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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - The Gospel According To Moses

Jonathan Bernis - The Gospel According To Moses

Jonathan Bernis - The Gospel According To Moses

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice, and thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis. It's been said that the New Testament is actually concealed in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is revealed to us in the new. In other words, truths are found in the New Testament that can be traced back to the old. Today, my co-host, Ezra Benjamin, and I are going to discuss examples of this, and in particular, Psalm 90 - the Gospel in the Old Testament. It's in there, really. You'll see that today. Ezra, welcome back to the program.

Ezra Benjamin: Thanks, Jonathan. Great to be with you.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, one of our favorite themes, my favorite theme actually, is the Gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. And this idea, I mean, we should unpack that because you could print that on a t-shirt, or post it on Facebook, or Instagram, or whatever. It's a great quote, "The New Testament is concealed in the old, and the old is revealed in the new". But, I mean, sometimes maybe we've gone to church and we've heard, you know - I've even actually heard a major famous pastor say in essence you can rip the Old Testament out of the Bible and just keep the new, and you're still okay 'cause the Gospel's in there.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, the problem with that, Ezra, is that you have no basis for truths that we take for granted in the new, like atonement. Why did Jesus have to die?

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Sin, where's the whole concept of sin come from? Did Jesus reveal to us that sin was separating us from God? No, it was foundational in the Old Testament scriptures - in fact, in the Torah, in the first five books of Moses. In fact, Ezra, his identity as Messiah was confirmed through the Jewish scriptures, through the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: So interesting. Through the prophets, right? I mean, literally hundreds of prophecies about who the Messiah would be - where he would be born, how he would die, why he had to die, and that he wouldn't remain dead, he would actually resurrect.

Jonathan Bernis: And if he didn't fulfill those prophecies, he would not have been the legitimate Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. You know, I'm thinking of, and we said it a few seconds ago, the idea of the Gospel, right? And we think Gospel - New Testament. Law, Old Testament, Gospel, New Testament, but that's faulty, too, isn't it?

Jonathan Bernis: Completely faulty.

Ezra Benjamin: In Greek, the "Evangelion," right? "The proclamation" actually is what the Greek word means. The proclamation of the good news of the Messiah is the Gospel and it's not just a New Testament concept. And Jonathan, I'm thinking of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, 2 Corinthians actually, in chapter 15. It's this great passage. If anybody's going, "Well, what is the Gospel anyway"? Paul is very clear about it.

Jonathan Bernis: A great passage to select. And of course, 1 Corinthians 15 is the definitive teaching on the resurrection.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But the way it begins is what we want to talk about, Ezra, because it makes such a clear statement where Paul is saying in verse 1 - take a look at this. "Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the good news". By the way, that's the Gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Many people don't really know what the Gospel is. I'm curious. Do you really know what the Gospel is? It's okay if you don't, but "The Gospel" is used over and over again, the term, "The Gospel".

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: And it simply means the good news. Well, here's the good news. Paul says, "The good news which I proclaimed to you. You also received it, and you took your stand on it, and by it you are being saved". We could have a whole program on being saved, on having been saved, on will be saved.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Because that's true in every tense. "And by it you are being saved if you hold firm to the word I proclaimed to you - unless you believed without proper consideration". And this is where I want you to really focus, verse 3. Look at this, everyone. "For I also passed on to you first of all what I also received - that Messiah," in other words, Christ. "Christ" comes from "Messiah". "Christ" comes from "Christos," it comes from "Mashiach," Messiah.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, the anointed or chosen one.

Jonathan Bernis: Right, the anointed one. "The Messiah," the anointed one, "Died for our sins". Here's what it goes on to say, though. "According to the scriptures".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: "That he was buried, that he was raised the third day according to the scriptures".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Now, let me just stop there. Twice, "According to the scriptures". What scriptures?

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. Not the rest of the New Testament.

Jonathan Bernis: It couldn't have been because it didn't exist.

Ezra Benjamin: That's exactly right.

