DISFIGURED BEYOND MAN
by Avram Yehoshua
(Endnotes in red. Click on the number to go to endnote. Click the BACK button on your browser to return to the article)
When I was growing up in New Jersey, I aspired to be many things. At
first I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I just loved the way the jets
flew. Then I wanted to be a professional baseball player. As I got
older, I thought that I wanted to be a lawyer. I went to college
thinking that I'd go to law school after that. But in my third year
of college, I realized that I didn't want to devote my whole life to
law. It was in Florida, a few years later, that I found out what I
wanted to be. I wanted to be just like the Man, who gave his life for
52:14 Many Were Appalled
'Many were appalled at you, so disfigured beyond man was his
appearance, and his form beyond the sons of men.'
Rabbi Manasseh lived in the 17th century and encapsulates the modern
Jewish interpretation for this verse. He paraphrases it to read that
the people of Israel were the ones who were disfigured, and that the
Gentile nations would be the ones that were appalled at this:
'As many of the nations were astonished at thee, O Israel, saying at
the time of the captivity, 'Truly he is disfigured above all mankind
in his countenance and form'.1
As Delitzsch points out, if Israel was who Isaiah had in mind, the
'you' here ('appalled at you'), would have been in the plural. He
writes 'we should no doubt expect' (ah-lay-hem) 'or' (ah-lay-ich) 'if
the nation were addressed'.2 What we find in Isaiah is the second
person singular, masculine form: (ae-leh-hah), 'at you'. Literally,
the text reads, 'so disfigured from (a) man was his appearance' and
'his form from the sons of man.' The language certainly implies a
human being and not the Jewish nation.
Rabbi Manasseh also states that the Gentiles would 'perceive their
mistake' (at mistreating Israel), and that here in Isaiah, they are
acknowledging 'themselves to be the sinners, and Israel to be
innocent.'3 The problem with this concept being placed here in
Isaiah, is that Israel was not innocent, pure and holy when she were
taken into captivity and thrown off her Land. It was exactly the
The captivity that the rabbi is speaking of was more than 1,500 years
old at the time that he wrote his commentary. Judah had been
destroyed by the Roman Army in 70 C.E. Jerusalem and the Temple had
gone up in smoke and according to Alfred Edersheim, who relies on
what Josephus wrote,
'the city was so upheaved and dug up, that it was difficult to
believe it had ever been inhabited.'4
Why was the restoration taking so long, if Rabbi Manasseh's theory
was correct? Why weren't the Jewish people back in their land, as
with the previous captivity in Babylon when Jeremiah prophesied that
they would be in captivity for only 70 years? 5 Could it be that the
sin of the Jewish people was that much greater than what had sent
them into the Babylonian captivity? To merit that, they had fallen
into idolatry for many centuries before God enacted the threat to
destroy the Land. But in the captivity that Rabbi Manasseh lived
through would last more than 1,800 years. We believe that one of the
reasons why the Jewish people wandered the face of the Earth for more
than 25 times that amount of time of the Babylonian Captivity was
because when Messiah came, the Jewish people, through their leaders,
condemned him to death. Forty years later, Jerusalem and the Temple
were no more.
It would be very hard to believe that the Jewish people were to be
used to atone for the sins of the Gentiles. Aside from not finding
anything within God's Word to verify such a thing, who would atone
for Israel's sins? Any sacrifice to Yahveh must be unblemished, a
symbol of purity, innocence (vs. guilt), and sinlessness:
Deut. 17:1: 'You shall not sacrifice to Yahveh your God an ox or a
sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is an abomination
to Yahveh your God.'
Israel could not say that it was without blemish (i.e. sinless).
Therefore, making Israel to suffer for the sins of the other nations
is not only a fabrication but it also makes Yahveh out to be a
monster. It's bad enough to suffer for one's own sins but to have to
suffer for another's? This teaching punishes Israel for the sins of
the world. There is much conflict between what the ancient Rabbis and
Sages have said about Isaiah 53 speaking of Messiah suffering for the
sins of Israel, and what Rashi, Rabbi Manasseh and others would have
us to believe. We find that the actual removal of sins from Israel,
spoken by the Prophet Jeremiah, comes from God's New Covenant with
'Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new
covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not
according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day
that I took them by the hand to being them out of the land of Egypt;
forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them,
saith the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law
in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will
be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no
more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying:
'Know the LORD'; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them
unto the greatest of the, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their
iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.' (Jer. 31:31-34) 6
Only with the coming of the New Covenant does God say that
forgiveness of sin will come to Israel. Not after the 'captivity'
that Rashi and many millions of Jews experienced. And certainly not
with Israel being used as a 'sacrifice' for the Gentiles, which is
what we will see Rashi present in the main text of Is. 53.
