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Jesus, an acceptable “sacrifice”?

April 5, 2016

is-it-finishedChristianity makes a claim that Jesus was not only “god” in a human body, but also a “sacrificial lamb” whose death atoned for the innumerable sins of billions of people, past, present and future. Although one would be hard-pressed to find support for such an idea in the Hebrew Bible, for hundreds of years Christian theology has taken it for granted that its idea of G-d becoming His own servant and then executing Himself (or rather an “avatar” version of Himself, a deity with human flesh on) to pay for the sins of His creatures is completely in accord with the Jewish scriptures. Not only that, Christians believe this is what G-d intended to do all along. (It’s too bad that Jews can’t seem to find the “obvious” clues in their own scriptures.)

So, was Jesus really sacrificed to rescue all of us from ourselves and to reconcile all “sinners” with G-d? For Christians completely immersed into the Christian worldview it’s preposterous to even consider such a question. How dare?! But to an outside observer, especially one who is familiar with the Hebrew Bible, it obvious that not only was Jesus not sacrificed “according to Biblical regulations”, he wasn’t sacrificed at all.

Jesus was killed the same way all other Jewish criminals and rebels against Rome at the time were killed – by the Romans, using a distinctly Roman method of execution. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were executed by the Romans or killed during Roman military onslaughts. One could say that they were slaughtered “like sheep”, but they were not sacrificed and their deaths paid for nobody’s sins. Besides, as the Bible teaches, each person is responsible for his own sin (Deuteronomy 24:16). Jesus was a messianic pretender, one among many, before him and after him. He wasn’t a sinless person (since there’s no such thing) and in fact, if what NT records about him is true, he was a great sinner because he was a false prophet and teacher who deceived many.

It’s true – there are many good Christians today who want nothing but to help their fellow human beings. I know quite a few myself. They are kind, generous and friendly, and unlike their predecessors, even toward the “unbelieving Jews”. However, it’s equally true that the religion founded on worshiping a Jewish man as if he were god was a catalyst for terrible hatred, suffering and death to millions of Jesus’ own countrymen as well as horrific treatment of the millions of others who were forcibly converted or slaughtered for resisting Christianity.

Some would object by saying that Christianity’s acquisition of political power is what ultimately corrupted the once “pure” message. I get it, perhaps this is so, at least on some level. Yes, religion in the hands of a political power can be a terrible thing. However, even if we were to excuse all of this pain inflicted in the name of Jesus on humanity by claiming that his followers were mere “failed” human beings, we should not forget about Jesus’ own failings that started it all. We should still remember that Jesus’ own teachings (as recorded in the New Testament, faithfully or not) sowed the seeds of hatred for those who rejected him, especially Jews. They sowed a great deal of confusion and division, chiefly among his own followers, which persist to this day. We should also not forget that his prophecies of speedy return in the lifetime of his own followers and even foes who were his contemporaries failed miserably, forever branding him a false prophet in Jewish eyes and in the eyes of those who can judge Jesus objectively. Was he the same sort of “prophet” that we still see in our own day and age when we witness the numerous and invariably Christian “prophets” predicting the end of the world in the lifetime of their own followers? Was Jesus misunderstood and were his original teachings corrupted by later church scribes? We may never know what really happened. What becomes clear, however, is that in Jesus one could hardly find a less acceptable sacrifice to reconcile us with G-d, at least from a Jewish point of view. Which makes me thankful to the G-d of Israel that He is already near to all who call upon Him, to those who do so in truth (Psalm 145:18).

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Julian permalink
    April 5, 2016 9:30 am

    Gene, you raise a number of very legitimate issues, which I think any Jewish person should grapple with before believing in Jesus. I just have problems with the objection raised in the previous post. That’s all.

