Rabbi Schneider - The End and the Age To Come
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The Hebrew prophets told us in advance, that when Messiah came, he would be a light to the gentiles. Now this might not seem like a big deal to you, but I want you to think about. The Jewish people were very insulated amongst themselves, in fact even today Judaism is a non-proselytizing religion. They're not going out and trying to convert other people to Judaism. They very much are focused on their own relationship with God. They're living the rest of the world to pretty much, you know, do what they want to do, and pursue their spirituality the way that they want to. But the Hebrew prophets told us that when Messiah came, the Messiah of Israel, he would not only be a light to Israel, but that he would be a light to the entire world. The apostle Paul picked up on this theme when he said, "Is God the God of the Jews only"? In other words he's making a point that we need a bigger perspective. The Messiah is not just supposed to be our own, he's the Messiah of everybody.
And so, we get to point number 14: Messiah will be a light and minister to the gentiles. And I want to read for you here what the ancient prophet Isaiah spoke of. Isaiah 60:3 says this, speaking of Messiah, "Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising". So what we're finding is that even though today modern day Judaism does not see some of these mysteries that were hidden in the Hebrew scriptures, like this one, the Hebrew prophets foresaw. In other words the Hebrew prophets foresaw the Messiah would be born from a virgin, the Hebrew prophets foresaw the Messiah's origin would be from eternity. So, the Hebrew prophets saw some of these things, but the wider world of Judaism did not have insight. And so, that still remains today in many of the issues that we're addressing.
For example, today modern day Israel does not believe that when Messiah comes he will actually be God clothed in humanity. They believe there'll just be a man that will turn Jewish people back to the Torah. But that's for another time, I encourage you to read my book "Messianic Prophecy Revealed", when I go into these themes in much greater depth.
So, let me continue here now, and talk with you about how the Brit Chadasha, the New Testament actually picks up on this theme: the Messiah would be a light to the gentiles, and focuses on it. For example, Luke, in Luke 2:32 says, "The Messiah has come, and he is a light of revelation to the gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel". And Paul speaks much about this in his writings, that Messiah's coming into the earth is for the whole world, not for Jewish people only. Who is the Messiah? What would he do what would he look like? Beloved, the Hebrew prophets told us all these things.
Let's go to point number 15 today: the Hebrew prophet spectacularly revealed that Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey. So, we're going to go now to the book of Zechariah, I'm going to be reading now chapter 9:9. Hear the word of the Lord, Zechariah records this, "Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, o daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you: he is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey". Incredibly, this very thing happened, as it was recorded by Matthew, and is celebrated by the church on a day that's often referred to as palm Sunday.
Hear the Word of God as I pick up now in Matthew 21, I'm going to read a little bit of a longer section, verses number one through five, just to show you how specifically Zacharia's prophecy was fulfilled. "When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, 'go to the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her: untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, "The Lord has need of them," and immediately he will send them'. This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: say to the daughter of Zion", and here's the fulfillment right here, "Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden", quoting Zechariah's prophecy, specifically to the word.
And so, the key to understand is that these prophecies in the Hebrew Bible were so particular, and so specific, and Yeshua fulfilled each and every one of these, that I'm proclaiming to you right now: if this doesn't get you excited about Jesus, to love him, to live for him, and to run the race for him, I'm not sure of anything will, I mean this is so incredible.
As we continue down this journey of Messianic prophecy, I want to pick up with Messianic prophecy point number 16: the scriptures revealed to us in the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, the Messiah would be initially rejected by Israel. The fact that Israel has rejected the Messiah shouldn't diminish our faith that Jesus is the Messiah. The fact that Israel initially rejected the Messiah should encourage our faith that Jesus the Messiah, because the Hebrew prophets told us in advance, the Messiah would be rejected by his own people when he came. In other words, for a Jewish believer like myself, I should not be discouraged and doubt my faith in Jesus because the rabbis have rejected him. I should be encouraged in my faith in Jesus, because Isaiah specifically told us that he would be rejected by the traditional Jewish community.
Let's take a look now at just a few of the verses from the most spectacular Messianic prophecy in the entire Hebrew Bible. Isaiah chapter 53, I'm just going to read the first six verses, hear the Word of God. "Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground: he has no stately form of majesty that we should look upon him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and like one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we did not esteem him", he's speaking on behalf of Israel here.
"Surely our griefs he himself bore, and our sorrows he carried: yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities: the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way: but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon him". Of course, this is exactly what happened when Jesus came. The apostle John records for us in John 1:11 these words, "He came to his own", meaning Israel, the Jewish people, "He came to his own, and those who were his own did not receive him".