Rabbi Manasseh's theory, that Israel would atone for the sins of the
Gentiles, is fanciful thinking at best. He and Rashi have completely
misinterpreted Isaiah by saying that it speaks of Israel and not
Messiah. Interestingly enough, the verse just before this last quote
from Jeremiah has Yahveh saying that every person will die for their
own sins: 'But every one shall die for his own iniquity'.7 How could
Israel die or suffer for all the Gentiles?
Digressing for a moment, Rashi explains v. 14's 'appearance' by
saying that Israel was 'darker than those of other people', while Ibn
Ezra tells us that many 'wonder about the appearance of the Jew', and
that, 'many gentiles' question whether a Jew 'has a mouth or an
eye.' 8 Rashi's comment relates to the Jews being Sefardi (as was
Rashi). These are Jews who lived in Spain and France but had been in
northern Africa with the Moslems before crossing over the Straits of
Gibralter. They literally had a darker complexion than the Gentile
Spaniards and French. Ibn Ezra's remarks concern Gentile superstition
and prejudice toward the Jew.
Rabbi Yerushalmi, in his current work, unfortunately doesn't deviate
from Rashi, Rabbi Manasseh and Ibn Ezra in his view that Israel is
the Suffering Servant. He states that, 'many shall' 'be stunned by
the Jewish people's ascension'.9
After having been told that this Servant of Yahveh would be exalted
above everyone and everything (52:13), v. 14 tells us that the
Servant would be the object of derision and that his appearance would
be disfigured beyond recognition. It seems that as high as his
exaltation would be, his humiliation and degradation would correspond
to it. King David was humiliated for years and forced to live outside
the society which he loved. He was hunted as a traitor and a criminal
by King Saul. Yet he never took Saul's life when given the
opportunity. Instead, he waited upon Yahveh to deal with Saul, that
he might be exalted in God's time. In this he truly displayed
Messiah-like qualities. Is this not the path that Yeshua took? First
humiliation and then exaltation. He could have destroyed all those
that came against him but he placed his life in his Father's hands.
In relation to the Servant of Yahveh being humiliated and then
exalted, David Baron writes that,
'after what may be called this preface of glory, which tells us at
the very outset what shall be the end of His path of humiliation, the
next verse of this introductory section gives a glimpse of the valley
of sorrow and suffering through which the Servant' 'has first to
emerge - the valley which is, so to say, lengthened out and extended
in the more detailed account of His sufferings in the next
section.'10 (The 'next section' refers to Is. 53:1-12.)
Yeshua was hunted by the religious leaders of his day and finally
murdered by them. They didn't realize that their sins were playing
right into the hands of Yahveh. He had decreed that Messiah would die
for the sins of the people (who would believe in him).
With the words, 'at you' (v. 14, 'Many were appalled at you'), Isaiah
seems to be speaking directly to Messiah as if actually beholding
him. That Isaiah actually saw Messiah should not come as a surprise
to us. He saw Yahveh, 'high and lifted up' (Is. 6), and other
prophets and kings saw Yahveh and Messiah too. 11
The word 'appalled' (sha-mame) means, 'to be astonished, amazed' 12 or
'petrified, by paralyzing astonishment (Lev. 26:32; Ezek. 26:16)',13
'to be thrown by anything into a desolate or bereaved condition'.14
The word for 'disfigured' (mish-hot), means that his 'appearance and
his form were altogether distortion' 'away from men, out beyond men,
i.e., a distortion that destroys all likeness to a man'.15 A more
accurate description of what happened to Yeshua, could not have been
made. His body and face were so distorted and disfigured by the
beatings he received, it was hard to tell if he were even human.
