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ISRAEL MY SON FOREWORD
The relationship which binds families together is often sacred and personal, and it would be an unusual family indeed that kept "open house" for strangers to observe all the intimacies that are reserved for those who belong to the family circle. Yet the Bible invites us, Jew and Gentile alike, to join a family circle. The family is a big one. It is also a closely knit one that can trace its ancestors back to Abraham, and it is known by name "Israel". To the Gentile observer this family is a strange one with traditions that are not always understood. Indeed, the Gentile is often critical because of his misunderstanding of the family's tradition and management of its affairs The family record of Israel, known as the Bible, was written by members of that family over a period of 1600 years. One of the most intimate aspects of the family record is that of the Heavenly Father intervening on behalf of the infant nation with the words: "THUS SAITH JEHOVAH, ISRAEL IS MY SON, EVEN MY FIRSTBORN, AND I SAY UNTO THEE, LET MY SON GO"; and "WHEN ISRAEL WAS A CHILD, THEN I LOVED HIM, AND CALLED MY SON OUT OF EGYPT." The Bible also tells the story of another member of the same family of Israel of whom God said: "THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED." I invite you to share the similarities of the sacred and personal experiences in the lives of these two "Sons", and draw your own conclusions. Joseph H. Hunting Melbourne, 1970
IsraelMySon WebReady CONTENTS
The Nation, The Child of Promise The Messiah, The Child of Promise
Joseph in Egypt. A Character Study
The Nation, "Out of Egypt Have I Called M Son" The Messiah, "Out of Egypt Have I Called My Son"
The Nation, and The Written Word of God The Messiah, The Living Word of God
The Nation Honoured The Messiah Honoured
The Nation Rejected The Messiah Rejected
The Nation Crucified and Buried The Messiah Crucified and Buried
The Nation Resurrected The Messiah Resurrected
The Nation and The Messiah United
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Chapter 1 "The Nation, The Child Of Promise The Bible narrative traces the history of mankind from the Creation to the Flood; then it traces the ancestors of the Hebrew race from the Flood to Abram who dwelt in Ur, a city of Chaldea. "And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai . . . but Sarai was barren; she had no child." (Genesis 11: 29-30.) That simple statement is like a spring that is the source of a mighty river. Each drop of water at the source is precious, and likewise every tiny rivulet that swells the stream until at last it flows a mighty river. Abraham was the fountain-head of this stream of Divine revelation, which soon became a mighty torrent that flooded its banks and the enveloped the entire theme of the Bible. His grandson Jacob became Israel, and thereafter this man and his descendants became the great stream of life-giving water through whom both the written and the Living Word of God were to come. The statement that Sarai was barren could be overlooked as insignificant. But this is one of the first few drops of water bubbling from the spring, so insignificant, yet so essential. One of the little rivulets of Divine revelation close to the source was God's promise to Abram that although Sarai was barren she would bear him a son. "After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not Abram: I am thy Shield and exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me Thou hast given no seed, and lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir, but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. "And he brought him forth abroad and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: And He said unto him, so shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:1-6) Three Biological Miracles "And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her. Yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations: Kings of peoples shall be of her. "Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart; Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety
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years old bear? And Abraham said unto the God, O that Ishmael might live before thee! "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him . . . My covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah will bear unto thee at this set time in the next year." (Genesis 17:1521.) Ishmael was indeed Abraham's son and heir according to the patriarchal system of the time, but he was divinely rejected in favour of Isaac, the Child of Promise. At the time appointed God performed a biological miracle in Sarah, who was not only barren, but also long past the years of child-bearing. And the Child of Promise, Isaac, was born! The Elder Shall Serve The Younger The next act of divine selection came with Rebekah, the divinely-chosen wife for the Child of Promise, Isaac. Rebekah, like Sarah, was also barren. "And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: And the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall server the younger." (Genesis 25:21-23.) Thus Esau, the elder of the twins, was divinely rejected in the favour of Jacob. The third act of Divine intervention wrought in the matriarchs in order that they might bear children was in the case of Rachel, Jacob's wife, who also was barren. "When the Lord saw that Leah was hated He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren," (Genesis 29:31.) "And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb and she conceived and bare a son." (Genesis 30:22-23.) Surely, the very existence of Israel as a nation is due to a series of miracles that were necessary to bring the nation to the birth. Not only did Israel have a supernatural beginning, but the infant nation was also prepared for a supernatural relationship with God, enjoyed by no other race of people. "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?" (Deuteronomy 4:7.) Greater privileges than those given to any other nation also meant greater responsibility and the infant nation of Israel was carefully schooled to be God's demonstration people who would later astonish the world through exploits done in the name of Jehovah, the mighty God of Israel.
