Rabbi Schneider - Examining the Eternal Nature of Messiah Jesus
Understanding the nature of messianic prophecy is more sophisticated than many realize. Many people assume that all messianic prophecy is predictive in nature. In other words, many people think that there's 300 prophecies about the Messiah in the Hebrew Bible, in the Old Testament, and that all 300 of these prophecies somehow are predictions that Messiah would fulfill when he came into the planet. But the reality is not all messianic prophecy is predictive in nature. In today's episode, and then going forward in season three, we will be focusing on predictive messianic prophecy. But in season one and season two, I talked about the fact that much of messianic prophecy is not predictive, but rather is showing how Jesus fulfills the entire Hebrew Bible through types and shadows.
You see, Yeshua, Jesus, the Messiah, as Israel's divine representative, as Israel's divine King, repeats much of Israel's history in his own life. And so I ran through the lives of the biblical patriarchs and other key biblical figures in the Hebrew Bible or the Tanakh. And I showed you how their lives were shadows of Messiah Jesus. For example, we looked at Abraham. And the story of Abraham giving his only son Isaac, up to the Father. And we examined how both Abraham's life and Isaac's life foreshadowed Father God sending His son. We looked at Abraham as a type of the Father and Yeshua being a type of Isaac who willingly offered up His life. We looked at the life of other biblical figures like Moses. The scripture said in the Torah to Moses, the Lord said, "Moses, I'm going to raise up from amongst your brethren somebody like you. And whoever doesn't listen to Him will be cut off".
And we talked about how Yeshua is the One that the Lord was prophesying to Moses about. We looked at other shadows. For example, we looked at the theme of blood in the Torah. And how all the different sacrifices that involve blood in the Torah pointed to the ultimate sacrifice that Yeshua made when He gave up His own blood so that you and I could be brought into relationship with God. We looked at the Levitical priesthood. We looked at the story of the bronze serpent in the Hebrew Bible and how the children of Israel, when they were dying, were told to look at that bronze serpent that was lifted up high for them to see. And when they looked at that bronze serpent in the wilderness, everyone that looked was healed.
In fact, I indicated that that bronze serpent is actually the symbol of medicine today. Many people don't know when they look at the medical symbol in the United States today of the serpent wrapped around the staff, that actually comes from this incident in the Torah. And we focused on the fact that Yeshua actually referred back to that incident and saying, "Even as the children of Israel looked upon the serpent. So too," He said, "Everyone that looks upon the Son of Man, as He's lifted up will be saved". And so all these prophecies that I discussed just now, they were not necessarily predictive in nature. They didn't tell us for example, what city Messiah would be born in, what time He would come in. They were just shadows. They showed us that the lives of the Hebrew patriarchs were shadows of the type of life and ministry of Yeshua.
I also talked in season number two, an earlier season in this series, of what we call typological prophecy. And what we mean by typological prophecy as messianic prophecy is that typological prophecy is prophecy that we have in the Hebrew Bible that was fulfilled in some measure, but is ultimately fulfilled in the person of Messiah Jesus. And so an example of this would be in the book of Isaiah chapter seven. Where we read that behold, the virgin would conceive and give forth a child. And that this child would be such a ruler and such a key person in the life of Israel. And according to our scholars, according to Judaism, this child that Isaiah referred to in Isaiah 7:14, he was already born. He was actually Isaiah's child, most scholars believe. And so now we're saying in the New Testament, that that verse was not referring to Isaiah's son or even Hezekiah's son, as some believe. But that verse was actually referring to Yeshua. That He was the son that we were expecting when the virgin would conceive. So which is it? It's both.
