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Isaiah’s Afflicted Angel

January 24th, 2014

I will make mention of the mercies of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us; and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His compassions, and according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He said: ‘Surely, they are My people, children that will not deal falsely’; so He was their Saviour.  In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bore them, and carried them all the days of old.
(Isaiah 63:7-9; Jewish Publication Society, 1917)

This is a picture of God’s relationship with Israel.  Is it not a fitting picture of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?  He is the fulfillment of God’s love to His people.

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Some Words and Thoughts | No Comments »

Days of the Maccabees

December 2nd, 2013

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The week Yeshua (Jesus) was in Jerusalem, prior to his crucifixions, his disciples asked him when he would set up God’s eternal kingdom (Read Matthew 24).  They did not yet understand that he had come, not as the victorious Messiah son of David as promised in passages like Isaiah 9:6-7, but as the Suffering Servant Messiah son of Joseph, as promised in passages like Isaiah 53.

Yeshua warned them that, like the days of Noah, people will not be prepared for its coming (Matthew 24:37).  That is an interesting statement.  After all, Noah was 120 years building the ark, and in that time he surely proclaimed the truth of what God was doing.  The fact is, they just didn’t want to hear it.  The truth is that in the “days of Noah” there were two kinds of people.  God’s people, of whom there were eight, and the people who spurned God and wanted nothing to do with His ways.

This stark contrast is very obvious in the story of Hanukkah.  In those “days of the Maccabees” there were two types of Jews in Israel: Jews like the Maccabees who wanted to follow God, and Jews who wanted to follow the Greek ideals of the empire begun by Alexander the Great.  It was the latter who backed the evil incursions of the Seleucid King, Antiochus Epiphanes, which instigated the Maccabean rebellion and victory that our Hanukkah celebrations commemorate.

The name Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘dedication.’  It is a fitting name, since the festival encapsulates the dedication and faithfulness of God’s people in the face of great persecution, as well as the dedication of God to His faithful people.

Are we not living in “days of the Maccabees” now?  Do not the words of the Apostle Paul, quoted in the passage above, ring true with regard to the world we live in today?  We live in a very pagan world, where the idea of a God who created and loves is unpopular and often denigrated.  His expectations are spurned and ignored.

Like those days, God’s people are called to be perseverant in their dedication and faithfulness to Him.  Why?  We do so because he continues to be dedicated and faithful to His followers.   Time and again He has shown his faithfulness, just as He did for the Maccabees and their followers – the followers of God.

No greater evidence is there than His faithfulness on the Cross.  He promised a deliverer in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) and He provided that deliver as we see evidenced in the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament).  That deliver is Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).

Don’t take my word for it.  Read the Tanakh and the B’rit Hadashah and see if it is not so.  We would be happy to send you both.  Just contact us; we would also be happy to answer any of your questions.

Hag Hanukkah Sameach!

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Daniel Muller, Evangelism, Following God, Israel, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jews and Jesus, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Serving God, The Bible | No Comments »

Have you kissed the Son?

November 26th, 2013

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalms 2:12; English Standard Version)

Do homage in purity, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way, when suddenly His wrath is kindled. Happy are all they that take refuge in Him. (Psalms 2:12; Jewish Publication Society)

A quick perusal of this verse in the two versions will show that there is some disagreement here.  But, why?

The phrase under debate is the Hebrew words that can be transliterated in English as neeshku-var.  The Hebrew word nshk, can mean “kiss” or “paying homage.”  Var is the Aramaic word for “son.”  So why has the JPS translated it, “do homage in purity?”

Although this is the tradition of some Medieval Jewish sages, there are notable exceptions, such as Ibn Ezra, and the Radak.  The Zohar also speaks of this verse, understanding the word as son.  More importantly, the Talmud recognizes this psalm as Messianic, and speaking in relationship to both Messiah son of Joseph (i.e. Yeshua or Jesus), and Messiah son of David (b. Sukkah 52a).

Already in Psalm 2 we are asked why the world rebels against the Lord and His Anointed (v.1). Later in the psalm God calls this anointed his Son whom He has begotten (v. 7).  So in the words of Michael Brown, to whom I am indebted for the information in this article*, “Why then should it be considered odd that the psalm would close with a twofold admonition, namely, to ‘serve the Lord with fear’ and ‘kiss the son?’”

