And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

 

Jesus fulfilled the Passover promise of delivery when He died at the same hour and shed His blood for the sins of the whole world:

 

- (Matt 26:1-2) And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples,

2 You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

 

- (1 Cor 5:6-8) Your glorying is not good. Know you not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 

- (Eph 1:7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

 

- (1 Peter 1:18-19) For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot

 

- (1 John 1:7) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.

 

- (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

PentecostAL. Another feast celebrated today in Israel is the Pentecostal (it is also called other names: the Feast of Harvest – Ex 23:16, the Feast of Weeks – Ex 34:22, the day of the first fruits - Numbers 28:26 and Shavuot), which honors the giving of the Law to Moses. It is believed that on that day Moses climbed the mountain where he was to receive the Law. He returned carrying two tablets on which had been written the most important commandments. Pentecost is always celebrated exactly 50 days after Passover. Read Leviticus 23:15,16:

 

 - (Lev 23:15-16) And you shall count to you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:

16 Even to the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall you number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meat offering to the LORD.

 

As to the fulfilment of the Pentecost in the New Covenant, the Bible indicates that it gained a new meaning by Jesus. Just 50 days after the Passover, at the Pentecost, He poured out the Holy Spirit over the Earth, (the Greek word "pentecoste" or Pentecost which appears in the Acts of the Apostles means “50th day”). The Lord sent the Holy Spirit to believers on the same festival day that honors the giving of the Law (read Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4). Jesus told His followers that it would happen.

 

- (Luke 24:49) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.

 

 - (Acts 2:1- 4) And when the day of Pentecost (50. day) was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat on each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

The fact that Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit on the very day of the giving of the law, speaks to us in another way. It tells us that when people had broken the law and the covenant of God (Jer 31:31-33), and they were not able to do His will, the Holy Spirit was sent to help them in their deficiency. He was sent here to help us live according to the will of God. We believe that this came true on the day of Pentecost almost 2,000 years ago.

 

Prophecy:

 

 - (Eze 36:26-27) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.

 

- (Jer 31:33) But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Rom 8:2,4,5) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

 

- (Rom 8:9) But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

- (1 Cor 6:19) What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?

 

- (2 Cor 1:21-22) Now he which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God;

22 Who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

 

- (Gal 5:22,23,25) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

THE Tent of Meeting and THE heavenly Most Holy Place. Very important matters 2,000–3,000 years ago in Israel were no doubt the tent of meeting, the temple built later, and ceremonies performed in those meeting places. They were an important part of faithful service at that time and reflected how people could get forgiven for their sins. They demonstrated that man can get in connection with God and be atoned by Him.

   The fact that Jesus physically came to Earth to establish the New Covenant, however, altered the significance of the tent of meeting and the temple. The service in the tent of meeting as established through Moses set a pattern for Hebrews, so they, and we, would recognize what Jesus would do. Jeshua’s physical sacrifice replaced that of the ceremonial lamb; his taking sins upon Himself removed our need to place them upon an animal. Because Jesus became eternal High Priest, we are no longer bound to mortal priests in earthly sanctuaries. Let’s study these subjects separately:

 

Jesus replaced animal offerings by His death and brought atonement. Earlier we explained how Jesus died during the Passover and in this way figuratively took the place of the Passover lamb. He died, thereby replacing the animal offerings that had only served as a pattern of Him. They were no longer needed, because eternal punishment for sin can be passed over (pesah / pass over) by Him as long as we put our trust in Him. (Other examples of substitution and exchange of life can be found in Scriptures. When Adam and Eve committed a sin God made garments of skin for them and clothed them. An animal died instead of Adam and Eve, Gen 3:21. Abel brought his offering from among the firstborn of his flock, Gen 4:3,4. Noah sacrificed burnt offerings on an altar, Gen 8:20. A ram was sacrificed instead of Abraham’s son, Gen 22:13.) 

   Jesus also replaced guilt and sin offerings made during services in the tent of meeting and later in the temple. He replaced those animal offerings that inadequately "make the comers thereunto perfect." (Hebrews 10:1). Those were only "a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:3,4).

   The Bible teaches us that Jesus the Messiah came to sacrifice Himself as a guilt- and sin offering, just as was prophesied in the Book of Isaiah. (Earlier we noted that many rabbinical commentaries support the notion that the Messiah carried our sins to the cross. Refer to Chapter 4). Our sins were literally placed on Him on the cross (compare Leviticus 16:21,22 and 4:33), so that they would no longer separate us from God. The Bible also teaches us that Jesus was without a blemish or defect, which was required of the guilt offering. His crucifixion reconciled all the sins of the world, once and forever. Nothing else is required (Hebrews 10:18):

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 53:5, 6,10, 11) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Hebr 10:1,11-18) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From now on expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

14 For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, said the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

 

- (Hebr 9:25,26,28) Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place every year with blood of others;

26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.

 

- (John 1:29) The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

 

- (Rom 5:11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

Jesus became an eternal high priest. When the high priest and other priests worked in the tent of meeting and the temple, there was one day more important than all others: the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

   On only one day of the year could the High Priest enter the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place. The High Priest could only enter after bringing a sin offering for himself and his family.  Next he put on a simple white linen gown – to reflect cleanliness and holiness – and only then did he dare to stand before God in the Most Holy Place. He took with him a sacrificial blood offering to cover the sins of the people and reconcile the people to God for another year.

   What is important about this is that the high priest represented the whole nation. Just as priests offered gifts and offerings for forgiveness of sins for individuals, so the high priest did for the whole nation. He made atonement for the whole nation and represented them before God. All the people needed to do, was to trust that his actions would earn God’s approval.  

   In the New Covenant it is the same. Jesus became eternal high priest and did everything for us. He reconciled us to God and did everything for us without our participation. Jesus took His place at the right hand of the throne of God and now acts as our defender and representative there. In this role as our representative, He can relate to our weaknesses because He Himself "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebr 4:15).

   The greatest difference between Jesus and the priests of the Old Covenant is this: Jesus never sinned. He was born and lived without sinning, and he entered into eternal priesthood unlike mortal priests. He is our eternal priest, just as his sacrifice carries eternal redemption. He fulfilled the purpose of the Day of Atonement because by Him our sins were reconciled. We neither need to reconcile ourselves to God, nor could we do so. Jesus has done it for us:

 

- (Hebr 5:1-6) For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.

6 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

 

- (Hebr 4:14-15) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

- (Hebr 2:17) Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

 

- (1 John 2:1-2) My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

- (Rom 5:11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

- (2 Cor 5:18-20) And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them; and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be you reconciled to God.

 

- (Col 1:20-22) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled

22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and blameless and unreproveable in his sight:

 

- (1 John 4:10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

The heavenly Most Holy Place. As we noted earlier, the tent of meeting, the temple built later, and ceremonies performed in those meeting places defined Israel’s relationship with God and served as a model for the coming of Jesus. They served as “the example and shadow of heavenly things,” as described by the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews, and were necessary during the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant they are no longer required:

 

- (Hebr 8:4-5) For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

5 Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, said he, that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount.”

 

- (Hebr 9:1-5) Then truly the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the show bread; which is called the sanctuary.

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;

4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

5 And over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

 

So, when the New Covenant came into being, these temple features lost their symbolism and were no longer needed, because the relationship they symbolized had been realized. The Bible teaches that when Jesus carried out His act of atonement, he entered not into the earthly temple’s most holy place as high priest, but entered into God’s Most Holy Place. Jesus replaced the earthly sanctuary with the “tabernacle that is not made with hands," and that is with God in Heaven:

 

- (Hebr 9:11,12, 24) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us

 

- (Hebr 8:1-2) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

 

This means that Jesus went to heaven into the Most Holy Place for us, and opened the way to God for everyone.

