Category Archives: Jewish

A big, untold story: Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun searching for the Messiah, and for atonement for their sins. The media isn’t reporting this. But it’s worth examining.

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Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Over the past year since the last Day of Atonement, millions of Jews around the world have begun a quest to find the Messiah. Over the past year since the last Day of Atonement, millions of Jews around the world have begun a quest to find the Messiah.

At sundown, we begin Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This is the highest holy day on the Jewish calendar, and one of great Biblical and historic and cultural importance to my people.

I so wish I was home with Lynn and our sons in Israel tonight. Instead, I am in the U.S. speaking at a number of events, from Dallas to San Luis Obispo to Washington, D.C. to Toronto. I am speaking about the darkness that is falling in our world. But I am also explaining to people about a fascinating phenomenon that I’m observing.

Since last Yom Kippur, millions of Jews have begun a quest to find the Messiah. For reasons I cannot fully explain, Jews are suddenly searching for answers to the deepest and most important questions concerning…

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The Suffering Servant

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He became sin for us…so that we might become the righteousness of God.

“The gospel tells us that the Creator has become our Redeemer.  It announces that the Son of God has become man “for us men and for our salvation” and has died on the cross to save us from eternal judgment.  The basic description of the saving death of Christ in the Bible is as a propitiation, that is, as that which quenched God’s wrath against us by obliterating our sins from his sight.  God’s wrath is his righteousness reacting against unrighteousness; it shows itself in retributive justice.  But Jesus Christ has shielded us from the nightmare prospect of retributive justice by becoming our representative substitute, in obedience to his Father’s will, and receiving the wages of our sin in our place.

By this means justice has been done, for the sins of all that will ever be pardoned were judged and punished in the person of God the Son, and it is on this basis that pardon is now offered to us offenders.  Redeeming love and retributive justice joined hands, so to speak, at Calvary, for there God showed himself to be “just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.”

Do you understand this?  If you do, you are now seeing to the very heart of the Christian gospel…”  ~J.I. Packer, Knowing God

 

The Prophecy concerning Jesus as found in Isaiah 52-53:

“Look, my servant will succeed!
He will be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted
(just as many were horrified by the sight of you)
he was so disfigured he no longer looked like a man;

His form was so marred he no longer looked human
so now he will startle many nations.
Kings will be shocked by his exaltation,
for they will witness something unannounced to them,
and they will understand something they had not heard about.

Who would have believed what we just heard?
When was the Lord’s power revealed through him?

He sprouted up like a twig before God,
like a root out of parched soil;
he had no stately form or majesty that might catch our attention,
no special appearance that we should want to follow him.

He was despised and rejected by people,
one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness;
people hid their faces from him;
he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.

But he lifted up our illnesses,
he carried our pain;
even though we thought he was being punished,
attacked by God, and afflicted for something he had done.

He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds,
crushed because of our sins;
he endured punishment that made us well;
because of his wounds we have been healed.

All of us had wandered off like sheep;
each of us had strayed off on his own path,
but the Lord caused the sin of all of us to attack him.

He was treated harshly and afflicted,
but he did not even open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughtering block,
like a sheep silent before her shearers,
he did not even open his mouth.

He was led away after an unjust trial
but who even cared?
Indeed, he was cut off from the land of the living;
because of the rebellion of his own people he was wounded.

They intended to bury him with criminals,
but he ended up in a rich man’s tomb,
because he had committed no violent deeds,
nor had he spoken deceitfully.

Though the Lord desired to crush him and make him ill,
once restitution is made,
he will see descendants and enjoy long life,
and the Lord’s purpose will be accomplished through him.
Having suffered, he will reflect on his work,
he will be satisfied when he understands what he has done.

“My servant will acquit many,
for he carried their sins.
So I will assign him a portion with the multitudes,
he will divide the spoils of victory with the powerful,
because he willingly submitted to death
and was numbered with the rebels,
when he lifted up the sin of many
and intervened on behalf of the rebels.”


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…just as many were horrified by the sight of you…

He was so disfigured He no longer looked like a man;
His form was so marred He no longer looked human
so now He will startle many nations.

