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Watch 2022 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Jesus and the Tanakh

Rabbi Schneider - Jesus and the Tanakh


Rabbi Schneider - Jesus and the Tanakh
Rabbi Schneider - Jesus and the Tanakh
TOPICS: Isaiah and Messianic Prophecy Season 1, Messianic Prophecy, Jesus, Tanakh

In order to understand messianic prophecy, we have to understand that the declarations that God made over the nation of Israel, although not fully fulfilled by the nation, are fulfilled in the head of the nation, King Jesus Himself. It's important because in some nuances of Messianic prophecy, we see, for example, Matthew, taking scriptures that God spoke about Israel and applying them to Jesus. And if we don't understand what's going on, we'll scratch our head and wonder. Let me give you an example of this. I'm going to take you now to the New Testament. We're going to be looking at the book of Matthew 2:13-15. Hear the Word of God. "Now when they had gone, behold, an of angel the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream".

Now let me set the context here. Joseph and Mary had just given birth to their son Jesus. As soon as Jesus was born, Herod was warned that a King had been born, that a Messiah had been born, and he was threatened. Just as this happened, the same thing happened when Moses was born. Remember when Moses was born, Pharaoh panicked. He heard from the wise men and the magicians that king had been born, and so he ordered the death of the newborn Hebrew children. Same thing is happening when Jesus is born. Why? Because, Listen, Jesus repeats the patterns in Israel's history because Jesus is Israel's divine head. And so the same patterns that Israel as a nation went through, we see Jesus living out in His life because He encompasses the nation.

So once again, even as Pharaoh ordered the death of the firstborn when Moses was born, the same thing is happening now when Jesus is born. Herod the king is ordering the death of the newborn Hebrew children. So it's in that context that we're reading. Let's look again at the Scripture. Matthew 2:13-15. "Now when they had gone, behold, an angel the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up! Take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.' So Joseph got up and took the child and his mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:" Now listen once again. Matthew is writing, "This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet", and then Matthew quotes this section from the Hebrew Bible: "Out of Egypt I called my son".

So I want you to pause with me for a second. Jesus is taken to Egypt to avoid the slaughter of the newborn Hebrew children just as it happened when Moses was born because Jesus is repeating Israel's history. And now when Herod had died, when that king had died, what happens is the angel comes back to Joseph and appears to him and says, "I want you to take the child back to Israel now to fulfill," listen now, "to fulfill what the prophet has spoken". And then he quotes the Hebrew prophet "out of Egypt I called my son". Now, before we look at what section of Scripture Matthew is quoting here when he says that the words of the prophet would be fulfilled, "out of Egypt did I call my son," before we look at what portion of the Hebrew Bible Matthew quoted, I want to share this with you.

When you and I think about prophecy, because remember, Matthew is saying he fulfilled the word of the prophecy here, when you and I generally think about prophecy, we're thinking about predictions. That there was a prediction made in the Old Testament that was fulfilled or will be fulfilled in the future. So generally speaking, when we think of prophecy, we think about a declaration being made, that listen, accurately foretells the future of prophecy about the future. For example, in the book of Daniel, we hear Daniel giving all these prophecies about the end times-what it's going to be like on planet earth during the end. Daniel said, "I saw on a vision," and he said, "and people were traveling to and fro and knowledge had greatly increased".

So Daniel was looking into the future, and he says, "At the end of days, I see this happening". And sure enough, Daniel's prophecy is being fulfilled right now all these years later as people are traveling to and fro by airplane and we're at the age of information, technology, knowledge is vastly increased all over the earth. Daniel talks about certain kings arising. These kings that will arise world powers in the end times. So when we look at the prophecies of Daniel, we're looking for clues as to what's going to happen in the future. But what is interesting and mysterious is that Daniel uses prophecies in a completely different way. Rather than Matthew pulling out sections of Scripture and showing how Jesus fulfilled prediction of that future, instead what Matthew does is he takes Israel's history, he shows us how Jesus relived that history. And in reliving Israel's history, listen now, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy.

