‘The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Yeshua.’
— Hitgallut (Revelation) 19:10b
In spite of all of the rebellion against Him, the Lord HaShem has prepared a place in the wilderness for those who love Him. He sent many prophets with words of hope, and so that, even though He would hide His face for a time, they might yet recognise the anointed king of Yisrael when he arrived, through whom HaShem would reconcile the world to Himself, not counting our sins against us (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:19, Romans 4:7-8, Psalms 32:2).
While in exile, Daniel HaNavi (the Prophet Daniel) received word of the coming of the Messiah by the angel Gavriel (Gabriel), as recorded in the 9th chapter of Daniel. A timeline was given from the order to rebuild Yerushalayim at the conclusion of the 70 year exile, after which the Messiah would be cut off and Yerushalayim and the Temple would be destroyed.
‘Seventy sevens are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy. Know, therefore, and understand that from the giving of the word to restore and build Yerushalayim to the coming of an anointed ruler, there shall be seven sevens. Then for sixty-two sevens it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in times of distress. And after the sixty-two sevens, Messiah shall be cut off and be no more. And the people of a ruler who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed.’
— Daniel 9:25-26
As Rashi, the famous medieval Jewish commentator, says, the sevens refer to seven year periods. In other words, there would be 483 years (69 x 7) from the word Nekhemyah (Nehemiah) received from Artakhshaste (Artaxerxes) to rebuild Yerushalayim until the coming of the Messiah, who would be cut off, and before the Second Temple would be destroyed, as it was nearly 2,000 years ago.
For three years before he humbly rode into Yerushalayim on a donkey (cf. Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:1-11, John 12:12-19), Rabbi Yeshua MiNatzerat and his disciples proclaimed the Kingdom of Heaven and taught the people to turn back to HaShem with all their hearts in faithful obedience to His commandments by becoming the disciples of R. Yeshua.
But just as the generation that was delivered from Mitzrayim by Zeroa HaShem failed to receive eyes that see and ears that hear and hearts that understand because of idolatry, the understanding of much of the generation that witnessed the coming of Zeroa HaShem in the flesh also remained darkened, as Yeshayahu HaNavi prophesied.
So it was that the Lord Yeshua taught in parables, as Mattityahu (Matthew) records:
‘Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ And he answered them, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of Malkhut HaShamayim [the Reign / Kingdom of Heaven], but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Yeshayahu is fulfilled that says, ‘You will indeed hear but not understand, and you will indeed see but not perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.’
— Mattityahu 13:10-16
When Yeshua asked his disciples who they believed him to be, Shimon Kefa (Simon Peter) declared him to be the Messiah of HaShem, the Son of the living G-d.
‘And Yeshua answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Shimon bar Yonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven.’
— Mattityahu 16:17
Yeshua, however, charged his disciples not to declare this openly.
‘And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.’
— Mark 8:30
While the Spirit of HaShem graciously revealed the Messiah to those chosen by grace among the Jewish people, including tens of thousands who were all zealous for the Torah (cf. Ma’asim / Acts 21:20), the understanding of the majority of the people remained darkened in order that the purpose of HaShem as declared by His prophets would be fulfilled.
As R. Ammi says, the death of the righteous person atones for sin (Babylonian Talmud, Moed Katan 28a). The death of the ultimate righteous person, therefore, provided the ultimate atonement for sin, of which the angel Gavriel had spoken to Daniel HaNavi.
Likewise Kefa (Peter) later said,
‘Men of Yisrael, hear these words: Yeshua of Nazareth, a man attested to you by G-d with mighty deeds and wonders and signs that G-d did through him in your midst—as you yourselves know—this Yeshua, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of G-d, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.’
— Ma’asim (Acts) 2:22-23
And Shaul later explained,
‘But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of G-d, which G-d decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.’
— 1 Corinthians 2:7-8
When the deliverance from slavery to sin arrived at Yerushalayim—which spiritually is called Egypt (cf. Ezekiel 23:1-4, Galatians 4:25, Revelation 11:8)—in the lowly form R. Yeshua, he was rejected by his people just as Moshe had been rejected by his people when he first visited Yisrael (cf. Exodus 2:11-15, Acts 7:23-29). As a result of this rejection, Yeshua became the ransom for all those who would be reconciled to G-d, the righteous for the unrighteous (cf. 1 Peter 3:18).
