Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Challenging Judaism's assertion: "There is nothing in the Tanakh saying the Messiah has to die an rise from the dead."

Jewish "anti-missionaries" in their quest to deny that Yeshua is the Messiah, and to subversively keep people from seeing Yeshua as the Messiah, love to throw this phrase into our faces: "There is nothing in the Tanakh saying the Messiah has to die and rise from the dead."

We can only presume that this is so important to them because the Brit Chadashah does imply that it is written in the Tanakh that the Messiah would die and rise - and not understanding that, they choose to consider it a "flaw" in the Brit Chadashah!

Typically, the writing of Paul is cited as "false" by the Yeshua deniers. In this case, we find the problem verses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, in Paul's 1st Letter to the set-apart community in Corinth: "3. For I delivered to you from the first, as I had received it; that the Mashiyach died on account of our sins, as it is written: 4. And that he was buried and arose on the third day, as it is written:…"

Note for both attributes, His death and His burial/resurrection, Paul says "as it is written."  Thus the objection. The typical Yeshua-denier, without understanding Paul, will simply say: "See, this is a lie, there are no scriptures which say this." Well, they would be wrong.

First, we must understand that there is no reason whatsoever that there would need to be scriptures which specifically identify ANY aspect of the Messiah. There are MANY prophecies in the Tanakh which can, and do, have multiple meanings. The rabbis know this. But we are to spend our time with YHWH learning and growing and not just look for our idea of what scripture should say. Since Paul, himself, did not clarify which Tanakh scriptures he was referring to, we must do some digging to see if we can come up with the answer in the Tanakh (of which we know Paul was very familiar). Just because we don't know the Tanakh as well as Paul is no reason to deny what he said as not true!

Since Paul was a schooled Jew, it is safe to assume the he knew the Tanakh well, so it would not at all be surprising if he drew from many scriptures to make the statement "as it is written."  And, indeed we find many scriptures in the Tanakh:

FIRST: The Messiah would die on account of our sins. While many Yeshua-deniers argue that Isaiah 53 is about Israel and not the Messiah, this claim is indefensible. If you only read the context of Isaiah, starting from about chapter 40, you find that it is about a new beginning for Israel, a time when all the world will ultimately see the glory of the YHWH. In this prophecy the exile serves as a symbol of the spiritual bondage of the Jewish people, while the return from exile is as an expression of their redemption. The prophecy leads to the Messianic verses found 52:13-53:12 which, in no way, is "about Israel" as Judaism claims. The text clearly speaks of one individual - the "arm" of YHWH (53:1). So these verses clearly support Paul's declaration: "As it is written."

SECOND: Isaiah 53:5, 53:8, 53:11-12, all attest to the fact that the Messiah would die for our sins, Isaiah 53:9-10 attests that the Messiah would be buried and rise. So these verses clearly support Paul's declaration: "As it is written."

THIRD: Many verses in the Tanakh provide for a 3-day period of "completion" which meant the Messiah would rise on 3rd day. The number "3" is often used in scripture as a period of "completion". Since the Messiah himself said he would ascend in 3 days (Matthew 12:38-40, 17:22-23, Mark 10:33-34,Luke 24:5-7) just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3-days (Jonah 1:17), clearly, the 3-day period existed before His time on earth and the Messiah knew the 3-day period applied to Him.

In Genesis 22:4, Isaac was as good as dead during the 3-days journey of Avraham with his son until YHWH provided a ram in Isaac's place; in Exodus 3:18, 5:3, and 8:27 we find a 3-day journey is necessary for the offering of sacrifices; in Exodus 19:10-11 we find the people could not come before YHWH until the 3rd day; in Esther 4:16, Esther fasted for 3 days before she went to the King for deliverance of the Jews; in the vision of Hosea 5:12-6:2, the people are "raised up" after 3-days. (There are other verses attesting to the importance and meaning of a 3-day period.) So these verses clearly support Paul's declaration: "As it is written."

Thus it is folly to decide that Paul's words cannot be true because no particular verse from the Tanakh was identified by Paul to attest to the prophesied death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah. Here we've seen many verses which clearly support Paul's words!

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