“For who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form or comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was He stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, He hath but Him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul and 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 travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death; and He was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:1-12
Our weekly Christian devotional
“So…are you Jewish?” The girl with a curious smile nods towards my sister’s wrist.
A Hebrew word is tattooed on Emily’s arm. Since tattoos themselves are forbidden in Judaism, the genre and canvas of the script itself has it’s own twisted irony.
“No, but I wish.” Emily delicately traces the fading symbol etched on her skin, her expression is one of longing.
“Really?” The stranger moves closer. “So, why are you having your tattoo removed?”
“Over the course of my life, I’ve had three different psychics at different points tell me that I would be dead by the age of twenty five.”
After an awkward hesitation, the girl asks, “How old are you?”
“Twenty eight.” Emily chuckles as she pulls her sleeves down covering her wrists.
“I guess the psychics were right to a certain degree, at twenty five life as I knew it ceased to exist for me. I was pretty cynical.”
“What changed?” After looking into those large brown eyes, Emily felt compelled to answer.
“I met Messiah.”
“…But, I thought you said that you weren’t Jewish…” Confusion etches her lovely brows.
Many of my Jewish friends have openly shared with me that they don’t actually follow their own faith. Ironically, I’ve been hard-pressed to find any who don’t at the very least, keep a minimum of their heritage and traditions.
Coming from an oppressive background myself, I’m going to make my personal observation on the matter: Perhaps the very reason many Jews today don’t believe in their own religion are for the very same reasons Jesus famously rebuked the pious religious leaders of His day.
Those Pharisees and Sadducees were quick to pencil in hundreds of ‘add ons’ to God’s original Ten Commandments. And, those rules kept the common Jewish people overwhelmed and frustrated. In following the letter of God’s law, plus tacking on countless additional ones, the religious leaders forgot the essence for the law itself! Its main purpose was to serve as a blessing for mankind, not to become an over-bearing burden!
In traditional human fashion, many Rabbis found creative loopholes around those man-made additions; thus making Judaism not only more confusing, but difficult to navigate. It also made the faith harder to believe. How could one trust the law when the Rabbis themselves quickly adapted ways ‘around’ them?
My personal belief of the confusion that resulted is this: It’s simply the natural bi-product of the Jewish faith changing its focus. Judaism became more concerned with man pleasing than it was concerned with being God-fearing. Sadly, Christianity suffers from this very same disease. It’s called human corruption. Oftentimes, this corrosion is almost impossible to detect because our innate tendencies happen to be the key element to our own demise.
In order to avoid confusion and to keep with the origins of the original, God-fearing Judaism, I will be referring to the Jewish Scriptures of the Tanakh. (This is commonly referred to as the Old Testament by Christians.)
There is an age-old dilemma that has plagued humanity both learned and unlearned, Jewish and non-Jewish since the beginning of time.
“What is the meaning of life?” God gives a glimpse of His answer over and over again throughout the Holy Scriptures.
In the Tanakh, the Hebrews were encouraged by God’s prophets to look for the coming Messiah. Isaiah 53 is just one of the many prophetic scriptures from the Tanakh describing the Messiah.
If one delves into the New Testament, the very fulfillment of God’s promised Messiah is highlighted. Those who knew Him best retell Jesus’ life, His words, His intimate friendships and His horrific and public sacrifice at the cross.
Sadly, it’s customary for Jewish people to shun or be shunned for even considering that Jesus was more than an ego-driven prophet. Jesus never called Himself the Son of God because He had of a spirit of pride; He said it because it was the truth. After reading Jesus’ sermon on the mount, it’s hard to challenge His simplistic yet powerful message that has resonated with humanity since the day it was uttered on hungry Hebrew ears.
The Jewish people of Jesus’ day were looking for a hero to lead them out of the captivity of the Roman Empire. But, God had something even greater planned. Jesus came to set all men free from the oppression of the law and the slavery that sin brings. His arrival was meant to ripple through and impact all of humanity—not just touch Jewish lives.
The very Messiah that many Jewish people continue to laboriously wait for has already come. Jesus has been the source of salvation and preservation for millions around the globe. Today, His infamous name still casts out demons and provides healing.
My sister Emily finally found meaning in her life after her personal encounter with Jesus. God Himself was enough for her and there was no going back.
For my Jewish friends: Allow me to encourage you to keep seeking for The Truth. If you are genuinely desperate to find it, the fear of oppression or retaliation won’t stop you.
And if you seek it with all your heart, soul and mind you will find the truth. As millions who have already encountered Jesus will faithfully attest, knowing Him has set them free from countless oppressions. Stop wondering, wondering and missing the most amazing blessing God could ever give you. God had much more than the Ten Commandments to give humanity. He desires that intimate relationship with you. Aren’t you curious to how that could impact your life here on earth and your eternal future? Aren’t you ready for a deeper existence?
I know countless stumbling blocks have prevented you from fully opening your heart to Jesus in the past. Hopefully, I can lend a healthy reminder that might comfort you in your search for The Truth: Jesus was Jewish.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have grown up with a healthy fear and reverence for you. I also want to honor my parents, as the Tanakh instructs.
Lord, there comes a point in every grown man or woman’s life when we must take accountability for our own faith.
Out of respect for you, I must test what I have learned, because I feel you are worthy of that honest and earnest search.
Lord, I wish to honor the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If Jesus was truly the Son of God, quiet the voices that say He is a blasphemer. Open my eyes, Lord. Take the veil off, Lord. Have mercy on me.
I promise to search the scriptures for myself. I will not rely on the words uttered by another human with the title of Rabbi. If you are God, you can speak to me, too. For you don’t just visit men in schooled in theology. You are a God of hearts, and I promise with all of mine, I will find you.
Lord, show yourself to me. In Jesus’ name, by faith I will say it, Amen.”
For more biblical answers to the Messianic Prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus, click here:
Thank you for reading our weekly Christian devotional on verses: Isaiah 53:1-12
Please check back and see what we have for you next week!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan