Rabbi Schneider - The Final Atonement
As we begin, I want you to consider Yeshua's words at the end of the book of Luke, as he was ministering to his disciples. I want to go first of all to the 24th chapter of the book of Luke. As we enter into this 24th chapter of Luke, we find a scenario where Yeshua's disciples were completely discouraged. Now let's think about this. They had left everything to follow Jesus, remember they were fishermen. They left their occupation, they left everything that they were doing, because they believed that Yeshua truly was the Messiah. They thought He would come and liberate the Jewish people, many. They were just expecting the kingdom of God to break in upon the earth in such a way that everything would radically change on the surface. They had such incredible expectations about the kingdom of God breaking into the earth through Messiah Jesus. And yet in the middle of their expectations, what happened? Jesus gets crucified.
I mean it turned their world upside down, they didn't know what side was up and what side was down. They had been completely deflated. And while they're in this emotional discouraged, confused state, they're walking down a road to a city called Emmaus and they're probably just looking down at the ground. And their head is spinning and they're talking. Again, just full of chaos. They don't know what in the world just happened. And as they're walking, the scripture says, Jesus approached them on the road. And yet Yeshua approached them with a physical form that was different then the form of Jesus that they knew when they were walking with Him upon the earth. In other words, Jesus came and approached them, but He looked physically, completely different to them. In other words, rather than His hair being this color, His hair was a little bit different color; rather than His eyes being this color, His eyes were a little bit different color. He looked like a different person.
You ask, how could that be? Listen, God says this, "Is anything impossible with the Lord"? All things are possible with God, I mean He created the universe. So Jesus approaches them, they didn't know it was Jesus. And Yeshua, He kind of plays like He doesn't know what's going on. He says to them, "What's wrong guys? Why are you so discouraged"? And they look at Him like He's meshuga, like He's nuts. They said, "Don't you know what just happened? That this One that we were so excited about, everybody had heard of Him, Yeshua of Nazareth, we thought He was the Messiah, His name spread all over Jerusalem and yet they crucified Him". And Yeshua is acting like, "Oh tell Me about it". And so they're continuing on the journey and Jesus lets them talk for a little bit and then notice what Jesus does. I'm reading now from the book of Luke chapter 24 verse 25. "Then Jesus said to them, 'O foolish men 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". And then He opened their eyes and they recognized Him.
We find a similar incident taking place at the end of the book of Luke, where the disciples were fishing. I mean again, their world is still spinning. They're trying to put it all together. Remember Peter betrayed Jesus, Peter said he didn't know Him. And so they are still floundering. Jesus approaches them once again at the end of the book of Luke. Listen to what He says, verse 46. "It is written, that the Christ would suffer and again rise from the dead on the third day". And He prefaced that by saying, "Now He said to them, 'These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you'". Listen now, "'That all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms, must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures".
So Yeshua Himself, right here in these two examples, beloved church, is claiming to be the fulfillment of what I am calling Biblical Judaism. In both of these instances, beloved ones, that we just looked at, Jesus said, "Did you not read the scriptures"? What scriptures was He talking about? He was talking about the Torah, the Prophets, the writings, the Psalms, etc. He says, "Didn't you read in the Tanakh about Me and understand how I would need to suffer these things that I have suffered, in order that I would be able to bring atonement and salvation to the world"? So Yeshua Himself was claiming to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament or the Hebrew scriptures, same thing. And He is the fulfillment, here we see, of Biblical Judaism.
Why am I using the term Biblical Judaism? The reason, church, I use the term Biblical Judaism, is because the Judaism that is practiced today is in many ways and in many respects different then what was originally given the children of Israel by Hashem, by Father God in the Torah; Because the revelation that Father God gave Israel in the Torah consisted of three primary foundations. And the three primary foundations of Biblical Judaism are, listen now, the sacrifices, the priesthood that offered the sacrifices and the temple that the sacrifices needed to be offered in. And when the Romans came in and destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, shortly after Yeshua was crucified, those three pillars of Biblical or Torah based Judaism fell. When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, what that meant to the Jewish people is that they could no longer offer sacrifices.