It's one thing to see a movie on Jesus. It's quite another to have
seen what actually happened to him and how badly mauled he was,
before he got to the timber that he was pierced to. The beating and
torture that Messiah received at the hands of the Roman soldiers
before they crucified him is what v. 14 relates to. It was common
Roman practice to take the condemned man and beat him 'almost to
death', and then to crucify him. Many of the condemned men never made
it to the crucifixion, dying of the beatings inflicted upon them
before. Part of that beating was to be scourged with whips. We know
that God forbid that lashes would exceed forty:
'He may beat him forty times but no more, so that he does not beat
him with many more stripes than these and your brother is not
degraded in your eyes.' (Deut. 25:3)
But Rome had no such law limiting the amount of times the condemned
would be whipped. They wanted to degrade the man. Baron states that
the Jewish people who saw this would be dismayed and appalled
'because of the greatness of His suffering, which would cause His
blessed countenance and form' 16 to be totally distorted. The Wycliffe
Bible Commentary affirms this saying:
'This marring of the visage, as we now know, was to be the result of
his maltreatment at the hands of Pilate's soldiers.'17
Of course, the Roman Church (and too many others), conveniently
skipped over this and placed all the blame on the Jews. Baron goes on
to state that the words offered by the prophet picture the amount of
suffering Messiah would go through for Israel:
'By these strong words and expressions the Spirit of God seeks to
give us a glimpse into the depth and intensity of the vicarious
sufferings of our Saviour, and of the greatness of the cost of our
redemption; and as we contemplate this picture of the Man of Sorrows,
with the 'face' which for us was 'marred' more than that of any man,
and with His form bowed and disfigured more than the sons of men, may
our hearts be stirred with shame and sorrow for' our 'sin which was
the cause of it all, and with greater love and undying gratitude to
Him who bore all this for us! 18
How It Happened
Yeshua was betrayed by a follower of his named Judah, into the hands
of the Jewish leadership.19 He was taken to the Sanhedrin, the
highest religious-political institution in the Land. There, after
precursory questioning by the High Priest, who feigned wanting to
know if Yeshua was Messiah or not, he was condemned to death,
blindfolded, spit upon, mocked and goaded, because he told them that
he was Messiah! (Mt. 26:62-66; Lk. 22:66-71) They struck him and
shouted, 'Prophesy! Who hit you?!' (Matthew 26:67; Mark 14:65; Luke
The Jewish leadership then took him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman
governor who ruled in Jerusalem and the land of Judah. Rome allowed
its vassal states a great deal of autonomy in ruling but one thing
they retained was the power over life and death. The Sanhedrin could
condemn Yeshua to death but the judgment couldn't be carried out
without Rome enacting it. Pilate, as governor, exercised 'supreme
authority as representing the emperor.'20
Pilate ordered his Roman soldiers to scourge Yeshua (Mt. 27:26; Mk.
15:15; Jn. 19:1). The whips of the Romans contained 'scorpions'.
These were whips, 'weighted with lead, and studded with sharp-pointed
pieces of bone'.21 Every slash would induce a 'frightful
laceration'22 of the skin. Scourging meant that,
'The victim was stripped and tied over a post, where he was lashed
with a long leather whip in which bits of sharpened bone and pellets
of lead had been secured. Beatings of this nature were extremely
Wherever the lashes landed, his back, arms, side, face and legs, the
scorpions would tear out his flesh and the lead would pound his body.
Only God knows how many times he was lashed. The Romans didn't stop
at forty. 'On some occasions these beatings were so severe that bones
and organs were left exposed'.24 R. T. France writes that the victim
was 'flayed to the bone'.25 Now we can begin to imagine the pain that
Messiah Yeshua went through, how drained he must have been and how
disfigured he looked. This was only the beginning.
After the scourging, the Roman soldiers, which numbered anywhere from
200 to 600, 26 took off his clothes and put a purple robe on him, to
mock him as King of the Jews (Mt. 27:28; Mk. 15:17; Jn. 19:2), purple
being symbolic of kingship. They made a 'crown' of thorns, out of
thin, pliable branches from a tree that grows in Israel, that has
very large thorns on its bark and branches. They put it on his
already bloodied and pummeled head, gave him a staff (mocking a
king's scepter), and kneeling down in mock allegiance, proclaimed
him, 'King of the Jews!' (Mt. 27:29; Mk. 15:17-18; Jn. 19:2-3).