Jonathan Bernis: Paul is writing this based on his study of the scriptures. When he says, "This is what I received," he's not only talking about the word that was proclaimed to him after his road to Damascus experience. He's talking about what he received from his own study of the Torah.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Of the prophets, of the writings, of the, what we call in Hebrew the Tanakh, the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: That's the Old Testament, and the Bible repeats this idea, especially in the Book of Acts, that the disciples, the apostles, were continually expounding the Word of God, proving that Yeshua, that Jesus, was the promised Messiah, the anointed one.

Ezra Benjamin: So important.

Jonathan Bernis: Where are they proving it from? Not Galatians.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: They're not proving it from Corinthians. These books didn't exist yet. They were proving it from the Old Testament prophets.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly. And Jonathan, you know, the Corinthians, by and large if not entirely, are not a Jewish audience. These are gentile or non-Jewish people on the other side of the Mediterranean who have come to faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - the Lord.

Jonathan Bernis: Yes, that's absolutely right, and they were not required to become Jews.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: But they were required to study the scriptures, which were at that time the Hebrew writings.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: The Hebrew Bible.

Ezra Benjamin: Because without that they would have no context for what the fullness of the good news actually was.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, the epistles come later. The Gospels come later. The revelation of the New Testament followers of Jesus comes later. They were expounding on studying, adhering to, the Jewish scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: That's exactly right. First century believers understood that the Jewish context wasn't just an accessory, it was essential to an understanding of their faith.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, there's an understanding that I really want to encourage you to consider, and that is that the Old Testament is not supplemental historic knowledge. In other words, we have the revelation of new and we go back to support it in the old. Here's what I want you to consider. The Torah, the prophets, the writings, the Old Testament, is foundational. It's the foundational scripture for the new. The identity of the Messiah is established through the old. The moral laws of God established through the old. The ritual laws of God, such as blood sacrifice, "the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement" - foundational for understanding the new. It's not the other way around. It's not the new that's the basis for our faith and we go back and we supplement it with the old. No, we see the revelation of the old in the new. It's brought to life for us so we fully understand it, but it's foundational. It's resting on the foundation, rather, of the Torah, the writings, the prophets, the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Right, so important. And Jonathan, maybe our audience at home is listening and saying, "okay, I'm with you so far. Messiah, the Christ, died for our sins according to the scriptures. Well, which scriptures?" a very reasonable question. I'm thinking right away of Isaiah 53, a passage that in the synagogues to this day is rarely spoken of, because I think as we look at it through the eyes of faith, it's so clearly pointing to Jesus. The idea of the suffering of the Messiah - I'm looking at Isaiah 53:6, Jonathan. "all we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So Adonai has laid on him," the lamb, the Messiah, "the iniquity of us all." and so, this idea that the Messiah died for our sins according to the scriptures, Paul had to be thinking of passages like Isaiah 53. The prophet Isaiah saw that the Messiah would have to die for our sins.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, so our sins are laid upon him. It's not a New Testament concept. It's a concept that's established in the prophet Isaiah. It's clear in Daniel 9 also, that he would be cut off but not for himself.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: In Daniel 9:24-27, and we're given a timeline for it. It has to be before the destruction of the second temple in 70 a.D. When it says he was cut off, but not for himself, it's talking about being killed, but not for his own iniquity. Ezra, that's the Gospel.

Ezra Benjamin: There it is. And you know, reading ahead in Isaiah 53, Jonathan, right? It says...We're kind of jumping back and forth, but that's the whole idea. That's what Paul's referencing, right? "that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures." that's 1 Corinthians 15:4. Well, where is that? Same passage. Isaiah 53, "his grave was given with the wicked, and by a rich man in his death, though he had done no violence." so, here it is. He's buried, according to the scriptures, but then it says, "yet it pleased Adonai to bruise him. He caused him," the Messiah, "to suffer. If he makes his soul a guilt offering, he will see his offspring, and he will prolong his days." and so, he was raised again according to the scriptures.