To the remnant graciously chosen by G-d from among all nations, therefore, Jew and Gentile together, the Lord Yeshua promises deliverance from slavery as in the Exodus, freedom from the spiritual darkness of the world and the inheritance of the Promised Land—the reward of the Life of the World to Come.
‘So Yeshua said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Avraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?’ Yeshua answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not always remain in the house; the son always remains. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’
— Yokhannan (John) 8:31-36
The great crowd of those who were at Yerushalayim for Pesakh (Passover) and Khag HaMatzot (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) went out to greet Yeshua as he came to the city, having been informed by a crowd of witnesses (cf. Yokhannan 12:17) of the miracle that Yeshua had done in raising his friend Elazar (Lazarus) from the dead (cf. Yokhannan 11). Little did they realize, however, that HaShem’s anointed king must first suffer as the Lamb of G-d.
Yokhannan records the devotion of the Lord Yeshua to HaShem, even to the point of death:
”Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from Heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Yeshua answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. … When Yeshua had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Although he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by Yeshayahu HaNavi might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the Zeroa HaShem been revealed?’ Therefore they could not believe. For Yeshayahu also said, He has ‘blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.’ Yeshayahu said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Perushim [Pharisees] they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from the G-d.’
— Yokhannan 12:27-33,36b-43
Yeshayahu 52 ends in the following way:
‘Behold, My servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and very high. As many were appalled at you—his appearance was so marred beyond human semblance, and his form beyond the children of mankind—thus he shall sprinkle many nations, and kings shall be silenced. For things they had not been told of shall they see, and things which they had not heard shall they understand.’
— Yeshayahu 52:13-15
Early Jewish interpretation of Yeshayahu 52 identifies the servant of HaShem presented at the end of this chapter as the promised Messiah of HaShem:
‘Behold, My servant, the Messiah, shall prosper.’
— Targum Yonatan on Yeshayahu 52:13
Yet, as Yeshayahu foresaw, his words about the Messiah would go largely unbelieved:
‘Who has believed our report? And to whom has Zeroa HaShem been revealed? For he grew up before Him as a young plant, as a root out of a dry ground; without great form or majesty to look upon, without an appearance to draw us to him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrow and acquainted with sickness. Faces hiding from him, he was despised, and we did not esteem him. Surely he has taken our sickness and carried our pain. We thought that he was stricken, smitten by G-d and afflicted, but he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquity. The chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray—a man to his way have we turned—and HaShem has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he held his peace. Like one of the flock that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, he opened not his mouth. From restraint and justice was he taken, and who of his generation considered that he was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? With the wicked and with the rich was a grave assigned to him in his death, although he had done no wrong and no deceit was in his mouth; yet was HaShem pleased to crush him in his weakness: When his soul is made a guilt offering, he shall see what he has planted for long days and the pleasure of HaShem shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the labour of his soul and be satisfied. ‘By his knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquity.’ The spoil shall instead be assigned to him who poured out his soul to the death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many and makes intercession for those who had once rebelled.’
— Yeshayahu 53
As Yokhannan HaMetabel (John the Immerser) had proclaimed about the Lord Yeshua,
‘Behold, the Lamb of G-d, who takes away the sin of the world!’
— Yokhannan (John) 1:29
Behold Zeroa HaShem, who became flesh and dwelt among us!
As Yeshayahu had foreseen nearly eight centuries before, the Lord Yeshua was killed in his innocence in order to bear the sin of the world, a reality foreshadowed in numerous ways in the Torah, but he was also raised from the dead to see the fruit of the labour of his soul, as the Prophets foresaw.
As Yeshua’s emissary wrote to the servants of Yeshua in Corinth,
‘For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Messiah died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Kefa, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to Ya’akov [“James”], then to all the emissaries. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.’
— 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
As King David foresaw, his Lord was taken into Heaven after his resurrection where he sat down at the right hand of G-d (cf. Matthew 26:64, Mark 14:62, Luke 22:69, Hebrews 1:3) until the time appointed for his enemies to be subdued beneath him.
