Jewish Evangelism – Isaiah 53 – Part 2

Jewish Evangelism – Isaiah 53 – Part 2 Rabbi Michael Weiner

Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, One from whom people hide their faces. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

As I said last time, the rabbis want to make this all about Israel (the Jewish people). They believe it is the Jewish people who are the “man of sorrows.” The problem with every false hermeneutic (explanation of scripture) is that they eventually fail to agree with another part of Scripture.

Rabbi Trail: The classic false hermeneutic is “Replacement Theology” (RT). Scripture cannot disagree with itself. God says … Psalm 105:8-10 He remembers His covenant forever – the word He commanded for a thousand generations – which He made with Abraham, and swore to Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant. Seems rather specific, no? Yes, almost fool-proof! If you are a fool, who believes God is through with Israel (Jewish people), please take offense, then ask yourself why you’re upset. Rabbi’s note: I’m not calling anyone a “fool.” Don’t blame me if you self-identify as a fool. End RN. End RT.

The problem with making the Jewish people the man of sorrows is right there at the end of the verse. “We did not esteem Him.” If the “Him” in that sentence is “the Jewish people,” then who is the “we” in that verse? Are we saying, “We did not esteem ourselves?” Then why doesn’t it say that? There is “we” and there is “Him.” It is dangerous to get them confused.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our pains. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, struck by God, and afflicted.

This brings us to what I’m going to call here “the great paradox” of Jewish evangelism. Simultaneously, Jews have been persecuted for being “Christ killers” and invited to love the One they are falsely accused of killing. For more than 400 years, the inquisition made this bad situation even worse. The inquisition was the systematic persecution, (in many cases, torture unto death) of Jews who HAD accepted Yeshua as their Lord and Savior.

If, after accepting Yeshua, Jews still held on to any vestige of being Jewish such as lighting Shabbat candles, resting on Shabbat or keeping kosher, they were punished for bringing that “heresy” into the church. During the Middle Ages, Jews who made professions of faith were rarely accepted as brothers in Messiah. Rather, they were treated with suspicion and their motives questioned. People who should have been brothers in Messiah asked, “Have you become one of us so you can now take the Holy Communion and continue to torture the body of Christ?” Don’t take my word for it. It is documented historically.

Let’s find the answer to this paradox by sneaking a peak further down in Isaiah 53. We find this truth in Scripture … Isaiah 53:10a Yet it pleased Adonai to bruise Him. He caused Him to suffer. Who really killed the Son of God? Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. It was our transgressions, our iniquities, for our shalom and we are healed. If you want to know who killed the Son of God, look in the mirror and confess it to the Lord. “It was me. You died for me.”

Good message as we approach Passover. I hope there will be more tomorrow.