Isaiah 53…Read it and Weep!

jesus_37“I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves bitterly for a firstborn son.(Zech 12:10-11 This exact verse is repeated in John 19:37 as the disciples realized that this prophecy was fulfilled with the crucifixion of Jesus.Only the remnant had seen this, but there will come a time when the whole nation of Israel will see His return and mourn as they realize, indeed He is the one who had made the Atonement for all..and they will weep…bitterly.

Remember Jesus had looked over the nation of Israel at one point and mourned for her Himself as He said, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. (Mt 23:37-38)

Now as we see what Isaiah spoke almost 700 years before the coming messiah, we understand that this was a nation of people who had seen many people claiming to be the messiah, not unlike the crackpots we have experienced in our own lifetime.For even John the Baptist had to ask Jesus, if He was the one, or if He should expect someone else. And finally, the Father indeed confirmed that Jesus, was His son, “in whom He was well pleased.”

We cannot condemn these people and had it not been for the ‘blinding’ of the Jews, we would not have been ‘grafted’ into the vine, as Paul spoke of in scripture. We have to be grateful for this and the preservation of the words of the prophets and the laws. This was all done with a plan and a purpose to bring them back to the original vine. It is the ‘ingrafting’ and the gentile church is responsible to ”provoke the Jew to jealousy.” This being a Godly jealousy, to make them envy our understanding of the Word and their God. To know that they can now enter into the Holy of Holies, because the temple sacrifice has already been made by the blood of Jesus Christ and the curtain has been torn allowing us entrance.

When we can prove this by scripture, they will mourn the one, whom they have pierced and the blinders shall be removed. As I stated in earlier posts, the first believers were all Jews, yet now the greater following are the gentiles. This will change as we enter into the end times, however, according to the Oracle, by the prophets and the gentile believers are a big part of that movement, so we absolutely need to understand our own Judaic roots.

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

He grew up before Him like a tender shoot and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

(I find this interesting. It actually states that He wasn’t attractive. So much for the Hollywood version.)

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,

yet we considered him stricken by God,(just think, He is God! Yet people thought He was being cursed!)

smitten by him, and afflicted.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, (pierced in His side)

he was crushed for our iniquities (crushing blows to the head with a crown of thorns)

The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed(beatings upon his back that pulled the flesh from his back in strips) It’s also interesting to me on Passover that the matzo is pierced and striped, and unleavened which symbolized sin. (another teaching)

We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way,

and the Lord, has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted.

yet, he did not open his mouth, (He was examined before Pilate and did not speak,although he was found to be innocent)

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

By oppression, and judgment he was taken away,.

And who can speak of his descendants? (kind of puts to rest any theories about Jesus and Mary.)

For He was cut off from the land of the living;(His death) for the transgression of my people he was stricken.(the penalty for sin)

He was assigned to a grave with the wicked, (two thieves on the cross)

and with the rich in his death,(Joseph of Arimathea donated his own tomb to Jesus)

though he had done no violence, nor any deceit in his mouth,(the thief stated that this man had done no wrong and asked that Jesus take him with Him when He entered into Paradise)

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, (The Lord said, “I lay my life down willingly, only to take it up again!”)

and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering

he will see his offspring and prolong his days, (everyone who gives their life to Christ, “by faith,” becomes a descendant.)

and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied, by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. (The resurrection)

therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.

For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

To think that this prophet had spoken this hundreds of years before Jesus had come to the earth, yet they still did not see it. What a perfect plan.

It was the evening before that the Passover meal had been celebrated with Jesus and his disciples and the moment He was on the cross was when the High Priest was slaughter the lamb on the altar in the Holy of Holies, symbolizing the rite of passage and God had torn the curtain in two making it an acceptable sacrifice. This is when the words were spoken, “It is finished!”

When the person saw Christ hanging on the cross and said, “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” He was speaking in plural terms. The exodus from Egypt. The temple. The cross. It all came together at that one eternal moment on the cross. One sacrifice for all eternity, for all mankind. It is finished!

This is why we can apply the blood of the Lamb to the door post of our hearts, by faith, and the Angel of Death Must Pass Over us upon our death. We our guaranteed life eternal because of the perfect sacrifice! Not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Christ has done for us!

Replacement Theology? Is God Finished With Israel?

Israel, the apple of my eye

Israel, the apple of my eye

Yes, it’s been a teaching going around for some time now. God and Israel are “all washed up.” Because the Jews rejected the Lord, He just took the gentile believers and replaced the Jews.

This is not a new theology. It’s just a new twist on something ancient. Satan always tried to annihilate the nation of Israel in God’s plan. Does anyone remember that even when Christ was entering the world, the plot was to kill all the male children. Herod, was very worried about this new king.