‘HaShem says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
— Tehillim (Psalms) 110:1
It’s fitting that David calls him Lord because, in addition to being the perfect man, who conquered death for all, he was before David, although he came into the world through David (cf. Matthew 22:41-46). And now, at the right hand of HaShem, the Lord Yeshua intercedes on behalf of all those who call upon him (cf. Romans 10:10-13, 1 Corinthians 1:2).
Keeping in mind everything we have heard from the Prophets of HaShem about Zeroa HaShem—through whom HaShem created the Universe, through whom He delivered His people from Mitzrayim, through whom HaShem parted the Sea for the Children of Yisrael, who, at the appointed time, became flesh and grew up before Him as a young plant, as a root out of dry ground without great form or majesty to draw us to him, who was rejected by his people, who was wounded for our transgression, and crushed for our iniquity—Shaul speaks the truth plainly when he writes to the servants of the Lord Yeshua in Philippi.
‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yeshua, who, though he was in the form of a heavenly power, did not count equality with G-d a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the form of a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore the G-d has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua, every knee should bow in Heaven, on the Earth, and under the Earth, and every tongue should confess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord of All, to the glory of G-d, the Father.’
— Philippians 2:5-11
And as Shaul says,
‘But they have not all obeyed the Good News. For Yeshayahu says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?”
— Romans 10:16
But as Shaul says,
‘I ask, then, has the G-d rejected His people? By no means! For I myself am an Yisraeli, a descendant of Avraham; a member of the tribe of Binyamin. The G-d has not rejected His people, whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Eliyahu [Elijah], how he appeals to G-d against Yisrael? ‘Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have demolished Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.’ But what is G-d’s reply to him? ‘I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of deeds, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Yisrael failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, ‘The G-d gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
— Romans 11:1-8, cf. Melakhim Alef (1 Kings) 19:9-18, Yeshayahu 29:9-14
Just as it was in the days of Eliyahu, so it was in the days of Yeshua’s flesh. The very Memra of HaShem became flesh, dwelt among us, and was killed by the corrupt rulers in Jerusalem who refused to submit to the will of their Creator as proclaimed by His servant. Yet tens of thousands among the Jewish people did believe (cf. Ma’asim 21:20), and they were all ‘zealous for the Torah’, just as many faithful Jewish people continue to believe to this day, and increasingly so.
The Lord Yeshua spoke of the reality of the historical tendency toward the persecution of the Prophets of HaShem, as recorded in the Jewish Scriptures, as he came to Yerushalayim, being well-aware of his imminent execution and what would follow.
‘Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim, the city that kills the Prophets and stones those who are sent to it; how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing. Behold, 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 HaShem.”
— Mattityahu (Matthew) 23:37-39, cf. Tehillim (Psalms) 118:26
Just as the judgement of HaShem came on Yisrael in the days of Eliyahu for idolatry and for killing the Prophets of HaShem, so judgement came on Yisrael for killing the Word of HaShem who became flesh, the Lord Yeshua. It is not for nothing that Jewish tradition teaches that it was for baseless hatred that the Second Temple was destroyed (Babylonian Talmud, Yoma 9B).
As Rabbi Yeshua says,
‘Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done among them the deeds that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Torah must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.”
— Yokhannan 15:23-25, cf. Tehillim (Psalms) 35 (v.19), 69 (v.4), 109 (v.3)
Have not the words of these psalms come upon the enemies of the Lord Yeshua? It is not as though the Word of HaShem has failed.
But Shaul continues,
‘So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass, salvation has come to the nations so as to make Yisrael jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the nations, how much more will their full inclusion mean!’
— Romans 11:11-12
Prophetically recording the words of King Messiah, Yeshayahu foresaw that salvation would come to the nations because of what on the surface might appear for a time to some to be the failure of the Lord Yeshua in his attempt at reconciling Yisrael to HaShem.
‘Listen to me, coastlands, and give attention you peoples from far away. HaShem called me from the womb; from the body of my mother, He named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword. In the shadow of His hand He hid me. He made me a polished arrow. In His quiver He hid me away. And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, Yisrael, in whom I will be glorified.’ But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain. I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity. Yet surely my right is with HaShem, and my reward with my G-d.’ And now HaShem says, He who formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Ya’akov back to Him, and that Yisrael might be gathered to Him—for I am honoured in the eyes of HaShem, and my G-d has become my strength—He says, ‘It is too light a thing that you should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Ya’akov and to bring back the preserved of Yisrael. I will make you as a light for the nations, that My salvation may reach to the end of the Earth.’ Thus says HaShem, the Redeemer of Yirael and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by a nation, the servant of rulers: ‘Kings shall see and arise, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of HaShem, Who is faithful, the Holy One of Yisrael, Who has chosen you.”