Jonathan Bernis: It's all in there. I get so excited because of the detail.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Think of the detail. Not only is he going to die for, that God's gonna lay upon him the iniquity of us all. He's led his lamb to the slaughter.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: But not for himself. We thought he was afflicted by God because of his own behavior, but it's not, clearly laid out in Isaiah 53. And then, he'll die between two sinners.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: And be buried in the tomb of a rich man. Came to pass exactly as it was stated hundreds of years before Jesus was ever born. Hey, we have to take a break just for a moment as our announcer shares information about the resources that we're making available to you this week as you support this ministry. Together through our outreaches, we're making a real difference in the lives of Jewish people and their neighbors in some of the most difficult places on earth. I want to ask you to please consider what you can do today to help us share the good news of the Gospel as we seek to meet the specific needs of scattered Jewish people wherever they are. Please watch this short message and learn how that you can get involved, and Ezra and I will be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back, everyone. Before we get back into our discussion, a really great discussion about the Gospel in the Old Testament and the Old Testament being foundational for the new, I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who are supporting Jewish Voice. We honestly could not do this work without you. You're helping us to make a real difference in the lives of so many, in particular Jewish people that need to hear the Gospel. So, thank you for your generous giving, and especially for joining us as a shalom partner. Your ongoing support to this ministry is so, so valued. So, God bless you. Well, Ezra, we've been... I love this topic.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The foundation of the revelation of God is the Old Testament, and the new is built on the old. It's not the other way around. It's not supplemental history. If you divorce the new from the old, there's not context for Jesus dying for us, or for sin, or for blood. None of it makes any sense.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. And Jonathan, as promised, I want to get to one specific passage that gives us that foundation and that context, and it's Psalm 90. And we know that many of the Psalms, if not most of the Psalms are - you who are very familiar with your Bibles, and we know most of you listening are, it says, "The Psalm of David". But this one, interestingly, Jonathan, says, "A prayer of Moses," the man of God. So, it's actually a song, a Psalm, written by Moses, and you really see the idea of the temporary nature of our life in this body and the eternal nature of a holy God and our status before him, all here in 17 verses in a Psalm.

Jonathan Bernis: It's amazing, and I believe, Ezra, that this is a memorized, just as we have an oral, law - volumes and volumes of oral law.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: This is a prayer of Moses that had been handed down and then codified by David. But this must have been important. Right? It must have been really important. So, this is a prayer of Moses. "Oh Lord, you have been dwelling from generation to generation. Before the mountains were born, you gave birth to the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God"! Then he goes from focusing on God to focusing on mankind. Verse 3, "You turn mankind back to dust". So, we see a finite humanity as a result of the fall.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: "Saying, "Return, children of Adam"! That's interesting. It's not children of Abraham, Ezra.

Ezra Benjamin: In modern Hebrew, actually - you know, ancient Hebrew and modern Hebrew to this day, the way that you say "A person" in Hebrew is, "Ben Adam," a son of Adam. And so, the idea here that in Adam, all eventually return to dust.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, but what's so unique about this is the Psalms repeatedly talk about the God and the people of Israel or Abraham, and here it's all creation. All creation is going to go back to dust. And then, verse 4, "For a thousand years in your sight are like a day just passing by, or like a watch in the night". In other words, life is... I think of the parable of today your life is required of you. It's a flash. It's an instant. It just withers like a flower.

Ezra Benjamin: Exactly.

Jonathan Bernis: Right? And then, verse 5, "You sweep them away in their sleep. In the morning they are sprouting grass - in the morning it flourishes and springs up, but by evening it withers and dries up". This is a theme repeated in the New Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure. The temporary nature of our life in this body, and I'm looking, Jonathan, at verse 8. I already sort of skimmed a little bit ahead here.

Jonathan Bernis: Oh, you're jumping ahead!

Ezra Benjamin: I'm jumping ahead. Right here, an uncomfortable verse, can we say? We encourage you, follow along with us at home. Verse 8 says, "You have set our iniquities," our sins, "Before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence". Whoa. So, not only are we in this temporary body that's gonna return to dust, but in the eyes of a holy God, he sees everything - good, bad, and ugly.