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"The Messiah, The Child Of Promise" Running through the Bible is an unbroken thread concerning the Child of Promise. This thread begins with the promise that God made to Eve in the Garden of Eden after the Serpent had beguiled her. "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15.) This promise was to have its fulfillment 4,000 years later. However, Eve had learned a very bitter lesson when she disbelieved God in the Garden of Eden, so that when she brought forth her first-born she cried: "I have gotten a man, Jehovah." (Genesis 4:1, literal translation.) It is interesting to note that neither the word "from" not, as the passage is sometimes rendered, "with the help of" Jehovah, are in the Hebrew text, but have been interpolated by translators. Whereas Eve had previously disbelieved God, the Hebrew text indicates that she had no desire to do so again. As Eve was the only woman living at that time, and as she was the one to whom the promise was given, it is natural that she would believe that her first-born son would be none other than the Child of Promise who would bruise the serpent's head. He would indeed be Jehovah. Whilst Eve believed God, her time for the fulfillment of the promise was 4,000 years premature. So God chose the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to be founders of the nation through which the Child of Promise would come. Later the tribe of Judah was chosen to be the royal tribe through which he would be born. "And Jacob called his sons and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days . . . Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise . . . The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be." (Genesis 49:1,8,10.) Centuries passed and David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel. The Sweet Psalmist of Israel was of the tribe of Judah, and the great Davidic covenant, "Thy house, and thy kingdom shall be established for ever" (II Samuel 7:16), was again confirmed to David: "The LORD hath sword in truth unto David: He will not turn from it. Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne . . . For the LORD hath chosen Zion, He hath desired it for His Habitation. This is My rest for ever: Here will I dwell, for I have desired it." (Psalm 132:11-13-14.) Centuries later Isaiah announced the miraculous manner in which the Child of Promise would be born. "Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign; behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us)". (Isaiah 7:14.) At about the same time, the prophet Micah foretold that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Child of Promise, Who would also be Ruler in Israel. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be Ruler in Israel: Whose goings forth have been from of old from everlasting." (Micah 5:2.)
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"Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus" The Child of Promise Whose name was to be called Jesus (also Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace â€“ Isaiah 9:6.) was born of the virgin in Bethlehem-Judah in the fullness of time. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. "The Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. "But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying: Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matthew 1:18-23.) Thus, the creation of Israel the nation through Divine intervention in the lives of the matriarchs pointed forward to the miraculous birth of the Messiah, the longawaited Child of Promise.
Chapter 2 Israel In Egypt â€“ A Character Study Of Joseph In a most remarkable way, events associated with the life of Joseph, Israel's eleventh son, point forward to similar events in the life of his greatest son, the Messiah. Both Beloved Of The Father Israel's special love for Joseph may well have been due to the fact that Joseph was the long-awaited son of Rachel, whom he loved so dearly. It will also be remembered that Joseph's birth was the result of God's special intervention. There was a fragrance and winsomeness about Joseph's personality which appealed to Jacob. His elder brothers had already caused him intense sorrow and shame in their treatment of Hamor and Shechem.