  2. The Real Messianic permalink
    April 5, 2016 11:48 am

    Not only Jewish people, but all those who want to believe in Yeshua. And those who already accepted him as a god even before asking any questions. This is almost all the time true, Christians/Messianic are asked to accept him even before checking the evidences and the other side of the coin. I don’t know anybody in the messianic world that accepted him after checking the facts, but rather they accepted him after an emotional plea from the preacher, the warning of hell and the “fact” that G-d won’t forgive you if you don’t accept his sinless lamb as a sacrifice! And, voilà! You are a follower and want to prove him as G-d even before checking if it makes sense… you (the new believe) are totally bias even before you check if it’s true, you are drinking the milk of the new testament as inspired and true and you (the new believer) are teached quite early that those who don’t see that truth are blinded by satan, blind and of bond to their sins… You have no other option than clinch to Yeshua for assurance of salvation, if not, you are a Judas who deserve to take a stone an throw yourself in the middle of the deep blue sea!

  3. The Real Messianic permalink
    April 5, 2016 11:56 am

    “The evil generation I referenced was not referring to anyone in the Old Covenant- if you want to make an argument please stay on topic. Anyone can confuse the issue by jumping back and forth- I was in the New Covenant, talking about Yeshua telling the Pharisees who required a sign even after they had seen all the miracles, not Ahab or Gideon- to discuss a statement we need to stay in context with that statement or you lose your credibility.”
    The “new” covenant is false, and this is just another example of his false teaching. Those who asked signs in the Tanakh are the true followers of G-d, those who don’t are the prideful and the wicked, this is simple, the Pharisees were right to ask a sign of to doubt he was a true prophet. Look at the quantity of phony out there,… is it right to accept them just because they say so?

    “And, yes- there definitely was a sign, it’s called resurrection.”
    And nobody of the Pharisees saw it! That must be such an outstanding sign as the virgin birth that nobody went to check if it was true… But as long as they did not see it, it was not a sign for them at all!

    “It wasn’t given then and there but it was given. For those that have eyes to see and ears to hear means, simply, those that want to accept or those that won’t. It is clear that you do not want to accept, so I appreciate your comments but as strongly as you do not accept what I say, I do not accept your belief that Yeshua is not Messiah. Let’s just say we agree to disagree, and pray for each other that we each learn the truth, whatever it is, before we meet HaShem. OK?”
    If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,”…
    Maybe you are right and Yeshua did raise from the dead, but does it matter? Let’s just agree to disagree on that one, but why should you just accept your “truth” without testing it?
    Thanks for your conversation anyway…

  4. April 8, 2016 12:48 am

    I understand that Rabbinical Jews do not want to have anything to do with Yeshua ben Yosef…they have the right to do just as many stupid things as Christians do, and to believe what has been passed down to them over the centuries, whether right or wrong, or tainted by human touch. The fact that Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism developed in opposition to each other does not take away from the effect that this one man…and I said man, had on the entire world, nor that the teachings of both the Old and New Scriptures help one to get closer to G-d.

    And as a Messianic Gentile…a Talmedei Yeshua, truly trying to walk in the footsteps of Rav Yeshua, one does get confirmation upon asking G-d to come into your life, and going through a mikvah to cleanse one’s self of impurity, and so forth. The Ruach haKodesh is interested in those of us that seek G-d through Yeshua ben Yosef, and Yeshua’s prophecies have so far been fulfilled…if we can accept the required witnesses, of which there were many.

    And if haSatan is impersonating the Ruach haKodesh to those of us trying to get close to G-d…he’s going about it in a very strange way, getting a lot of Gentiles to look at YHVH, and to seek Him, and love Him, and attempt to obey Him as He instructs…in the Torah.

    Most Christians don’t follow Torah directly, but many walk in uprightness…simply by attempting to follow what Yeshua taught. And Yeshua’s teachings have changed the world, even if his life and teachings have been used by both Jews and Gentiles for political aims.

    Yeshua, for all the faults of the Apostolic writings, and the faults of the Tanakh, which also is not perfect, nor without contradiction because of humans writing down the thoughts of G-d, has had more people seek YHVH, however clumsily the people may go about it, and however badly Rabbinical Jews want them to stop.