And how is sin taken away? The Lord told us how sin was taken away in the book of Leviticus chapter 16 and 17. The Lord said in Leviticus 17:11, "The life of the flesh is in the blood and I've given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your soul. For it's the blood by reason of it's life that makes atonement". So it was through the blood sacrifices that atonement was granted. And these sacrifices could only be offered by the priesthood, by the Levitical priesthood and the sacrifices had to be offered, listen, to Hashem, to Father God, in the temple.
So again, when the temple was destroyed, sacrifices no longer could be offered, the priesthood scattered and the temple was gone. And so as a result of that, Judaism morphed. And how this happened, is there was a council in 90 AD, often times called the Council of Yavneh. And at this council the leading Pharisees of the day, who were by the way the offspring of the Pharisees that wanted to see Yeshua crucified, because they were threatened by Him. They got together in Yavneh in 90 AD and they basically reinvented Judaism and they said that the prayer and the liturgy replaced the sacrifices. And this changing of the essence of Judaism that took place beginning in 90 AD is what is practiced today by Orthodox Jews. In other words, Orthodox Judaism today has it's origin or genesis back in 90 AD when Judaism was reinvented. And so I say all that to say that the Judaism of today is called Rabbinic Judaism and it is very different then Biblical Judaism, because Biblical Judaism demands the priesthood, the sacrifices and the temple, which no longer exist. And they have been replaced by today's Judaism with liturgy and different other types of prayers.
Jesus as we just looked at in the book of Luke 24, He claimed to be the fulfillment of Biblical based Judaism. How is He the fulfillment? Because He gave His blood, He gave His life, as the final atonement for sin. I'm gonna be releasing a series on Messianic prophesy, but the strongest prophesy of the Lord's coming in the Hebrew scriptures, in the Tanakh, is in the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah; Where the Lord is speaking there about sending His servant. And that His servant would be wounded and pierced through for the transgressions and iniquities of His people. But that through God's purpose, this servant, even though He would pierce through and lose His life for the transgression of God's people, God would yet prolong His days. In other words, God was gonna raise Him up from the dead and through His sacrifice, through the atonement of His servant, in Isaiah 53, the people would be forgiven.
And so Yeshua completed the prophesies of Messiah's coming in the Hebrew scriptures. He became not only the atonement, but He Himself became the picture of the final temple and Yeshua has become the true high priest, right? Without Jesus, beloved, I like to think of this analogy, what it's like to have faith in God without Yeshua, just based upon the Hebrew scriptures. Because the temple and the priesthood and the sacrifices are no longer in place, all we have instead are liturgy and ceremonial traditions and so forth, prayer to replace them.
I like to think of it this way, if I wanted to go from Columbus, Ohio to Miami Beach, Florida and I had a layover in Atalanta. And so I fly to Columbus. I land in Atalanta. I'm ready to catch my next flight to get me to my destination, which is Miami Beach. But lo and behold I miss my flight out of Atalanta to Miami Beach and I'm stranded in Atlanta. To me I say humbly, that Judaism without Jesus is like the man that missed his connecting flight. You only get halfway there. You see, Yeshua is the completion of Biblical Judaism. Even when we go back to the ancient rabbis we find that one of the foremost tenants of Judaism is the expectation of the Messiah coming.
In fact in the New Testament we recall how John the Baptist sent a messenger to Jesus. John the Baptist was imprisoned, but John the Baptist sent a messenger to Jesus and he told the messenger to say to Jesus, "Are You the Messiah? Are You the one we were expecting or should we expect another"? And the reason I'm pointing this out church, is because you see how much of an expectation there was for Messiah to come in the New Testament. John the Baptist sends the messenger to Jesus and says, "Are you the one we've been looking for"? Who are they looking for? They were looking for the Messiah. Messianic expectation has been part of Judaism since the earliest days.
Now in today's generation within the Jewish world many have lost confidence in the expectation of a Messiah. Many within the Jewish world, as you know, are secular. In fact more Jewish people in the earth are secular rather than religious. And amongst those that are more religious, some of these don't actually believe in a literal Messiah coming. Instead they believe in a Messianic age. And so there is not a huge number of Jewish people, not the majority of Jewish people, are any longer looking for a Messiah. But when you go back to the beginning, looking for the Messiah was very much a part of a foundation in the scriptures that God gave us.