   Let’s consider Jesus’s death. Witnesses recorded in the Bible that when Jesus gave up His spirit, the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Specialists say that this curtain was made of woven fabric about 10 centimeters thick, and would have been so strong that not even many pairs of bulls pulling in opposite directions could have torn it apart. No wind could have torn it from top to bottom. Only an act of God could have accomplished such a thing. Why would God have done such a thing? It showed people in a tangible way that He was removing the separation between Himself and His people. 

   If we want to enter into a relationship with God, we no longer need to rely on our own acts; our sin is not an obstacle because it has been wiped away. We need only turn to Jesus the Messiah. He is the way and opens the door to God:

 

- (Matt 27:50-52) Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

 

- (Hebr 10:19) Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

 

- (Eph 2:12,13,18) That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

 

- (Hebr 7:25) Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.

 

- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

 

- (John 10:9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 

What took place when Jesus died, 40 years before THE destruction of THE temple?

 

- (Dan 9:24-26) … reconciliation for iniquity… And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off... and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary

 

When we consider the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can find one interesting verification in the old Jewish sources. These sources refer to something "special" taking place 40 years before the destruction of the temple (70 A.D.). It is widely thought that Jesus died in 30 A.D.

   Both Mishnah Sanhedrin and Avoda Zara tell of something "shocking" taking place 40 years before the destruction of the temple. Suddenly all of "the offerings have lost their meaning and the doors to the Most Holy have been opened". These signs indicate that something supernatural took place in the temple when Jesus died.

   The Talmud (Yoma 39:b) contains a similar reference to the doors of the temple being opened, and mentions that the ram ceased to be supernatural. It ceased to be supernatural, because the woolen yarn that would normally change from red into white – as a sign of God’s forgiveness – no longer changed:

 

"Forty years before the holy temple was destroyed, the following things took place: on the Day of Atonement, the ram ceased to be supernatural; the red woolen yarn that normally changes into white stayed red and did not change; and the west side candle of the candelabra of the sanctuary did not want to burn when the doors of the holy temple opened by themselves.”

 

The conclusion drawn based on the statements above very strongly refers to the redeeming death of Jesus in 30 A.D., when he opened the way for us to enter into the heavenly Most Holy Place. We must conclude that nothing can explain these special events at the temple better than Jesus’s actions undertaken for our sins. At that moment, Jesus made unnecessary all previously required actions.

 

 

 

6. The nations search for the Messiah

 

One of the most specific prophetic signs of the Messiah is that He would also impress the Gentiles (non-Jews) and that they would seek Him. This is concluded from several passages of Scripture that refer to the Messiah as being a light for Gentiles and as a covenant for the people. They describe how people will search for Him and base their hope on Him. If the person thought to be the Messiah does not fill this role for other nations, then He cannot be the Messiah.

  Other than Jesus, no other Jewish person has made a similar impact on other nations. Through the intervening millennia of Jewish history several people claiming to be the Messiah have appeared, but their impact was felt only by limited groups of Jews. Only Jesus has, through the millennia, made a deep impression on non-Jews, and only by searching for Him have they found salvation. Only Jesus fits the description of the Messiah as prophesied by Isaiah; only about Him can be said that He established the New Covenant and became a light for the Gentiles.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 11:1,10) And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

 

- (Isa 55:3-5) Incline your ear, and come to me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you know not, and nations that knew not you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (Rom 15:8-12) Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers:

9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.

10 And again he said, Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.

11 And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and laud him, all you people.

12 And again, Esaias said, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

 

- (Eph 3:2,6,7) If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effectual working of his power.

 

- (Matt 24:14) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.

 

- (Matt 28:19-20) Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 42:6-7) I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

 

- (Isa 49:6,8,9) And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.

8 Thus said the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you: and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

9 That you may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 2:29-32) Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word:

30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 Which you have prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

 

- (John 8:12) Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

- (Acts 26:22-23) Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.

 

We can find references to the nations’ search for the messiah, in old Jewish sources. These sources support the idea that Jews and people of other nations will seek the Messiah. For example, in Midrash of the Psalms chapter 21 is found a reference to how the Gentiles will search for the Messiah-king, the son of David:

 

"This is the Messiah the son of David, whom has been hidden until the end of times. Rabbi Tanhuma said, The Messiah-king arrives only to give the world six commands, such as the feats of tabernacles, a palm twig (to be used) and prayer cases, but whole of Israel will learn the Torah. (…) and why is this; because the Gentiles seek Him.”

 

Rabbi Leevi Ben Gershom wrote that “Moses got with the miracles one nation to serve God, but the Messiah will get all the nations to serve Him”:

 

"Really, the Messiah is this kind of prophet, such as Midrash says; Behold, my servant shall deal prudently (Isa 52:13). (...) Moses got with the miracles one nation to serve God, but the Messiah will get all the nations to serve Him.” (2)

 

Rabbi Isaac Abravanel’s writings from the turn of the 14th century also addressed Isa 11:1-10 and also support that one of the distinctive characteristics of the true Messiah is that Gentiles will seek Him:

 

"One right distinctive mark of the Messiah is that the Gentiles seek Him.”

 

In Midrash (Midrash Bereshit Rabbaa par.98.), there is a similar statement referring to how the Gentiles will be looking for the root of Jesse, the Messiah:

 

"Rabbi Hanin said, Israel does not need the Torah of the king Messiah, because in Isaiah 11:10 it has been written; in that day, the Gentiles search for the root of Jesse, not Israel. If this is true, why will the king Messiah-king arrive and what shall he do; he will correct the division of Israel and give them 30 commandments.”

 

THE Seed of Abraham. That the Messiah will be a blessing for all nations can be found much earlier than the prophecies of Isaiah. Look at the promise given to Abraham. God told Abraham that through his offspring all nations on Earth would be blessed. God had already planned the salvation of Israel and all the nations of the world. The core message of the whole Bible is founded on this promise given to Abraham and fulfilled in Jesus. He became a blessing for all nations – the blessing by which everyone is blessed by God and enters into eternal life.

   Let’s study some passages of the Bible about how God meant Jesus to be a blessing for all people of the world:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Gen 22:18) And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Gal 3:13-16) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man cancels, or adds thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to your seed, which is Christ.

 

- (Eph 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 

- (Luke 2:11-14) For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

- (John 3:16-17) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

- (John 1:29) The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

 

- (John 4:40-42) So when the Samaritans were come to him, they sought him that he would tarry with them: and he stayed there two days.

41 And many more believed because of his own word;

42 And said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

 

- (John 6:32-35) Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.

34 Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.

35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.

 

- (John 12:46-47) I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

 

“I cease to be Jewish”. As we noted earlier, prophecies about the Messiah declared that he would serve as a light for all nations, not just for the nation of Israel. A distinctive sign was that non-Jews would seek Him.

   It is strange, however, that many modern Jews wrongly conclude that if a person were to do that he would immediately cease being a Jew. They think that if person believes in Jesus, he abandons his right to belong to the Jewish nation: these are mutually exclusive. The next passage illustrates this:

 

There was a long, unpleasant silence, when we tried to digest the significance of what Judy said.

   "But Judy, you are a Jew," I said gently. ”Jews definitely do not believe in Jesus. How can you be a Jew and believe in Jesus? It is impossible!”

   "Oh father, you are wrong. You would be surprised if you knew how many Jews nowadays believe in Jesus.”

   "Nonsense.”