    As for Yeshua not being sinless, are you sure you want to start judging him? He was walking without fault, or no one would have feared him…. Oh…the idea that he blasphemed? How do you know that is so…the Apostolic Writings state that he did not open his mouth…one way or the other…about the matter, except to say, in effect, “Those are your words.” But he was cut off from life just as was prophesied by Daniel…and right on time too.

    Do I expect him to return in a glorified body in power…Yep. But you don’t have to, if you don’t want to. And if I am wrong in this matter, well, Abba is certainly not telling me to stop valuing Rav Yeshua as my teacher and as a prophet.

    Do I think he is the son of G-d? I think we all have that opportunity.

    Isaiah 56:3-8 (CJB)
    3 A foreigner joining Adonai should not say, “Adonai will separate me from his people”; likewise the eunuch should not say, “I am only a dried-up tree.”
    4 For here is what Adonai says: “As for the eunuchs who keep my Shabbats, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant:
    5 in my house, within my walls, I will give them power and a name greater than sons and daughters; I will give him an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
    6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant,
    7 I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
    8 Adonai Elohim says, he who gathers Isra’el’s exiles: “There are yet others I will gather, besides those gathered already.”

    Isaiah 65:1 (CJB)
    1 “I made myself accessible to those who didn’t ask for me, I let myself be found by those who didn’t seek me. I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’ to a nation not called by my name.

    Isaiah 66:18-21 (CJB)
    18 “For I [know] their deeds and their thoughts. “[The time] is coming when I will gather together all nations and languages. They will come and see my glory,
    19 and I will give them a sign. I will send some of their survivors to the nations of Tarshish, Pul, Lud (these are archers), Tuval, Greece and more distant coasts, where they have neither heard of my fame nor seen my glory. They will proclaim my glory in these nations;
    20 and they will bring all your kinsmen out of all the nations as an offering to Adonai — on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, on camels — to my holy mountain Yerushalayim,” says Adonai, “just as the people of Isra’el themselves bring their offerings in clean vessels to the house of Adonai.
    21 I will also take cohanim and L’vi’im from them,” says Adonai.

    I am not trying to prove anything to anyone based on any writings, however brilliantly inspired by G-d, that were written by men. No such proof exists. for Jew or Gentile…and G-d will sort the whole thing out in the last day…which, is fine by me, because in the end, we are talking about faith in YHVH.

  5. April 8, 2016 9:24 am

    “The fact that Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism developed in opposition to each other does not take away from the effect that this one man”

    Questor, the Pharisaic (Rabbinic) movement within Judaism has been around long before Christianity came along. Christianity has had a lot to say about Judaism (starting with its foundational text, the NT, which is dripping with criticism and outright disdain toward its parent religion). Judaism, on the other hand, has had very little to say about Christianity. It mostly ignores it. In fact, when you read Talmud, the main text of Judaism after the Bible, it’s hard to see where it even eludes to Christianity or its founder, except possibly in a few disputed passages. Christianity is obssessed with Judaism and Jews. Don’t tell me that BOTH “developed in opposition to each other”. Both Christianity and its sister religion, Islam, developed themselves in opposition to Judaism. Both depend wholy on Judaism for their claimed foundations. Judaism doesn’t need either of them to exist and will be around long after those two false religions pass away from the world stage into oblivion.

    ‘As for Yeshua not being sinless, are you sure you want to start judging him?”

    I judge him on this blog all the time. A false prophet and false teacher and idol deserves this much.

    “Most Christians don’t follow Torah directly, but many walk in uprightness…simply by attempting to follow what Yeshua taught.”

    Many Christians are good people. But so are many atheists and people of other religions. As far as religious people go, however, for me being “upright” these days includes not worshiping idols. After all, it’s the first commandment of Torah.

  6. April 8, 2016 9:51 pm

    Do as you please, Gene…it’s your soul and your eternity. But I don’t worship Yeshua either, nor do I worship Idols….I worship YHVH as a gentile, and add Torah as quickly as the Ruach haKodesh enables me. As for the Jesus you judge…that is a Christian idol, and a completely different religion. I was talking about the man, Yeshua, who was a Jew, walking uprightly in Judea and propounding nothing that is not in the Tanakh, not claiming to be YHVH, and encouraging the mitzvot of the Torah until the end of the age, which so far as I can see, has not happened.

