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Hebrew Promises of the Messiah...

   

 

 

  Isaiah 53  

 

 

 

 

 
"Who has believed what we have heard? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? For before Him he grew up like a young plant, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or beauty. We saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. He was despised and shunned by men, a man of pains and familiar with illness; like one from whom we would hide our faces. He was despised and we had no regard for him. In truth, it was our infirmities he bore, and our pains that he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished and afflicted by God. He was wounded because of our sins and crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement he bore made us whole, and through his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way. Yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us… After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. By his knowledge my righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. Therefore I will give him a share with the mighty; for he exposed himself to death and was numbered among the sinners. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

 


 
 

  Notes:  The rabbis teach that Isaiah 53 is speaking about Israel. But the pronoun used here is in the second person.  Because there is no Holy Temple, the rabbis developed a teaching of redemption through righteous acts. A teaching that has merit. But ask yourself these questions, "Who bears the sins of Israel if Israel is the one offering themselves for the sins of other nations?  When did Israel ever offer itself as a guilt offering for the sins of the world?  Who is the 'he' and 'him' in the texts?  Who are the 'we' and 'our' in the texts?" 

 

During Temple times animal sacrifices were used for blood atonement of sin. Today, many Orthodox Jews are hoping for the supernatural rebuilding of the Holy Temple and the reinstitution of animal sacrifices. So this begs the question, "If Israel is the one who makes atonement for the sins of transgressors, then why the need again for a Temple and animal sacrifices?"  Think and discuss honestly the questions Isaiah 53 raises.  Isaiah was written 8th century BCE - 700 years before Yeshua.

 
   

 

 
Definition of Messiah

The word Messiah, to both Jews and Christians, means "anointed one." In Judaism the term refers to the expected king and deliverer of the Jews, which many believe to be a future event. Some believe the Messiah will bring physical and spiritual deliverance through the establishment of an earthly kingdom, while others only look for a messianic age of peace and prosperity. Christians believe that the promised Jewish Messiah has already come.

 

 


 

 

The Tanakh Reveals a "Sin" Problem

Mankind has and is suffering the consequences of a problem called "sin," which means "independence or separation from God." All have experienced this problem. "For there isn't a righteous person on earth who does only good and never sins." (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

Genesis 1 and 2 indicate that God created mankind with the power of choice, desiring mankind to live in relationship with His laws of life. But mankind chose to break the relationship with God, and the consequences of sin are evident everywhere. Isaiah 53:6 says, "We all, like sheep, went  astray; we turned, each one, to his own way."  Isaiah 64:5 states, "All of us are like someone unclean, all our righteous deeds like menstrual rags."

 

 


 

 

The Bad and Good News About "Sin"

In Genesis 3, God told Adam and Eve that if they chose to "sin," they "would surely die." Their decision has resulted in deceitfulness, selfishness, theft, murder, immorality, war, persecution, and death.

Sinful rebellion will ultimately destroy us, ending in eternal separation from God. Ezekiel 18:26-27 says, "When the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, he will die for it (eternal death); for the wickedness he commits he will die. And when the wicked person turns away from all the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he will save his life." (eternal life)

 

David wrote in Psalm 49:14-16, "This is the manner of life of the foolish and those who come after, approving their words.  Like sheep, they are destined for Sheol; death will be their shepherd.  The upright will rule them in the morning; and their forms will waste away in Sheol, until they need no dwelling.  But God will redeem me from Sheol's control, because he will receive me." (the resurrection of the righteous).

David, Isaiah, and Micah knew of God’s love, forgiveness, and restoration from sin. They wrote the following testimonies.

"God, in your grace, have mercy on me; in your great compassion, blot out my crimes.   Wash me completely from my guilt, and cleanse me from my sin... Turn away your face from my sins, and blot out all my crimes. Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.  Don't thrust me away from your presence, don't take your Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit) from me.  Restore my joy in your salvation, and let a willing spirit uphold me.  Then I will teach the wicked your ways, and sinners will return to you." (Psalm 51).

"‘Come now,’ says Adonai, ‘let's talk this over together.’  ‘Even if   your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; even if they are red as crimson, they will be like wool.’" (Isaiah 1:18).

"Who is a God like you, pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes of the remnant of his heritage?... You will throw all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19).

Only God can cleanse and restore us from our sinful conditions. We are saved through his unfailingly love and mercy when we repent and return to him. "If you return, if I bring you back; you will stand before me." (Jeremiah 15:21). "There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides me.  Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth!  For I am God; there is no other." (Isaiah 45:21-22).

 

 


 

 

A "Sin" Offering

Right after the sin of Adam and Eve, God instituted the ceremony of sacrificial offerings (Genesis 4 and 8) to continually remind people that there is a price for sin.  After the covenant at Sinai, God required daily sacrifices of an unblemished animal to be offered for the sins of the people. "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for yourselves; for it is the blood that makes atonement because of the life." (Leviticus 17:11).  "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." (Hebrews 9:22).  

However, the daily sacrifices were not a permanent solution, and no animal could ever be the final sacrifice for sin.  But God provided the ultimate solution and sacrifice for sin by giving the Messiah as the perfect and complete atonement for all our sin. And just as God instructed the Israelites to place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses, so now God desires us to cover us with the blood atonement of the Messiah.  It is this ultimate blood atonement that gives us forgiveness of sin and life eternal.