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Israel's special love for Joseph, revealed in the words, "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children", points to the love of God the Father for the Messiah. "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17.) "They Hated Me Without A Cause" There is a close parallel between the attitude of Israel's sons to Joseph, and that his descendants to their Brother some 2,000 years later. In each case they plotted to slay their brother without cause. Jacob's sons hated Joseph because he exposed their sin. In like manner the Messiah said of His brethren: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin â€“ but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this cometh to pass that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their Law; They hated Me without a cause." (John 15:22-25) Both Exalted In Exile Both Joseph and the Messiah were estranged from their brethren, which resulted in their exile. In both cases they were exalted during their exile. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt . . . And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all of Egypt." (Genesis 41:41-44.) In like manner Israel's Messiah has been exalted in Glory. "Wherefore God hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every man, THAT NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW . . ." (Philippians 2:9-10.) Both A Means Of Blessing To The Gentiles Joseph was the means of much blessing to the Egyptians, both individually and nationally. "And it came to pass, from the time that he (Potiphar) had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had in the house and in the field." (Genesis 39:5.) "And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering, for it was without number . . . and all countries came to Egypt to Joseph for a by corn because that the famine was so sore in the lands." (Genesis 41:49-57.) In like manner Israel's Messiah had been the means of blessing to countless individual Gentiles, as Prophesied by Isaiah: "I will also give Thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6.) Both Reconciled To Their Brethren Joseph's reconciliation to his brethren is one of the most touching stories in Scripture. When the famine caused a great dearth in Canaan, Jacob sent his sons into Egypt to buy corn. More than twenty years had elapsed, and the sons of Israel failed to recognize their brother. "And Joseph was governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land; and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed
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themselves down before him with their faces to the earth. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but they knew him not." (Genesis 42:6-8.) Joseph's Brethren Acknowledge Their Guilt Joseph withheld his identification from his brethren, because there was the matter of their full repentance to be settled. Believing that Joseph would not understand them (he spoke to them through an interpreter) they said: "We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear, therefore is this distress come upon us." (Genesis 42:21.) In thus confessing their guilt they made it possible for Joseph to reveal himself to them, and so the reconciliation was complete. In a similar way Israel will be brought to acknowledge their guilt and national sin of rejecting the Messiah before they are restored to Him. Zechariah prophesied of the great sorrow that shall overwhelm the nation when the Messiah is recognized. "They shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son . . . In that day there shall be great mourning in Jerusalem . . . All the families that are left, each with an overwhelming individual sorrow in having blindly rejected their unrecognized Messiah." (Zechariah 12:10, Amplified Version.) So once again we see a reconciliation, long awaited and with anguish brought about, as Israel and the Messiah are reunited.
Chapter 3 The Nation, "Out Of Egypt Have I Called My Son" Whilst Joseph was ruler in Egypt, "the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses; and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all the lands." (Genesis 41:56-57.) So Jacob conveyed his family to Egypt to sojourn there. "And God spoke unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And He said I am God, the God of thy father: fear not go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation. And I will surely bring thee up again . . . All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were three score and six." (Genesis 46:2-4,26.) After the death of Joseph, the Children of Israel multiplied and prospered in Egypt for several generations. "And the Children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now
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there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the Children of Israel are more and mightier than we; Came on, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it came to pass that when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore, they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens . . . And the Egyptians made the Children of Israel to serve with rigour." (Exodus 1:7-13.) But, "The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied." (Exodus 1:12.) This situation provoked the king of Egypt to introduce the first recorded programme of genocide. He commanded that all the male children be slain at birth by the midwives. When the plan failed, he ordered that all the male children by thrown into the Nile. This folly of anti-semitism in Egypt 3,500 years ago resulted in God's judgment according to His promise, "I will curse him that curseth thee." (Genesis 12:3.) God used the order for genocide to be the means of Israel's deliverance. An infant Hebrew child was discovered by none other than the daughter of the King of Egypt, and she had compassion on the baby. She called his name Moshe, meaning "drawn out", and reared him as her own son. (The Hatshepsut, who herself a little later assumed the throne of Egypt.) Moses The Liberator Moses was reared as a prince, and was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. (Acts 7:22.) At the age of forty an event occurred in his life which changed all this. "And it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked upon their burdens. And he espied and Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way, and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. "Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slaw Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian." (Exodus 2:11-1215.) The writer to the Hebrews gives the reason why Moses renounced his throne as a prince in Egypt: "By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of the Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt . . ." (Hebrews 11:24-26.) For forty years Moses lived a life of solitude in the wilderness of Sinai. Here he married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, priest of Midian. Nothing is recorded of
