Was Yeshua Successful? Part 2 Rabbi Michael Weiner
Yeshua Himself wept over the blindness of the Jewish people. Luke 19:41-42 As He drew near and saw Jerusalem, He wept over her, saying, “If only you had recognized this day the things that lead to shalom! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Last time, we listed the initial four purposes of Yeshua’s first coming (there are more). Here is His number one purpose, as I stated last time, “Yeshua’s intentions were to bring the kingdom of God back to earth. (It left at the fall of Adam.)” Yeshua is “the Prince of Peace.” His kingdom has been called “the peaceable kingdom” (reference the chorale by the same name by Thompson here www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1gL_4YDyes). Yeshua came to demonstrate and to teach “the things that lead to shalom.”
Israel (as the nation of God, His chosen people) has almost never had a righteous approach to the things of God. Luke 19 is a fulfillment of Jeremiah 8. In verse 23 (at the end of the chapter), Jeremiah (like Yeshua) comes to a fullness of grief (prophetically) over God’s own people who have refused to follow Him. Shortly before that, there is a reference to the fig tree that does not blossom. This is a metaphor of rabbinic Judaism that does not produce the fruit of the kingdom of God. (See also Mark 11:20-26 and Matthew 21:18-22)
But, counter to the teaching of Replacement Theology proponents, that’s NOT the end of the story. It is God’s promise that His people, the nation of Israel, will be restored to the kingdom of God. Jeremiah 30:11 “For I am with you,” declares Adonai, “to save you, for I will make a full end of all the nations where I scatter you. but I will not make a full end of you. For I will discipline you justly, but will not leave you unpunished … 17a For I will restore health to you and will heal you of your wounds.” It is a declaration of Adonai … 18a Thus says Adonai, “Indeed, I will return Jacob’s tents from exile, and have compassion on his dwellings … 25 At that time,” declares Adonai, “I will be God to all families of Israel, and they will be My people.”
Jewish people have always had “Halacha” (the way of walking). Halacha is how we practice God’s commandments. Yeshua came to adjust our understanding of Halacha. Rabbi Michael Rudolph has written extensively (currently writing the 3rd volume) on this from the perspective of the Hebrew Scriptures and now, the New Testament Scriptures, all with Yeshua’s righteous lens. I have Rabbi Rudolph’s permission to invite you to enjoy his work. Go to www.therabbi.com, then click on “Mitzvot in the Tanakh” or “Mitzvot in the New Testament.” This is a monumental and classic work.
There is a big difference between the “old” and “new,” however; as we will see, they are still connected. I have to put “old” and “new” in quotes, because in reality, I don’t believe in old replacing new, but in a continuation or connection from old to new. “New” is something new, but not entirely new. New stands on the foundation of the “old” which is not done away, replaced or retired, but completed through the once-for-all-time atonement of Yeshua.
Hint: The Hebrew Scriptural commandments of the Old Testament required atonement. Violating a commandment is an offense against God. It is rebellion He cannot countenance. The sacrificial system was the corresponding method for atonement. It has now been destroyed.
The “old” was based on a system of continuous sacrifice, which is now impossible, since the destruction of the Temple and the Aaronic priesthood. And, beside that, the sacrifice of animals and other offerings were never intended to be permanent. The “old” is now perfected through the sacrifice of Yeshua which continually and eternally provides us with atonement through His resurrection.
Next time, I’m going to write on how the rabbis explain atonement since we no longer have blood sacrifices or an active priesthood today. Understanding this is a key to explaining why we need our Savior and Lord, Yeshua HaMashiach.