Then they took the staff (reed), 27 which can be described as a cane
or walking stick, 28 and repeatedly beat him on his head (Mt. 27:30;
Mk. 15:19). Isaiah tells us that they also tore out his beard:
'I gave My back to those who strike me and my cheeks to those who
pluck out the beard. I did not cover my face from humiliation and
spitting.' (Is. 50:6)
This meant that his facial flesh would also have been torn from him.
How brutal and devastating this must have been for him. After all
this, they paraded him through the city, and outside the walls, they
crucified him. Completely naked, for humiliation, they pierced his
hands and his feet with nails (spikes), to a wooden post for all the
world to see (Mt. 27:31, 35; Mk. 15:20, 24; Lk. 23:33; Jn. 19:16-18).
Now we can better understand what Isaiah meant when he prophesied of
'Many were appalled at you, so disfigured beyond man was his
appearance, and his form beyond the sons of men.'
Thus, the Messiah of Israel was treated by both Jew and Gentile. Even
his students (disciples), deserted him. Why did God allow His Son to
be so brutally beaten, mocked and humiliated, and pierced to a tree?
Very startling and extremely powerful is the tri-fold symbolism.
The Tri-Fold Symbolism of His Beatings and Death
First, both Jew and Gentile condemned the Son of Man.29 Both were
equally responsible for his beatings and his death. All Jews were
represented by the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Congress made up of priests
and religious leaders). And all Gentiles were represented by Pilate,
Rome's administrative head of Jerusalem. Symbolically, every human
being condemned and had a hand in putting the Son of Man to death.
It's as though all mankind's rage against God, was taken out on God's
Son, Yeshua. Scripture says:
'the reproaches of those who reproach You, have fallen on me.' (Ps. 69:9b)
We were all there, beating him, spitting on him, mocking him,
pounding the nails into his flesh and crucifying him. That's our
nature. It's 'good and evil' and we cannot disassociate ourselves
from the evil. It's intertwined with the good. Our nature hates God
and his Messiah Yeshua (Rom. 8:7). And the sooner we realize this,
the sooner we become aware of the depth of our depravity and the
incredible holy love of our God.
Man has always wanted to be God. The first sin of Adam and Eve reveal
Man's desire to glorify himself above God. Rome occupied the position
of 'god' in Yeshua's day. And to a lesser extent, so too the
Sanhedrin. That's why both Jew and Gentile condemned the Son of God
to death. God the Son had come and they rejected him, for he was not
only 'the competition', he was the Real Thing.
Second, in sublime contrast to Man's rage against God, the torturous
beatings and death to His Son reveal a true life picture of how much
God loves us. What father would offer up his own son, to a mob of
murderers, and forgive them? Yet our Father in Heaven did exactly
this. Abraham offering up his unique son, Isaac, offers us a
foretaste of this divine reality. Abraham revealed that his love for
God was greater than his love for his son. And Isaac revealed that
his love for his father was greater than his love of himself. Both
willingly laid down their lives, their agendas, to obey God (Gen.
22). And God used this to show us how great Abraham and Isaac's love
was. For we, as human beings, can grasp to some degree, the love that
both of those human beings had, and the ordeal they went through, in
order to show their love for God.
Abraham and Isaac were the prototype for our heavenly Father and His
son, Messiah Yeshua. How great is God's love for us? He willingly
gave up His Son and did nothing to stop the brutal beatings. And how
great is Yeshua's love for us, who willingly laid down his life for
us? The beatings and the crucifixion display on the historic stage of
the world, the love of both the Father and the Son for every Jew and
Gentile. It was done so that we could literally see how much our
Father and our Messiah love us.
God's love is further exemplified, how different it is from our love,
with the question: 'How could Yeshua even think of forgiving those
that actually did this to him? In the midst of suffering all this
physical and psychological torture, as they were nailing him to the
tree, Yeshua said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they
are doing' (Luke 23:34).30 Look how this effected the Roman centurion
who watched over the crucifixion site. He said, 'Truly, this was the
Son of God.' (Mt. 27:54; Mk. 15:39).31 This is not human 'goodness'
but a true reflection of God's holy love. This is how much God loves
us. Yeshua voluntarily laid down his life 32 to graphically reveal
God's love for those who hate God (all mankind):
'But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were
yet sinners, Messiah died for us.' (Rom. 5:8)
Oh, the unfathomable love of God for both Jew and Gentile. He sent
His Son to die for us that our sins could be forgiven (the New
Covenant), and our sin nature eradicated and replaced by Messiah's
'He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that
by them you may become partakers of the divine nature'. (2nd Peter
Oh, how great and awesome is our God! His love for us is literally
seen in Messiah Yeshua's brutal beatings and crucifixion! I have been
touched to the core and humbled by this display of love and
forgiveness. What a mighty and awesome God we serve.