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Moses' thought during those years in exile. Doubtless he often pondered the plight of his lived ones and his own people. "Let My Son Go!" There is a type of thorny acacia that still survives in the barren rocky wilderness of Sinai. This species of shrub is probably the one which burned without being consumed, and arrested Moses' attention. Then the Lord spoke to Moses from the burning bush. He commissioned him to return to Egypt and demand the release of his people in the Name of the God of Israel. "THUS SAITH JEHOVAH, ISRAEL IS MY SON, EVEN MY FIRSTBORN, AND I SAY UNTO THEE, LET MY SON GO" ! (Exodus 4:22-23.) Pharaoh and Moses may have been reared as brother in the royal household. They had both been princes and Moses may well have been the elder of the two and therefore in line for the throne â€“ of the mightiest kingdom of that time. But he identified himself as one of the accursed Hebrews and spoke in the name and authority of Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, against the gods of the Egyptians, and challenged Pharaoh to his face. Pharaoh's contempt for Jehovah, Israel's God, and for the Hebrew people is revealed in his reply: "Who is Jehovah, that I should obey his voice, to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, neither will I let Israel go." (Exodus 5:2.) Pharaoh was ultimately brought to his knees, but not before miracles wrought by Moses brought the proud nation of Egypt to the brink of destruction. Finally pharaoh implored Moses to take the Children of Israel from their midst, and the prophet Hosea beautifully summarized God's love for his people when he redeemed them from Egyptian slavery: "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1.) The Messiah, "Out Of Egypt Have I Called My Son" Even as the infant nation Israel was succoured from peril by going down into the land of Egypt, so the infant Child of Promise was also delivered from those who would put Him to death, by being taken to Egypt at a very tender age. " . . . Behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth unto Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: Herod will seek the young child and His mother by night and departed into Egypt. And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, OUT OF EGYPT HAVE I CALLED MY SON." (Matthew 2:13-15.) In a most remarkable fashion the nation of Israel and the Messiah of Israel share supernatural origins. God brought forth "Israel, my Son" the nation, through a series of biological miracles wrought in the barren matriarchs, and He brought forth His beloved Son the
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Messiah through a biological miracle according to the promise, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son . . ." Then, after their sojourn in Egypt they both share the same prophecy, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt." (Hosea 11:1 and Matthew 2:15.)
Chapter 4 The Nation, And The Written Word Of God To Israel was committed the sacred task of writing the Holy Scriptures, for "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". (II Peter 1:21.) Israel was commissioned to bear witness to the world that there is no other God than the mighty God of Israel. "I, even I am Jehovah, and besides Me there is no saviour". (Isaiah 43:11.) This great mission has been achieved as the result of Israel's peculiar relationship with God. "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?" (Deuteronomy 4:7.) The truth underlying that statement was borne out when the Israelites began to possess the Promised Land under Joshua. Their entry into the Land of Canaan was the result of a series of miracles which commenced when the river Jordan parted and the people passed over dry shod. The forty years of fruitless and wearisome conflict in the wilderness now turned into a series of conquests which struck terror into the hearts of the surrounding nations. "The Lord Fought For Israel" A miracle occurred when the walls of Jericho fell flat. And a miracle which defies explanation took place in the Valley of Ajalon: "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies . . . So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it, or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel." (Joshua 10:12-14.) Forty years later Joshua testified: "And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they processed it and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers, and there stood not a man of their enemies before them. The Lord delivered all their enemies into their hands. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." (Joshua 21:43-45.) Israel's unique relationship with God has never been shared by any other nation. "But now, thus said the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that
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formed thee O Israel, Fear not , for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art Mine. Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know, and believe Me, and understand that I am He; Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me." (Isaiah 43:1,10.) Even in the midst of their punishment because of disobedience, God promised: "Fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the LORD, neither be dismayed, O Israel; for lo, I will save thee from afar . . . for I am with thee, saith the LORD to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee." (Jeremiah 30:10-11.) "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." (Jeremiah 31:3.) "Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore My bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 31:20.) To Israel was committed the sacred task of revealing the glory and majesty of God to mankind. "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being His counselor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and showed to Him the way of understanding? "Behold, the nations are as the drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto Him?" (Isaiah 40:12-18.) Also to Israel was committed the revelation of the suffering of the Messiah more than 700 years before He was manifest in human flesh. "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 nor 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
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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." (Isaiah 53:1-6.) Ancient nations contributed much to the wisdom and culture of mankind. The Greeks produced great philosophers. The Romans brought law and order to the barbaric races of Europe. India and China built great civilizations. In the light of this, the Apostle Paul asked: "What advantage then hath the Jew? . . . much in every way: chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." (Romans 3:1-2.) Not only were the oracles of God committed unto Israel, but the nation's history from beginning to end has been recorded in these oracles. The veracity and accuracy of past fulfillment of Scripture relating to Israel's history is the guide to understanding the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. Thus to Israel was committed the privilege and the responsibility of giving to mankind the revelation of the written word of God. The Messiah, The Living Word Of God Just as Israel the nation was Divinely commissioned to give to the world the written Word of God, so the written Word of God identifies Jesus Christ as the Living Word of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . ." (John 1:1-14.) " . . . And He hath on His vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:13-16.) The Mystery Of The Name "El Gibbor" Unveiled "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Pele (Wonderful), Yoetz (Counsellor), El Gibbor (The Mighty God), Avi Ad (The Everlasting Father), Sar Shalom (The Prince of Peace)". (Isaiah 9:6.) "EL GIBBOR"! Of all the glorious names by which God is called, this title is perhaps the least understood, yet it unveils the mystery of God being clothed in human form. EL GIBBOR, translated "The Mighty God" in the Authorised Version, is a compound name from the Hebrew word for God, El, and Gibbor, the word for man, usually applied to a great warrior or hero. Thus, EL GIBBOR may be translated literally as GOD-MAN in the sense that the man is a mighty hero. None other than the King David himself clarifies the mystery of God clothed in human flesh: "Wherefore, when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldst not, but a body hast Thou prepared me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of Me) to do thy will, O God." (Psalm 40:6-7 and Hebrews 10:5-7.)