   When Judy looked around, she saw how disappointed we all looked. She sighed, “Listen father, you must study this further. You don't need to believe what I believe, or me. You are an intelligent man. Read the Bible yourself and find out if it’s true or not. You all do the same. It is either true or a lie. If He is not the Messiah, you’ll know it. And if He is, you will know that as well. Read the Bible and draw your own conclusions.” (4)

 

But what does the Bible teach? The next examples illustrate that the Bible’s message is the opposite of what many people think nowadays. We learn that if a Jew does not believe in Jesus he is not a part of the true Israel, but stands outside of it. Such a person has a veil on his spiritual eyes and becomes hardened when reading the Scriptures; he has not experienced the real circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. Let’s study this in the light of the next Bible passages:

 

A veil on hearts and blindness. If a man does not believe in Jesus he has a cover on his spiritual eyes and blindness of the heart. When this person reads the Scriptures but does not understand its references to Jesus, he looks at everything like he’s standing behind a curtain. Only by turning his heart towards the Lord Jesus does the veil lift. This spiritual blindness prevents the Jewish nation and others from seeing the Scriptures in the right light. Both Paul and Isaiah referred to this blindness:

 

- (2 Cor 3:14-16) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil not taken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ.

15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart.

16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.

 

- (Rom 11:25-26) For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob

 

- (Isa 29:10-14) For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers has he covered.

11 And the vision of all is become to you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray you: and he said, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray you: and he said, I am not learned.

13 Why the Lord said, For as much as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

 

They have not experienced circumcision of the heart, in the Spirit. The second important point is that a Jew’s external circumcision could not – and can not – replace circumcision of the heart in the Spirit, which he must experience (compare Deut 30:6, Deut 10:16, Jer 9:25, Jer 31:33).

   Paul wrote about this (speaking about his own nation). He stated that only those are real Jews who have experienced this kind of internal circumcision. According to Paul, external acts do not compensate for the circumcision of the heart, in the Spirit. This internal renewal is needed and it takes place when we receive Jesus into our life. This statement by Paul is significant because he himself had all the marks of external piety such as the next verses indicate:

 

- (Phil 3:3-8) For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

8 Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

 

- (Rom 2:28-29) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

 

All are not Israel. The third important point is that merely belonging to the nation of Israel does not guarantee salvation. Paul, who prayed for his nation as Moses did (compare Exo 32:32); Paul, who told people that through Israel comes the adoption as sons, the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, and Jesus; this same Paul also stated that "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel". He meant that a man’s Jewish birth does not place him within the real “Israel" if he has no relationship with God through Jesus, the Messiah. Without that relationship – because of his lack of faith – he is like a branch broken from the cultivated olive tree, as Paul wrote:

 

- (Rom 9:1-8) I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6 Not as though the word of God has taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called.

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

 

- (Rom 11:1,5) I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

 

- (Rom 11:17,20,23-25) And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Be not high minded, but fear:

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.

          

THE First followers. Many Jews fear that when they turn to Jesus they will lose their own identity. This is not true. It is precisely their own lack of faith in Jesus that keeps them out of God’s “real” Israel. Paul, himself a Jew, addressed this. Only when Jews become truly faithful can they enter this "real” Israel. Only then will God’s plan for their lives be truly realized.

   The first followers of Jesus were Jews, not Gentiles. This is revealed in many Bible passages. The verses below teach us that Jesus sent the disciples first to the Jews. The Gospel was spoken first in Jerusalem then it spread to the rest of the world. When Paul entered new places he always preached first to his own people, then to the Gentiles. 

 

- (Matt 10:5-6) These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not:

6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

 

- (Luke  24:46-47) And said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

 

- (Rom 1:15-16) So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

- (Acts 3:25-26) You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

26 To you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.

 

- (Acts 13:46-48) Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, see, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

 

- (Acts 10:45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

- (Acts 11:18) When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then has God also to the Gentiles granted repentance to life.

 

- (Acts 17:1-4) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach to you, is Christ.

4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

 

- (Acts 17:10-12) And the brothers immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

 

- (Acts 19:8-10) And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.

10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelled in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

 

- (Acts 26:19-23) Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision:

20 But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.

22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should show light to the people, and to the Gentiles.

 

THE Law after salvation. In the previous paragraph it was explained that the first followers of Jesus were Jews, that the Gospel was first proclaimed in Jerusalem and that Paul – even though he was called to be the apostle of the Gentiles – always started his preaching among the Jews, when arriving in a new place.

  The foundation of the Gospel is not built outside Israel; instead, it rests squarely inside Israel. The Gospel is closely associated with Israel.

  And yet, when we consider the attitudes of those first Jewish believers towards the Law, we find no indication that any of them subsequently rejected the Law. Even though we can find a clear statement in the New Testament that the Gentiles or non-Jews were not given circumcision, food regulations or Sabbath (Read Acts15:1, Cor 7:18,19, Gal 2:1-5, Gal 4:9-11, Gal 5:2-7, Col 2:16,17.), the first Jewish believers still tried to obey these regulations and to appreciate them. They did not deny their importance. They continued living as they had lived all their lives: by obeying the laws. Let’s study some verses of the Bible about this issue:

 

- (Luke 2:41-42) Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

 

- (Luke 23:55-56) And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.

56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

 

- (Acts 10:14) But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

 

- (Acts 20:5-6,15-16) These going before tarried for us at Troas.

6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came to them to Troas in five days; where we stayed seven days.

15 And we sailed there, and came the next day over against Chios; and the next day we arrived at Samos, and tarried at Trogyllium; and the next day we came to Miletus.

16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hurried, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

 

- (Acts 21:20-25) And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

21 And they are informed of you, that you teach all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that you are come.

23 Do therefore this that we say to you: We have four men which have a vow on them;

24 Them take, and purify yourself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning you, are nothing; but that you yourself also walk orderly, and keep the law.

25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

 

- (1 Cor 7:18,19) Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

 

- (Rom 3:29-31) Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yes, we establish the law.

 

THE Law has already been fulfilled. We should always remember Jesus’s own lessons about the Law. Jesus told followers that He had not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. The whole foundation for the New Testament rests on the fact that Jesus Himself was born under the Law for our sake, and He fulfilled the Law. He did not come to the Earth in vain; His goal in life was to fulfil the Law and bridge the gap between God and man. When Jesus went to the cross, all of the Law’s requirements were there with Him. He defeated death, and assured that God’s righteous judgement and punishment were set aside. We gain our freedom by placing our trust in Jesus. This is true for anyone who turns to Him:

 

- (Gal 4:4-5) But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

 

- (Matt 5:17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

 

- (Col 2:13-14) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 

- (Eph 2:15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace;

 

- (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

- (John 5:24) Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.

 

- (Rom 6:14-15) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

 

- (Acts 13:38-39) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:

39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.“

 

Jesus’s fulfillment of the Law and His bridging of the gap between God and man are addressed in the quote below. No one kept the Law (John 7:19: ... and yet none of you keeps the law.). It indicates how hopeless our efforts to achieve the approval of God are, but how God has already done everything for us by Jesus. By this work of Jesus we can have assurance of the approval of God and eternal life – otherwise we could not experience it:

 

"Wait, I’ll give you one example: the average man can jump, for example, two meters. A person who has practiced sports and is fit may jump perhaps five meters. And if he is an Olympic winner, he can jump almost nine meters, but jumping any longer will be quite impossible in our generation. Let’s suppose then that we are all standing at the edge of a canyon with 200 meters to the other side. None of us has the ability to jump over that abyss, right? Now then, let’s study the same in the form of an allegory: That abyss is the abyss of sin and God is on the other side. He looked upon us just as we are – poor little grasshoppers -- and began to pity us. He knew that it was quite impossible for us to get to Him by our own powers; for this reason, He sent for us His own Son, Jesus, who is a bridge between God and man. Jesus is the mediator between God and man. We can go with Him safely, because according to His own words He is 'the way and the truth and the life’! I know that there are many who will reject this divine solution as too easy. They’ll rather try to do something by their own power to save themselves, but no effort of man can take him to God, our destiny is to fall into that yawning abyss!” (5)

 

THE Faults of THE church. Let us consider why it is so difficult nowadays for many Jews (and millions of others) to believe in Jesus. One reason might be found in wrongful acts by people claiming to be Christians devoted to serving the Church (the Holy Wars, the Spanish Inquisition, etc.) or done in the name of Jesus. Also all kinds of hypocritical church rituals that have no spiritual content may be a reason why people don’t turn to God. Many people have been hurt by such things and turned their backs on Jesus because they associate these matters with Him.