And third, Yeshua's brutal beatings, humiliation and crucifixion also
serve as a picture of what awaits those who despise and reject what
the Father has done for them in sending His Son to take their just
punishment. Yeshua was our substitute. What happened to him should
happen to every human being for having a nature that is contrary to
God. Torah states that every one who hangs on a tree is cursed (Deut.
Yeshua was cursed for us so that we would have an opportunity not be
to cursed. What happened to Yeshua is a graphic presentation to both
Jew and Gentile of what eternity in Hell will be like. This is the
warning! If God allowed this to happen to His Son, how much more will
be done to those who despise God's Love and forgiveness in Messiah
The horrendous beatings and the crucifixion of Messiah Yeshua picture
three streams of divine thought. One, Man's rage against God. Two,
God's love for Man, and three, what eternity will be like for those
who spurn the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua, King of the Jews.
Although Israel has suffered cruel beatings and tremendous sufferings
over the centuries, and that unfortunately, much of the time at the
very hands of those who have called themselves Christians,33 'Israel'
should not be read into v. 14. Isaiah 52:14 speaks of Messiah's
savage beatings at the hands of both Jew and Gentile. The ancient
Jewish Sages and Rabbis saw this many years before Rashi changed it.
Their spiritual and Scriptural acumen was accurate. They called
Messiah the Suffering Servant of Yahveh. Rachmiel Frydland writes
'the Talmud, the Targum, the Midrashim, the Zohar and Pesikta Rabbati
recognize a suffering Messiah in fulfillment of Isaiah 53 and other
similar descriptions in the Tanach.'34
Unless we have a good reason to do otherwise, we should interpret it
as the ancient Jewish Sages did, and not assign it to the nation of
Israel, as Rashi and others after him have done. As the full text
unfolds before us, it'll continue to become very evident that Isaiah
is speaking of the person of Messiah, and not the nation of Israel.
Having begun with Messiah's exaltation as the Servant of Yahveh, v.
14 tells us of his complete and total, physical and moral
humiliation. Verse 15 will reveal what his death provides for Israel
and the nations. Sanford Howard tells us that it's a very Jewish
thing to believe in Yeshua our Messiah:
'Among our rabbis today are many pious men, yet they do not study the
prophecies of the Bible and so do not know the truth concerning The
Messiah. Nevertheless, a few rabbis who have studied the Messianic
prophecies have accepted Yeshua as the one and only Jewish
It was 28 years ago that I found out what I wanted to be. Now I'm
calling you to join me. Come! Experience the Joy and Life of
Salvation in Messiah Yeshua. Tell him you want to be just like him.
'Some of our Jewish people have the erroneous idea that if a Jew
accepts Yeshua as The Messiah, he is no longer a Jew. This is not
true! According to the Holy Scriptures, one does not fully know the
joy of being a real Jew until he accepts Yeshua, The Messiah, and
follows all the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.'36
- David Baron, The Servant of Jehovah (Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah
Meshihit; originally published in 1922; 2000), p. 22.
- C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary On The Old Testament:
Isaiah, vol. 7 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2001; originally
published by T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1866-91), p. 501.
- Baron, The Servant of Jehovah, p. 22.
- Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah (Peabody,
MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), p. 772, note 1.
- Jer. 25:11: 'This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and
these nations will serve the King of Babylon seventy years.' Jer.
29:10: 'For thus says Yahveh, 'When seventy years have been completed
for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to
bring you back to this place.'
- The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text, vol. 2
(Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, thirteenth
printing, 1982), p. 1207.
- Ibid. Jer. 31:30.
- Rabbi A. J. Rosenberg, The Book of Isaiah, vol. two (New York: The
Judaica Press, 1995), pp. 422-423.