Where traditional Jewish interpreters vary, they are required to say that the word as written is not quite correct, and that it represents a different word (like the Hebrew word for “purity” which is very similar).  As demonstrated above, however, that is not necessary.

Who is right?  Those who take the words as they are written and translate them within the context of the Psalm; or those who –  disregarding what is written both in the Scriptural text and even, at times, in rabbinic tradition – translate according to their own idea of what they want Scripture to say.

Sadly, many (happily not all) passages in Scripture that point to Yeshua as Messiah are treated this way. Still, more Jewish people are coming to “kiss the Son” today than since the time of Yeshua.  Why not listen to God and do the same?

Please contact us for more information, or you can click here.

* For a more detailed discussion on this passage, read “Answering Jewish Objections of Jesus: Volume Three – Messianic Prophecy Objections,” by Michael Brown.  2003.  Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Following God, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jewish Tradition, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Talmud vs. Tanakh, The Bible, Things Doctrinal and Theological | No Comments »

A Tale of Two Messiahs

August 30th, 2013

IN THE DAYS OF YESHUA (JESUS), THE RABBIS RECOGNIZED TWO MESSIAHS

We know this from Talmud (traditions of the rabbis codified between the 2nd & 6th Centuries).

Victorious King Messiah – Moshiach ben Daveed ( Messiah son of David)

1.     Isaiah 27:13 –come at the blast of the shofar (the rams horn), when God promises that all of Israel will be redeemed and returned to the land.
2.     Psalm 2 – This is the conquering king Messiah
3.     Isaiah 9 – the one who would have the government upon his shoulders, and who would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

But the rabbis recognized another picture of messiah –

Suffering Servant Messiah – Moshiach ben Yosef (Messiah son of Joseph) – also called the Leprous Messiah (Sanhedrin 98b; quoting Isaiah 53:4)

1.     Isaiah 53 – This is the suffering servant passage: would suffer for our transgression (v. 5); upon whom our iniquities would be placed (vs. 5,6); would become an asham (guilt offering) for the atonement of the people’s sins (v. 10); he would be cut off from the land of the living (v.8), Isaiah tells us, but will then see the light of life (i.e. be resurrected; v. 10).
2.     Zechariah 9:9 – lowly and riding on a donkey.
3.     Psalm 22 – cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1), and suffer the anguish the psalmist writes of.

So if the rabbis had an understanding of these two pictures of Messiah:

  • Why were they unable to see Jesus for who he was?
  • Why did they miss him?
  • Why, in fact, did they do the very thing that God, through Isaiah, foretold in chapter 53 –despise him, reject him, and esteem him not?

You see the rabbis at that time reasoned in this way:

  • If Israel were righteous, then would come the Moshiach ben Daveed – the Conquering King Messiah – at the blast of the ram’s horn, on a white horse coming down from the clouds.  And he would bring Israel once again to prominence and bring peace to the whole world.
  • However, if Israel were unrighteous, then would come the Mochiach ben Yosef – the Suffering Servant Messiah – who would come humbly – lowly and riding on a donkey  A Messiah who would suffer for us and bear our sins. 

MISTAKEN IDENTITY: JESUS OUT OF CONTEXT

So if the Jewish scholars and sages knew both pictures of Messiah, why did they miss him?

Well, remember that since the return of the exiles, the religious Jew of his day considered himself doing all he could to be right with God.

  • He had all the Pharisaical traditions to follow.
  • He went to the temple regularly with his sacrifice.
  • He gave to the poor.
  • He fasted.
  • He did all the right things!

So did he think Israel was righteous, or unrighteous?  Righteous, of course.

So what Messiah was he expecting?  The Victorious King of course!

And that is the point!

  • For centuries, the people saw in their mind the Conquering King Messiah coming.
    • Another Judah Maccabee.
  • This was the expectation of the people because they believed themselves to be righteous.
  • So they refused to recognize the Suffering Servant Messiah when he came.

This is why Jesus says in John 5:45-47:

“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.  For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Jesus and the Jewish leaders were reading the same Scriptures!  But Yeshua could see what the leaders would not.  Many leaders did come to faith, like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (see John 19:38-39).  Most did not.  Those that didn’t led the rest of Israel on the wrong path.

