Was Yeshua Successful? Part 3 Rabbi Michael Weiner
I get this question all the time. “Since the Temple is now destroyed (this happened 2,000 years ago in 70AD), how do Jewish people make atonement? The Torah commands the shedding of blood for atonement, but there is no sacrificial system today for the shedding of blood.”
When the Temple was destroyed, it was a catastrophe. The ruling rabbis (those who survived) knew this left them in a terrible situation. There has to be a remedy for sin, a way back to God. To leave every man in a depraved state and deprived of a way to remedy that isolation (being separated from God by sin) was unthinkable and unacceptable.
Rabbi Trail: As Messianic believers, we know that God had given us His Son, the path to redemption, before the destruction of the Temple, but this was of no help to non-believing rabbis. End RT.
The rabbis needed a new sacrifice, one without priests or the blood of animal sacrifices. They latched onto a few verses of Scripture that indicate there is a sacrifice of praise. Here are a few such examples.
Psalm 107:22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with joyful singing.
Psalm 50:23 A sacrifice of praise honors Me, and to the one who orders his way, I will show the salvation of God.
Psalm 141:2 May my prayer be set before You like incense. May the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Rabbi Trail: There is a “sacrifice of praise.” It is the praise we give God even when we don’t feel like it. When facing hardship, we discover how much faith we really have and praise God anyway. That is a “sacrifice of praise.” End RT.
Based on these verses and a few more, the rabbis wrote the Jewish Prayer Book (called a Siddur, which simply means “order,” as it provides the order of every prayer service). The Siddur tells us what to pray and when to pray it. To achieve perfect atonement, one must pray all the prayers at every prescribed occasion with what is called in Hebrew, Kavenah. Kavenah is “intentionality.” It’s not enough to say the words, we have to mean what we say.
However; there is yet another issue that presents a problem to the one intent on achieving salvation by prayer. The rabbis teach correctly that one who sins (violates the law) in any point, violates them all. In other words, sin is sin, and any sin makes everything sinful. 1 John 3:4 Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness – indeed, sin is lawlessness.
Rabbi Trail: Paul said it this way when speaking to those who have fallen away from grace … Galatians 5:9 A little hametz works its way through the whole batch of dough! Hametz is leaven in Hebrew. It is the symbol of sin which puffs up (originates in pride). End RT.
So, salvation by prayer means never missing a commanded prayer (3 times a day, Daniel the prophet had this pattern, Daniel 6:11), and always with intentionality. Although we may have the prayers memorized, but we must never say them as wrote. This raises a question. If we adopt the prayer method for salvation, does this really redeem us from our sin? We agree with the rabbis on this; it is impossible to pray without sinning (missing something)? So then, what is the solution?
The rabbis won’t like my answer. So many Hebrew Scriptures speak of salvation. Next time we’ll look at some of them. The answer is not found in a “what,” it is found in a “Who!” … And if you’re reading this, we both know Who. Please pray that blind eyes will be open to God’s provision for healing the issue of sin. His provision is perfect and eternal, in the person of His only begotten Son, our Savior and Lord, Yeshua HaMashiach. Can we agree on this?