Was Yeshua Successful? Part 1

Was Yeshua Successful? Part 1 Rabbi Michael Weiner

Today I want to start a series of posts to answer the question, “Is Yeshua the promised Messiah of Israel?” So I’m going to suspend the series on the Sermon on the Mount, because this series on the deity of Yeshua won’t keep. We will complete the last half of Matthew 7 later.

The subject question demands an answer. Eternal life depends on it. My mother used to ask me, “How could all those rabbis be so wrong, and what makes you think you’re so right?” But they did get it wrong, and I (along with many of you) got it right. It will take us 2 weeks to just scratch the surface.

There are many related questions that will be included in our discussion. How can we be sure we have the truth? Why do we believe what we believe about the Messiah? How did the rabbis miss it? What are the stumbling blocks to faith for Jewish people? So many questions and so little time.

But we do have time. I plan to keep on writing a little something until prompted by the Holy Spirit to move on. Our primary text will be the Hebrew Scriptures themselves. We will use the New Testament as a proof text, but not as a primary text. After all, what text did Yeshua and the Apostles have? That’s right.

And let’s be intellectually honest. Words have meanings, and meanings don’t change depending on who’s speaking. Here’s a message for Jewish people (primarily, but people everywhere in general) … BELIEVE MOSES. My cousin believes the Bible is a history book filled with inaccuracies. I believe it is the inerrant revelation of divine wisdom. Could we possibly be further apart? No wonder I believe Yeshua fulfilled my expectations for the Messiah and she doesn’t, mine are based on Scripture while her’s are not. Simply put, we don’t share the same expectations.

I chose the title question, “Was Yeshua Successful?” on purpose. Measuring success depends on your expectations. Many Jewish people have false (or none at all) expectations for the promised Messiah. If we’re expecting a warrior and we get a lover, we see our lover as a failure. If we are expecting a reigning king and we get a suffering servant, we see our suffering servant as a failure.

The rabbis want to believe that Christianity is the product of a conspiracy theory. They believe the Apostles knew about the Messianic prophesies of the Tanach (Hebrew Scriptures), so they wrote the stories of the New Testament to reflect how Yeshua accomplished what was written about the coming Messiah by the prophets of old. Really? Dozens of people devoting their lives over dozens of years (many of them martyred) all to perpetuate a lie? To believe that exceeds the limits of my faith.

Back in June at Shomair, Ken Fish spoke extensively on the importance of genealogy. If the Messiah has not yet come, how would we prove His genealogy years from now? Genealogical records were lost after the destruction of the second Temple and the dispersion that followed 2,000 years ago. According to Daniel 9 (verses 22-27), the Messiah had to come after the restoration of the second Temple, but before its destruction. Some rabbis agree with this, but sadly (as is frequently the case) the majority have it wrong.

What was Yeshua’s purpose? Here are the first four (of many) that come to mind. We need to agree on these purposes so they can become the measures of His success.

1. Yeshua’s intentions were to bring the kingdom of God back to earth. (It left at the fall of Adam.)

2. He is the image of the invisible God. Since we can’t see God and live, Yeshua came as one of us so we could see the image of God manifest on earth.

3. He came to provide the perfect atonement. His once-for-all-time sacrifice is the perfect life (sinless without spot or wrinkle, which goes back to the Exodus 12:5 Passover lamb) which was freely given for the perfect life lost (in Adam). This is the only way justice could be achieved (a life for a life).

4. Most importantly, He came to set some things in motion that would lead to His eventual victorious return. He taught His disciples what became to be known as “The Way.”

Moses wrote Deuteronomy at the end of his life. Time was short and he had much to say to the children of Israel before he left this earth. This was his admonition … Deuteronomy 18:15 Adonai your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst – from your brothers. To him you must listen. The rabbis believe this is a reference to Joshua, but then, why not just say Joshua? After all, they all knew Joshua.

Moses was not speaking about Joshua. Numbers 12 gives us some insight on what made Moses unlike any other prophet. Numbers 12:6-8 “Hear now My words!” He said. “When there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal Myself in a vision, I speak to him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses. In all My house, he is faithful. I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai!” I believe this is a reference to Yeshua the Messiah, Who was to come 1,500 years later.

Oops, this is getting long. We will take some time to unpack all of this and much more concerning the person of Yeshua. We must embrace the reality of how huge this subject really is. It’s making me feel very small. Let’s pick it again up next time. But before we close for this post, one final comment. Salvation is never a “reasoned and intellectual” experience. It is always a spiritual one. You can’t argue anyone into kingdom of heaven, only pray them in. Please join me in praying for the lost.