  • When the temple (the center of the sacrificial system by which Israel and Israelites could have atonement) is destroyed, then the question came:  how now can the Jewish people atone for their sins?
  • Then the Jewish leaders made new rules:
    • rules that took the temple out of the equation
    • rules that determined other means of atonement.

And so, by the 5th Century, when the Talmud was finally codified:

  • there was a whole system of law that included atonement for sin
  • but not by the standard of God (i.e. not through the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant Messiah, Yeshua)

My friend, Yeshua is not the Messiah of the Gentiles but the Messiah of Israel.  If you want to enter into the Olam Habah (to have eternal life with God our Father), you must believe in Him!

Contact us, and let us tell you how.  We would be happy to give you, free of charge, a book that tells you how twelve rabbis did just that.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Identity, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Resurrection, Salvation, Talmud vs. Tanakh | No Comments »

Don’t Be Blinded!

April 5th, 2013

“Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.’”(Matthew 24:1-2)

Yeshua (Jesus) is here speaking about the events that would occur in 40 years: the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  He had just finished condemning the Jewish religious leaders in Matthew 23 where he calls them blind guides.  It is passages like these that cause many Jewish leaders today to call the Gospel of Matthew anti-Semitic.

Let us consider the source and the result, however.  Matthew, a Jewish disciple of Yeshua is writing about what his Jewish rabbi said.  This rabbis is, among other things, a prophet.  That Yeshua is truly a prophet we can determine by the result that what he said came to pass.  Consider how often the prophets condemned the Israelite leaders, both kings and priests, because they were disobedient to God (see also Is the New Testament Anti-Semitic?).

Yeshua was not happy about that which was to take place; indeed he had just lamented over Israel and their inability to see the deliverance he brought for them (Matthew 23:37).  He knew God’s will, and declared it, just as the prophets of old.

The truth is that if Yeshua was a prophet as promised in the Torah (Deuteronomy 18:18), then he was also the Messiah and he was also God.

  • He was the Messiah as promised by Hebrew Scriptures (Isaiah 9:1-6; Isaiah 53),
    • and as a prophet of God he proclaimed this to be so (John 4:25-26).
  • He was God, as the prophets proclaimed he would be (Isaiah 9:6; Jeremiah 23:6; Malachi 3:1),
    • and as a prophet of God he proclaimed this to be so (Mark 3:11-12; Luke 4:41; John 1:49-51, 8:58 (claiming God’s name given to Moses in Exodus 3:14).

If what he said about the temple was true, then why should it surprise us that all the rest is true.  And if Israel had been blinded by their leaders before about the nature of God and His plans, why should we not be prepared for the same today?

Don’t be blinded by the traditions of men and be destroyed.  Come to the Word of God and the Son of God and be saved for eternal life!

“Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”(Matthew 15:14)

Please contact us for more information!

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish Objections to Jesus, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, The Bible | No Comments »

PASSOVER: Clean Home and Clean Heart

March 27th, 2013

There’s something so attractive about ‘clean’!  It feels so good to be welcomed into a home that is warm, inviting and clean. It’s so invigorating to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

The town where I live has been known for its clean water, apparently among the best in Canada. Recently for the first time, we’ve had chlorine added – permanently. It’s been a disappointing change. Now pure, clean water has become a precious commodity. Of course, there are places in this world where people are sick and dying from lack of a clean water supply. So this morning I’ve been reflecting on how grateful I am for clean air, clean water, clean clothes, a clean home – and most of all a clean heart.

A clean heart?  What is that supposed to mean?

In Exodus, Moses passes on God’s instructions for the Passover:  “Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory” (Exodus 13:7). To this day Jewish homes are cleansed of all leavened products in preparation for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Why? Leaven is a symbol of sin. (See article “Why Matzah?”)

As we begin to know the Lord by studying His Word, we see that He is always more concerned about the inside of a person’s life and heart than what is apparent on the outside. When God was about to choose a king for Israel, He said to the prophet Samuel, “…Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature … For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God was seeking a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). God chose David as King, and David reigned for a long time (2 Samuel 5:4-5).

Only God knows our hearts, and He wants to be with those whose hearts are clean (1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 17:10). King David wrote, “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully”  (Psalm 24:3,4).

