A PICTURE OF THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL
by Avram Yehoshua
(Footnotes are in red numbers and their notes appear at the end of the text)
I once 'knew about God' having been born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, but when I was in my early 20's, God didn't have any bearing on my life. Yes, I knew He existed, but I really didn't know Him. Or, at least I thought He existed. Only when I gave myself to Yeshua the Messiah, at 24 years old, did I come to know the Shalom of God, the True Peace of the LORD. What I had always been looking for, 'in all the wrong places but could never put my finger on,' I found in Messiah Yeshua. Only He truly satisfies the heart's longing for God.
Come my friend. I want to introduce you to the Messiah of Israel. The One who has come to not only set you free from sin, guilt and death eternal, but to fill you with His Holy Spirit of Love, Joy and Peace.
You might say to me, 'Avram, I don't want to lose my Jewishness. I was born a Jew and I will die a Jew.' I understand. People tell me that you're either a Jew or a Christian. And the two 'don't mix.' But can you tell me how belief in the Jewish Messiah can make you not Jewish? (There are many Gentiles who tell me that they're Jewish because of their belief in the Jewish Messiah Jesus, nu?)
The Truth is that Yeshua the Messiah will transform you into the Jew you were meant to be. And that when the End comes, you'll gladly take your place alongside Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not for anything you have done, but because of what God has done for you. Yahveh Tzidkaynu. The LORD is our Righteousness.1 And how does the LORD become our Righteousness? Of our own righteousness, Yahveh tells us that the very best we have to offer Him, is as filthy rags.2
I was walking on a street at night once, and happened to notice a bare light bulb in the porch of a house I was passing. You know how something like that can catch your attention, and then looking at it, you're sorry you did, for the light is very glaring. Looking away immediately into the opposite direction, my eyes rested on the outline of a tree across the street, actually the shadow of the tree, on the wall of the building. The tree was about 30 feet from the wall. The shadow was made by the light from the porch. I noticed how perfect the outline of the tree was, to the tiniest branches and limbs. It was winter, and so there were no leaves on it. And I was struck with how awesome our God is. I could tell from the shadow, that it was a tree I was looking at, and not say, a tiger or a car.
The Shadow Pictures
In the Tenah (the Hebrew Bible), there are many such 'shadows' of the Messiah. God has placed them there so that those who have eyes to see, will understand who the Messiah of Israel is. These shadows help us to understand the Heavenly Reality. From these shadows we can describe Who the Messiah would be, what He would do, and how He would be received.
The first shadow that comes to mind is the one found in Micah the Prophet. '...with the rod they will strike on the cheek the Judge of Israel. But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, least to be among the clans of Judah, from you He will come out for Me, to be Ruler in Israel, and His origin is from the ancient past, the days of eternity.'3
Who the Messiah Would Be
Who would be able to strike the Messiah (Judge, Ruler) of Israel upon the cheek with a rod? And more importantly, why would the Messiah allow such a thing to happen? The Prophet Isaiah confirms this when he records about Messiah, 'My back I offered to the ones beating Me and My cheeks to the ones pulling out My beard from my face. And I didn't hide from their mocking and spitting.'4
Before Yeshua was pierced to the tree, to be the Sacrifice that would set us free, He was spit upon, His beard pulled out and His back ripped open with the lash of the Romans. A crown of thorns was forcefully put on His head also, and His face was beaten with a rod.5
It was because of the prophecy of Micah that the Rabbis declared that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the town where King David was born. Yeshua was born in Bethlehem.6 Bethlehem means, 'House of Bread' and Yeshua said that He was the Pure Bread from Heaven. And that any Jew who ate of Him (trusted in Him for Righteousness and Eternal Life), would live forever.7
Since the Messiah would be the Ruler (or King) of Israel, it would be appropriate for Him to have been born in the town of King David. But it's the origin of the Messiah that pinpoints Who He is. The Ruler is said to be 'from the ancient past, the days of eternity.' The word in Hebrew for 'the ancient past' (sometimes translated, 'from of old'), is O|-?'"'I (mih-keh-dem) which literally is 'from the east' but has the connotation of something that existed before the Dawn of Time, from the beginning or 'ancient time.'8 It also describes the Creation.9
The next phrase of Micah, which compliments our first word, is translated, 'the days of eternity' (or, 'from ancient times') and in Hebrew is me-may oh-lam, and is literally, 'from the days of the Distant Past.'10 It has the meaning of, 'forever, everlasting...ancient'11 and means, something that points, 'to what is hidden in the distant future or in the distant past.'12 It is used of Yahveh in Genesis 21:33 as El olam, the Eternal God.'13
What Yahveh is telling us through Micah the Prophet, is that the Ruler of Israel, the Messiah, the Judge, was in existence before He would have offered His face to His tormentors. Way before. Only deity fits that description.14 The use of the same concept twice 'from the ancient past, the days of eternity' signifies that Yahveh is very emphatic about His Messiah being deity.
In Psalm 2 it speaks of the Messiah being the Son of God15 and in Proverbs 30:4 it asks if you know 'His Son's Name.'16 Yes, the Messiah of Israel would be deity, but again, why would deity subject Itself to humiliation and death?
Another shadow comes from the Prophet Zechariah. He tells us that the Messiah of Israel would cleanse us from sin and impurity.17 Most of the Jewish People 2,000 years ago, believed that the Messiah would deliver them from Roman bondage, the way that Moses delivered us from Egyptian bondage. But God threw us a curve ball. God sent the Messiah to give us a new heart, to liberate us from sin within, to deliver us from a bondage much greater than that of Rome's. A bondage to sin and death that we could not change, no matter what we do.
What the Messiah Would Do
What do you have to offer Yahveh in exchange for Him forgiving your sins? Can you offer Him a million dollars? Can you offer Him a life dedicated to doing good? What can you give Him that will make you free from your sin? Acceptable to Him. That on Judgment Day, He would pronounce you, 'righteous.' Can you offer to die for your sin?
Even if you were to give all the money you could ever make and save; do only good all your life, and in the end, offer your life as atonement for your sin, it would not be enough. That's right. All you could ever give and do would not make you like Yahveh. For He is the Holy One of Israel. It is our sin nature that stains and defiles everything we do or say.
Our sin nature makes us enemies of God, even when we strive to be otherwise. Let me give you an illustration. Sin is like iron. You know those metal detectors they have at the airports to keep weapons from entering planes? If you have any kind of metal on you, the alarm will go off and they won't let you through until they find out if you're carrying a weapon or not. When we stand in front of God on Judgment Day, our rebellious heart will be revealed.
It says in the Bible that our God is a consuming Fire.18 Anyone who is not protected from this Fire will be destroyed eternally. The only protection is the Blood of Yeshua. His Sacrificial Death is the only sacrifice that is acceptable to Yahveh for your sins and your sin nature. A nature that immediately consigns us to Hell, for we can not live in the Presence of Yahveh, without being like Him. He is totally different.
So how do we exchange our filthy rags, for God's Righteousness? By trusting in what Yahveh has done, in sending His Son, Yeshua the Messiah, to die for you and me. God's Righteousness is a Gift to us, for no one could do anything to become like Yahveh is. He is Holy.
Only two of the same kind can marry or come together.19 A man could only marry after his own kind; another human being, not a monkey or a sheep, etc. And God can only marry someone like Him. We are the Bride, and He, the Messiah, is the Groom. Is there anything that we could do that could make us to have the same Nature as Yahveh? Nothing. Only Yahveh can transform us into His Nature of deity. And He has chosen to do this through the Blood Sacrifice of His Son, Yeshua. This is the New Creation, the New Heavens and Earth, the New Jerusalem. God dwelling among and within Man, One with Mankind. Hear Oh Israel!
This has been what God's Plan was all along. To be in union with His Creation through the Blood Sacrifice of His Son, that cleanses us and transforms us into His Likeness and Being. Someone that He is able to be One with. Someone He is able to marry. The Rabbis tell us that God married Israel at Sinai, the Covenant or Torah being the Ketubah, the Jewish Wedding Certificate. But this was only a picture shadow of the Marriage of His Son to Israel, both Jew and Gentile, by His Sacrificial Blood.
It was only through the Mosaic Sacrifices that a person could be forgiven of their sin.20 The life of the flesh (of the animal), was given up in response to the sin of the person.21 Yahveh was placing in motion, the picture of what He would have His Messiah to do: to sacrificially lay His Life down and show us His Love. To offer His very Life's Blood for the cleansing of both Jew and Gentile.22 He's wooing you now.
