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Updated  06/29/05

jewish roots of christianity
What's In a Name?
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

Did you know that God has a son?  
The Jewish Scriptures tell us so!

"Surely I am more stupid than any man, and do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know?" Proverbs 30:2-4

We all know that God has a name:  His most holy and ineffable name is YHWH-- translated in some cases as Jehovah or Yahweh.  He also has MANY other names-- all related to different aspects of His personality and our covenant relationship with Him:  He is God Who Sees, God Most High, God our Provider, God our Healer, God our Sanctifier, God our Banner, God our Victory, God our Righteousness, and so on and so on the list goes.   A more startling fact, revealed by the writer of Proverbs (Solomon), was that not only did the one who bound the waters in a garment and established all the ends of the earth had a name, but that the Supreme Being (Elohim, El, El-Shaddai, Ja, etc.) had a SON.. Not only that: this SON has a name as well!

The Jewish Scriptures are an amazing record of what God has spoken to us about Himself. In fact, God made it a point to tell us things that would happen through His prophets LONG before they ever happened. For example, when Adam and Eve sinned, the Jewish Scriptures tell us that God spoke to Eve and told her that her "seed" would one day crush the head of the serpent that had deceived them. How strange! Women do not have seed! Only men have "seed" in that sense of the word. Yet, the prophet Isaiah many years later tells us that a Child would be born to fact not only a child, but a Son. Whose Son was to be born? Well this Son was obviously special... He would be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God! Whoa... how could any baby born into this world be a "Mighty God". Not only that, Isaiah understood and knew that the LORD was One! There was no other God but the God of Israel. So this actually meant that this child would be called "THE" Mighty God. How blasphemous! Yet, this same God also said "Let us make man in our image." Who is the "us"? Shema Israel Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad... Yes, how could the LORD who is "one" speak and say "let us create"? Only God can create from nothing. He was speaking when He said "Let us". Yet we also know that "Echad" or "One" in the Hebrew scriptures refers to a "plural" oneness! Wow!

The Jewish Scriptures also tell us that from the Seed of Jesse, the Seed of David, and the Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that a branch would come forth. The Scriptures reveal that this "seed" was to be born in Bethlehem and was also to be conceived and born by a young maiden - a virgin. Just as God had promised Adam and Eve, Isaiah confirms further that the "seed of woman" referred to a very special supernatural birth-- one that would be of divine nature. How else could a child be referred to as the Everlasting Father or the Mighty God? It is simply impossible unless the Son is the same Son that the writer of Proverbs referred to! It is simply impossible unless the child of the virgin is also the child that would be born to us as spoken by Isaiah! This "seed" already had a name as well. This "seed" would also crush the head of the serpent-- that is what God told Eve. In other words, when this child was BORN into the world, His primary mission would be REDEMPTIVE as opposed to KINGLY! The serpent is a spiritual being-- not a nationality or kingdom or earthly power.  

What else can we learn about the Seed and His redemptive purpose from the Jewish Scriptures?

The Witness of Isaiah, 53:1-12:
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; he was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked-- but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; he has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, he shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

The Prophet Isaiah also tells us that a child would "grow up" seemingly as a "root" out of dry ground. In other words, someone would grow up in a manner and way seemingly unheard or thought of- even in a place so far out of the way as to be unlikely. We are told He will not have physical attractiveness and that He will be despised and rejected. Not only that, this person would purposefully be stricken by God. In fact, it would give the LORD pleasure to bruise this man! Why? Evidently this person was to BEAR our iniquity and sin in His own body. Just like the temple priest would lay hands on a lamb and "impute" guilt to the lamb before it was slaughtered, this man would be like a "lamb" being lead to the slaughter. He was cut off from the land of the living-- evidently in a manner that would be accompanied by bruising, stripes. The Psalmist describes one who would be "pierced" for our iniquities. Isaiah tells us that God would MAKE this person's soul an OFFERING for sin. It would be by the KNOWLEDGE of this righteous servant of God that MANY UNRIGHTEOUS would be justified or made "righteous" before God. Why? Because He would BEAR their iniquities, just as countless sacrifice after sacrifice in the Tabernacle of Moses and Temple of Solomon "bore" the sins of the people and priests who offered them to God.  

What else do the Jewish Scriptures tell us about the "one" who would be cut off?

The Witness of Daniel, 9:24-26:
Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.

The Prophet Daniel reveals that the history and future of Israel centers around Messiah- the Prince. From the time of Daniel's prophecy, there would 70 weeks of years in which Jerusalem and the covenant people of God would be in view. These weeks would see a finishing of transgressions, an end to sins, and reconciliation for iniquity. At the end of the 70 weeks, everlasting righteousness would be USHERED in. From the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah would be 69 weeks -> a number of years which can be calculated with some basic research. Daniel tells us that Messiah would be CUT OFF! So the one who was "CUT OFF" in Isaiah's prophecy is seen by Daniel as being the Messiah Himself. In other words, it is Messiah who would be the sin-bearer. Daniel even says that He is "cut-off" abruptly from His life, but not for HIMSELF. This implies readily that He was CUT OFF for OTHER PEOPLE. After 62 weeks, Messiah would be cut off AND the city and the sanctuary of the Temple would be DESTROYED. Based on the calculations of Daniels' prophecy the Messiah should have appeared in Israel some time around 30 A.D. and should have been cut off BEFORE the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The ONLY person who could have fulfilled this prophecy, including having the correct lineage, the correct place of birth, the correct mission, and the accompanying miracles of the Messiah was Yeshua of Nazareth.  