You see the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in a lesser way during Isaiah's lifetime, either being fulfilled in Isaiah's son or in Hezekiah's son. Scholars differ as to which one they think the prophecy was alluding to. But then the scripture was fulfilled ultimately when Miriam, or Mary, Yeshua's mother, gave birth to Him. And so typological prophecy is prophecies, once again, that were partially fulfilled in the Hebrew Bible, but they have their ultimate fulfillment in the coming person and ministry of Messiah Jesus. And so again, messianic prophecy is not all predictive in nature. It's sophisticated. That's why Jesus, we read in the book of Luke chapter 24, had to take His disciples on a journey through the law of Moses and all the writings in the Hebrew Bible to show them the things that were written there that were actually about Him.
You see, you can't always see messianic prophecy jumping right out of the page. It takes the Holy Spirit to be able to peer underneath the surface meaning of the scriptures, to see the person of Yeshua there and to see the hidden prophecy implanted. And so the scripture says that Yeshua took them on a journey through the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms. And then He opened their eyes to see that all those scriptures ultimately pointed to Him. Later on the disciples said, "Were not our hearts burning within us as he showed us these prophecies in the scripture"? Think of it this way. At the end of the day, the entire Bible is aimed at the person of Yeshua. In other words, the person of Jesus is what the entire Bible points to and finds its climax in. And when we understand that the entire Bible is pointing to Jesus, we can better understand how all these types, all these shadows, all these biblical heroes that we read about in the Torah and in the prophets and Psalms were ultimately about Jesus, because the aim of the Bible is all directed towards him. So I covered all those themes in great detail in season one and season two of messianic prophecy.
What I want to do today in season three is I want to begin a journey taking you down the road of what we're calling, beloved ones, predictive prophecy. By predictive prophecy I'm talking about specific declarations, specific passages and scriptures in the Hebrew Bible that gave us almost scientific information about where Messiah would be born, when He would die. Things that we can measure. Yes, this is very scientific. We understand it's predictive in nature. And we can objectively substantiate that Yeshua fulfilled it. So let's begin now looking at predictive prophecy. As we examine today the book of Micah chapter five, verse two, under the concept of the fact that the Hebrew Bible told us that Messiah would be eternal.
Now I want to point out before I actually read Micah two and other scriptures that will corroborate, I want to point out that today within Judaism, we believe, I'm speaking of traditional Jewish people, they believe in coming of Messiah. It's one of our 13 tenants of faith as Jewish people. Maimonides had 13 tenants of the Jewish faith. One of them is we believe perfectly in the coming of Messiah. It's part of the Jewish articles of faith you could say. But what Jewish people believe is that the Messiah is not eternal. They don't believe that Messiah is God in the flesh. They believe that Messiah is just a man. In fact, what Judaism often teaches is that in every generation there is potentially a Messiah. But it just depends on the climate of the Jewish people, their level of spirituality, how seriously they're taking the Torah. It's that that determines whether the potential Messiah will emerge.
And what traditional Judaism, beloved one, believes is that Messiah again, he'll just be a man. And his mission will be to turn the Jewish people back to Torah observance. So their view of the Messiah is lesser than we that are believers in Yeshua Hamashiach, in Jesus. Because we believe that Messiah is not just a man, but we believe Messiah is also God. And it's important to declare that we are not saying that Messiah, when we speak about Jesus being fully God and fully man, we're not saying that God is a man. But we're saying instead that God, the eternal God, clothed Himself in humanity. Even as I spoke about in one of the earlier seasons in this series, we find the life of Abraham in the story and the Torah in the book of Bereshit or Genesis, how suddenly three men appear in front of his tent at the Oaks of Mamre. And one of those men is identified in the Hebrew text as Yud Hei Vav Hei, which are the four Hebrew letters that comprise God's personal name that the Lord spoke to Moses.