   However, Paul warned us about such things. He prophesied that after his departure savage wolves would rise who would not spare the flock. Paul warned that people would act in the name of Jesus even though their backs were turned away from His will. This has certainly happened, and will continue to happen.

   We find many references in the New Testament related to this topic: the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God but will remain outside His Kingdom, and go to damnation. Consider these passages:

 

- (Acts 20:29-32) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

32 And now, brothers, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

 

- (1 Cor 6:9) Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived

 

- (1 John 1:6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth

 

- (1 John 2:4) He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

 

- (Rev 22:14-15) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie.

 

- (Matt 7:15,20-23) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

20 Why by their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

 

- (Matt 25:41-46) Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungered, and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we you an hungered, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

 

 

 

7. The divinity of the Messiah

 

In this chapter, we are going to study the divinity of the Messiah. We are going to study especially what His origins must be, and consider whether or not He is eternal. These issues must be studied in order to get a clear picture of His background.

   Contemporary Judaism denies the divinity of the Messiah. Jews do not believe it. Interestingly, the Messiah’s divinity is mentioned in prophecies and in ancient Jewish sources. Let’s study some examples:

 

THE Mighty God who is born AS man. One of the most obvious references to the divinity of the Messiah is found in Chapter 9 of the Book of Isaiah. It is mentioned there that a son would be born and the government would be on his shoulder. He would be called, “the mighty God.” In some mysterious way, this boy child would also be God:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (Luke 2:11) For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

 

- (John 1:1,14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

- (Phil 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

 

A child who is born AS man, AND is GOD with us. Isaiah 7:14 mentions the birth of a child who shall be called "Immanuel", which is "God with us".

   The same verse mentions one of the requirements of the Messiah: he would be born of a virgin. This prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 7:14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 1:18,22,23) Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

- (Luke 1:34-35) Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come on you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.

 

- (John 14:18,23) I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

23 Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stay with him.

 

- (Matt 28:19-20) Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.

 

- (Matt 18:19-20) Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them.

 

A RULER whose origins are FROM EVERLASTING. Micah 5:2 describes the existence of the Messiah before His physical birth. The prophet Micah tells his people that the Messiah’s origin is “from of old, from everlasting”, but that He would be born in Bethlehem from among the tribe of Judah. The Messiah, then, had to be someone human by birth, born in Bethlehem, who had existed eternally:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Micah 5:2) But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

 

- (Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 2:1-2) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

 

- (John 1:15) John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

 

- (1 John 1:1-2) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;)

 

- (Hebr 13:8) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

 

- (John 8:56-59) Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57 Then said the Jews to him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the middle of them, and so passed by.

 

- (John 17:5) And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

 

- (Col 1:17)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

 

We see from both Old and New Testaments that one of the characteristics of the Messiah was that He was born of man but existed eternally. Many rabbis have arrived at the same conclusion. They, too, understand that the Messiah has existed since ancient times and that He must be eternal. Quite many rabbinical sources say the same thing. Consider these:

 

Targum Jonathan. When we look at Targum Jonathan, we see that it mentions the ruler in Micah 5, whose origins are from of old, from everlasting, to be the Messiah. This ruler would have to come from Bethlehem and from the tribe of Judah:

 

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the thousands rooms of Judah, out of you will come for me the Messiah, who will be ruler over Israel, he, whose name was mentioned from the beginning of times, days of the creation."

 

Midrash Bereshit Rabbaa says about Genesis 1:2 (”… And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”) that already by that point in the creation, God’s Spirit -- the Spirit of the Messiah – was moving. Compare this to Romans 8:9: “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” This clearly points to the divinity of the Messiah and to His eternal existence. 

 

This was "The Spirit of the Messiah," such as has been written in Isa 11:2, "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him".

 

Rashi, as Rabbi Shalomo Yarchi was known, associated Micah 5:2 with the Messiah and wrote that his origin is from ancient times. Rashi also associated the Messiah with the rejected capstone mentioned in Psalm 118. The prophecy came true in the life of Jesus. He had to have existed before the creation of the Sun:

 

... He is "the Messiah, the son of David, such as Psalm 118 says, he is the stone, which the builders rejected; and his origin is from ancient times, because before the sun was, his name was Yinnon".

 

Rabbi David Kimhi. One of the oldest Jewish statements illustrating the eternal nature of the Messiah was made by Rabbi David Kimhi: about the Messiah it will be said that he originates from of old, from everlasting. He is El, or God:

 

"During the time of the Messiah, is said, that his origin is from of old, from everlasting; Bethlehem means, that he is David, for between David and the king Messiah there is a long time and he is El (God), therefore he is from of old, from everlasting."

 

Targum. The fact that the Messiah is eternal appears in Targum’s explanation of Isa 9:6. Targum wrote that the Messiah has existed since ancient times:

 

"His name has existed already since the ancient times..."

 

Targum also explained the expression, "the Everlasting Father" in this verse: it refers to the eternity of the Messiah:

 

"The Messiah has existed eternally."

 

Targum also included another reference to the eternity of the Messiah. In Zec 4:7, referring to the capstone, it is said that the Messiah has existed already from ancient times:

 

"Like this is exposed the Messiah, because his name has existed from everlasting and he will rule over all kingdoms.”

 

In the book of Zohar can be found a statement about the existence of the Messiah in the Garden of Eden. He must have already existed in those first moments of mankind and even before:

 

"Then the Messiah raised his voice and cried, so that the garden of Eden shivered and also all those righteous, who were there, complained and cried with him.”

 

In Midrash (Midrash Rabbaa De-eicha 1:16) is found a reference to the existence of the Messiah already before the Sun. Here, Psalm 72:17 is explained – which in the original language, in Hebrew, proves his eternal existence. Rashi (Rabbi Shalomo Yarchi), spoke about the same idea of "Yinnon" in connection with the Messiah, and mentioned how He existed already before the Sun:

 

"...What is the name of the king Messiah (...) Yinnon is his name, such as Psalm 72:17 says; before the sun was, was his name Yinnon.”

 

THE Angel of THE Lord, Metatron and THE prince of THE face. It is interesting to note that in ancient Jewish sources, the “Angel of the Lord", also called Metatron and the Prince of the Face, was associated with God. 

  Rashi (Rabbi Shalomo Yarchi) referred to Exodus 23:20-21 which describes the angel of the Lord and explains that God’s own name is in him (“Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.”). Rashi calls this angel Metatron and associates it with the Almighty: 

 

"My name is in him, means that I have the same name as him. And our rabbis have said that this is Metatron, whose name is the same as the name of the Lord and numerical value of Metatron is in gematria the same as the name of the Almighty.”

 

Gottlieb Klein – the main rabbi of Stockholm – referred to Metatron in his book Bidrag till Israels Religionshistoria (p. 89), as one who is with God, and whose numerical value is the same as that of the Almighty. He teaches about this mysterious representative, who is connected with the angel of the Lord, quite in the same way as Rashi:

 

"Metatron is the nearest serving spirit to God; on one hand, his trusted and his representative, on the other, the representative of Israel at the place of God. (...) Metatron is also by his name Sar ha-paniim, in other words the prince of the face or only prince, and he sits in the innermost room of God (penim). The numerical value of Metatron is the same as that of the Almighty.”