Even to this very day Yeshua of Nazareth is still being rejected by his own people as the Messiah and the Son of God. But the good news is, beloved, the day is coming, and I'll get to this point shortly, that Israel's eyes will be open, and they will see Yeshua for who he is. But before we jump ahead there, I want to take things chronologically. The Messiah would be rejected by his own people, in fact, when Pilate called for one of the three prisoners to be released, the Jewish leaders convinced the Jewish crowd to cry for Barabbas to be released. And Pilate, trying to save Jesus life, because Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, said, "Well, what about Jesus"? And the Jewish leaders convinced the crowd to cry out, "Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!"
And so, even today this plague is still affecting my own people. They said, "May his own blood be upon us". Fortunately, God is a merciful God, and his plan, and his love for Israel is still intact. We're going to see at the end of the age Israel will find the Messiah that they've searched for, and in tears of remorse they'll recognize that it was Jesus, Jesus, Yeshua of Nazareth, all along.
We actually find in the pages of the Hebrew Bible that Messiah would be crucified. You see, more than any other figure, as I've already stated in this series, Jesus associated himself with David. In the last chapter of the Book of Revelation, Yeshua said, "I am the offspring of David". I'm the descendant of David. The prophets told us that David would shepherd his people at the end of his age. They weren't talking about the David that already come and gone at the time that they wrote, they were talking about Jesus who came in the likeness of David. So, listen what David wrote in Psalm number 22:14-16, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax: it is melted within. Me my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws: and you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me: a band of evil doers has encompassed me: they pierced my hands and my feet".
God, it just pierces my heart just reading it. Of course, this was a prophetic foreshadowing of Yeshua of Nazareth, who would be crucified, who would have his hands and his feet pierced. An amazing illustration of what happened takes place in the gospel of John chapter 20:24-25, where Yeshua after he had risen from the dead appears to his disciples, and Thomas says to him, "Unless I see in his hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe". Yeshua says, "Put your hand in my side. Put your hand in my hand. Put your finger in my palms. I am the one that was crucified, and now behold I'm alive forevermore". Jesus is the Messiah that was crucified for you and for me, and rose from the dead, just as the Hebrew scriptures prophesied.
They prophesied, point number 18, beloved ones, then not only would he be crucified, but they prophesied that Messiah would rise from the dead. And so we read in Psalm number 16:9-10 these words. David is writing here and he says, "Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices: my flesh also will dwell securely. For you will not abandon my soul to sheol: nor will you allow your holy one to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy: in your right hand there are pleasures forevermore". So, David is rejoicing here, knowing that when he dies it's not going to be all over, that his life is not going to end in the grave. He saw that Messiah would rise from the dead, and he had understanding that because Messiah, his Lord would rise from the dead, he would rise from the dead also. David foresaw that Messiah would be the first fruits of those that rise from the dead.
This is all incredible, that the doctrine of the resurrection is not peculiar or particular to the New Testament, beloved, it was already laid in the Hebrew scriptures. In the Book of Acts 2:22 we read this, "Men of Israel", Peter is speaking, "Listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through him in your midst, just as you yourself know - this man, delivered by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of Godless men and put him to death. But God raised him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for him to be held in death's power... This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses".
And as we get to the end of the prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures concerning the Messiah's ministry, we find that Israel, who had first rejected and would eventually be brought to salvation. And so, we read in Zechariah 13:1 these words, "In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity", and in Zechariah 12:10, "I will pour out in the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication, so they will look on me whom they have pierced: and they will mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn".
Paul speaks about this, and he says that even though Israel has a veil over their eyes, so that they're not able to recognize Yeshua during the present time, Paul tells us this in Romans 11:25-27, he says, "For I did not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the gentiles has come in: and so all Israel will be saved: just as it is written, 'the deliverer will come forth from Zion, he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins'".
Not only, beloved, is Messiah going to turn Israel back, he's going to come again. Believe it or not, the Hebrew scriptures talk about the second appearance of Messiah. Daniel tells us this in Daniel 7:13 and 14, "I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and he came up to the ancient of days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away: and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed".
I love Mark chapter 13:24-26, "But in those days, after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory".
Jesus, Jesus, I said Yeshua is coming back. But you know what? I've went through 20 Messianic prophecies so far, and someone may still be doubting. At the end of the day, the only way you're going to know for sure is when God fulfills the Messianic prophecy, that he prophesied when he said, that "If you search for me with all your heart, you're going to find me". Jesus said, "If you'll obey me, you'll know who I am". Beloved, I want to invite you right now to ask Jesus to make himself real to you. This is Rabbi Schneider, saying to you: God bless you. I love you, I hope this helps, and that you'll get my book. God bless you and shalom.