     
The prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah chapter 53 that Messiah would become the final sacrifice for sin. "He had no form or beauty. We saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. He was despised and shunned by men, a man of pains and familiar with illness; like one from whom we would hide our faces. He was despised and we had no regard for him. In truth, it was our infirmities he bore, and our pains that he suffered; yet we regarded him as punished and afflicted by God... He was wounded because of our sins and crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement he bore made us whole, and through his wounds we are healed.  

Ultra-Orthodox performing 'kapparot' at Yom Kippur

 

We all like sheep went astray; we turned, each one, to his own way. Yet Adonai laid on him the guilt of all of us.   Though mistreated, he was submissive - he did not open his mouth.  Like a lamb to be slaughtered, he did not open his mouth.  After forcible arrest and sentencing, he was taken away; and none of his generation protested his being cut off from the land of the living for the crimes of my people, who deserved punishment themselves.  He was given a grave among the wicked; in his death he was with a rich man...  After this ordeal, he will see satisfaction. By his knowledge my righteous servant makes many righteous; it is for their sins that he suffers. Therefore I will give him a share with the mighty; for he exposed himself to death and was numbered among the sinners. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

 

Daniel prophesied over 500 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. that Messiah would appear. In Daniel 9:25-27 we read, "Moshiach (Anointed One) will be cut off and have nothing. The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary."

 

 

"History well documents that these events occurred.
The sacrificial system ended after the death
and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus)
and was supernaturally stopped by God.
There has not been a holy of holies or
offering of sacrifices among the Jews
since that time to the present." 2

 

 

Atonement for sin is for everyone Jews and non-Jews alike.

 

 


 

 

False Messiahs and Teachings

During the Second Jewish Revolt against the Romans in 132-135 C.E., Simon, Bar Kochba, was proclaimed by Rabbi Akiba to be the messiah. Because of those claims, Messianic Jews felt compelled to disassociate themselves from traditional Judaism.   During the first four centuries, the Church at Rome began to teach that God had forsaken the Jews.  This evidence is found in the writings of early theologians such as Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Origen, Jerome, Irenaeus, Marcion, Chrysostom, and Augustine.   We hear similar rhetoric today among those who proclaim that the Church is the new Israel, teaching that God’s promises to Israel now belong to them. This is "replacement theology," anti-Judaic, and a contradiction of God’s Word (Psalm 83:1-5).

"And I will pour out on the house of David

and on those living in Jerusalem;

a spirit of grace and prayer;

and they will look on me, whom they have pierced. 

They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son;

they will be in bitterness on his behalf

like the bitterness for a firstborn son. 

When that day comes,

there will be great mourning in Jerusalem."

  Zechariah 12:10-11

 

 


 

Some Messianic Prophecies

Below are a few of the hundreds of messianic promises found in the Tanakh (Hebrew Covenant) describing Messiah’s appearance. After each promise is a Brit Chadashah (New Covenant - Jeremiah 31:31) fulfillment.

    
Messianic Promises Hebrew Covenant New Covenant
To be the seed of the woman Genesis 3:15 Galatians 4:4-5
To bless all the nations Genesis 12:3; 18:18 Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:34
To be of the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:2; Luke 3:34
To be of the seed of David Isaiah 11:10 Matthew 1:6; Luke 3:31
To be a prophet like Moses Deuteronomy 18:15,19 John 1:45; 6:14; Acts 3:22-23
To be the Son of God Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 9:6-7 Matthew 3:17; Hebrews 1:5-9
To be born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-35
To be born in Bethlehem

Micah 5:2

Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:4-6
To minister to Jews and Gentiles Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:1-8 Matthew 12:21
To perform miracles Isaiah 35:5-6 Matthew 11:3-6; John 11:47
To enter Jerusalem on a donkey Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:1-11
To suffer and bring salvation Isaiah 52:13–53:12 Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
To be pierced and martyred Psalm 22 Matthew 27:34-50
To be raised from the dead Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:35-37
To ascend into heaven Psalm 68:18 Acts 1:9-11
To sit at the right hand of God Psalm 110:1 Matthew 26:64; Hebrews 1:3
To establish a new covenant Jeremiah 31:31-34 Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 8:6-13
To be a priest forever Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6
To be an intercessor Isaiah 59:16 Hebrews 9:15
To be called Mighty God Isaiah 9:6; Jeremiah 23:5-6 Acts 2:36
Gentiles to accept the Messiah Isaiah 11:10 Romans 11:25
     
How marvelously the Jews have been preserved throughout the centuries. No other nation has had such a history. It is one of the supernatural proofs of the truth of the Bible and God’s faithfulness to His promises.4 God’s plan of redemption came through Israel.

No one, other than Yeshua (Jesus), has fulfilled the messianic promises found in the Tanakh.  No where does the Bible say or even suggest that Yeshua was not Jewish.  He was born to Jews in Bethlehem, grew up among Jews in Nazareth, ministered to Jews in Galilee, and died and rose from the grave in the Jewish capital, Jerusalem all in the land of Israel which God had given to the Jewish people.  Moreover, Yeshua ascended into heaven as a Jew. 5

   Dr. Michael Brown's video - "In Search of Messiah in Crown Heights"

 


  1.  "Share the New Life," Moishe and Ceil Rosen, 1976, p.58-60
2.  "Christianity is Jewish," Edith Schaeffer, 1975, p.153
3.  "Return of the Remnant-the Rebirth of Messianic Judaism," Michael Schiffman, 1992, p.42
4.  "Christianity is Jewish," p.108
5.  "Jewish New Testament," David H. Stern, 1989, p. x
    
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