 

The revelation of His Story might be right around the corner —
The Suffering Servant will come to earth as The Exalted King!

Will you be found in Christ, alone?

.

.

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My sin — oh the bliss of this glorious thought —
My sin — not in part but the whole —
Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more!

Praise the Lord!
Praise the LORD,
Oh, my soul!!!

The Name of the LORD

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Does a name matter?  When I’m called something other than Michelle, I do not respond.  It is not my identity.  Names are given for the unique individual created…for the personality of the one being named.

Sometimes we do a lousy job of naming our children.  We don’t even give a thought to whom they may be, but to what sounds good to our ears.  Biblical names were not chosen by what would tickle the ear.  Biblical names were given to express the characteristics of the one named.

God revealed Himself through His Name.

The God of the Bible is…

Elohim  —  Our Creator Who said, “Let US make man in OUR image”

El Elyon  —  God Most High

El Shaddai  —  God All-Sufficient

El Roi  —  The God Who Sees

Adonai  —  Lord and Master

Jehovah  —   LORD

Jehovah-Jireh  — The LORD our Provider

Jehovah-Shalom  —  The LORD our Peace

Jehovah-Tsidkenu  —  The LORD our Righteousness

Jehovah-Mekkodishkem  —  The LORD our Sanctification

Jehovah-Rapha  — The LORD our Healer

Oh, so many names — more than I’ve listed — reveal the character and  attributes of our eternal, infinite, transcendent, and HOLY God.

Our God, the God of the Jewish people and the God of the Christian, IS the same God.

That truth offends so many people of both faiths.  But, when we see what scripture teaches, the OLD and NEW Testaments of God, we see Jesus is the Son of the Father, who is in Heaven.  The Great Shepherd who leads His flock to still waters is the Good Shepherd who searches for His lost sheep.  The Rock upon which we stand is the Stone of Stumbling which causes offense.  Our righteousness and our sanctification is found in the Name of the LORD.

The scripture teaches us:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
~Proverbs 18:10

For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
~Psalms 31:3

My God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge,
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior,
You save me from violence.
~2 Samuel 22:3

For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
~Psalms 61:3

When the LORD called Moses to return to Egypt and bring His people out of slavery, Moses questioned God.  He wanted to know by whose name — by whose authority — was he to speak.  We read:

Then Moses said to God,  “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

God said to Moses,  “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

God, furthermore, said to Moses,
“Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel,
‘The LORD,
the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.’
This is My name forever,
and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
~Exodus 3:13-15

God declared the name LORD as His memorial name to all generations.  He is known to ALL GENERATIONS by the name Yahweh.  Such a sacred name that the Jewish people will not speak it.  In English we have given the Hebrew tetragrammaton of YHWH the transliteration of Jehovah.

This is the name Jesus spoke when questioned by the Pharisees.  They became so enraged that they took up stones to kill Him!

Jesus said to them,
“Truly, truly, I say to you,
before Abraham was born,
I am.”
~John 8:58

God is known by His Forever Name — I AM  — to all generations!

Jesus is the Great I AM!  Emmanuel — God With Us!!!

In the Book to the Hebrews we are given this explanation:

Because God’s children are human beings––made of flesh and blood––Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.  We all know that Jesus came to help the descendants of Abraham, not to help the angels. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, His brothers and sisters, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since He Himself has gone through suffering and temptation, He is able to help us when we are being tempted.  Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.  ~Hebrews 2 & 3

 

What is the name of your God?

If you want to serve the God of the Bible,

His name is I AM.

I am the LORD! That is My name!
I will not share My glory with anyone else, or the praise due Me with idols.
~Isaiah 42:8

 

Mysteries Revealed

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God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise;
God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
So that no one might boast in the presence of God.

He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus,
Who became for us wisdom from God,
And righteousness and sanctification and redemption,
In order that, as it is written,
“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
~from 1 Corinthians 1

Know this first of all,
That in the last days mockers will come with their mocking,
Following after their own lusts, and saying,
“Where is the promise of His coming?
For ever since the fathers fell asleep,
All continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”

For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice
That by the word of God the heavens existed long ago
And the earth was formed out of water and by water,
Through which the world at that time was destroyed,
Being flooded with water.