All through the annals of biblical history you can see Satan’s fingerprints and the desire to snuff out God’s covenant. Even as you look at current history you will see it has never stopped. Hitler had his own desire to do this and even when you look at the extreme fringe groups like the ‘skinheads‘ there is always a hatred for the Jews. Why is that? This is itself should be powerful enough evidence that God has a covenant and He will not break it. He cannot deny Himself and He has spoken about Israel and His plan for her.

When the covenant was first given to Abraham, God told him specifically that “all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him.” Well, this is still happening every time we place our faith in Christ. We are inheriting the promises of the covenant formed with Abraham, Isaac and  Jacob. .Isaiah speaks of the “servant of the Lord-to bring back those of Israel(49:5) and “I will also make you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” (49:6)

Now, of course there was a blinding of the Jews. This is why the Gentiles are to be grateful. It was the rejection of the Jews to their own Messiah, Yeshua, that allowed the Gentiles to be inheritors of these blessings.

Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles and he speaks of the ‘ingrafting of the Jews. (Romans 11) Twice he poses the question, “Did God reject His people?” He answers his own question, “By no means!” In verse 11 he asks, “Did they stumble as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!” And this is where we shall see what Paul speaks, “if the natural olive branch was broken off and you though a wild olive branch have been grafted in-do not boast over those branches!” He states that they were broken off because of unbelief and later in verse 23, speaks of God’s ability to ‘graft them back in again.”

So then why should we be grateful to the Jews? It was through them, that Jesus, our Messiah had come. They preserved the words of the prophets and the law for all nations.

God told the gentile church to “provoke the Jew to jealousy.” Not an evil jealousy, but in a way that would make them wonder. How can they know and love our God? They will have a desire to know Him once again, by the faithfulness and love of the Gentile believers.

As Paul states in Romans 1:5, “through Him and for His names sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles.” He declares in verse 16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who  believes, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Jesus Christ, “the King of the Jews.” The prophet Zechariah had spoken of the Gentiles, “taking hold of the Jew by the hem of his robe and say “Let us go with you, because we heard that God is with you. Well, who can deny that when you just look at the supernatural protection that has been given to the nation of Israel.

Jesus Christ is the “King of the Jews This prophet of the Old Testament, also spoke about one of the signs to look for the Messiah, “See your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9

All throughout biblical history we can see the plan and to disregard Israel and say that Christ is your savior, yet Israel has been left out,  is an affront to God. It also brings a curse. “I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you.”Genesis 12:3 It is simply impossible to love Christ and hate the Jew. Israel has been “engraved on the palm of God’s hand.” Isaiah 49:16 The Gentile church did not become the spiritual Israel to replace Gods original covenant. This is a false teaching.

Yes, for years I wondered at the significance of Israel and why Jesus was born a Jew. Not that I was angry, I just wanted to understand the importance of Israel. Then I started to come to an understanding that God had done everything in His word, for a purpose. This includes bringing the savior through the only nation that worshipped Him at that time. He made this covenant for all of us to inherit and as I started to study the festival’s and laws,  instilled by God, I started to see some amazing things.

Jesus said, “learn of me.” When we seek to understand the customs and mindset of the Jewish people of that day, we can read the Bible with a whole new understanding. The festivals of the Lord, were given to “the Jew and the Gentile to celebrate, by God Himself. “(Leviticus 23) Well when you consider that the  ‘Last Supper’ was a Passover Seder, it would make sense to experience a Seder and you will have a whole new understanding of what actually took place at that table. I will save that for another post, however, my point is; we lose a great deal by studying Gods Word with a western mindset.

There is another very fascinating aspect of the Feasts of Israel. God has intrinsically placed His own timetable within these Feasts. Consider the Passover, once again. Jesus was crucified on Passover, just as the High Priest was making sacrifice in the temple, Holy of Holies. This is when the curtain was torn, to symbolize that acceptance of the sacrifice and our new relationship with our God. We could now enter into the most holy place, because Jesus Christ became our High Priest. How much more meaningful is this when we understand what happened in that Jewish temple?

I would challenge anyone that follows Christ, to learn about all of these things and this will enable the Gentile believers to reveal the true Messiah to the Jews and offer more rich meaning to the celebrations of the Feasts. These are for us as well.  He has come and He is coming back again!!!

Is God through with Israel? That is ridiculous. God doesn’t break His word and if He was through with them, He would be through with all of us.  We can see God’s plan started with Israel and in Revelation, it will end with Israel, as the Lord rescues Israel from all of her enemies that will face off against her to make war and try to destroy God’s people one last time.

We must always remember to “pray for the peace of Jersalem,” for in doing so we are praying for ourselves as well.