Rabbi Schneider - The Rejected Messiah
Sometimes in Israel Yeshua is not referred to as Yeshua but Yeshu which is like a curse word towards Him. He was despised and rejected of men. What I'm going to be talking about today is that the Hebrew Bible very specifically told us in advance that when the Messiah came, He would be rejected by the nation of Israel. So let's go right to the text now. Isaiah 52 beginning at verse 13. "Behold, My servant will prosper, He'll be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of Him; for what had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will understand".
Now, notice how he continues. "Who has believed our message? And to whom is the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He," speaking about this one that was going to be lifted up and exalted, "For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, like a root out of parched ground". Notice the question here? Who is going to believe this? For He didn't grow up like in some type of spectacular way that got everybody's attention. "But rather He grew up," the prophet Isaiah says, "Like a tender shoot, like a root out of parched ground;" He continues. "He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him".
To this one that was to come, this one that Isaiah began to say, "My servant that is high and lifted up and greatly exalted" in chapter 52, this one that will sprinkle many nations, this one that kings will shut their mouth because of, "When He came," Isaiah said, "Who's going to believe it"? Because He didn't come, again, like a spectacular fire burst where everyone would see Him. But rather He came in a tender and in a gentle way like a root out of parched ground. "He didn't look like much," Isaiah said. "He has no stately former 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" get it now, "he was despised, and we did not esteem Him".
Who is he speaking to here? He's a Hebrew prophet in the nation of Israel. He's speaking to Israel. Isaiah the prophet who functioned under the King Uzziah was telling the nation of Israel that one is going to come. And He is the one that's going to sprinkle many nations and make them clean. He's going to go on to say that He's going to take our sin and He's going to take our sickness in His own body, and by His stripes we're going to be healed. But He goes on to say to the nation of Israel, "But you're going to miss Him," because He didn't look like much. He had no stately form. "There was nothing about His physical appearance," Isaiah said, "that we should be attracted to Him". "He was despised," Isaiah said at the bottom of verse 3, "and we did not esteem Him". Men even denied that they had anything to do with Him because they didn't want to be associated with Him. Isaiah said, "He was like one from whom men hide their face. They turn the other way".
It's like in the community sometimes of the affluent. They may have a friend that is very, very wealthy. But if the friend loses His money, the friend oftentimes will say, "All the people that I thought were my friends, as soon as I went bankrupt, they wouldn't answer the door anymore when I came over. They wouldn't answer the phone when I call. They wanted nothing to do with me anymore. They hid their face from me. They didn't want to be associated with me". Isaiah says, "This is going to be the plight of this one that's going to come that it's going to take the sin of His people". Isaiah continues here in verse 4. "Surely our griefs", speaking of this one that was to come, "He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted".
What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Messianic prophecy given to us in the prophet Isaiah, that when Mashiach came, it's the Hebrew word for Messiah, "when the Anointed One came," Isaiah said, "Israel would not recognize Him". And even beyond that, they would reject Him and even despise Him. And surely this has come to pass. In fact, sometimes in Israel, Yeshua is not referred to as Yeshua, but Yeshu, which is like a curse word towards Him. May His name be blotted out. He was despised and rejected of men. So even to this day, most of national Israel, most of the Jewish community has still not recognized that Yeshua is who He said He was, and what the Hebrew prophets said He would be. All that the Hebrew prophets foretold what happened to Messiah in terms of His relationship with Israel has surely come to pass even down, beloved ones, to this very day. Isaiah said He was despised and rejected of men.
So this is one of the strongest Messianic prophecies in the scriptures. And I'm going to actually do a whole different series, a whole other series just in Isaiah 53 along with the last few verses of Isaiah 52. But let's just go ahead and continue to read today, beloved one, Isaiah 53. Because in it you're going to hear how Yeshua so completely fulfills this portion of the Word of God. Let's continue on. "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted". Matthew quotes this section of Scripture in Matthew 8 as Jesus is healing people. Matthew said He healed all their diseases, and He says, to fulfill the words of the Prophet. And then Matthew goes back and he quotes Isaiah 53:4. He said that the nation of Israel would count Him as one that was, "smitten of God, and afflicted". In other words, today Yeshua is often looked upon as one that is a curse in Israel.
And I say this with the deepest love, like Paul that grieved for the salvation of His people. This is still happening today. Yeshua is looked at as one that betrayed God. One that's cursed just as Isaiah said would be the case in verse 5. But he speaking of Jesus was pierced through for our transgressions. He wasn't crucified because He was a curse by God as many still believe today and as many certainly thought during His own day. No. Isaiah says He was pierced through on that cross for our sin, for our transgression. He died because of you and I. He wasn't hanging on that cross for His own sin. He was hanging on that cross for our sin. So listen again. Isaiah said, "Yet we ourselves," in verse 4, "esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastising of our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed".
Peter references this. "By His stripes," Peter said in the New Testament, "we are healed". The innocent one dying for the guilty, but just dying for the unjust. He took our sin, and we took on His righteousness. This is what Isaiah is describing. And this is what Matthew and Peter were referring to in using this portion of Scripture showing how Jesus fulfilled it. The just dying for the unjust, the innocent taking the sin of the guilty and healing us even to the extent that He oftentimes extends His hand of grace to heal us now even in our physical bodies. "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", Yud Hei Vav Hei the Hebrew letters for God's sacred name that are revealed to Moses. "But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him".