But by His word
The present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire,
Kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved,
That with the Lord one day is like a thousand years,
And a thousand years like one day.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
But is patient toward you,
Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
~from 2 Peter 3

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men:
“See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones
To execute judgment upon all,
And to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds
Which they have done in an ungodly way,
And of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts;
They speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand
By the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ
That they were saying to you,
“In the last time there will be mockers,
Following after their own ungodly lusts.”
These are the ones who cause divisions,
Worldly-minded,
Devoid of the Spirit.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
Praying in the Holy Spirit,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
Waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
~From Jude

Divine Love Came

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I originally posted this in 2007 and then again in 2008…after five years, here it is again!  Hope it speaks to you this season.  Merry Christmas!

About eight pounds of God in the flesh.

What an amazing thought! It seems almost sacrilegious. For many it is so wrong they consider it blasphemy.  But for others of us, it is the whole point of our faith.

Eight pounds of Divine Love came to be a man to dwell among us. To experience human life.  To become like us in all things, so that, at the right point in time, He would completely satisfy His Father’s Law.

Eight pounds of God lying in a cow’s trough in a dirty stable. He left the splendour of His home on high and allowed Himself to become helpless, in need of constant care. He emptied Himself of all His Power to experience our weakness. The essence of God coupled with the weakness of man. It baffles the mind.  It’s too big to comprehend.

But, He did it.

Christmas is the beginning of His story on earth.  Many people stop at that story and never contemplate the other experiences He had while walking among us.  Growing up I would always give myself an “out” for not living up to Jesus’ example. I mean, He was God…of course He could get it right. But, you see, that misses the point.  He was also fully man and had to experience life as a human.

Since we are flesh and blood He partook of the same. “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation”  ~Hebrews 5:8,9

So what, exactly, did He experience besides the stable and the crucifixion?

Before the coldness of that night, the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary and she conceived. Jesus experienced life in the womb and the pains of labor. None of us can remember that experience, but what do you bet, He can? He lived in a poor family.  Turtledoves were offered for the sacrifice when Joseph and Mary presented Him at the temple. A lamb was the usual sacrifice unless it could not be afforded.  He was circumcised as the Abrahamic covenant ordains.

Joseph was a working man, a carpenter. Jesus grew up in a working class family with brothers and sisters. He knew what it was to have to endure siblings and, being the oldest, He probably had to babysit. As was the custom, He would have worked alongside His father as a carpenter. On occassion He must have hit his thumb.

He followed the customs of His time and God’s Law given through Moses. He went to Jerusalem for Passover. Once, at the age of twelve, He stayed behind at the temple. We usually hear that He was there amidst the teachers, both listening and asking questions. The teachers were amazed at His answers. But notice that He worried his parents.  “Son, why have you treated us this way? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you.” He knew what it was to be in subjection to parental authority – even though He knew more than them. How many of us have rebelled, thinking we knew more than our parents? Jesus actually did know more and yet He continued in subjection to them. He continued to grow in wisdom, in stature and in favor with God and man.

At the beginning of His ministry, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. He underwent intense and very personalized temptations. Satan attacked Him at His most vulnerable points. He was hungry, having fasted forty days.  He must have been in pain. I’ve only ever fasted for 24 hours and let me tell you, it was hard!

He chose not to relieve His hunger by turning the stones into bread. He chose not to succumb to the temptation of “showing off” His supernatural powers by having the angels rescue Him. He gave up His chance to escape death and still have all the kingdoms of the world. Satan knew where to “get at” Him – just as he knows our weakest points. Jesus fully experienced temptations as a man.

The prophecy in Isaiah 53 tells us that He was not good-looking. He was not stately or majestic, nothing exceptional that we should notice Him. This one passage speaks volumes to me. I grew up being teased for my freckles and red hair. I felt very plain. The passage goes on to say that He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows (pains) and acquainted with grief (sickness). I live with an illness that causes whole-body pain. When I read this passage it drives home the point that He knows what I’m going through. He totally gets me!

