God has a plan of redemption throughout history. Many passages are about the salvation of humanity, God's covenants, and the Messiah. People dispute which passages are Messianic. For this exploration, we'll only survey prophecies that some Jewish teachers have presented as Messianic. Then, we'll build a profile of the coming Messiah from those prophecies.
Jewish and Christian sources argue whether Isaiah 53 is about Israel or the Messiah. Jewish teachers have done many presentations of Isaiah 53 under the Israel interpretation. We'll do a deep dive into Isaiah 53 by interpreting it as a man (the Messiah). Unlike most Christian presentations, we'll do that interpretation without using the Gospels. We'll simply build a profile of that man.
Then, we will see if anyone in history matches these profiles in their life circumstances, words, character, and power. We'll find that no human could *ever* match those profiles. That will make it more clear that Jesus Christ is both the prophesied Savior of humanity and God in the flesh.
Finally, we'll do a bonus section using God's covenant promises to Israel to argue that He punished them for killing Jesus Christ. That's more evidence Jesus is the Messiah.
God made man to love Him first, each other as ourselves, and reflect His image in all that we did. We turned to sin. In Genesis 3 and 4, we see God's wrath on sin. We also see hope. Before God even punished humanity, He made a promise to save us:
"The LORD God
said to the serpent,
'Because you have done this,
you are cursed above all livestock,
and above every animal of the field.
You shall go on your belly
and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will bruise your head,
and you will bruise his heel.'" (Gen. 3:14-15)
God told the serpent that it would be at war with humanity. Then, the serpent would attack at the heel of Eve's offspring. Yet, her offspring would deal a blow to his head. The offspring that would deliver that blow is the Messiah.
In Gen. 12:1-3, God makes a covenant with Abraham saying all the families on earth will be blessed through him. In Gen. 26:3-4, God tells Isaac the same thing. In Gen. 28:14, God repeats it to Jacob. We see it moving through their bloodline. In Gen. 17:6-7, God tells Abraham nations and kings will come from him through an everlasting covenant. God said their offspring will be numerous like the dust of the earth. Numerous and a blessing to all people.
"I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you. I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him." (Deut. 18:18)
God said He will speak to His people through His prophets. Let's look at what they said about how God will save us.
Sam. 7:1-29, God makes a covenant with David. God will bring
through his bloodline an everlasting kingdom. There will be peace and no
more war. One of David's offspring in his lineage will be the heir. In 1
Chron. 17:11-14, God adds that this person, the Messiah, will be
like a son to God and God will be a Father to him.
"'Behold, the days come,' says the
LORD, 'that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with
the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their
fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the
land of Egypt; which covenant of mine they broke, although I was a husband
to them,' says the LORD. "But this is
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,”
says the LORD: "I will put my law in their inward parts, and I will write
it in their heart. I will be their God, and they shall be my people. They
will no longer each teach his neighbor, and every man teach his brother,
saying, 'Know the LORD;' for they will all know me, from their least to
their greatest," says the LORD: 'for I will forgive their iniquity, and I
will remember their sin no more."
make a new covenant, forgive the people's sin, write His law into
their hearts, and have a personal relationship with each from the
least to greatest.
34, God talks a lot about people who shepherd His people.
Starting in v11, God says He will personally search for His sheep like
a shepherd. In v15, God Himself will be their shepherd. In v23-24, God
will set up a good shepherd from line of David. God and this prince
will rule the people together. This good shepherd is the Messiah.
"I will pour on David’s house, and on the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and
they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for
him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him,
as one grieves for his firstborn. 11 In that day there will be a great
mourning in Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:10)
Zechariah mentions God will give grace to
Israel. They will look to "me" (God). All translations say they'll
"pierce" him somehow. Then, there will be a great mourning like the
mourning over their dead, first-born, and only son. God. Pierced. Sad
like losing an only son. The Messiah will also experience much
"For a child is born to us. A son is given to us; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on David’s throne, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of Armies will perform this." (Isa. 9:6-7)
remnant will return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God."
All of these
describe the Messiah like a great ruler. Two that jump out are
Everlasting Father and Mighty God. Scripture describes God as
"everlasting to everlasting." Maybe God just meant the Messiah would
rule the new kingdom forever. Then, Isaiah calls the Messiah "Mighty
God." Later, Isaiah uses the same phrase, "Mighty God," to refer to
God Himself whom the remnant of Jacob (Israel) will return to.
In God's Word, His
name represents His glory. He keeps saying He does everything "for my
name's sake." In prayers to God,
servants ask Him to have mercy on Israel for His name's sake. Examples:
Sam. 22:22, Psa.
48:11, and Eze.
20:44. God doesn't share His own name with anyone. His proper
name, YHWH, was so sacred that Jews wouldn't even pronounce it. That
God told Isaiah to call the Messiah by His own name, "Mighty God."
This tells us the Savior will be God Himself.
A picture should be coming together in our minds. Here's the Messiah's attributes:
Every great leader God sent, from Abraham to Moses to David, failed to achieve these goals. For forgiveness of sins, no man can accomplish that. The Law demands our sins are paid for with blood, either of the guilty or an innocent sacrifice (eg a lamb). Yet, this Messiah will accomplish all of this. On top of it, Isaiah says His name will be God. It should be clear the Messiah, a Jewish man who does what only God can do, is in fact God coming in the flesh.