So the point that I'm making is that Matthew uses the word "fulfilled," that a prophecy has been fulfilled in Jesus, Matthew uses that word many, many times, not to indicate that somebody in the Hebrew Bible predicted a future event and Jesus fulfilled it. But rather what Matthew does oftentimes is show us how Jesus fulfilled something that God did in ancient Israel by repeating the pattern. For example, once again, the scripture we just looked at, Matthew 2:13-15, "out of Egypt did I call my son". Joseph took Jesus back into Israel from Egypt where Jesus was kept in custody until Herod passed away. Now, where is this Scripture "out of Egypt that I call my son" taken from? It's taken from the book of Hosea. And when we look into the book of Hosea, Hosea 11:1, here's what we read. "When Israel was a youth I loved him," and here we go, "and out of Egypt I called My son".

So when we go to Hosea 11:1 and see how Matthew used it, took it out of Hosea 11:1 to say Jesus fulfilled it, the puzzling thing is that when we go to Hosea and we read that we say to ourselves, "Well, that doesn't look like a prophecy". Because it doesn't look like Hosea is telling us that something is going to be happening in the future. It doesn't look like Hosea is prophesying up future prediction of what's going to happen. Instead, when we go to Hosea 11:1, it just reads, "When Israel was a youth, I loved him out of Egypt I called my son". God is just speaking to Israel's past. It doesn't appear that God is predicting anything about Israel's future. And yet Matthew is saying that Jesus fulfilled it. How did Jesus fulfill it? Jesus fulfilled it, church, beloved ones because Jesus is Israel's divine representative. And the history that Israel went through is climaxed or all summed up, or comes to its head in Jesus.

Now, this is why when we go to the book of Luke chapter 24 we find something taking place that really is a bit mysterious to us. What we find, beloved ones, church, in Luke 24, is this. Jesus' disciples were totally downcast. All they knew was that this one that they left everything to follow, King Jesus, who they thought was the Messiah, all they knew for sure was that he had been crucified. They got the report from Mary and the women that He had appeared to them, but they didn't know for sure. So they're walking on a road to Emmaus, a city about seven miles outside of Jerusalem. And once again, we have to put ourselves in these disciples' place as we go to Luke 24. They really are confused. I mean, they don't know what happened. They thought Jesus was going to lead Israel into freedom. Remember, even though the Jews were living in the land of Israel at the time of Jesus, they were still under, politically, the Roman people.

So the Jewish people thought that the Messiah would free them from the Roman tyranny. And now Jesus had died; it hadn't happened. They didn't know what to think about. They thought maybe the thing that they believed was not true. So they're walking on the road to Emmaus in this mental state of confusion and discouragement. And as they're walking on the road, Jesus appears to them. But when Jesus appeared to them, He appeared to them in a physical form that they didn't recognize. In other words, He looked physically different to them than He looked to them when He was on earth with them. We have to remember Jesus is God in the flesh so He can change forms, right? God is very fluid. We think, for example, the Holy Spirit, in Acts chapter 2, He appeared as a tongue of fire. When Jesus was baptized, He appeared as a dove. We see a rainbow around the glory of the Lord when Ezekiel saw Him. So God could appear any way He wants to.

So it shouldn't be hard for us to imagine and understand that Jesus is able to appear to each one of us in whatever form He desires. So Jesus appears to these disciples of His as they're walking on the road to Emmaus in a physical form that was to them just appeared that it was a stranger. And let's pick up now what happens as I begin to read from Luke chapter 24 beginning in verse 25. Jesus comes up and He said, He says to them... After they were discouraged and speaking all this discouragement about everything, Jesus says this to them, "'O foolish man and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?' Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in the Scriptures". Then continue in verse 45. "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day.'"

So in order for these apostles, these disciples to understand what was in the Old Testament about the Messiah, about the Christ, about Yeshua, about Jesus, in order for them to see it, listen, they had to supernaturally have their minds opened to come into a bigger space of understanding that they had previously been in. Remember, most Jews missed the Messiah's first coming because their understanding of messianic prophecy was very limited. And so what I've just shown you is that we need to understand messianic prophecy not just in the sense of looking for something that a prophet predicted would happen in the future to happen. But we also need to understand messianic prophecy as being fulfilled in Jesus because Jesus, listen now, completes Israel's history by living out the same patterns. And so knowing that now, I want to begin to move towards the book of Isaiah.