People hid their faces from Him. He was rejected.  His own did not receive Him.  He was slandered. The scribes said He was demon possessed. His family thought He was crazy. His brothers didn’t believe Him and the world hated Him. Have you ever felt any of this? Has this ever been your experience?

He suffered deep grief to the point of death. I have been anxious but, I have never “sweat great drops of blood.”

He prayed and experienced silence from Heaven. I’ve been there.

He was beaten, spit upon, cursed, humiliated and then condemned for something He did not do. His friends all ran away from Him.  They left Him to go through His darkest hours alone. Have you ever felt abandoned, or worse yet, actually been abandoned? He understands.

God became flesh and dwelt among us.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped (utilized or asserted, held onto selfishly) but emptied Himself (put aside His supernatural abilities), taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   ~Philippians 2:5-11

Therefore, since we have so great a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  ~Hebrews 4:14-16

Yes, it’s Christmas…the beginning of His time on earth to experience life in the flesh.

Praise to the Father, the Son was obedient!  Obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason, He is highly exalted!

Wonderful Counselor.

Mighty God.

Prince of Peace.

Everlasting Father.

“It Is My Duty To Speak”

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
~Psalm 122:6

“I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
~God’s covenant promise to Abraham

Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent.
I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn,
And her salvation blazes like a burning torch.
~Isaiah 62:1

I post watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They should keep praying all day and all night.
You who pray to the Lord, don’t be silent!
~Isaiah 62:6

We must not be silent.
And we can never forget.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Forgive Us

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It is our fault.

Christians should be the most loving, caring, forgiving, gracious, merciful, and compassionate people on the earth. 

If we truly believe in Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of God, the Messiah (Christ) who came to forgive the sins of the world and save us as His own…

…then we are to live as He preached. 

Jesus preached Love. 

It’s our fault if, when people think of Christians, they do not think of Love. 

I watched a show on Shalom TV last night:  Repentance.  It struck me hard.  It is a film documenting a movement of repentance in Germany which acknowledges 2,000 years of anti-Semitic Church history that culminated in the Holocaust.  It features Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.

After reading Night by Elie Wiesel years ago, I embarked on a study of his writings.  Seeing his name in the description peaked my interest.  Although I’m only 49 years old and have never been an anti-Semite, I felt compelled to ask God for forgiveness for my ancestors  since I do have some German blood running through my veins.

I don’t really believe it works that way, that I can seek forgiveness for my ancestors.  I do believe we will all stand individually and give an account for the deeds done in the flesh.  However, I feel a deep grief over the 2000 years of Church history.  I feel we have smeared Christ’s name by hateful acts of prejudice toward His people.  And then, I think of all the other people we seem to snub, push aside, act as though we are better than…!!!

What’s wrong with us? 
Do we really believe the words of Christ?
How is it we can be so hateful toward our fellow man and call ourselves Christians?

Christ came to save the lost,
To bind up the wounds of the broken,
To release the chains of the prisoner.

I could get on my soapbox and wax loooong about what we’ve done as Christians, but my point:

We need to apologize.

We need to apologize for the ugly distortion we have taught as Christ followers.

We need to apologize for the evil we’ve done in Christ’s name.

We need to love as He taught us to love the world.

ALL people.

We would not be here, we would not have any of our Christian teachings, if God did not choose the Jewish people through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  They are the People of the Book.  They have kept the sacred text indisputably incorrupt (proven through the Dead Sea Scrolls) for thousands of years.  Our Savior came through this people…and look what we have done in His name…

Please.  Please, accept this heartfelt statement of repentance from one lone girl deep in the heart of Texas.

This act of contrition is not for the Jewish people only, but for all people who have seen and heard an ugly word or action done in the name of Christ.

Please, forgive us.
If you do not see us as a loving people, we are to blame.

It is our fault.
Our Savior didn’t teach us to act this way.