We look for example in the book of Daniel. Daniel wrote much about the Messiah and in my series that's coming out on Messianic prophesy, I'm gonna go deep into this subject. The point is, Jesus is claiming to fulfill Messianic prophesy here in the book of Luke. And the name of the series is, How Jesus Completes Biblical Judaism. How He does it beloved, is He completes Messianic prophesy number one. Number two, Yeshua completes Biblical Judaism, because Yeshua reflects the nature of God that we see revealed in the Torah; In the sense that Yeshua shows us number one, the justice of God on the one hand, the holiness of God. And then on the other hand He shows us the mercy, the compassion and the tenderness of God.
So we have two natures, two aspects of God's nature revealed in the Torah. Number one, we see God's holiness and His justice. And number two, we see His mercy and compassion. Yeshua brings the fullness of God's nature to bear, because He shows us God's justice in the sense that God punished sin. How does Yeshua show us that Father God is holy and He is just and He punishes sin? Yeshua completes or fulfills the holy just side of God, listen now, by having to die for our sin. Why did Jesus have to die? Because sin was being punished. Yeshua took our sin in His own body. And because Yeshua now bore our sin, He had to be punished for our sin. And that's why He was nailed to the cross. That's why He said on the cross, "My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me"?
So number one, Yeshua reveals the nature of God's holiness by showing that because of God's holiness and justice, sin had to be dealt with. And God dealt with it through the person of Yeshua, by giving Yeshua's life on the cross, as our penalty for sin. But then Yeshua also revealed to us God's compassion and His mercy. Because not only did God punish sin, but God also provided for Yeshua a means to forgive, to show mercy, to show compassion. Why? Because that's why Yeshua came. He came because God loves us, because God wanted to find a way through the person of Yeshua that we would be able to enter in to relationship with Him despite the fact that we sin.
So Yeshua brings everything to bear, He completes the penalty that was necessary because of God's holiness and justice and at the same time through His one act of dying in our place, He also releases to us a way for us to receive the mercy and the compassion of God. You see a lot of times people don't understand that in the Hebrew Bible, in the Tanakh, not only was God's holiness and justice revealed, but we see God punishing sin. But God's grace was also revealed in the Hebrew Bible. Over and over again we see the graciousness of God. In fact one of my favorite portions of scripture in the Hebrew scriptures, in the Torah, is when Moses said to the Lord, "Lord show me that You're gonna be with me. Show me," Moses prayed, "Your glory".
And the Lord told Moses, "Moshe, Moses, I want you to go in the cleft of the rock over there and I want you to call upon My name. And Moses as you call upon My name, I'm gonna let you see the back of My glory. You can't see my fullness Moses, you can't see My face". But the Lord said, "I'm gonna pass before you and I'm gonna cause all My goodness to pass before You and I'm gonna proclaim My name". And what the Lord was saying is, "Moses as you go to the cleft of the rock and pray to Me, I'm gonna come to you". Listen, "And I'm gonna reveal Myself to you and you're gonna know Me and you're gonna know My glory".
So Moses goes to the cleft of the rock, beloved ones, he prays. And as he prays the Lord comes and fills him with revelation and light and overwhelms him with glory. And Moses hears Hashem, he hears the Lord speak to him. And the Lord says to him, "I am Yahweh. I am Yahweh God, full of mercy and compassion and kindness". And then the Lord goes on to say there, "But I will in no ways leave the guilty, go unpunished". This is the clearest and most profound revelation of who God is in the entire Torah. When Moses calls on the Lord and the Lord reveals to Moses who He is, the first thing that the Lord reveals to Moses, He said, "I am compassionate Moses and I am gracious, full of love and kindness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin".
We see the merciful, compassionate part of God's nature. But then the Lord continues on and He says to Moses, "But Moshe I will by no means leave the guilty go unpunished". This is the same person, beloved, we see revealed in the Brit Chadashah, the New Testament. Jesus came to reveal the Father and church He has come to complete Biblical Judaism. Yeshua said whether you're a Jew or a Gentile, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no man come to the Father but by me. And he that calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved". This is Rabbi Schneider saying God loves you. Baruch Hashem and shalom.