    What the Roman-Greco Christian Church did is not my concern, for they have obviously gone astray from Nazarene Judaism, and were happy to divorce the Nazarene movement in Judaism, and amend the Apostolic Gospels to suit their purposes, just as the Rabbinical Jews worked with the Roman Government after AD 70, and separated themselves from the Nazarenes more than they did prior to AD 66. The Sadducees and Essenes died out under Roman Rule of Judea, as did the Nazarenes…but it took almost 400 years, by which time the Christians were persecuting everyone who did not worship Idols, as I am sure you know.

    And I am also aware that Yeshua ben Yosef was a Pharisee of the Hillelite School.

    I am truly sorry that you were involved with the Christian Church…I never have been able to stand for the Christian ideas, and walk very warily around that religion. Some ‘Christians’ actually do follow Torah, and only worship YHVH, but obviously you didn’t meet them.

  7. April 10, 2016 12:01 pm

    “Do as you please, Gene…it’s your soul and your eternity.”

    Questor, are you implying that I am headed for hell because of Jesus? Sure seems like that’s what you are doing.

  8. April 19, 2016 7:46 am

    Good article, but as a Christian, I see things a bit differently – other Christians may not agree with me.

    Firstly, Jesus was the Son of God, so God didn’t sacrifice a version of Himself, the Father sent His Son to earth, His Son who was with the Father in the beginning. John 3:16 says God gave His only begotten son – begotten means born. Jesus was the Father’s infant son born in the spirit world and then also on earth (Genesis mentions “us” in verse 1:26 for God, hence Father and Son, and Holy Spirit too many say).

    Secondly, when Christians follow Jesus and accept Him as Lord and Savior, their souls then are part of Jesus’ Kingdom, and they are thus saved from the devil’s kingdom. So the way I see it is that even though we are all sinners, when we choose to become part of Jesus’ Kingdom, that act saves us from the devil and from our sins which we would normally go to hell for.

  9. April 19, 2016 9:33 am

    “Jesus was the Father’s infant son born in the spirit world”

    Shirley, are you saying that there was a time when the spirit of Jesus didn’t exist? And you seem to believe that Jesus wasn’t “god”, right? Or is Jesus still god?

  10. The Real Messianic permalink
    April 19, 2016 1:54 pm

    Shirley, do you have two gods, two lords, two saviours, two rocks, tow redeemers?

  11. August 25, 2016 12:24 pm

    Asher Wade was an ordained pastor in the
    Methodist Church before he converted to Judaism:

    http://asherwade.com/about/

  12. August 25, 2016 12:47 pm

    AVROHOM BEN AVROHOM is the biography of Graf Valentin Pototcki, a European nobleman who converted to Judaism in the early 1700s.

    SO STRANGE MY PATH by A. Carmel is the biography of Father Kenneth Cox, a Catholic priest who converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1953.

    ORDAINED TO BE A JEW is the autobiography of John David Scalamonti, who was a Catholic priest for 5 years before he converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1972.

    ESCAPE FROM JESUS is the autobiography of Shlomoh Sherman, a “Jewish Christian” rejected Jesus and accepted Judaism, published by Decalogue Books in 1983.

    MY SISTER THE JEW is the autobiography of Delores Grey, who was a Christian minister before she converted to Orthodox Judaism.

    PLAYING WITH FIRE is the autobiography of Tova Mordechai, who became a Christian minister at age 25, before she became an Orthodox Jew.

    Aharon Calderon, a former Benedictine monk born in 1970, converted to Orthodox Judaism in 1998. He said: “The G_d of Israel is a G_d of love who accepts all mankind.”
    SOURCE: Hamodia Magazine section, 05/31/2006, pages 12 and 21, article by Michael Fruend, entitled: From Monastery to Meah Shearim.

    Methodist minister Asher Wade converted to Orthodox Judaism in May 1983.
    His web site is: www dot AsherWade dot com

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