Many people today feel they don't need Jesus to die for them. I can't even imagine, I don't even want to imagine what happens to people that say, "I don't need Jesus to die for me. I don't want His death on the cross to be for me. I'll pay for my own sins". No, the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him. That's what the Bible says. There is no other name under heaven, by which men can be saved but the name of Yeshua, the name of Jesus. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua HaMashiach is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Again, we're looking at messianic prophecy and how Isaiah predicted that when He came He would be rejected. There's a remnant that believed. There's always just been a remnant. A remnant is a small number of people on the earth that truly are called up by the Father and belong to Him. This is why Jesus said in John 6, when so many were not believing Him, Jesus said, "Don't grumble among yourself. Don't set yourself up thinking that you're judging me". He said, "No man comes to me unless the Father draws Him. And all the Father gives me will come to me". At the end of John 6, there was just a few people left standing with Jesus. Yeshua said, "Do you want to leave also"? They said, "Where can we go? You alone have the words of life". Jesus said to them, "This is why I said to you, no man can come to me unless it's been granted by the Father".
If you have the revelation to know that Jesus is your only hope, that He's the only answer, you're one of the elect of the father if you've yielded to that call, and God's love in your life. His favor is on you. You didn't gain that revelation through your own intellect or insight. The Father revealed who Jesus is to you. This is why Jesus said to Peter, "Who do they say that I am"? And Peter said, "Well, some say Elijah, some say John the Baptist". Yeshua said, "Peter, who do you say that I am"? And he said, "You're the Christ. You're the Messiah. You're the Mashiach, the Anointed One, the Son of the living God".
And Yeshua said, "Blessed art thou Simon son of John, for flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in heaven". And he said, "And this is the key, this is the key that I'm going to build my Church on", I believe that key that Yeshua was referring to, the rock, "This is the rock," Jesus said. The rock is revelation. If you know in your heart that Jesus is not just one of many answers, that Christianity is not just one of many religions, but that Yeshua is the only sacrifice for mankind sin that has ever lived or will ever lived and there is no way to the Father through Him, you have that revelation knowledge because the Father has chosen to reveal that to you. And not everybody gets that. You're blessed.
That's what Jesus said to Peter. "You're blessed. Blessed art thou Simon son of John, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you". Take God's call on your life seriously, and don't take it for granted that you know in your heart that Yeshua truly and really is the Son of God. If you do know that, the only thing left is, how will you respond? Will you give Him your life? Because that's what He's calling us for. That's what He's calling us to, to give Him back our life completely and without reservation. If you have the revelation that Yeshua is the Messiah, and this is what this series on messianic prophecy is meant to do, to utterly convinced you as to who Yeshua is so that you'll not be disturbed or swayed by secularism and all the other religions of the world but that you'll know, that you'll get down on your knees and know that Jesus is the only answer and that you must surrender your life to Him.
If you have this revelation, beloved, there's only one thing left. And that's for you and I to say yes, and to give Him our whole heart. Our whole heart. Let's continue on. Verse 7, "He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth". Remember Yeshua was brought before Pilate getting ready to be crucified. Jesus didn't object. He didn't shout. He didn't say, "I'm innocent". But rather He stood there silent just like the prophet Isaiah said He would. He didn't open His mouth. And this really shook Pilate up that Jesus stood there with such a calmness, such a peace, such a confidence, such an inward self-possession, and the ruach, the Holy Spirit. And Pilate said to Him, "Don't you know I have the power to crucify you"? Jesus calmly said, "You'd have no power to crucify me unless it had been given you from above".
Jesus didn't even open His mouth. He didn't object even a peep just like Isaiah predicted and broadcasted would happen. Verse 8, "By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due"? In other words, no one really thought anything about Him once He was crucified. Life went on. No one went back to think, "Oh, He was crucified that Yeshua of Nazareth, He was crucified for me". They didn't stop and think, "Oh, he was cruci"... No, they forgot about Him. No one considered. Life went on. So Isaiah said, "and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due"?
Notice he also says here, "By oppression and judgment He was taken away". Taken away with soldiers on each hand, whipping Him in advance with all kinds of scars on his back, people screaming at Him, yelling at Him, mocking at Him, pulling out His beard, taken away and oppression and judgment, then crucified with people laughing and mocking. And the next day everyone just went on as if life was normal. And so Isaiah said due to the inspiration of the Lord, "As for His generation, who considered that He was crucified? Who considered," Isaiah said, "that this happened to Him, this stroke fell upon His life for the transgression of my people," said the Lord, "to whom the stroke was really due"? Life just went on. Verse 9, "His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death".
What does Isaiah mean? When He was being crucified, He was being crucified with wicked men. Two criminals being crucified next to Him, right? Jesus in the center just as Isaiah prophesied would happen? Listen again. "His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death". And so Jesus was considered a criminal just like the other two that He was crucified with. But He ended up, as Isaiah prophesied, being buried in a rich man's tomb. Joseph of Arimathea. I mean, when you see how Yeshua fulfilled all these Messianic prophecies, it's like, "Wow". It just makes your faith just like pouring gasoline on a fire. Beloved ones, we don't have a long time to live on this earth. We need to run the race while we're here with a fire in our heart, praise on our lips, magnifying God, and boldly declaring to the world that Jesus is the way and He's the only answer to all of life's problems.