When the Lord said to Moses, "Moses, your forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they knew Me as El Shaddai. They knew Me as God Almighty. But Moses by My personal name," and then God breathed onto Moses His personal name. And we're not exactly sure how it's pronounced, but Semitic scholars believe it's pronounced a breathy Yahweh. And again, it's composed of the four Hebrew letters, Yud Hei Vav Hei. And so in the book of Bereshit, we find these three men appearing in front of Avraham's tent. And one of these men is clearly defined as Yud Hei Vav Hei. What happened? Are we saying that God's a man? No, but we're saying that God appeared as a man. That the eternal God clothed Himself in humanity. And so we as messianic believers, those of you that believe that Jesus is the Messiah or the Christ, we differ from traditional Judaism in that our understanding of Messiah is that He's eternal, whereas the traditional Jewish world, they don't believe that Messiah is God clothed in humanity.
Let me read you however, despite what the traditional religion of Judaism today believes, let me show you in the scriptures, what the God of the Hebrew Bible said. So we're going to the book of Micah chapter five, verse two. Hear the word of God. "But as for you Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go forth from me to be ruler in Israel. His going forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity". And so the Lord is saying here, "One is going to come forth from you, Judah. One is going to come forth from you, from Bethlehem". And who is this one that's going to come forth? It's the one whose going forth has been from the days of eternity. So when we consider messianic prophecy, when we consider what does the Hebrew Bible tell us about who Messiah will be, what he'll look like, we learn, beloved, from the Hebrew Bible, from the prophet Micah, that Messiah will be eternal.
So my point again is, despite the fact that traditional Judaism does not understand Messiah's eternality, we do. And we see it rooted in the Hebrew scriptures. Listen to what Isaiah said. Also obviously a Hebrew prophet. Reading from the ninth chapter and the sixth verse. Hear the word of God. "For a child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace". And so again, Isaiah's prophesying about this son that will be given. And how this one that's going to be given to us, to Israel and the world, this son is going to be called Mighty God, Eternal Father. So we learn in the Hebrew Bible that Messiah will be eternal. And of course Yeshua Himself fulfilled this messianic prophecy. Listen to what John tells us in John 8:58 as he records for us the words of Yeshua. Jesus is speaking here. Here's what he says. "Truly, truly I say to you before Abraham was born, I am". Messiah's speaking here of His eternality.
Of the fact that He is eternal. And of course in the gospel of John, we have something so straightforward. We can't miss it. Hear the word of God, John 1:1. "In the beginning was the word. And the word was with God. And the word was God". The 14th verse in that same chapter goes on and says, "And the word became flesh". We're talking about messianic prophecy. We're talking about how the Hebrew Bible told us how Messiah would be eternal, that He would be God Himself. And now we're seeing here in John 1:1, that in the beginning was the Word, the Word of God. And the Word was God. And then in John 1:14, and this Word who was God, He became flesh. This is who Jesus is. He's God clothed in humanity.
And I want you to consider this as we close today and the blessing that we can receive into our spirit from this understanding. Not only do we see messianic prophecy being fulfilled here so that our faith is built up, knowing that our faith in Jesus is rooted all the way back to the book of Genesis. But I want you to hear this closing application. Because Yeshua is fully God, and He relates to God as God, and also because He's fully man, and because He's fully man He can relate to you and I that were born human, He becomes the perfect mediator between God and man. He relates to God as God because He's God. He relates to man as a man because He's also fully man. And He becomes the perfect mediator then, beloved ones, the perfect bridge to bring you and I, who are human, into relationship with God, the divine. Jesus is the way. That's why Yeshua said, "I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life. And no man comes to the Father but through Me".
He is the bridge to the Father. And He took our sin. And if you know yourself well, you'll realize there's evil inside you. Evil thoughts, evil attitudes, thoughts of hatred and accusation we have sometimes towards other people. The likes of selfishness that we have to fight against living. The things that we've done in our life that we're not proud of, that we're ashamed of. The good news, beloved, is Jesus took all that evil. He took all our sin in His own body on the tree. He took our sin away from us. Though our sins were the darkest of night, He made us white as snow. And because of Jesus, because He took our sin, fully God and fully man, in His own body on the tree, you and I today, beloved ones, stand before the Lord holy and righteous. Because Jesus took our sin into His own body. And we stand before the Father now, listen, holy and blameless before Him in love.