But who has never sinned against God?  Who has never chosen his own way over God’s way? Not a single person is righteous, for we have all turned to our own way (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 53:6). Even what we consider to be righteous deeds are unclean to the Lord by His standards, unless our hearts are pure before Him (Isaiah 64:6).

So who then can stand before God?

That is the amazing beauty of the Passover!

God Himself made a way for us to be acceptable in His sight. In the Exodus from Egypt, the lamb was His Passover (Exodus 12:11). Only the lamb could appease God at that time. The blood of the lamb diverted God’s wrath away from those who applied the blood to the entrance of their homes and kept them sheltered by the blood until morning (Exodus 12:7,13,22,23). Those who didn’t, lost their firstborn on that terrible night.

And now we have the perspective of history unfolded. The Passover lamb was a picture foreshadowing the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Our prophet Isaiah described this Lamb of God, our Messiah, hundreds of years before Jesus came into this world (Isaiah 53:3-11). Now our Passover has been sacrificed for us, once forever, to cleanse us always from sin, guilt and shame to serve the living God (I Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 9:14; 10:14)!

Our Lamb of God is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah,  the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 5:5; 22:16). He who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood is coming again. Then every eye shall see Him, every knee shall bow before Him, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Revelation 1:5-7; Philippians 2:9-11).

In the meantime, let’s give praise to God for our Passover Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who alone can make our hearts clean (Revelation 13:8). Hallelujah, what a Saviour – what a Messiah!

Contributed by Cynthia Sugar, a Jewish believer in Jesus.

Posted in Cynthia Sugar, Following God, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Jewish Tradition, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Salvation, The Bible | No Comments »

PASSOVER: Exemplifying God’s love and mercy.

March 25th, 2013

In designing and instituting the Passover, God displayed His passion to save us, His power to overcome evil and His provision of a way of escape from judgment (Exodus 12).

Why did He do it? Because He loves us passionately to the point of sacrificial love, and because He wants our lives to reflect who He is (Isaiah 43:21; Hosea 14:4; Ephesians 1:6).

The Passover is a picture of a greater salvation, not only for Israel, but for everyone. God knew from the beginning of time that we would separate ourselves from Him (Isaiah 59:2) and that we would need a Saviour from spiritual darkness, from evil, and from our own wayward bent. So He created a plan to rescue us. Yeshua’s (Jesus’) sacrifice for us on the cross is so significant that it marks the division of all time:  the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) looks forward to it and the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) looks back at it. Our Messiah-Redeemer has come and one day He’s returning in power and glory.

Today we need God’s intervention again: on a personal level from our own sin and self-centeredness and on a national level for the protection and deliverance of Israel from those bent on her destruction.

As you celebrate Passover this year, worship the living God, the God of Israel, the Creator and Saviour of the world.  After all, the God of the Passover is the God of the Cross (Exodus 12:7,13; 1 Corinthians 5:7,8).  He is the same yesterday, today and forever (John 8:58; Hebrews 13:8). He is the mighty God, merciful and awesome in judgment.

May we humble ourselves before Him and be ready to meet Him face to face.

Contributed by Cynthia Sugar, a Jewish believer in Jesus.

Posted in Cynthia Sugar, Jewish festivals, Jewish holidays, Knowing God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Redemption, Salvation | No Comments »

Coming Out of the Bushes

February 13th, 2013

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
(Genesis 3:9-10)

In Genesis Chapter 3, which relates the fall of Adam and Eve, three things are obvious:

  1. Through the temptation of the serpent, our first parents rebelled against God by eating the fruit forbidden to them – breaking the only rule that was given them to obey.
  2. By eating of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, the relationship between each other and between them and God seemed irrevocably disjointed.
  3. Though they deserved the death promised to them by God for their disobedience, they did not die.  God was gracious to them so that, even though there were consequences for their actions, they were not utterly destroyed.

The Genesis 3 account is one, therefore, of both regret and hope.  Regret at paradise lost, and hope for a future promised.  For here in Genesis 3 we have the first of the messianic promises found in the Word of God when the Lord  curses Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”  (Genesis 3:15).