 

The name Metatron also appears in the Talmud. There he is called “the angel of the Lord", “the prince of the universe", "the prince of the face" and even "Shechina" or “the presence of God" (Tos. Le-Hulin 60,a and Jebamot 16, b). In the Talmud, there are also interesting references to how His name corresponds to his Lord, how He sits in the most holy place and how He acts as the representative of God (Sanhedrin 38, b, Hagiga 15, a and Avoda zara 3, b). What is interesting with these references is that the New Testament teaches almost the same message about Jesus.

   The New Testament statements about Jesus are that He is, among other things, the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person (compare the reference in the Talmud to the Prince of the Face and the Presence of God), and that he has gone into the most holy place and sits now at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven. Let’s study some of these verses that very much resemble the above-mentioned teaching about the angel of the Lord and about Metatron:

 

 - (John 12:44-45) Jesus cried and said, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that sees me sees him that sent me.

 

- (John 14:9) Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?

 

- (Hebr 1:1-3) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,

2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

 

- (Hebr 8:1-2) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

 

We can find an interesting description of Metatron and the Prince of the Face in the prayer book of Sidur, in connection with the New Year's Prayer. What is interesting about this prayer is that the name of Jesus is identified with the Prince of the Face and Metatron. It is also told there, how this mysterious person mediates prayers to God (compare John 16:23: And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.):

 

"May your will be with you, that this sounding of the horn would reach into the tabernacle of God by our representative Tartiel the name which Elias, blessed be his memory, has given to him, and by Jesus, the prince of the face, and by Metatron, and let grace fall to our lot. Be blessed you, the Lord of grace.”

 

We can also find a reference to this curious prayer in the prayer book of Sidur, written by Risto Santala. He wrote:

 

In the Jewish prayer book, there is also a third reference to Christ connected with faces, "Sar ha-paniim", "the Prince of the Faces". The Jews pray in their New Year liturgy, after the blares of Shofar horn, for "Jesus, the Prince of Faces, Metatron, to mediate prayers into the tent pegs of God.” If you ask the rabbis in private who is the Prince of the Face, they will say that he is the Messiah. But if you ask in the synagogues who really is this “Jesus, the Prince of the Face” who mediates prayers, you may be driven out of the prayer room just for asking. I know of two cases when this has happened. (6)

 

MEMRA OR THE word of God. When we examine old Targums, translations of the Old Testament in the Aramaic language, we find almost a similar reference to Metatron, also called Memra which means "word" (logos), and which in the Targums is used expressly as a name of God.

   What is interesting about these expressions of Targum is that they teach about Memra -- about the Word of God -- in quite the same way as the New Testament. They treat "Memra", "Word", not as an impersonal object, but rather as a person through whom the world was created, who is God, and by whom we can become righteous and be saved – in the same way that the New Testament refers to Jesus and describes Him as the Word of God (Rev 19:11-13: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True… and his name is called The Word of God.). Let’s study some of these expressions in the Targum containing Memra or the Word, along with a few verses from the New Testament:

 

Deut 33:27: The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before you; and shall say, Destroy them.

 

Targum onkelos: These arms are Memra (the Word), by which the world has been created.

 

- (John 1:1, 3, 14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

Isa 45:22:  Look to me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

 

Jonathan Targum: Turn to Memra (the Word), so you will be saved.

 

- (John 5:40) And you will not come to me, that you might have life.

 

- (Acts 4:12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Gen 15:6: And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

 

Targum onkelos: And Abram believed Memra of the Lord (Word) and it was credited to him as righteousness.

 

- (Acts 13:38-39) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:

39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 

- (Gal 2:16) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

THE Light THAT came into the world. One name of the Messiah is the Light, which appears in the Book of Isaiah several times (among other places). It is told that the Messiah came to establish a covenant with the people and provide a light for the Gentiles.

   When we turn to rabbinical commentaries, we learn that they have also interpreted the word "Light" to mean the Messiah. The Midrash (Midrash Bereshit Rabbaa, parasha 1) explains Daniel 2:22 (“He reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.”) that the word “light” means the Messiah who lives with the Father, God: 

 

"The light lives with him; this is the king Messiah, because it is written, Arise, shine, for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you." (Isa 60:1).

 

We also find other references to the Messiah being the light. When Pesikta Rabbati and Jalkut Shimoni explain the Creation, they write that the light of the Messiah was present already at that time. This is a clear reference to His eternity and divinity:

 

"Whose is that light that falls over the congregation of the Lord. (...) It is the light of the Messiah.” (Pesikta Rabbati 62,1. )

 

"This is light of the Messiah, such as in psalm 36:10 is said, in your light we see light.” (Jalkut Shimoni 56)

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 59:20,60:1, 2) And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn from transgression in Jacob, said the LORD.

1 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you.

2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you.

 

- (Isa 9:2,6) The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, on them has the light shined.

6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

- (Isa 42:6-7) I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

 

- (Isa 49:6) And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (John 1:4-10) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

 

- (John 8:12-14) Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, You bore record of yourself; your record is not true.

14 Jesus answered and said to them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know from where I came, and where I go; but you cannot tell from where I come, and where I go.

 

- (John 12:44-46) Jesus cried and said, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that sees me sees him that sent me.

46 I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.

 

THE Lord our righteousness. Another name associated with the Messiah is "the Lord our righteousness". This appears in Jeremiah 23:5, 6, for example. These verses refer to a descendant of David who is not only an ordinary person, but also is the Lord YHVH – the personal name of God.  This descendant was to possess the personal name of God, and by the power of that name could we be made righteous.

   New Testament text indicates that these verses were realized in Jesus. He was and is the Lord, by whom we can be righteous. He was a descendant of David and a righteous servant because He was born to this family and because His life was pure. We can say with certainty that there is no other person to whom these verses would so accurately apply:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Jer 23:5-6) Behold, the days come, said the LORD, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

 

- (Isa 53:11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

- (Isa 45:24-25) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

 

- (Dan 9:24,26) …to bring in everlasting righteousnessAnd after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off

 

Fulfilment:

 

- (1 Cor 1:30-31) But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.

 

- (Rom 4:25) Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

 

- (Rom 5:19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

- (Acts 13:38-39) Be it known to you therefore, men and brothers, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:

39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 

Several rabbis also associated "the Lord our righteousness" – the name including God’s own name – with the Messiah. They associated these verses with Him, and understood His divinity and His suffering for the sake of our sins. These rabbinical references are quite similar to the teachings of the New Testament. Let’s study these comments:

 

"Water flows from my eyes, for far from me is the comforter, who would refresh my soul (…) like this Israel is called the eyes of the holy God. (..) Far from me is the comforter, my soul’s refresher; what is the name of the King Messiah? (…) The Lord is his name, because Jer 23:6 says; this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS...." (Lamentation' , Midrash Rabbaa De-eicha 1:16)

 

"Who is this king of honor ?( ...) God does not crown a king of flesh and blood, but the Holy, may He be praised, gives His crown to the king Messiah, because about him is said, You put on his head a golden crown. God does not dress an earthly king with his own purple robe, but he has given it to the king Messiah, because it has been said, You cover him with glory and brightness (...) and he calls the king Messiah by his own name, because it has been written, this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Midrash of the psalms when explaining chapter 21)

 

"Our rabbis have taught; once the patriarchs will arrive to him in the month of Nisan (about the time of the Passover) and say, Ephraim, the Messiah our righteousness, although we are your fathers, You are greater than we, because You have suffered for the sake of the sins of our children and You have experienced difficult and large trials... You have become an object of laughter and derision among the nations of the world for the sake of Israel, and You have sat in the dark and depth... Your skin has been torn off and your body has dried up like a tree... and Your power is like a pot shard. All this You have suffered for the sake of the sins of our children.” (Pesikta Rabbati 35-37)

 