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And so Isaiah identifies EL GIBBOR, GOD-MAN, with the prophecy, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." Centuries later a voice from heaven identified this Son, saying, "This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17) â€“ the Living Word of God.
Chapter 5 The Nation Honoured The land of Israel supplies ample evidence of peoples who have flourished for a time but have long since passed into oblivion. A stroll along the beach at Ashkelon is a never-to-be-forgotten experience. The great columns submerged beneath the clear water of the Mediterranean may have once supported a temple to Dagon. But both the fish god Dagon and the Philistines who worshipped it are forgotten. At Avdat the Nabateans developed a civilization in the heart of the Negev desert by utilizing an ingenious system of water harvesting. Nothing remains of either the Nabateans or their civilization except the crumbling ruins now being excavated. At Ramat Rahel on the outskirts of Jerusalem the Archaeologist's spade has uncovered three levels of civilization which once flourished in the Holy Land; the Hebrews, the Romans and the Byzantine. Of all these, and many others, only the Hebrew people have survived in this land to the present time. The Bible alone supplies the answer to the unique position the Hebrews occupy, not only among the nations which once inhabited the Holy Land, but also among all peoples: "For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people the earth. The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your fathers" (the Patriarchs) (Deuteronomy 7:6-8.) The Apostle Paul likewise bears testimony to God's eternal love for Israel: " . . . As touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' (the Patriarchs') sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." (Romans 11:28-29.) "The Lord hath appeared unto me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." (Jeremiah 31:3.) The Messiah Honoured Matthew describes the momentous event when the Messiah entered Jerusalem in the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." (Zechariah 9:9.)
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"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: Loose them and bring them unto Me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them, and straightway he will send them. "All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. "And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others but down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitude that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest. "And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." (Matthew21: 1-11.) Luke records that had not the multitudes acclaimed Jesus as their King on this occasion the very stones would have cried out in protest. "And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him, Master, rebuke Thy disciples. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:39-40.) The King Identified As Jehovah, The God Of Israel Zechariah's prophecy: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold thy King cometh unto thee", has further significance when the gate through which Jesus entered Jerusalem is identified. This Gate which gave access to the Temple area was known as the Eastern Gate or the Gate Beautiful. When the existing walls and gates of Jerusalem were rebuilt by Suleiman the Great in 1535 AD, the Gate Beautiful was immediately sealed up and for centuries no one has entered the Holy City by this gate. The Israel Defence forces could have gained direct access to the Temple area in June 1967 simply by directing a well-aimed rocket at the centuries-old masonry, yet they entered by a more devious route through St. Stephan's Gate â€“ and the Eastern Gate remains sealed up exactly as foretold by Ezekiel: "Then He brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh towards the east; AND IT WAS SHUT. Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it; BECAUSE JEHOVAH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL HATH ENTERED BY IT, therefore it shall be shut." (Ezekiel 44:1-2.) The Cleansing Of The Temple
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Immediately following the rejoicing which attended the Messiah's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, "He went into the Temple and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My House is the House of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Luke 19:45-46.) Matthew adds that He overthrew the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them that sold doves. This action in itself infuriated those who profaned the use of the Temple. Then Jesus turned to the multitude who gathered and unmasked the hypocrisy of the ruling caste of the Scribes and Pharisees. Nowhere in all Scripture is there such a direct and forceful denunciation of those who oppose God: "Woe upon you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in! . . . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:13,33) His action in driving out the merchants, followed by His scathing indictment of the rulers publicly before the multitude, provided the Chief Priests and rulers with a hostile crowd who would be only too happy to wreak their revenge on Him when the occasion arose.