This was fulfilled with the coming of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ).  When he was hung upon the cross, sinless though he was, Satan bruised the heel of the offspring of Eve.  And when he died upon that cross, the offspring bruised his head.

There is one element of this story that is often overlooked, but is implicitly obvious from our passage above.  When God came to call Adam and Eve out, Adam came out of the bushes.

You see they had hid themselves from God in fear.  When God called Adam out, he might have tried to hide further but he did not.  He came forward and confessed – not a great confession – but a start.

God is calling us to come out of the bushes; to recognize our rebelliousness against him.  He has also given us a means to reconcile ourselves to Him: Yeshua (Jesus).

Come out of the bushes!  Perhaps you’re not sure of the consequences.  That’s ok – come out!  It’s a start.

Contact us to find out more.

 

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Following God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | No Comments »

Some Words and Thoughts

January 14th, 2013

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And 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 at God.
(Exodus 3:1-6)

Some things to note:

  1. We are told that it is the Angel of the Lord who appears as a flame in the bush.
  2. Moses is commanded to take his sandals off his feet because the ground is holy. 
  3. The Angel of the Lord then introduces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  4. Verse 6 clearly tells us that Moses assumed he was in the very presence of God.

What can we conclude?  The Angel of the Lord is God.  Now look at all the places where we see the Angel of the Lord and see how he is juxtaposed with the identity of God: Genesis 16:6-13; Genesis 22:10-18; Numbers 22:21-35; Judges 2:1-5; Judges 6:22-23; Judges 13:21-22; 1 Chronicles 21:15-17.

If the Angel of the Lord is an expression of God on earth, then it makes sense of this verse from the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament):

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
(John 1:17-18)

Is it possible that the Angel of the Lord was the Second Person of a tri-une Godhead, finding His ultimate expression in the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)?  It certainly makes sense of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures)!

Posted in Anonymous, Biblical Interpretation, Knowing God, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, Some Words and Thoughts, The Bible | No Comments »

The Branch, the King and the Priest

January 11th, 2013

And the word of the LORD came to me: “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”‘ And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah. “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”
(Zechariah 6:9-15)

God is painting here a prophetic picture through the prophet Zechariah, who ministered to Israel during the return from Babylonian captivity of some of the exiles.  He takes the High Priest Yehoshua (Joshua; in Ezra he is referred to as Yeshua, the same Hebrew name as Jesus), and he tells us that he is a symbol of something to come.  This High Priest is symbolized as the Branch (also in Zechariah 3:8), a messianic symbol that we find as early as Isaiah 11:1, Isaiah writing in the 8th Century B.C.E.

And this branch according to our passage, shall be a priest on the throne.  There’s a problem though!  According to the Mosaic Covenant, The High Priest was of the tribe of Levi (the first High Priest Aaron being of that tribe), and the king and the Messiah from the tribe of Judah.  So how is this possible?  Only if the Messiah were not of the Priesthood of Aaron; only if he was not a priest within the context of the covenant made on Mount Sinai, is this possible.

The prophetic symbolism used here of the High Priest Yeshua in the time of Zechariah some 2,400 years ago, is fulfilled  by the High Priest Yeshua, who lived, ministered, died and was then resurrected some 2,000 years ago.  He is the fulfillment of God’s messianic promise of an eternal throne for David, and an eternal priesthood.

That is why King David writes prophetically that:

The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
(Psalms 110:1-4)

That’s why the writer of the book of the B’rit Hadashah (New Testament) called Hebrews can say:

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
(Hebrews 6:19-20)

The writer goes on to explain this in Hebrews 7:1-10.

Once again we can see that the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) only makes sense in light of the Good News that Yeshua was Messiah in fulfillment of it, as illuminated in the B’rit Hadashah.  Faith in Yeshua is the continuation of the faith in God expressed to the nation of Israel in the Tanakh.  Won’t you be a part of the faithful?

Please contact us if you want to know more, or if you would like a copy of the B’rit Hadashah.

Contributed by Daniel Muller, a Jewish believer and the General Director of New Covenant Forum.

Posted in Biblical Interpretation, Daniel Muller, Israel, Jesus and Israel, Jesus and Jews, Jews and Jesus, Messiah, Messiah in the Tanach, The Bible, Things Doctrinal and Theological | No Comments »

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