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The Messiah Revealed Pt. 3

I proceed with a discussion of Psalm 22:

Old Testament Prophecy – Psalm 22 New Testament Comparison
v. 1: “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46: “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi lama sabacthani?,’ which means, ‘My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?’ “
6-8: “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by people. All who see me mock me. They hurl insults shaking their heads; ‘He trusts in the Lord, let the Lord rescue Him. Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him.’” Matthew 27:41-44: “In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the Law and the Elders mocked Him. ‘He saved others.’ they said, ‘But He can’t save Himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let Him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in Him. He trusts in God, let God rescue Him now if He wants Him, for He said “I am the Son of God.” ‘ In the same way the robbers who were crucified with Him also heaped insults on Him.”
14-15: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.”

(NOTE – This is a precise description of the crucifixion process where the hanging weight of a person’s body would eventually cause his bones to come out of joint, and would make him as one lying in the “dust of death”)

John 19:34: “Instead one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.”

(NOTE – Medically the flow of blood and water would mean that the heart of the person had literally burst , i.e. had “turned to wax” and “melted away”, in complete fulfillment of this verse of the Psalm!)

John 19:28: “Later, knowing that all was completed, and so that the scripture may be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ “

16: “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men have encircled me; they have pierced (kaaru) my hands and feet.” (NOTE – This prediction was made when crucifixion did not even exist at the time!) 17-18: “I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They have divided my garments and cast lots for my clothing.” John 19:23-24: “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. ‘Let’s not tear it,’ they said to one another, ‘let’s decide by lot who will get it.’ “

Even more amazing still is the fact that the Psalmist indicates that after suffering all this pain and torture which eventually causes the sufferer to lie in “the dust of death”, the sufferer will then be able to proclaim the name of God in the sacred assembly: “I declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise You” (v. 22)

The only way for the sufferer to die and yet give glory to God in front of his brethren is if he were to be resurrected! Jesus Christ is the only man in history to have been raised from the dead to immortal glory. In fact, upon rising from the dead Jesus proceeded to declare God’s name to His unbelieving brethren who became the Apostles that helped evangelize the world! Therefore, He is the only one who has fulfilled this prophecy.

The Pesikta Rabbati, Piska 36: 1-2: affirms that Psalm 22 was viewed as a messianic prophecy:

“(At the time of the Messiah’s creation) the Holy One, blessed be He, will tell Him (Messiah) in detail what will befall Him: There are souls that have been put under My throne, and it is their sins which will bend Thee under a yoke of iron and make thee like a calf whose eyes grow dim with suffering… During the seven year period preceding the coming of the Son of David, iron beams will be brought and loaded upon His neck until Messiah’s body is bent low… It was the ordeal of the Son of David that David wept, saying, ‘My strength is dried up like a potsherd.’ 

In refutation of certain Jewish claims that Psalm 22:16 should more correctly read as lions (kaari), instead of pierced (kaaru), we find this passage in the Yalkut Shimoni (687): “‘Many dogs have encompassed me’- this refers to Haman’s sons. ‘The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me’- this refers to Ahasuerus and his crowd. ‘ Kaari my hands and feet’- Rabbi Nehemiah says, ‘They have PIERCED my hands and feet in the presence of Ahasuerus.’”

(NOTE– It should be stated that the early Greek Septuagint [compiled nearly three centuries before the birth of Christ], Syriac and Latin versions of the Hebrew Scriptures all read “pierced.”)

Alfred Edersheim observed a remarkable comment in Yalkut on Isaiah 60 which applies this passage in Psalm 22 to the Messiah , and uses almost the same words as the Gospel writers in describing the mocking behavior of the surrounding crowds. (Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 718)

This is a clear indication that certain rabbis viewed Psalm 22 as a messianic prophecy.

This apparent paradox has puzzled the Jews from the very beginning, since they could not understand how a triumphant King-Messiah could suffer and die. As noted earlier, this paradox led to the belief that there would be two distinct Messiahs to fulfill two distinct roles; the Suffering-Messiah Ben Joseph, and King-Messiah Ben David. Yet the truth is that there is only Messiah, Yeshua ha-Mashiach whose mission has been to fulfill both these roles. The first mission was to fulfill the role of the Suffering Servant, while his role as reigning King is to be fulfilled at his Second Coming. (Cf. Matthew 24:27-35).