Chapter 6 The Nation Rejected Time and time again the Lord warned the nation of Israel of the dire consequences which would befall them if they departed from Him. The privileged position to which Israel was elevated by God also brought greater responsibility. Moses warned: "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee and overtake thee." (Deuteronomy 28:15.) "And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to being you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. "And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth, even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot find rest . . ." (Deuteronomy 28:63-65.) For centuries God sent His prophets, who warned Israel of the impending disaster that would overtake the nation unless the people repented of their waywardness.
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Finally, the Messiah delivered the last warning before the disaster struck not only Jerusalem, but the entire nation. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee. How often I would have gathered the children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, for I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:37-39.) The Messiah Rejected Who was responsible for the rejection of the One Who so obviously fulfilled the Messianic prophecy of Zechariah? Some have suggested that the multitude that acclaimed Him suddenly changed its mind, and instead of shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David", cried "Crucify Him!" Let it be clearly understood that the common people loved Him, and they loved Him to the end. Luke makes it very clear. "The Chief Priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him. And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him." (Luke 19:47-48.) It was the corrupt religious leaders whose practices and hypocrisy He had unmasked that schemed and plotted for His death. And even they had to choose a lonely spot, in the dead of night, when only a few of His followers were with Him, to arrest Him and carry out their evil designs. His very trial was a fiasco, and carried out their evil designs. His very trial was a fiasco, and carried out through the night contrary to Jewish law, so that the death sentence would be passed and executed before the people who loved Him could rise up in protest. The great multitude that acclaimed Him followed Him faithfully to the end, as Luke records: "And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him, . . . And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things that were done, smote their breasts and returned. And all His acquaintance, and the women that followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding those things." (Luke 23:27,48-49.) The nation's ultimate rejection of the Messiah resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the nation's being plucked up from off the land and scattered from one end of the earth to the other, even as Moses prophesied
Chapter 7 The Nation Crucified And Buried The Messiah also prophesied: "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. "Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains: and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them which are in the countries
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enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days; For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people." (Luke 21:21-23) In his account of the siege of Jerusalem, Josephus describes the great slaughter and suffering. "Thus did the miseries of Jerusalem grow worse and worse every day, and the seditious were still more irritated by the calamities they were under. And indeed the multitude of carcasses that lay in heaps one upon another was a terrible sight, and produced a pestilential stench." (Wars, Book 6, chapter 1.) Finally, in the year A.D. 70, the Roman legions under Titus burst through the gates of the Holy City. Jerusalem was sacked, and soon afterwards fire gutted the Temple. Molten gold ran in great rivulets among the great stones used in the construction of the massive building. After the flames had subsided, the soldiers tore the Temple apart in their search for the precious metal, fulfilling the prophecy: "See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2) Others ran berserk with a lust for blood. The surrounding hills were denuded of trees for crosses. The I.V.F. commentary estimates that "about a million Jews were killed, mostly by crucifixion, and about two million were sold to misery and death in slavery." Crucifixion is a lingering death, and the convulsive death struggles of the nation continued until the tragic suicide death pact on Masada several years later ended Israel's national life in the land for nearly 2,000 years. Thus, the "days of vengeance" foretold by the Messiah were fulfilled. Jerusalem, the "City of Peace", was destroyed by war. Its inhabitants were either crucified or led away captive to a living death. Finally, the pitiful remnants of the nation of Israel were buried among the nations. This fulfilled Moses' prophecy: "And if ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary unto Me; Then will I walk contrary unto you in fury; And I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sin…And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries into desolation, and I will not smell the savours of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it. "And I will scatter you among the heathen (nations), and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. "Then shall the land enjoy her Sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land: even then shall the land rest and enjoy her Sabbaths." (Leviticus 26:27-34.) Not only did God walk contrary unto His people in fury and bury them among the nations, but the land also rested. One of the strange phenomena concerning the land that was once described by the Lord as "the glory of all lands, a land flowing
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with milk and honey", was that it lay desolate and rested until it responded to the loving husbandry of its own nation latterly resurrected on its soil. God's unchanging love for Israel, beloved for the fathers' sakes, is revealed in His promise: "And yet, for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: For I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen (nations), that I might be their God: I am the LORD." (Leviticus 26:44-45.) The Messiah Crucified And Buried On the 4th Nisan, the anniversary of the slaying of the Passover lambs in Egypt, and as the lambs were being prepared for sacrifice in the Temple, the Lamb of God, even Christ our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Within the brief span of twenty-four hours on the 14th Nisan when Christ was crucified, 15 Messianic prophecies were fulfilled. According to the Law of compound probability, the possibility that they all happened by chance on that day is 1 in 537,000,000! PROPHECY AND F ULFILLMENT
Messiah To Be Betrayed By A Friend "Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." (Psalm 41: 9) PROPHECY:
"Behold the land of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table."