"He is the Messiah our Righteousness; and has it not been written about the Messiah that he is gentle and rides on an ass; but he arrives as humble and not as proud with horses; and as far as the coming with the clouds of heaven is concerned, there is a question of the heavenly host of the angels, and in this is that greatness which the Creator gives the Messiah.” (Rabbi Saadia Gaon, 882-942, Mikraoot Gedolot – explanation to Dan 7)

 

"The Messiah, our righteousness, has turned away from us. We have been beaten broken and because of that, we have no spokesperson. Our crimes and the yoke of our bad deeds are a heavy burden. But He has been wounded for our sins. He carries our sins on His shoulders, so that we would get forgiveness. And by His wounds we are healed; it has come the time to create an eternal new creation.” (Annual prayer of Yom Kippur; Musaf)

 

"Rab Huna counted in the seven names of the Messiah also 'Jehovah Zidkenun’, which is 'the Lord, our righteousness." (Midrash Mishle)

 

"In the Scriptures, to the Messiah is given the name 'Jehovah Zidkenu, because he is the mediator by whom the Lord makes us righteousness.” (Rabbi Albo, in the 1400s)

 

"What is the name of the King Messiah? To this answered rabbi Abba bar Kahana, 'Jehovah is his name, for it has been written: this is the name by which he will be called – Jehovah Zidkenu." (Midrash Echa Jer 23:6; Midrash Rabbah, part 4, p. 134)

 

THE Way FOR THE Lord OR God. A couple of extremely direct references to the divinity of the Messiah appear in Isaiah 40:3-5 and Malachi 3:1,2. They state that a messenger had to come before the Messiah (John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus) and that the Messiah would be God. The Messiah's divinity appears in both passages of the Bible.

  Rabbi David Kimhi associated Malachi 3:1 with the Messiah. He wrote that, "The Lord is the king Messiah and he is the angel of the covenant.” (Mikraoot Gedolot, Mal 3:1). However, a source called Metsudat David separated the Lord and the angel of the covenant from each other: "The Lord is the king Messiah, to whom the eyes of everyone are expecting and yearning and whom they hope to be coming, but the angel of the covenant refers to the prophet Elijah.”

 

Prophecy:

 

 - (Isa 40:3-5) The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.

 

- (Mal 3:1,2) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, said the LORD of hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap

 

Fulfillment:

 

 - (Luke 1:13,16,17) But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

 

- (Luke 1:76) And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways

 

- (Matt 3:1-3, 11-13) In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.

 

- (John 1:22-24) Then said they to him, Who are you? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say you of yourself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

 

THE Son of God. The Messiah has various names. One of them is the Son of God. It is the name mentioned in Psalm 2, in the Proverbs (30:4) and in the promise, which was given to David. Let’s study all of these Bible passages and see how they were fulfilled in Jesus:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 2:1-2,5-12) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

5 Then shall he speak to them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king on my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Acts 4:25-27) Who by the mouth of your servant David have said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

27 For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

 

- (Rev 2:26-29) And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.

 

- (John 3:16-18) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Pro 30:4) Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the wind in his fists? who has bound the waters in a garment? who has established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if you can tell?

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 3:12-13) If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

 

- (John 6:62) What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

 

- (Eph 4:7-10) But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

8 Why he said, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.

9 Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (1 Chron 17:11-14) And it shall come to pass, when your days be expired that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will raise up your seed after you, which shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

12 He shall build me an house, and I will establish his throne for ever.

13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before you:

14 But I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for ever more.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 1:32-33) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

 

- (John 9:35-37) Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said to him, Do you believe on the Son of God?

36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

37 And Jesus said to him, You have both seen him, and it is he that talks with you.

 

Jewish rabbis were no strangers to the terms “Son of God” and “Trinity.” Old rabbinical commentaries reveal that they understood that references to the Son of the Most High meant the Messiah (See Psalm 2). They understood that this Psalm refers to the Messiah, who is the Son of the Most High. Read the passages below. Find Zohar’s clear references to the mysterious essence of God described as "the Highest and the Holy", His Son and the Holy Spirit:

 

"Our rabbis have taught that this refers to the king Messiah, and according to this interpretation, it can also be applied to David himself..."..." (Rashi, rabbi Shalomo Yarchi, who has explained Psalm 2)

 

"The rabbis have told that this means the Messiah, son of David, who will arrive quickly in our days. The Holy God will say to him, 'Ask of me, and I will give it to you, such as has been written, ‘I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I shall give you the heathen for your inheritance." ([Sukka 52. of Talmud], explanation to Psalm 2)

 

"You are that good shepherd; about you it has been said, kiss the son. You are great down low, Israel's teacher, the Lord of the serving angels, the Son of the Most High, the son of the Holy, may be praised his name and his Holy Spirit.” (Zohar, lll part, p. 307. Amsterdam edition)

 

"Why has it been necessary here (Deut 6:4) to repeat three times the name of God? Firstly, Yahweh is the Father above of all. The second is the Messiah who is born from the tribe of Jesse. The third is that who has been let down (meaning the Holy Spirit, who leads us to the right direction). These three are one.” (Zohar, explaining the creed of Israel)

 

"How are those three names one? Are they one just because we say that those three are one? We know that they are one only by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and even with closed eyes.” (Zohar, ll part, p. 43. Amsterdam edition)

 

THE Descendant of David who is also THE Lord, God. When Jesus lived physically among us, he chose to teach from a psalm of David, Psalm 110. David had written the psalm about his Lord, the Messiah, and told listeners that his Lord sits at the right hand of God. Jesus took out this Psalm and asked the people how Christ, the Messiah, who should be the descendant of David, could be his Lord as well. That should have been impossible; no unborn descendant of David’s could be that – unless the descendant really was God and existed eternally. The Pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking were unable to answer, and remained silent:

 

 - (Matt 22:41-46) While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

42 Saying, What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David.

43 He said to them, How then does David in spirit call him Lord, saying,

44 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool?

45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither dared any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

 

There is reason to believe that the verses of Psalm 110 were fulfilled in Jesus. He was and is the descendant of David – because He was born into David’s family – and He also was David’s Lord. He sits at the right hand of God and only waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, which we have good reason to believe will happen when Jesus returns.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Ps 110:1,2,4) The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.

2 The LORD shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: rule you in the middle of your enemies.

4 The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Acts 2:33-36) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand,

35 Until I make your foes your footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

- (Eph 1:20) Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places

 

- (Hebr 8:1) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

 

- (Hebr 10:12-13) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

13 From now on expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

 

- (Hebr1:7-8,13-14) And of the angels he said, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.

13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

 

Just as we associate Psalm 110 with Jesus, Jewish authorities associate them with the Messiah. This has been the traditional interpretation of these verses in Jewish literature. Consider these passages:

 

- Midrash of the psalms says about the passage "Sit at my right hand" that "he says this to the Messiah; and his throne has been prepared in grace and he will sit on it".

 

- The Talmud's (Avoot, rabbi Nata, chapter 34) explanation to the Book of Zechariah (4:14) is also worth noticing. (Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.), because in the explanation to this verse there is also a reference to Psalm 110, which it connects with the Messiah. It is written: "This refers to Aaron and the Messiah, and I do not know which of them is more pleasant. When it has been written, ‘The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever’, we know that the king Messiah is more pleasant than the priest of the righteousness.”

 

- The third reference is connected to Jalkut Shimon, and refers to the traditional view about the position of the Messiah: "Rabbi Jodan says in the name of rabbi Aba Bar Hanina that the holy God will set in the future the coming king Messiah at his right hand and Abraham at his left hand; and so the face of Abraham will turn pale with envy, and he will say:  The son of my son sits at your right hand and I should sit at your left? Then the holy God will conciliate him and say, Your son is at your right hand and I am at your right hand.”