- Rabbi Shmuel Yerushalmi, Author; Yehoshua Starrett, Translator, The
Book of Yeshayahu (Jerusalem: Moznaim Publishing Corporation, 1999),
- Baron, The Servant of Jehovah, p. 59.
- In Isaiah 6, Isaiah sees Yahveh 'high and lifted up'. King David
saw both Yahveh and Messiah, as related in Psalm 110; 'Yahveh said to
my Lord'. And Daniel (7:13), sees both the Ancient of Days and the
Son of Man (Messiah Yeshua). In 1st Kings 22:19, the prophet Micaiah
relates how he saw Yahveh; etc.
- Benjamin Davidson, The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon
(Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979), p. 725.
- Delitzsch, Commentary On The Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 7, p. 502.
- Baron, The Servant of Jehovah, p. 60.
- Delitzsch, Commentary On The Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 7, p. 502.
- Baron, The Servant of Jehovah, p. 60.
- Charles F. Pfeiffer, Old Testament; Everett F. Harrison, New
Testament, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press,
1977), p. 646.
- Baron, The Servant of Jehovah, pp. 60-61.
- Mt. 26:25, 47-50; Mk. 14:10, 43-46; Lk. 22:3-5, 47-48; Jn. 18:2-3.
- Alexander Balmain Bruce, D.D., Author; W. Robertson Nicoll,
Editor, M. A., LL. D., The Expositor's Greek Testament: The Synoptic
Gospels, vol. one (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), p. 322.
- Marcus Dods, D.D., Author; W. Robertson Nicoll, Editor, M. A., LL.
D., The Expositor's Greek Testament: The Gospel of St. John, vol. one
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002), p. 853.
- Robert H. Mounce, Author; W. Ward Gasque, New Testament Editor,
New International Biblical Commentary: Matthew (Peabody, MA:
Hendrickson Publishers, 1995), p. 256.
- Geoffrey W. Bromiley, General Editor, Everett F. Harrison, Roland
K. Harrison and William Sanford LaSor, Associate Editors, The
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. four (Grand Rapids,
MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979), p. 359. Josephus
BJ ii. 21.5 (612); vi. 5.3 (304).
- R. T. France, M.A., B.D., Ph.D., Author; The Rev. Leon Morris,
M.Sc., M.Th., Ph.D., General Editor, Tyndale New Testament
Commentaries: Matthew (Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press,
2000), p. 393.
- A. Bruce, The Expositor's Greek Testament: The Synoptic Gospels,
vol. one, p. 327.
- Wesley J. Perschbacher, Editor, The New Analytical Greek Lexicon
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publications, 1990), p. 217.
- Ibid. p. 63.
- Long and bitter has been the life of the Jew among the European
'Christian Church' over the last 1500 years. Many Jews have been
murdered, raped and persecuted for being 'Christ killers'. In this,
the Jewish people have identified with their Messiah's sufferings
while the 'Church' has aligned itself with the Accuser (Satan).
- Some think this saying applies only to those Roman soldiers that
actually put the spikes into his hands and his feet while others
think he said it to encompass all that assaulted him that day. Either
way, his love is unique.
- Roman soldiers kept guard over the crucified lest they be taken
down before they died.
- In John 10:18, Yeshua declares that he voluntarily laid his life
down and that 'no one took it' from him. And in Matt. 26:53, he tells
us that he could have stopped the beatings anytime he wanted to: 'Or
do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once
put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?'
- For an overview of Christian persecution of the Jewish people
since the time of Messiah Yeshua, see Max Dimont's, God, Jews and
History. For a heart rendering account of Jewish persecution during
World War One, see S. Ansky's, The Enemy at His Pleasure. It is a
classic. And for an account of the resiliency of the Jewish people in
a fiendish concentration camp, see Treblinka by Jean-Francois
Steiner. One reviewer noted it's 'the most important piece of
Holocaust literature ever written.' We agree.
- Rachmiel Frydland, Author, Elliot Klayman, Editor, What the Rabbis
Know About the Messiah (Cincinnati, OH: Messianic Publishing Company,
1993), p. 54. Also, p. 56, note 24: Sanhedrin 98a.
- Sanford R. Howard, L'Chayim: Finding The Light of Shalom (Thorsby,
AL: Sabbath House, Inc., 1999), p. 220.
Email Avram — firstname.lastname@example.org