(Luke 22:21) Messiah To Be Sold For 30 Pieces Of Silver PROPHECY:
"They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver." (Zechariah 11:12)
"They covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver." (Matthew
26:15) The Coins To Be Cast On The Floor "I took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD." (Zechariah 11:13) PROPHECY:
"And he cast down the pieces of silver in the Temple." (Matthew
27:5) Messiah's Followers To Forsake Him
IsraelMySon WebReady PROPHECY:
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"Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." (Zechariah
"All the disciples forsook Him and fled." (Matthew 26:56)
Messiah To Be Accused By False Witnesses "False witnesses did rise up; they laid things to my charge that I knew not." (Psalm 35:11) PROPHECY:
"The chief priests and elders, and all the council sought false witnesses against Jesus to put Him to death." (Matthew26: 59) FULFILMENT:
Messiah To Be Silent Before His Accusers "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." (Isaiah 53:7) PROPHECY:
"When He was accused of the chief priests and elders He answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto Him, hearest Thou not how many things they witness against Thee?" And He answered him to never a word." (Matthew27: 1214) FULFILMENT:
Messiah To Be Struck And Spat Upon PROPHECY:
"They shall strike the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek."
(Micah 5:1) "And they spit upon Him, and took the read and smote Him on the head." (Matthew 27:30) FULFILMENT:
Messiah To Be Scourged PROPHECY:
"I gave my back to the smiters." (Isaiah 50:6)
"Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged Him." (John 19:1)
Messiah To Be Crucified With Thieves PROPHECY:
"He was numbered with the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12)
"Then were there two thieves crucified with Him." (Matthew 27:38)
Messiah's Garments Parted, And Lots Cast For His Vestments PROPHECY:
"They part my garments among them, and cast lots for my vesture."
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"And they crucified Him, and parted His garments, casting lots." (Matthew 27:35) FULFILMENT:
Messiah Was To Be Mocked "All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head." (Psalm 22:7) PROPHECY:
"And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads." (Matthew27: 39) FULFILMENT:
Messiah Thirsted And Given Vinegar to Drink PROPHECY:
"In my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." (Psalm 69:21)
"After this, knowing that all things were accomplished, Jesus said, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar and put it to His mouth." (John 19:28-29) FULFILMENT:
Messiah To Be Buried In A Rich Man's Tomb PROPHECY:
"He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death."
