Rejection and Triumph of the Messiah
What beautiful sayings were the psalms that David wrote to his beloved Yahweh for the benefit of others to read!
Many were words of praise and gratitude for the protection and grace of God. The Twenty-Third Psalm offers the children of God perhaps the greatest personal devotion in the Old Testament. Other psalms offered a Messianic prophecy in their tone. Part 4 will start with the one that nearly accurately describes the circumstances surrounding the crucifixion and the glorious miracle which followed. According to Matthew’s genealogical record of the descendants of David, twenty-eight generations passed before the Messiah appeared. Let us begin with Psalm 22.
Why is it so hard for some to understand that God set everything up according to His plan?
In the upcoming passage, is there anything new or different revealed that might change your perception of the Messiah?
Do you hold the Holy Scriptures as irrefutable?
Psalm 22:1-31 – The Messiah would be justified after they abandoned and pierced Him.
The first part of Psalm 22 seems filled with gloom and despair as it describes a man suffering, an exact depiction of Christ’s suffering on the cross. Jesus utters the words of 22:1 in an urgent appeal to Yahweh as He dies on the cross. During the inhumane treatment, verses 6-8 speak of rejection and scorn, then finish with the prophecy of mockery the Lord suffered. Verse nineteen describes the men casting lots for His clothing.
In 22:22 the tone changes from one in suffering to an air of triumph and praise.
Offering glorious praise of Yahweh, the Sufferer turns His attention to the glorious deeds the LORD will accomplish through Him. Verse twenty-seven tells of the reach of Yahweh’s blessing for all the earth. Verse thirty-one closes the psalm with the knowledge that God’s story will continue on to future generations.
That becomes our responsibility, teaching our children to love and cherish the faith we have bound ourselves to. It is not enough to live in it now. We must make sure future generations know who Yahweh is and the precious gift of His Son that He gave to humanity to reconcile us to Him.
What was the purpose of the original covenant between Yahweh and Israel?
Why must there be a new covenant?
What is the new covenant the Messiah presented to His followers?
When does the new covenant take effect?
Jeremiah 31:31-34 – Faith in the Messiah is crucial to the new covenant promised by Yahweh.
The new covenant establishes within the ministry of the Messiah. The name implies a break from the traditional covenants Yahweh had made with Israel in the past. God made promises to Abraham – a covenant – that will not be broken. Those promises are carried over into the new covenant to be made with Israel, which remains His chosen people, and all nations will be blessed through her.
The new covenant began with the arrival of Christ, the Messiah, but it will not see a full realization of the promise until Israel returns completely to Yahweh, and they recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah. His teachings fill believers’ hearts with intimate knowledge of the workings of the Holy Spirit and Yahweh’s forgiveness. It declares Jew and Gentile believers alike will be part of the Kingdom of God. It goes on to give this last promise of hope; that the wrong we do will be forgiven and our sins remembered by Yahweh no more. Just remember that repentance from sin and a heart yearning for righteousness is part of the process, which reconciliation to the LORD cannot begin without.
When the Messiah entered Jerusalem, what were His priorities?
If Jesus willingly endured the shame and torment of the cross so that the repentant believer can enter the Kingdom of God, what should you personally give up entering as well?
Isaiah 52:13–15 – The Suffering Servant of Isaiah
Jews and Christians have been in contention over the exact exposition of this part of the Holy Scriptures for ages about which group it refers to. In this writer’s opinion, our Heavenly Father inspired the Bible to be written for the benefit of everyone who wishes to make it a part of their life. Therefore, we will approach this study from that aspect.
This passage written by Isaiah gives us a truly clear picture as it prophesies about the Messiah. We can clearly describe Jesus from what Isaiah depicts. Many exalted Jesus. They called Him “the Servant of the Lord”. It also says He would be “marred (the scourging and crucifixion of our Lord) beyond any man”.
What is the image that comes to mind when you imagine Jesus coming to greet you?
What is your interpretation of, “Never judge a book by its cover,”?
Isaiah 53:1-5 – Bearing our sins, the Messiah would suffer in our place
The idea that God would save humanity through the suffering and humiliation Jesus endured on the cross goes against the human idea of a glorious king conquering the enemies of an oppressed people. That many of the Jewish people would observe this prophecy in the written word and still deny the truth of Jesus Christ when they met Him is baffling, to say the least!
There was nothing attractive in the physical appearance of Jesus that spoke of royalty or warrior-king to the Israelites. Jesus did not attract people by His appearance. He attracted them through His love for them and the healing, teaching, and salvation He brought to them.
People are still rejecting Jesus today.
Many choose to ignore Him and the gift of salvation and forgiveness He offers. There are many today who still deny the travesty and triumph of the cross. Some find it difficult to accept that God would allow His Son to suffer as He did. Others assume the punishment was direct from God because He spoke heresy in their ears. They were attempting to accuse Him of teaching against their laws and regulations, when in fact, according to Matthew 5:17, “He came to fulfill the Law, not abolish it.” Due to this false belief, they denied the Deity of Christ and lowered His status to an ordinary man in their eyes. That was the travesty of the cross.
The triumph through the cross is evident through the forgiveness of our transgressions against God. Jesus bore up our pain and suffering due to us for our sins. He made the final sacrifice so that we could receive forgiveness and reconnect with God.
In the Old Testament times, in Israel, animal and/or agricultural produce was often sacrificed as atonement for sins. It would be difficult for an individual living in those times to understand a single sacrifice offered through the suffering and death of one man for the sins of an entire world. They grew up in a society that atoned for its sins constantly through sacrifices offered as payment. God provided a single sacrifice in Jesus Christ, one that would be available for all humankind.
How many times can you be forgiven of a transgression?
What are two important steps to initiating forgiveness?
Isaiah 53:6 – The lost sheep who need their Shepherd
Israel often strayed from God throughout history, yet God kept drawing them back into His fold. Even during the time Jesus walked the Earth, the Jewish people lost the desire to rely upon God and chose to refuse to acknowledge the arrival of the promised Messiah.
We receive the opportunity to study the account of Jesus and some of us refuse to accept what is present in front of our faces. Pray for our fellow men who have heard God ‘s word and still refuse to believe in Jesus Christ.
How quick are you to utter curses or speak ill of those who transgress you?
How hard would it be for you to stand silent when someone hurls unjustified insults at you?
Isaiah 53:7-9 – The Messiah would bear our sins and suffer in our place.
Jesus did not resist the plan God set in motion, rather He embraced it. Even as they flogged Him, He offered no protest. Nor did He speak against the lives or actions of the men who brutalized Him.
We have the privilege of looking back on the mistakes of the Jewish people when they rejected what the Messiah taught. They did not realize He was crucified for their sins. We read through the different accounts and points of view written in the testament of Jesus Christ and have the freedom to choose what we believe.
Jesus is royalty. He is the Son of God, after all. However, to take on the sins of the world, He had to live and die among the sinners. Not one person is guiltless of transgressions against God but Jesus. He always spoke the truth, never deceit. As Christians, we should always strive to emulate Christ in our daily walk.
Who is in your life you think would be willing to make such a sacrifice for you?
What qualifies your life to be redeemed of your iniquities?
Isaiah 53:10 – 53:12 – The Messiah would not remain dead.
God wants us to be part of His Kingdom. For that to happen though, we must acknowledge the suffering Christ went through to be a part of it. The reward is we will become Christ’s heirs, or His “little children,” and inherit eternal life. Here we see the fathomless depth of Jesus’ love for all of us. He did not have to, but He made a conscious, willing choice to suffer on the cross.
Yahweh promised the honor of one who is a mighty and victorious soldier to Jesus because He willingly went to the cross. They counted Him among those who were rebels and sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels and sinners.
In the Old Testament, animals offered as sacrifices died for sinners to receive forgiveness from God. These animals, however, knew no sin, yet they took the sins of many people away so that the people could stand before God, guiltless of any wrongdoing. This system was flawed in the respect that many would go to the Temple with their sin offering, but not actually repentant and willing to turn away from their transgression.
Jesus knew no sin, yet He willingly took on the sins of all humankind with Him when He died on the cross. We could declare ourselves righteous and stand before Yahweh, guiltless of the sins we commit in life.
However, we accomplish this only by declaring our faith in Jesus Christ, which is the belief in who He is, what He did, and naming Him Lord of our lives. Christians believe in the Resurrection of the Messiah. The miraculous events of Easter morning fill out hearts with the hope of everlasting life through belief in who He is and what He came to do.
Zechariah 12:10-14 – The Messiah would be pierced.
By rejecting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, Israel pierced Yahweh. It is the hope of many Jewish and Gentile Christians for that eventual day when all Israel recognizes Jesus Christ as the Messiah. It will not be a day of mourning for dread pouring from their hearts, rather mourning of the lost time and souls who never responded in faith to what God provided thousands of years before. For in that day of recognition and genuine acceptance of Jesus, Yahweh will finally reconcile His people to Him, pouring on Israel His grace and the spirit of supplication.
How then, knowing so many of God’s chosen people rejected His message, could Jesus continue on to the cross?
What is the significance of the timing of the Messiah’s crucifixion?
Exodus 12:21-27 – The Messiah is the Passover lamb for all humanity.
Yahweh has proven His grace to the people of Israel time and again, saving them from disaster and enemy. The exodus from Egypt is but one such momentous event. Do you recall the night that established the Passover celebration? That was the night when Jewish households each took a perfect lamb from their flocks, sacrificed it, and spread the blood over the door frame, sparing their firstborn the wrath of God.
Jesus became the symbolic Lamb of the Passover. The blood He shed from the death on the cross covers our transgressions, sparing us Yahweh’s righteous judgment. As the Jewish people were commanded to keep the Passover, so should Christians continue to honor Christ and His ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.
Without the Resurrection, what possible outcome could have affected the Christian faith?