Rabbi Schneider - Birth of Messiah Revealed in the Old Testament
We know that Yeshua was manifest into the world when Miriam, His mother, or Mary, we say in English, conceived Him by the Holy Spirit. Many of us know the story. All of a sudden the angel came to Mary, told her that she had conceived by the Holy Spirit of God, by the ruach, the breath of God. And we know that when Joseph her husband, that she was engaged to, heard about it, he was thinking of putting her away because such a shameful thing to have gotten pregnant when they had never come together. But the angel convinced Joseph that this was something of the Lord. Joseph married her anyway. But the child that Joseph and Miriam raised, Yeshua was not a child that came through natural means. It wasn't Joseph's sperm that caused the child to be born into the world. It was rather the supernatural impregnation that took place by the Holy Spirit.
Now, this seems fantastical. Some would consider this to be too much, a myth. But let me show you in the Hebrew Bible-I'm just going to review it with you verbally because I went there last week. Let me show you how this concept of supernatural birth goes all the way back to Avraham, Abraham, who is the father of us all. We remember the story in the book of Bereshit (the book of Genesis), I'm doing a quick review now from last week-how God had spoken to Abraham that through his seed, through his line, his lineage, all the nations of the earth were going to be blessed. You see, God did not choose the Jewish people just to keep them separate unto themselves with no interaction with the nations forever. That wasn't the destiny that the Lord had for Israel, of whom Abraham is the forefather. No, God's purpose for Israel was ultimately that they would be priests to the entire world, and that the Messiah would come to the world through their line, who would become the savior of mankind.
Let me talk about this again. As we're studying messianic prophecy, we're looking once again at how through the Hebrew people, beginning with Abraham, Messiah came into the world. Paul spoke about this in the book of Romans, that the Messiah is blessed overall a Jew. Jesus said that salvation comes from the Jews. But what does it mean to be chosen as a Jew? What does it mean that God chose Israel? Does it mean that they were chosen to just to be better than everybody else? No. They were chosen to be the servant of the world. Through the Jews, the scriptures came to the world. This country, the United States of America, was founded on the principles of the Ten Commandments that God gave the Jewish people. In fact, the morality of the Western world is founded and rooted in the reality of the Hebrew Bible.
So the Hebrew Scriptures became the moral bedrock of Western civilization. God chose Jewish people, not just to separate them, so He could bless them and leave the rest of the world to go wherever. No, God chose Israel, ultimately, to be the servants and the priest of the world, to be a blessing to the world. So it was through Israel that Messiah came. So God said to Abraham in Genesis 18, "Abraham, you're going to bear a child through your wife Sarah". And when the Lord said this to Abraham in Genesis 18, Abraham had already given up hope on that promise because he was past the age of childbearing anymore as was his wife. But the Lord rebuked them when Sarah laughed. When God spoke in Genesis 18, when he said, "The Lord said to them, 'at this time next year you're going to have that child that you've been waiting for, that you've given up on,'" Sarah laughed because she knew that she was no longer scientifically capable of bringing forth a child, neither was Abraham.
The Lord rebuked her and said, "Why did you laugh? Is anything too difficult for the Lord? Is a supernatural birth, Sarah? You think it's impossible for you to have a child right now. And scientifically it is. But Sarah, Abraham, listen, is anything too difficult for the Lord"? Some of you might want to mark that scripture. "The Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh, saying, "Shall I indeed bear a child, when I'm so old"'". Then in verse 14, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord"? I want to, before I go on, just challenge all of us with that word. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? Some of you are at a place in your life right now where you're feeling that you have your last breath of hope, that you feel you're just about to drown in hopelessness.
Some may be wondering right now, "Am I going to go under"? There doesn't seem to be a way forward for some of us. We don't know where to go anymore. We've given up some of us on our dreams. But let's remember who God is. And let's remember His word. Is anything too difficult for the Lord? You see, beloved one, our God is a God of resurrection. He's a God that brings forth life out of death. So He challenged Abraham and Sarah when they had run out of hope, when their dream had died. And when their dream was dead, He said, "Is anything too difficult for the Lord? You're going to have the child I promised to you". I'm going to move on, but I just want to say to you and I right now, let's always keep that before us regardless of where we're at in life. There may no longer be any hope in the natural, but let's remember we have a relationship with the God that's supernatural, and nothing is too difficult for Him.
So I bless you right now in the name of Yeshua. May you go from strength to strength. I want to just say to you: sheh telchu meh-koach leh-koach. May you go from strength to strength. As God encourages us with faith, He's supernatural, and nothing is too difficult for Him. So the Lord says to Abraham, "at the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son". Sure enough, a year later Sarah had the son Isaac. And the line continued Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. The line of Messiah continued into the world and Yeshua was eventually born.
We read in the book of Matthew chapter 1, verse 18 through 23, "Now the birth of Yeshua, the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam as your wife; for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.' Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 'Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bear son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,' which translated means, 'God is with us.'"
So it's helpful. When some might have a difficult time believing that a virgin could conceive, as was the case with Mary or Miriam, to recognize that this concept of supernatural birth is not something that's new to the Brit Chadashah, to the New Covenant scriptures. It's something that's rooted all the way back in the Old Testament, all the way back, beloved, to the first book of the Old Testament, to book of Genesis, where Sarah that was way past the age of childbearing, both her and Abraham close to 100 years old, 90 and 100 years old, and God supernaturally gives life to their organs and brings forth Isaac.