(Isaiah 53:9) "There came a rich man of Arimathea named Joseph . . . and begged the body of Jesus . . . and laid it in his own tomb." (Matthew 27:57) FULFILMENT:
Messiah To Pray For His Persecutors "He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." (Isaiah 53:12) PROPHECY:
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) FULFILMENT:
Messiah's Death To Be Voluntary "He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul unto death." (Isaiah 53:12) PROPHECY:
"I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." (John10: 17-18) FULFILMENT:
Chapter 8 The Nation Resurrected Ezekiel prophesied the resurrection of Israel, and this great event will usher in the Messianic reign of universal peace and righteousness upon earth. Isaiah also prophesied, "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the
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mountain of the LORD, to the House of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:3-4.) Millions of Gentiles from many nations for nineteen centuries have been reconciled to God because of Israel's rejection by God. The Apostle Paul expresses this truth. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world . . ." Also Israel's ultimate restoration to god likened by the Apostle to the nation's resurrection from the dead. " . . . what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead?" (Romans 11:15.) Ezekiel's prophecy also foretells this wonderful event. "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. And he caused me to pass round about them, and behold, there were very many human bones in the open valley, and lo, they were very dry. "And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, You know! Again he said to me, Prophesy to these bones, and say unto them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord God of these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and ye shall live. "Then He said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost, we are completely cut off. Therefore prophesy, and say to them. Thus says the Lord God; BEHOLD, I WILL OPEN YOUR GRAVES, AND CAUSE YOU TO COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, O My people; and I will bring you (back home) to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD WHEN I HAVE OPENED YOUR GRAVES, AND CAUSED YOU TO COME UP OUT OF YOUR GRAVES, O MY PEOPLE." (Ezekiel 37:1-5; 11-13, Amplified Version.) Whilst Ezekiel described Israel's resurrection from the graves, and the nation's return to the land, Hosea prophesied the time involved. "I will return to My place (on high), until they acknowledge their offence, and feel their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction and distress they will seek and enquire for Me earnestly, saying, Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn so that He may heal us, He has stricken so that He may bind us up. After two days He will revive us, give us life; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him." (Hosea 5:15; 6:1-2, Amplified Version.) Possibly the "days" of Hosea's prophecy are thousand year periods when we relate them to Peter's statement: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8.) If this is so, then two "days" each of a thousand year duration have almost run their course, and Israel is already revived. The Messiah Resurrected
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The resurrection of Jesus Christ was prophesied by King David and was a miracle of tremendous proportions: "Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell (Sheol); neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10.) The New Testament describes this event: "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And behold, there was an earthquake: For the Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it. "His countenance was like lightening, and His raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake and became as dead men. And the Angel said unto the women, Fear not ye: For I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead." (Matthew 28:1-7.) Christ, The Firstfruits The resurrection of Israel's Messiah was also foreshadowed during the great festivals associated with the Passover. Before any of the harvest was reaped, Moses commanded that a sheaf of the firstfruits be presented before the Lord: "And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Leviticus 23:11.) Not only was Christ "our Passover sacrificed for us", He also rose on the first day of the week, or "the morrow after the Sabbath" and became "the firstfruits of them that slept".
Chapter 9 The Nation And The Messiah United Israel's prophets foretold a time when, after great sorrow and national mourning, the nation would be united with their long-rejected Messiah. The reunion between the nation and the Lord is described in touching language by Isaiah. "Remember these things earnestly, O Jacob, Israel, for you are My servant, O Israel, you shall not be forgotten by Me. I have blotted out as a thick cloud your transgressions, and as a cloud your sins. Return to Me for I have redeemed you. Sing, O heaven, for the LORD has done it; shout, you depths of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and will glorify Himself in Israel." (Isaiah 44:21-23, Amplified Version.) Israel's restoration to the Lord which also marks the commencement of the Messianic kingdom of universal righteousness and peace, is described by Micah: "but in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord
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shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and peoples shall flow to it. "And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us his ways and we may walk in His paths. For the Law shall go forth out to Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. "And He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. "But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." (Micah 4:1-4, Amplified Version.) The Time Of Reconciliation And so, like Joseph, the long exiled Brother will be reunited with His brethren. This will be the time of reconciliation when the Father will "pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace, and of supplications, and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son." (Zechariah 12:10.) Indeed, so great will be the sorrow that the prophet tells of grief-stricken anguish in Jerusalem when every family, with the wives apart, shall mourn because of Him. Not only will they look upon Him who was pierced, but it will be His nail-pierced hands which will identify Him. "And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? Then shall He answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends." (Zechariah 13:6.) "Lo, This Is Our God" Then shall the tribes of Israel recognize that the true identity of the Pierced One is none other than EL GIBBOR, their Divine-Hero and Kinsman-Redeemer. "And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: This is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation . . . And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." (Isaiah 25:9; 35:10.) The Nations Will Share In Israel's Rejoicing Not only will Israel rejoice in their recognition of the Messiah, but the Gentile nations will also recognize His true identity and worship Him. "And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people: And I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the
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LORD of hosts hath sent Me to thee. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. "Be silent, O all flesh before the LORD; for He is raised up out of His holy habitation." (Zechariah 2:11-13.)