As we begin to contemplate Isaiah and messianic prophecy in the book of Isaiah, I want you to understand who Isaiah was. First of all, Isaiah, as we know is a prophet. A prophet is a spokesman for God. In the ancient biblical world, the nation of Israel was ruled by a hierarchy. And the hierarchy was the king, the prophets, and the priest.

Now we know about the king. Israel cried out for a king. Eventually, God gave them a king. We know David was one of the kings. So Israel was ruled by the kings, the prophets who were God's spokesmen, and the priests that mediated between the nation of Israel and God primarily through sacrifices and worship. Isaiah was a unique prophet because many of the prophets they would cry out in the streets and they were really radicals while Isaiah was more sophisticated. He was a statesman. Isaiah actually was living in a very unknowable place, and he served, listen now, under four different kings. The king that Isaiah first started under, and the king that was in kingship when Isaiah got his call to be a prophet was king Uzziah. And we actually read about it in Scripture in the sixth chapter of Isaiah's prophetic work. I want to take you there now because this is really a very powerful portion of the Word of God, how Isaiah encountered Father God in His power and in His glory.

Listen to this section of Scripture. Isaiah 6:1-9. Isaiah is recording: "In the year of king Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of the hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.' And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, 'Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I'm a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, Yahweh of hosts.' Then one of the Seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, 'Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.' Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?'"

And here's Isaiah call. "Then I said, 'Here I am. Send me!'" So after Isaiah has this incredible power encounter with Yahweh, the God of Israel, the Lord says to him, "Whom shall I send"? and Isaiah responds, "Here I am. Send me". When Isaiah received this call, once again, I want you to understand, he was different than many of the other prophets. He was a statesman and he was a scholar. He was very unique. And his prophetic work, the Book of Isaiah, is the longest prophetic work in the entire Word of God in terms of the works of the prophets-66 chapters in the book of Isaiah. The first 39 chapters of the book of Isaiah deal much about God's judgment of the nations and judgment of Israel. The last 27 chapters deal primarily with the Messiah. What He's going to look like. Who He's going to be. Where He's going to come from. What's His ministry going to be like? And the institution of the Messianic age, what will happen on earth when Messiah fully exerts His lordship over the world?

So what we're going to do, beloved ones, as we continue in this series next week, is we're going to dig down deep into the book of Isaiah. You're going to be fascinated by what you're seeing. Many of the Scriptures that you've heard before that have kind of rolled off your back like water off a duck's back, they're going to hit your heart, and I'm telling you, you're going to go deeply grounded into Scripture because of this series. The grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of God abides forever. Even some of the Scriptures, for example, that you, you know, just think about during Christmas like "unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given," you're going to see how many of the Scriptures that you're familiar with actually come from Isaiah.

And when you see them quoted again in the New Testament, you're going to be once again so rooted in the fact that Jesus is the Christ, He is the only way to God. And it's going to help you, listen now, to be a bolder witness. Because when you and I are marked by God, we become bold. And oftentimes the reason people are not bold in their witness of Jesus is because, listen now, they're not fully convinced, they're not fully marked. But as I said to you earlier, beloved, the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword. And I promise you this, next week, God's word is going to go deep into your heart, slice it open by His Divine electricity, and you're going to become more excited about Jesus and more confident in who He is than ever before.

You see, when you are able to put together the Old and New Testaments, like a hand in a glove, you're going to be fully equipped to go forward in your faith in spirit, listen, in truth, and in power. That's why I'm here. This is why the Lord has raised me up for such a time as this, to equip the church to understand the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. Because remember Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, "Woman, salvation is from the Jews". So Father, we just ask you for a spirit of wisdom and revelation as we look deeply into Your Word in the weeks ahead. And I pray, Father, that in Messiah Jew and Gentile would become one as we see that Jesus is the theme of Scripture from the very beginning of the Word of God to the very end of the Word of God. Father, we just want to tell you, thank you for Jesus. We love you today. And I speak this, Father, on behalf of all those that love you. God bless you, beloved ones, and Shalom.
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