Jonathan Bernis: Right. This is really, really important that sin and life being very short and temporary are concepts that go back to the scriptures and are part of Jewish thinking, but not in the fullness that we find in the Old Testament.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Sin is a choice that can be atoned for with prayer, but not according to the scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Sin is a condition according to the scriptures. This is the Gospel. This is the good news. The good news begins with bad news that all of us have sinned, and that that sin is a condition and it causes our life to wither away in a short time.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, so important, Jonathan.

Jonathan Bernis: In fact, it gives us the time, Ezra. Let me just, and then just jump in. It gives us the specific time. "The span of our years is seventy - or with strength, eighty". Maybe with medications now, ninety. It stretches on, but the idea here is that man was created to live for eternity. Adam, in human form, and you have people living almost a thousand years, and it keeps decreasing, and then it settles here at seventy, if by strength eighty.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Incredible. And you know, looking ahead to verse 12, and this is what really kind of drives the point home for me, right? We have seventy or eighty years, and maybe some of you watching at home are going, "Uh, I'm pushing close to that number. Maybe I'm in that range. Maybe I'm beyond that range". Look at verse 12. "So teach us," and I think this is the prayer of Moses, right? "Teach us, Lord, to number our days". Some versions say to number them or write. "So that we may gain a heart of wisdom". And this idea, Jonathan, right? We're praying for wisdom, and I think foundational to us being wise followers of the Lord is an awareness that our days are numbered and that every one of them matters.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, and then it's a call for repentance in the verses that follow. This is the Gospel in the Old Testament, and that's why I call this, "the Gospel according to Moses," because it's in there and it's about repenting to God, and of course, tying that in with a sacrifice. There has to be a sacrifice because, "the life of the flesh," Leviticus 17:11, "is in the blood, and I have required it to make atonement." so, this is about repentance, this is about recognizing good news, that God really does care and have a plan for us for eternity, but we have to realize that this life is very short and we have to make decisions in this life that determine where we spend eternity. And I just want to urge you, don't wait till tomorrow. This theme is repeated - don't wait till tomorrow. Tomorrow may be too late. With everything that's going on, especially today and with this pandemic and instability, today is the day of your salvation.

Ezra Benjamin: Salvation is, of course, the most important thing, and if you're not there, get there today. Today can be the day of salvation. Jonathan, I'm thinking though of maybe the majority of our audience says, "yes, praise the Lord. I've received Jesus. I know I'm saved. I know I'm going to heaven. But, what now, right? What of the rest of my seventy or eighty years?" and this idea of numbering our days or write, I just - let me encourage you. Let us encourage you at home. If you woke up this morning, it's because the God who knows the number of your days still has things for you to accomplish in your lifetime.

Jonathan Bernis: I feel such a burden right now. I feel such a burden for you. You're in a stall mode right now. I'm speaking to you. Listen to what I'm saying. You're in a stall mode and you're not satisfied. Verse 13, "relent, Adonai! How long? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your love, so that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." some of you are in despair, in depression, in isolation, and this is a cry.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: This is part of the Gospel that you be glad, that you rejoice in him, that you have the satisfaction. Some of you need that satisfaction and I just want to encourage you, seek the Lord. Read Psalm 90. Pray Psalm 90 and speak out gladness, speak out satisfaction. The Lord has a plan for your life. It's not over. If you don't know him, heed the cry of Psalm 90 to know him, to recognize your sin, to repent of that sin if you don't know him. If you do and you're unsatisfied, you need his satisfaction. Oh, God, Ezra, we have a destiny to fulfill.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. Every day counts.

Jonathan Bernis: And God wants you to fulfill that destiny. Today, you need to begin. You're not watching this by accident. Such a burden! Ezra, we have to take a break again so we can share some information about the resources that we're making available this week and opportunities to help those in need. Maybe these are the resources you need to get out of that rut that you're in, so I encourage you to pick up the phone, call, get the resources. Consider becoming a shalom partner today. Your support will make all the difference to those who need to hear about Jesus. You can be part of the solution, and you can be satisfied. He wants to satisfy you. Stay with us. After this short message, Ezra and I want to come back and we want to pray over you. Some of you need prayer, so don't go away, we'll be right back.
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