 

LIKE THE SON OF MAN WHO COMES WITH THE clouds of heaven. The verses referring to the son of man, who comes with the clouds of Heaven and approaches the Ancient of Days, or God (Dan 7:13-14), have generally been associated with the Messiah in Jewish references. Rashi plainly states, "He is the king Messiah". Metsudat David states that, "it refers to the king Messiah". Rabbi Saadia Gaon (882-942 A.D.) wrote (Mikraoot Gedolot) about two different comings of the Messiah. We can believe that both of these comings are fulfilled in Jesus. He first came in humility riding on an ass:

 

"He is the Messiah our Righteousness; and has it not been written about the Messiah that he is gentle and rides on an ass; but he arrives humble and not proud with horses; and as far as the coming with the clouds of heaven is concerned, it is a question of the heavenly host of angels, and in this is that greatness the Creator gives the Messiah.”

 

In the Book of Daniel 7:13-14, we read that all people and nations will serve this being like the son of man who will arrive with the clouds of heaven, and that his kingdom is eternal. This can only refer to God Himself, because He does not give His glory to others (Isa 42:8: "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”), and because only His kingdom is eternal. Therefore, the person like the son of man must be more than a mortal man, even though he has taken on the form of a man:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Dan 7:13) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 8:19-20) And a certain scribe came, and said to him, Master, I will follow you wherever you go.

20 And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head.

 

- (Matt 25:31) When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory

 

- (Matt 26:62-66) And the high priest arose, and said to him, Answer you nothing? what is it which these witness against you?

63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you be the Christ, the Son of God.

64 Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.

66 What think you? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

 

- (Rev 1:7-8) Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Dan 7:13-14) I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 1:32-33) He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

 

- (2 Peter 1:11) For so an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

- (1 Peter 5:1,10) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.

 

THE Name Jesus or yeshua, who has come for salvation. One unique feature about Jesus (Yeshua) was His name, which in Hebrew means “Savior.” In the Gospel of Matthew we read:

 

- (Matt 1:21) And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

 

This Hebrew name,Yeshua, was mentioned in earlier Scriptures. For example, in the Book of Isaiah we read that “salvation” means a person - "he" - who will come and appear. The same person, whose "reward is with him", is also the Lord (God) who appeared to Judeans and He is like a shepherd (compare John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd…”)

   We can well understand that these prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus: His name was Yeshua, and He came to provide salvation to His people. Only through Him can we be saved; He is God, as the prophets wrote:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 62:11) Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world, Say you to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your salvation (Yeshua) comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

 

- (Isa 40:9-11) O Zion, that bring good tidings, get you up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

10 Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Luke 2:11) For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

 

- (John 4:41-42) And many more believed because of his own word;

42 And said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

 

- (Acts 4:11-12) This is the stone which was set at nothing of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

- (Luke 19:9-10) And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, as much as he also is a son of Abraham.

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

 

- (1 Tim 1:15) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

- (Rev 22:12) And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

 

The next passage may shed some light on the name Yeshua. The text refers to the Book of Isaiah’s mention of “salvation” as not only an event of some kind, but as a person whose reward is with Him. His name and His task were mentioned in the Book of Isaiah, which was written long before Jesus’s time on the Earth:

 

Once, in the spring in St. Louis, a certain interesting point came to my mind. I was visiting the family of Charles Siegelman. Another Jew also happened to be there. He claimed to be an orthodox Jew to the heart and soul. And naturally, our conversation drifted to Him, who is the centre point of all entity, to Jesus. My good Jewish brother energetically attacked against Christ, as intensely as one can in a friendly conversation. His best weapon was a claim already familiar to me: "The name Yeshua does not appear at all in the Old Testament.”

   I did not answer him right away, but asked him to translate Isaiah 62:11 from my Hebrew Bible. Fluent in Hebrew, he got the task done quickly and skillfully. He translated this verse: "Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world, Say you to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your Yeshua comes; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.”

   At this stage, he blushed when he understood what he had just let slip out of his mouth. He had given me the trumps. Now he shouted, "No! You try to fool me with the word Yeshua, mister Glass! It wasn’t what I meant to read!” But I just said that I had asked him to read the word of God. I asked whether he had already realized for himself that salvation is a person, not an event. He comes, His reward is with Him, and his work before Him. My Jewish friend rushed to get his own Old Testament. He muttered intensely that in his Bible, this was certainly expressed quite differently. But when he found the verse, his eagerness flowed as water flows from the back of goose. In his Old Testament, the issue was, naturally, just the same as in my Bible. The only way for him to avoid admitting that he was wrong was to claim that the Book of Isaiah was something else than an inspiration of God. (7)

 

THE Lord, God, over whom many will stumble . The divinity of the Messiah is established in many Scriptures, among which is Isaiah 8:13-15, which refers to the Lord Almighty. The writer uses this name for the Messiah, and also mentions that many people will stumble over him – the same point made by the writer of Psalm 118.

   Hebrew rabbis have also associated these verses with the Messiah. In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 38. a) we read that Isaiah 8:13-15 refers to the Messiah. Rashi wrote that the rejected capstone mentioned in Psalm 118 refers to the King Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Isa 8:13-15) Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a nare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

 

- (Ps 118:22-26) The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

23 This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, I beseech you, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech you, send now prosperity.

26 Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 21:33-46) Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dig a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to farmers, and went into a far country:

34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35 And the farmers took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.

36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did to them likewise.

37 But last of all he sent to them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

38 But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?

41 They say to him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other farmers, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

 

- (Matt 23:37-39) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!

38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate.

39 For I say to you, You shall not see me from now on, till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

 

- (1 Peter 2:4,6-8) To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

6 Why also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.

7 To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

 

A Prophet like God. When a message about the prophet who will be like him was given to Moses, it was also mentioned that this prophet would also be like God and would speak His words. If someone would not listen to Him, he would be held accountable before God.

   These verses have been fulfilled in Jesus. He could Himself say that Moses wrote about Him. Also, people considered Him to be the prophet in question:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Deut 18:15,18,19) The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brothers, like to you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 1:45) Philip finds Nathanael, and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

 

- (John 5:45-47) Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust.

46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?

 

- (John 7:45-49) Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said to them, Why have you not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spoke like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are you also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knows not the law are cursed.

 

- (Matt 7:28-29) And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

- (John 7:40) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

 

THE Lord and thirty PIECES OF silver. Another specific reference to the divinity of the Messiah is found in the Book of Zechariah, Chapter 11:12,13. In these verses the Lord / God speaks of Himself as “I” and says that His value will be assessed at thirty pieces of silver. This was true of Jesus: Judas betrayed Him for this price, and said immediately afterwards that he had betrayed innocent blood:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 11:12-13) And I said to them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the LORD said to me, Cast it to the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Matt 26:14-15) Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,

15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

 

- (Matt 27:3-5) Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see you to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

 

THE Lord, looking on him and pouring out THE Holy Spirit. There is also a reference to the Messiah in the Book of Zechariah, Chapter 12. God refers to Himself as “I” and tells that people will look on Him whom they have pierced. This pouring out of the Holy Spirit was also mentioned in Zec. 12. This prophecy was fulfilled during the Day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago.

   This is why we can understand that these passages of the Bible were fulfilled in Jesus:

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 12:1,10) The burden of the word of the LORD ...

10 And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (John 19:33-37) But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and immediately came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bore record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said true, that you might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

 

- (1 Cor 2:6-8) However, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nothing:

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world to our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

 

Prophecy:

 

- (Zec 12:10) And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

 

Fulfillment:

 

- (Mark 1:6-8) And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

7 And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the lace of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

 

- (Acts 2:32-33) This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.