In fact, Yeshua claimed that He was the Son of God. He claimed that He was Himself the Son promised by Isaiah to come that would be called Mighty God, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of Peace, and Everlasting Father. Any religion that believes Yeshua is a true prophet of God but yet does not believe that God has a Son is a FALSE religion- Yeshua must of necessity either be a false prophet or you must believe that He identified Himself as the Son of God. No other man could ever fulfill the predictions of the Jewish Scripture concerning the Messiah in these areas except for Yeshua- although Yeshua did NOT fulfill ALL the prophecies concerning Messiah when He came the FIRST time. The Prophet of Israel known as John the Baptist identified Yeshua as the "Lamb of God". The fact that He was born to a woman that had not known a man indicates that He also is THE "seed of woman" that would crush the head of the serpent (satan and his kingdom of darkness). So when God chose to send His Son into the world, He chose a very special NAME. Both Mary and Joseph were told what the NAME of this special child born to them would be called: "God is Salvation". Why? They were told that He would save "His people" from their sins.  

The riddle of Proverbs was solved! The name of the Son of God was Yeshua. He was the Son who would be born to us and be called "Mighty God". He was the Messiah who would be cut off but not for His own sins. He was the one spoken of by Daniel who HAD to HAVE come before the destruction of the temple around 70 A.D. He was the one who would save His people from their sins. 

The problem that we all have with Yeshua is how God could have a "human" Son. And how could this human Son be one and the same as God? Not only that, but why didn't He come and demonstrate His deity by acts of power and vengeance against the enemies of Israel? That is why the people who were looking for Him the hardest missed Him! The religion of the Pharisees is essentially the religion of Judaism today! The Pharisees did not want a Messiah coming in a redeeming, servant role. They wanted Messiah ben David who would be "King" and "Ruler" and reign on the throne of David forever. What we understand now is that God bestowed upon His human Son the name above all names! We understand that at His first coming, Yeshua was a servant and a lamb lead to the sacrifice. At His second coming, Yeshua will come in the authority and power of His kingly position! He WILL destroy the enemies of Israel, His people according to human lineage, just as the prophets promise. However, He first had to bring PEACE to our hearts by carrying our sins and becoming the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Without peace in our hearts and peace with God, there will never be peace in the world. That is why He is truly the Prince of Peace.

Consider one final thought regarding Yeshua:

The Unanswerable Question, Matthew 22:41-46:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, "What do you think about the Messiah? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

Yeshua asked the Pharisees a difficult question.  Whose Son is Messiah?  Very simple right?  After all, the Messiah would be the Son of David, springing from the kingly lineage of David.  Yet the Jewish Scriptures reveal that David speaking by the Spirit of God calls "Messiah" his "Lord".  How could Messiah be David's Lord when Messiah had not even been born yet?  This could only be true if Messiah, or the being who would be Messiah, already existed or existed outside of time and space.  There is only ONE being who exists outside of time and space: God Himself!  No one could answer Him either... because it ONLY MAKES sense that God Himself would COME in human form as the Messiah and as the one who was David's LORD before He was even born!  

This is WHY the Scriptures written by the great Pharisee Saul reveal that God exalted His human Son as a MAN to a place NEVER held by any other man ever!  God exalted a human to a place of position unheard of!  He exalted His Son, who humbled Himself as a man, to a place OVER all of creation, as a MAN!  The Son of God already had this place of authority before coming to earth- but now He returned to heaven not only as the Son of God, but the Son of Man as well!  How incredible.  Our Messiah sits at the right hand of the Father and beckons us to come to Him!  Oh what love God has shown us all in sending His Son into this world!  The name of Yeshua is the only name by which man can be reconciled to God.  He came to redeem and save you.  Put your faith and trust in Him solely... today!  Your goodness and your religion cannot save you!  Hear His Spirit call to you today.. listen to the witness of the Jewish Scriptures.  They point to Yeshua distinctly and clearly. 

As the Jewish writer John wrote in his gospel:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him [Yeshua], would not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him, the world might be saved.

Ask Yeshua to be your Lord today.  Repent and acknowledge your sins and ask Him to be your "substitute" and your "High Priest" before God.  Your sins can be forgiven.  You can have a new heart and a new life.  He sits at the right hand of God and calls you to come! To all who receive Him and believe in His name, they have the RIGHT to become children of God...

We pray that His Shalom will fill your heart today...

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