So let's just encourage ourselves that we've got a God that's the God of impossible, and recognize that when Yeshua was born into the world supernaturally by the Ruach HaKodesh. He was continuing the Messianic river that began with the life of Abraham and Sarah in giving birth to their son Isaac. And that Jesus repeated Israel's history by being born into the world supernaturally, and brought it to a climax by not only being born by a woman that was too old to conceive but being born by a woman that had never been impregnated. And why should not Yeshua's birth be the most supernatural birth at all? In other words, Isaac's birth was supernatural. Baruch HaShem. But shouldn't we expect that Yeshua's birth would be the climactic supernatural birth because He is the most unique being that has ever lived in the world, past, present, and future? And with that being said, we would expect Yeshua's birth to even be more supernatural than the birth of Isaac. So God goes a step further. He doesn't impregnate a woman that's 90 years old by a man that's 100 years old. He impregnates a woman that had never had relations with a man and bring forth the Savior of the world. Baruch HaShem.
Hear what Isaiah the Hebrew prophet said. "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel". Matthew quotes that exact scripture in Matthew chapter 1, showing, beloved ones, how Yeshua fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. And what Matthew is endeavoring to do, what all the writers of the Brit Chadashah (the New Testament) were endeavoring to do was show you and I how the Hebrew Bible, the law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms, how it all fits together in Yeshua like a hand in a glove.
Let's continue this trail. We've looked once again at types and shadows. We've looked at how Yeshua fulfilled Israel's history. We've looked at many predictive prophecies, including the Hebrew Bible foretelling the line that Yeshua would come into the world from in terms of His genealogy. We looked at the fact that the Hebrew Bible predicted the supernatural way that He would come into the world, that He would make entrance through a supernatural birth. But did you know that the Hebrew Bible even identified the city that Yeshua would be born in? Listen to this. I'm reading now from the book of Micah chapter 5, verse 2. "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His going forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity".
So from Bethlehem, Micah is predicting One that's going to be the ruler of the nations, One that is, listen to this, from eternity is going to be coming into the world. Let's take a look at this again. "But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel". And listen to this. "His going forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity". It's really amazing to me if we really stop and pause and let this check our spirits. Micah predicted that this One that would come forth out of Bethlehem, He was going to have an origin that was from eternity. "His going forth," he said, "His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity".
This is huge. What Micah is doing here is showing us that One is going to come out of Bethlehem, whose root is in eternity. Do you know in traditional Judaism, the thought is that the Messiah will just be a man. In fact, traditional Judaism teaches that there is a potential Messiah in every generation. They believe that Messiah will do great things, that He'll turn Israel back to the Torah. Of course, our understanding of Messiah, believers in Yeshua, is the Messiah is more than just a man. He's rather God who clothed Himself in humanity. And this is what Micah the Hebrew prophet is getting at here. That this Messiah that will begin His work from Bethlehem, His goings forth are from the days of eternity.
Now, how do we see this fulfilled in the New Testament? We all know it. Anyone that's ever celebrated Christmas knows it. We sing that song about Jesus coming from Bethlehem. Listen to Matthew 2:1-6. "Now after Yeshua was born in Bethlehem", right? Micah said He's going to come out of Bethlehem. This one that's going to come out of Bethlehem, His goings forth are from eternity. What does Matthew do? He goes back to Micah 2 and he says, "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, the Magi went from the east arrived in Jerusalem, 'Where is He was born King of the Jews?'" And then Matthew goes on, and he quotes from the book of Micah chapter 5, verse 2, showing, beloved one, once again, how Yeshua is the Messiah, the promised One of Israel.
You see, if we don't understand, this is the point. If we don't understand, if we don't have a thorough grasp of how our faith in Messiah is rooted in the Word, we're going to be like a branch that just is cast and forth in the wind. You know, like a boat on the sea without a rudder that is just blown whichever way the wind blows. If our faith isn't rooted in the written Word of God we will have no root. It's the Word of God that quickeneth. Yeshua is the Word. The Word is both that which is breathed into us by the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), and the word is also that which is recorded. David in Psalm 119, he kept speaking of a Word. He said, "Revive me with your Word. I meditate on your Word day and night".
So if we want to have a depth to our faith, we need to do what is spoken of in the Scripture. We need to study to show ourselves approved. I keep kind of harping on this beloved one. But if I can share this with you again, there are too many weak-willed, weak-backed Christians that have no spine. They have bowed down to the power of political correctness. Their spine, instead of standing straight up for the Lord, instead of being a bold witness, instead of staying grounded in the word, instead of proclaiming and witnessing to what the Word of God teaches and says, instead, because they don't know the word because they're not grounded in the word, instead of having straight spines, instead of having courage, instead of being a light in the world, being a witness in the world, instead of being bold in the Lord, instead their spine's gone like this to like this, they bowed under the pressure of the world, they bowed under the pressure of political correctness, they've come under the mindset of the day, that you know what, we shouldn't push our religion on anybody, we shouldn't push our faith on anybody.
But beloved that's not an apostolic faith. The apostolic faith is when Jesus chose the twelve, and He sent them forth. He said, "As the Father sent me, so also I now send you". An apostolic faith is given to us at the end of the book of Luke and the beginning of the book of Acts, where Jesus ascends up to heaven, and the disciples are given the commission to go make disciples of all nations. And they went out into the entire world preaching the gospel. So don't tell me that we should not share our faith with people. Don't tell me that we should not be preaching the Word. Don't tell me that we should not share the good news of Jesus with our friends and family and neighbors. This is the Great Commission. And if we don't know the Hebrew Bible, and if we're not rooted in the Scriptures, and if we're not absolutely convinced that Yeshua is the only day, only way, we'll never fulfill that apostolic calling. So my hope and my prayer, beloved one, is by seeing how Jesus fulfills messianic prophecy, your spine will be strengthened, you'll have peace and be His witness.