His Blood is what covers us and allows us to be declared, 'Not Guilty,' as to our sins and offenses against Yahveh. But the Power of the Blood of Yeshua does not stop there. In the days of Moses and King David, the sacrifice for sin was effective to the forgiveness of sin. But it did not touch the sin nature. Man's nature remained the same: stubborn and sinful to the core.
The Precious Blood of Yeshua, the Son of God, transforms our very being, our nature, into His. When I stand before my God on Judgment Day, I will know Him as He is, for we will be one. At that time I will be instantly changed into what He is now: the Glorified Son of God. He, who was once dead, is alive forevermore. He has taken upon Himself human nature, that I might be given His Divine nature. And then Man will be what God has always intended Man to be: One with Him, having a Bride who truly loves and cherishes her Husband. The Pure and True Israel of God.
For those who despise what the God of Israel has done in sending His Son, there will be Eternal Death. They will stand before the Messiah, the Judge of the whole Earth23 and realize that their sin nature excludes them from union with God. The Creator can not be in union with sinful, rebellious, stubborn people. He is Holy.
Isaiah writes how we Jews would reject Yeshua 1970 years ago.24 Even though there were tens of thousands of Jews who believed that Yeshua was the Messiah then,25 the nation as a whole rejected Him. Today there are at least two hundred thousand Jews who trust in Yeshua for Righteousness. We have come to know the tender, intimate Love that our God has for us, for He Himself is teaching us who He is.26
How Messiah Would Be Received
Can you see the Picture? The Shadow has become Reality. Yeshua died that humiliating death because that was our punishment. And He gives us His Righteousness because there was no other way for us to obtain it. Come to Messiah Yeshua and know the God of Israel. E mail me and I'll share His Love with you.
1. Jeremiah 23:6: 'In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely. And this is His Name by which He will be called, Yahveh (is) our righteousness.'
2. Isaiah 64:6: 'For all of us have become like one who is unclean. And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment. And all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.'
3. In the Tenah the cite is Micah 4:14b-5:1 and in the Christian Bible; Micah 5:1b-2.
4. Isaiah 50:6
5. Matthew 26:63-28:10
6. Matthew 2:1
7. 'Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has Eternal Life. I am the Bread of Life. Your Fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the Bread which comes down out of Heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the Living Bread that came down out of Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever, and the Bread also, which I will give for the life of the world, is My Flesh.' (John 6:47-51)
8. R. L. Harris, Editor, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol. 2 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 785.
10. Ibid. p. 672-673.
11. Ibid. p. 672.
13. Ibid. p. 673.
14. One might say that angels could fit into that category also, but no angel is ever spoken of as having been from the eternal past.
15. Psalm 2:7: 'I will surely tell of the decree of Yahveh. He said to Me, 'You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.' Psalm 2:12: 'Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way. For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!'
16. Proverbs 30:4: 'Who has ascended into Heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the Earth? What is His Name or His Son's Name? Surely you know!'
17. Zechariah 13:1: 'In that day there will be a Fountain opened for the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and impurity.'
18. Deut. 4:24: 'For Yahveh your God is a consuming Fire, a jealous God.' Hebrews 12:29: 'for our God is a consuming Fire.'
19. Ex. 22:19: 'Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.' Lev. 18:23: 'Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.' Lev. 19:19: 'You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.'
20. Lev. 4:35b: '...Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he will be forgiven.' (See also Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31; 5:6, 13, 18; 6:7)
21. Lev. 17:11: 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.'
22. Isaiah 49:6: 'He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant, to raise up the Tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel. I will also make You a Light of the nations so that My Salvation may reach to the end of the Earth.'
23. John 5:22-27: 'For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the Voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.'
24. Is. 53:1, 3, 8, 10-11: 'Who has believed our message? And to whom has the Arm of Yahveh been revealed?' 'He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.' 'By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?' 'But Yahveh was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief, if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days. And the good pleasure of Yahveh will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied. By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities.'
25. Acts 2:38-41; 21:20ff
26. Jer. 31:34: 'Behold, days are coming,' declares Yahveh, 'when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, not like the Covenant which I made with their Fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My Covenant which they broke, although I was a Husband to them,' declares Yahveh. 'But this is the Covenant which I will make with the House of Israel after those days,' declares Yahveh, 'I will put My Law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My People. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know Yahveh,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' declares Yahveh, 'for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.'
Email Avram — firstname.lastname@example.org
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