 

- (Acts 10:45) And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

 

 

 

8. What is God like?

 

Among those subjects most commonly challenged by people in the Middle East is the triune nature of God, as is described in the New Testament. Many Jews, for example, do not believe the New Testament’s message that the One God has revealed Himself as a Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They think that this is an error of Western and Christian thinking and is in no way supported by the Books of Moses, psalms or prophets; or by commentaries of the rabbis. They think that this view developed late and it is not based on Scriptures.

   However, if we look at the books of the Bible, we can find support for the belief that God is triune. Even the Creed of Israel (Deut 6:4), which has been regarded as strong proof for the oneness of God, refers to it. We can also find other support. We will consider some of the most familiar sources:

 

Deut 6:4. The Creed of Israel is "Shema Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad" – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD (Deut 6:4). It has often been used to refute the teaching of the New Testament, that one God has revealed Himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The creed is often used to describe the nature of God.

   However, it is good to note that the last word of this creed, ‘echad’, always refers to a unity, which is composed of parts. The word ‘yachid’ is not used, which would refer to an absolute oneness, but instead the word ‘echad’ is chosen, and it refers to plural in which unity or oneness can be composed of several parts.

   So the Creed of Israel actually provides us with one of the clearest examples of how one can consist of several parts. This appears in other places where the word ‘echad’ is used. For instance, Ezra 2:64 speaks about the unity of the whole congregation; in Ezekiel 37:17 two wooden sticks become one; in Genesis 2:24 man and wife become one flesh; and in Numbers 13:24 the writer speaks about a cluster of grapes which is also composed of many parts:

 

- (Ezra 2:64) The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and three score,

 

- (Eze 37:15-17) The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,

16 Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand.

 

- (Gen 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

- (Num13:24) The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from there.

 

The word Elohim. One reference to God's different forms of manifestation is the word ‘elohim’, which is actually a plural word. It appears in many Scriptural passages. In the first chapter of the Bible alone it appears several times. The verbs after it are always singular to describe how God created everything. The same word, Elohim, also appears in the First Commandment in which the word God is plural, even though the verb is singular. This commandment refers to God being many, yet one:

 

- (Ex 20:2,3) I am (singular) the LORD your (plural) God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

 

Plural expressions. If we continue our examination of the tension between the plural and singular, we also find examples in other parts of the Bible; they all use the first person form of the plural for God, even though the accompanying verb is singular. We should especially note that in the first of these examples (Gen 1:26,27), God could not speak to angels (as it is commonly believed), but to Himself because man was created as the image of God, not that of angels; the verse 27 indicates this clearly:

 

- (Gen 1:26,27) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

- (Gen 3:22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

 

- (Gen 11:6,7) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

 

 - (Isa 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

The angel of the Lord. As we noted earlier, based on the Scriptures, it is impossible to deny the multiplicity of the manifested forms of God. We can also state that, based on the Scriptures, only three different persons can be regarded as divine. They are:

 

1. The Lord, also called Yahweh, who is spoken of many times.

 

2. The second name, which appears, is the “angel of the Lord”. He simply calls himself God and so do the writers.

 

3. The Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit -- is also mentioned on several occasions.

 

In several Scriptural passages we find mention of the “angel of the Lord” – which seems to refer to the second person of the divinity:

 

We read in Genesis that the angel is identified with the Lord and that Hagar called Him “God.” The angel speaks in the first person singular and promises to increase the descendants of Hagar so they will be too numerous to count; this is a promise that can only be given by God. Thus, we can safely assume that the angel of the Lord mentioned in these verses is the Lord while being other than Him -- being the second person of divine nature.

 

- (Gen 16:7,10-13 ) And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

10 And the angel of the LORD said to her, I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael; because the LORD has heard your affliction.

12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brothers.

13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke to her, You God see me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that sees me?

 ______________________________

 

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham he was identified with the Lord and God, the same one as named in His appearance to Hagar. The angel gave a similar promise as the one Hagar received which is probably possible only for God to accomplish:

 

- (Gen 22:1,15-18)  And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son:

17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.

______________________________

 

The angel of the Lord -- the angel of God -- appears to Jacob in a dream, and in the dream is identified as the God of Bethel:

 

- (Gen 31:11-13) And the angel of God spoke to me in a dream, saying, Jacob: And I said, Here am I.

12 And he said, Lift up now your eyes, and see, all the rams which leap on the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and spotted: for I have seen all that Laban does to you.

13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar, and where you vowed a vow to me: now arise, get you out from this land, and return to the land of your kindred.

______________________________

 

One of the clearest references to the divinity of the angel of the Lord is when He appeared to Moses in the form of a flame of fire. There, the angel of the Lord said that He was God, and the text called Him the Lord and God:

 

- (Ex 3:2-6) And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5 And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where on you stand is holy ground.

6 Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look on God.

______________________________

 

The following passage is interesting: the angel is separated from the Lord, but still the name of the Lord YHVH or Jehovah lives in Him. The name of God living in the angel refers to His divine essence:

 

- (Ex 23:20 -22) Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

22 But if you shall indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and an adversary to your adversaries.

______________________________

 

The angel of the Lord is discussed in the Book of Judges, where he appears to Gideon. What is interesting in this passage is that this angel is called "the Lord", Jehovah, which is God's own name. This means that He must have been God:

 

- (Judges 6:12-16) And the angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor.

13 And Gideon said to him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD has forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

14 And the LORD looked on him, and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent you?

15 And he said to him, Oh my Lord, with which shall I save Israel?  behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

16 And the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.

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Another reference to the angel of the Lord is made in the account of the birth of Samson. The angel of the Lord tells Manoah his name to be Wonderful (Old King James), which is regarded as one of the names of God (Isa 9:5). In addition, the parents of Samson regarded this messenger as God:

 

- (Judges 13:17,18,21,22) And Manoah said to the angel of the LORD, What is your name, that when your sayings come to pass we may do you honor?

18 And the angel of the LORD said to him, Why ask you thus after my name, seeing it is secret (wonderful)?

21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.

22 And Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

 

Isa 48:12,13,16. One of the clearest references to the trinity of God appears in Isaiah 48. In this chapter, God describes (in first person singular form) how He laid the foundations of the Earth and the Heavens, but then, in verse 16, there appears the person I and me, who was already in the beginning, and who was sent. It also speaks about the spirit of God who was sent to Earth.

 

- (Isa 48:12,13,16) Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

13 My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together.

16 Come you near to me, hear you this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, has sent me.

 

The verses above, from the Book of Isaiah, clearly reveal the three persons of God. Based on this text, they are:

 

1."The Lord" – the sender.

 

 2."I" and "me", who was already with the Lord in the beginning, and whom the Lord sent.

 

3. The Spirit, whom was also sent.

 

The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s divinity and personality are revealed to us in several passages. Consider the following examples:

 

The name "the Spirit of God". The divinity of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated by the name alone, "the Spirit of God". This name appears in the story of Creation and clearly proves His divine and eternal nature.

   Father God sent the Holy Spirit to us to help us stay connected with Himself. Though we pray to God who is in heaven, His Holy Spirit helps us here on earth. This does not mean that God and the Holy Spirit are two separate gods; they are one and the same.

 

- (Gen 1:2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.

 

- (2 Chron 24:20) And the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said to them, Thus said God, Why transgress you the commandments of the LORD, that you cannot prosper? because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.

 

- (Ex 31:3) And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

 

- (1 Sam 19:20) And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was on the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.

 

- (Psalm 51:11) Cast me not away from your presence; and take not your holy spirit from me.

 

- (Psalm 139:7) Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence?

 

- (Judges 15:14 / Judges 16:20) And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily on him, and the cords that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

16:20 And she said, The Philistines be on you, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he knew not that the LORD (Yahveh) was departed from him.

 

- (2 Sam 23:2-3) The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and his word was in my tongue.

3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.