The Timeline of Messiah

Through the prophet Daniel we receive a timeline of when Messiah would appear:

(Daniel 9:24-26) “Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and the Holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy . Know and understand this; from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (Messiah), the Ruler comes, there will be Seven sevens and Sixty-two sevens. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. “

Daniel is given the allotted time for a) the decree of the rebuilding of both the city and the temple, b) the time it would take for the Messiah to appear after this decree, as well as c) the destruction of the temple and the termination of the Messiah’s life. Several dates have been given as a starting point for the period of time stated in the book of Daniel (7 * 7 = 49 + 62 * 7 = 434 – total = 483).

One such date is King Cyrus’s decree to rebuild the temple in 539 B. C. Yet, none of these dates are correct since the dates that are commonly given refer to the rebuilding of the temple, not the city. The prophecy clearly states that the time frame would begin only when the decree goes forth for the rebuilding of the city and its walls. The only decree that fits the context of the prophecy is that of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 444 B. C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8), since this decree included the restoration of the city and the city gates as well as its walls.

The following quotation from the book “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell, helps illustrate Daniel’s amazing timeline:
“If Daniel is correct, the time from the edict to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Nisan 1, 444B.C.) to the coming of the Messiah to Jerusalem is 483 years (69 * 7), each year equaling the Jewish prophetic year of 360 days (173,880). The terminal event of the 69 weeks is the presentation of Christ Himself to Israel as the Messiah as predicted in Zechariah 9:9. H. Hoehner, who has thoroughly researched this prophecy in Daniel and the corresponding dates, calculates the date of this event:

‘Multiplying the sixty-nine weeks by seven years for each week by 360 days gives a total of 173,880 days. The difference between 444B.C. and A.D.33 then is 476 solar years. By multiplying 476 by 365.24219879 or by 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45,975 seconds (there are 365 ¼ days in a year), one comes to 173,885 days, 6 hours, 52 minutes, 44 seconds, or 173,885 days. This leaves only 25 days to be accounted for between 444B.C. and A.D.33. By adding the 25 days to March 5 (of 444B.C.), one comes to March 30 (of A.D.33) which was Nisan 10 in A.D.33. This is the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem .’” (McDowell, p. 173)

This prophecy once again predicts Messiah’s brutal death:

“After the sixty-two sevens, the Anointed One will be cut off (yikaret) and have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary (temple).” (cf. Daniel 9:26)

The Hebrew term, yikaret, implies a sudden, violent death. This is a precise description of Jesus’ brutal death on the cross. Another astonishing aspect deals with the fact that the Temple was destroyed some forty years after Christ’s crucifixion; clearly fulfilling Daniel’s prediction of the “sanctuary” being demolished right after the death of the Messiah! Hence, Jesus must be the Messiah since the prophecy clearly states that the Messiah must appear before the destruction of the second Temple. The only person who fits the bill is Jesus Christ, since He is the only one who claimed that his death was essential in providing the atonement that was both necessary to usher in God’s everlasting righteousness and to eradicate sin.

Furthermore, any denial of Jesus’ Messiahship is essentially a denial of Daniel’s authenticity as a prophetic book since the condition of the prophecy rests upon the arrival of the Messiah before the Temple’s destruction. Yet, if Jesus is not Messiah then Daniel is proven to be a false prophet since the Temple has been destroyed and the Messiah has not come. Hence, once the weight of historical occurrences and mathematical calculations is thrown behind the prophecies of the Bible, it becomes increasingly impossible to deny the fact that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

Additional confirmation of the messianic overtones of Daniel 9:25-27 comes from the Talmud itself:

” In Daniel is delivered to us the end [‘the time of His appearance and death’ – Rabbi Jarchi] of the Messiah.” The Talmud also records that about the time of the Roman general Titus’ destruction of the Temple (70 A. D.), the Messiah was believed to have already come, yet His identity was concealed from the Jews until they were rendered more worthy of His appearance! ” (Franz Delitzch and Paton Gloag, The Messiahship of Christ / The Messianic Prophecies of Christ [Minneapolis, MN; Klock & Klock, 1983 rpt.], pt. 2, p. 226)

Rabbi Moses Abraham Levi stated: “I have examined the Holy Scriptures, and have not found the time for the coming of the Messiah, clearly fixed, except in the words of Gabriel to the prophet Daniel, which are written in the ninth chapter of the prophecy of Daniel.”