— Yeshayahu 49:1-7
HaShem likewise speaks to His people of the Messiah, the hope of the nations:
‘Pay attention to Me, My people, and listen to Me, My nation: for Torah shall proceed from Me, and I will make My justice a light for the peoples. My righteousness is near; My salvation has gone forth, and My arms will judge the peoples. The coastlands wait for Me, and in Zero’i [My Arm] will they hope. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the Earth beneath: for the heavens will vanish away like smoke, and the Earth shall wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it shall die in like manner, yet My salvation shall be to the World to Come, and My righteousness will not be undone. Pay attention to Me, you who know righteousness; the people in whose heart is My Torah. Do not fear the reproach of men. Neither be dismayed at their reviling. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool, but My righteousness will endure to the World to Come, and My salvation throughout the generations.’
— Yeshayahu 51:4-8
Just as Messiah Yeshua suffered in the service of HaShem, so have his servants suffered the reproach and reviling of men from the beginning, Jew and Gentile alike, even to the point of death. Yet the hope of the final salvation of Messiah Yeshua—the resurrection, reigning with him in the Messianic Era, and reward of the Life of the World to Come—has remained throughout the generations.
‘Sing to HaShem a new song, for he has done extraordinary things! His Right Hand and Zeroa Kadsho [His Holy Arm] has worked salvation for Him. HaShem has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His kindness and faithfulness to the house of Yisrael. All the ends of the Earth have seen the salvation of our G-d.’
— Tehillim (Psalms) 98:1-3
In fulfilment of this, the Lord Yeshua commissioned his emissaries to make disciples of all nations, and the Good News of the ultimate Salvation of HaShem through His servant who became flesh and dwelt among us is surely known throughout the Earth, and ever increasingly so; more than any other aspect of the history of Yisrael. Today, more than thirty percent of people in the world confess that ‘Yeshua is Lord’, albeit it with varying decrees of understanding.
As the Prophets of HaShem had said he would be, the Messiah was rejected by his brothers according to the flesh for a time—though not all of them—until the fullness of the nations would enter the Kingdom by faith in HaShem through His Anointed King (cf. Romans 11:25). As the Prophets also say, however, King Messiah will be embraced by the remnant of his people. Finally, in the final redemption through Messiah Yeshua at his return, the world will know peace for 1,000 years during the Messianic Era until the World to Come.
Hoshea HaNavi (the Prophet Hosea) says,
‘For a great many days shall the Children of Yisrael be without king and without prince and without sacrifice and without pillar and without ephod and household gods. After this, the Children of Yisrael shall return and seek HaShem their G-d and David their king, and shall fear HaShem and His goodness in the later days.’
— Hoshea 3:4-5
Likewise, Zekharyah HaNavi (the Prophet Zechariah) records,
‘And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, and they shall look to Me because they have pierced him, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and they shall be in bitterness for him as one in bitterness for their firstborn.’
— Zekharyah 12:10
It is a truly blessed generation that is alive today to witness HaShem regathering the Jewish people to the land He promised the Patriarchs, and how blessed we are to be alive to see the veil being removed from blind eyes. The stage is being set for these words to be fulfilled.
As R. Yeshua says to Yerushalayim,
‘See, 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.”
— Mattityahu 23:38-39, cf. Luke 13:35
As the psalm indicates, we will see Messiah Yeshua again once the Third Temple is standing.
‘The stone the builders refused is become the cornerstone. This has been done by HaShem and it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day HaShem has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! ‘Ana HaShem, Hoshia Na! Ana HaShem, HaTzlikhah Na! Blessed is he who comes in the name of HaShem! We bless you from the House of HaShem! HaShem is G-d, and He will be our light! Bind the festal sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar!’
— Tehillim 118:22-27
Let those who look for and earnestly desire the coming of Yeshua therefore work together to see the Temple in Yerushalayim rebuilt soon in our days with the strength that comes from G-d.