This one is special
enough to get its own section. Jewish authors tell me the original
interpretation was that it's about Israel. Other Jewish teachers say
it's about an individual Messiah who will suffer for our sins.
examples such as Rabbi Menachem Brod, Rabbi Moshe
El-Sheikh, and "even the book of Zohar." Those following the Israel interpretation may
never attempted to build a picture of a Messiah out of Isaiah 53. If
it is about a Messiah, would they even know who to look for?
We'll read Isaiah
53 first. This passage is rich in poetic beauty. We'll interpret it as
being about one man, the Messiah. We'll
mostly use what's in this passage. We might draw some context from
other Messianic passages. We'll build a profile of
that Messiah by going line by line. As we do, readers will be able to
ask themselves if any historical figures match that description. Let's
"Who has believed our message?
One more. Malachi 3 says a messenger living in the wilderness will announce his coming, the "LORD" will show up in the temple, the Messiah will purify us of our sins, and all of this is described like it happens together. What's clear here is that there will be two people: a messenger then the Messiah. So, let's add a question: has there ever been a Jewish man shouting in the wilderness that he knows the Messiah? And then the person he said was the Messiah lived a life that fit Isaiah 53? Has there ever been a pair of people like this in Jewish history?
All of this led up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Read it, believe it, receive forgiveness for your sins, and eternal life with Him.If you ask Him humbly, you'll know the Gospel is true when He calls you. If that's still hard, there's pages here with proof.
One more thing a Jewish brother pointed out. God promised in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 to bless Israel's obedience and severely punish their disobedience. His blessings were many: make their crops grow better, their women have kids, their businesses to be prosperous, and they'd defend their land against their enemies. Over time, they'd bless the nations. As promised, God turned them into a large nation whose land God gave them as an inheritance. He always made them prosperous when they followed Him.
God warned them that He'd severely punish the nation for turning away from Him. That would include sickness, violence, lost children, and their businesses evaporating. Their enemies would conquer them. They'd be ejected out of the land He gave them to become slaves or oppressed people in foreign lands. After some time passed, God would relent of disaster and regather His people together. He'd do that for His name's sake in His mercy. As promised, entire generations of Israel endured these punishments for the nation's sins. They were even exiled to foreign lands.
Jesus further warned Israel's leaders that God would curse them if they rejected Him, their Messiah. In Luke 19:43-44, Jesus prophesied that their enemies would surround them, murder them all, and lay waste to their entire city. In Luke 21:20-24, He warned believers to flee the second they see the armies. His prophesy described it like a horror movie who specifics included a cruel fate for nursing infants, people slaughtered by the sword, and people carried off as slaves.
You'd know if Jesus is the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior of humanity by how God reacts to the people who killed him. For the Jewish people, God's covenant has specific promises that will leave us no doubt. If Jesus was a liar, God would probably bless them for killing a blasphemer. If Jesus is God, the punishment God puts on that generation and others following it would be the most severe Israel has ever experienced. What happened?
The Jews killed Jesus. While that generation was alive, the Romans invaded and destroyed Jerusalem. Josephus, a famous Romano-Jewish historian, described what happened. Here's a Jewish copy of his work. Read it for yourself remembering what Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Jesus promised. I'll mention a few things using the article's numbering.
Josephus reported that some fled (422). The Jews refused to surrender. I'll mostly avoid graphic detail for what happened. Those remaining viciously turned on each other (424), starved to death (429), ripped food from the teeth of infants whom they killed (430/433), and something worse like 2 Kings 6:29. When the Roman leader finally broke in, there were already so many decaying bodies that he called God as a witness that he wasn't to blame for what happened there (519).
Thousands died from food due to their gluttony, medical-style procedures due to their greed, and crucifixion when trying to escape. Up to a million may have been killed with almost 100,000 sold into slavery. If not children, the slaves often died as gladiators in the Roman games. Various holy things in the temple were melted, drank, eaten, and so on. The temple and the city were so thoroughly destroyed that archeologists didn't have much to study until only 50 years ago. You'd have to watch a marathon of horror movies to see everything the people of Jerusalem experienced first-hand. Calling it horrific is an understatement.
Afterwards, the Jews were scattered all over the world. People treated them as hated foreigners for over a thousand years. Then, in the 1900's, Adolf Hitler's regime tormented and murdered over six million of them in the Holocaust. Eisenhower wrote that what he saw was so cruel and unprecedented that people might refused to believe it happened. He begged the U.S. and U.K. to send reporters in immediately to collect and publish proof of it all. A while later, God gave Israel back their land.
God punished them with almost two thousand years of suffering, including the Jewish War and the Holocaust. God was angrier than ever at His people starting with the generation that killed Jesus. That punishment is extra proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God, and the Savior of humanity. Also interesting was that God used the top promoter of the Gospel, the United States, to give financial and military aid to Israel. God still uses the United States to export the Gospel, give aid to many nations, and bless Israel. That looks like the Abrahamic and Mosaic promises, too.
Like in the Old Testament, we see that God punishes, but still loves and restores, His disobedient children. In the New Testament, we see that He saves anyone who repents and puts their faith in Jesus Christ. Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews) alike. For God shows no partiality. Accept the Gospel, repent, and put your faith in Christ so that you may be saved!
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