Rabbi Azariah states in the words of Daniel: “To seal the vision and prophecy, and to bring in Messiah our righteousness .”

Rabbi Nachmonides claims: “This Holy of Holies is the Messiah who is sanctified more than the sons of David.”

Finally, in the words of Jonathan ben Uzziel: “That the ‘vision and prophecy’ may be fulfilled even unto Messiah, the Holy of the Holies.”

This again strengthens the case for the Messiahship of Jesus since He is the only person that both claimed to be the suffering Messiah that was to die and who appeared before the year 70 AD.

In fact Rabbi Nehumias, who lived 50 years before Christ, is cited as saying that the time given by Daniel for the Messiah’s appearance could not go beyond fifty years! (Ibid.) LOOK: Another amazing fact is that the Talmud admits that forty years prior to the destruction of the Temple, God refused to accept the high priestly sacrifices :

“Our Rabbis taught that throughout the forty years that Shim’on the Tzaddik served … the scarlet cloth would become white. From then on it would sometimes become white and sometimes not … Throughout the last forty years, before the Temple was destroyed … the scarlet cloth never turned white .” (Yoma 39a-39b)

Is it then a mere coincidence that approximately forty years prior to the Temple’s destruction, Yeshua the Messiah offered himself as the final and perfect sacrifice, making void all other sacrifices offered up by the cohen ha-gadol (the high priest)? The Talmud alludes to the reason why God allowed the Temple to be destroyed:

“Why was the Second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they occupied themselves with studying Torah, obeying mitzvot and practicing charity? Because in it prevailed hatred without a cause.” (Yoma 9b)

This echoes Jesus’ very own words as recorded in the Gospel of John:

“But now they (the Jewish ruling council) have seen these miracles and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ ” John 15:24b-25

Thus, the evidence from the rabbinic commentaries points to the same inescapable conclusion. Namely, that Jesus of Nazareth is the prophesied Jewish Messiah. To make the case for the Messiahship of Jesus that much stronger, we provide the additional prophecies and their fulfillment in the life of Jesus.

Genesis 49:10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Law-giver from between His feet until Shiloh come.”

Targum Onkelos states: “He who excerciseth dominion shall not pass away from the house of Jehuda, nor the saphra from his children’s children until the Messiah come.

Additionally, the Targum Jerusalem declares that, ” Kings shall not cease from the house of Jehuda… until the time that the King Meshiha shall come … How beauteous is the King Meshiha who is to arise from the house of Jehuda.”

Finally, the Targum Palestine indicates: “Kings shall not cease, nor rulers from the house of Judah … nor sapherim teaching the Law from his seed, till the time that the King the Messiah shall come, who will arise from Jehuda .”

In fact one of the names of Messiah is Shiloh, a name derived from this very passage: R. Johannan asked what was the name of the Messiah; they of the school of R. Schilo answered, “His name is Shiloh, according to that which is written, ‘until Shiloh come.’” (Sanhedrin 98b)

Thus, according to this passage, two things would take place following the appearance of the Messiah:

1. Removal of the scepter or identity of Judah.
2. Suppression of the judicial power.

NOTE: Although Israel suffered 70 years of captivity under Babylonian rule, it never ceased from having its “tribal staff,” since they still had their own lawgivers and judges. (cf. Ezra 1:58) The removal of Judah’s scepter came during the reign of Herod the Great who, having no Jewish blood, succeeded the last reigning Jewish leaders in Jerusalem; the Maccabean princes of Judah. Secondly, the legal right of pronouncing death upon criminals was stripped away from the Jews in 7 AD., approximately 23 years before Christ’s crucifixion. This nullified their judicial authority to execute lawbreakers.

The Talmud itself admits this: “… a little more than forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the power of pronouncing capital sentence was taken away from the Jews. ” (Sanhedrin, Fol. 24, recto.)

The fact of the matter was that the Messiah had already arrived and was a young 12 year old Jewish boy living in Nazareth whose name was Jesus! (For further reading see Evidence That Demands a Verdict, vol. 1, pp.168-170)

More to come in the final section:

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