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A sign spoken against

One thing about Christmas is that it is not a celebration of a shadow or type, looking for the One of whom Moses and the Prophets spoke.  It is focused on Him who came — the Son has come, the Light shines brightly!

Ps 69: 5-9 (6-10 Heb)   O God, You know my foolishness, and my sins are not hidden from You. Let not those who hope in You, O YHVH God of Hosts, be ashamed because of me; let not those who seek You be confounded because of me, O God of Israel. Because for Your sake I have borne reproach; shame has covered my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s children (Mk 3:21; 6:3; Jn 7:1-5). Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. (Rom 15:3)

Lk 2: 29-35   [Simeon] took [Yeshua] up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel. . . .Behold, this One is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against, . . .that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

–Who is That Man?!  Who is this child that was born, this Son that is given? (Is 9:6-7)
–just a man, a son of Mary?
–just a brother, of Yaakov, Joseph, Judah, Simon, and of sisters, too? They thought He was crazy.
–just a carpenter or a stonemason, son of Joseph? (Mt 13:54-57) They were all offended by Him and His wisdom.
–just a son of David, or one of the prophets and teachers (rabbis)? (Mt 22:42-4616:13-20)

–Jesus the Son bears the reproach of God His Father: YHVH is holy, holy, holy. Yeshua did not come to please Himself, but His Father – God – and those weaker than Himself, in order to build them up. Yeshua love His Father and His Father’s house – the Temple. Do we stand up for Jesus when He we hear others speak against Him, or say something not true about Him? Do we defend the congregation when we hear others speak poorly of it? Do we love Jesus; do we love the church?

–We are to go outside the camp where Messiah is and bear His reproach.
–He is the only one with the words of eternal life.
–He is the one who brings both Jew and Gentile into equal standing with God: this Jew; this crucified One.

–Yeshua – like His Father – is blamed for all the evil and suffering in the world, because He allows it, and does not prevent or stop it [yet]. He is the Scapegoat because He took our sins upon His own body on the cross, becoming a curse for us, so that we could become righteous and blessed!

–If Jesus is only a myth, then Israel as God’s chosen people – and this land as God’s promised land for His people – is also only a myth. If YHVH and Jesus is/are just a myth, then why is He blamed for everything. Thus, the Jews become the scapegoat, since they “invented this myth”; and Christians are hated, because they believe it.  Why live, or die, for what is only a myth or a legend?!
–While we believe that this is no myth, but that YHVH God is the true God and Creator of all that is, those who do not believe in Him or in His words (written for us in the Bible) make up their own myth and expect people to validate it as a legitimate alternative to believe and live for. YHVH God is true, and His word is truth. YHVH God is not a myth or a legend, and neither is the Bible – both OT and NT.

–Great responsibility not to be a cause of stumbling for those seeking truth, for those seeking the true God, or of those whose hope is already in YHVH God of Hosts, the God of Israel

–It is essential to give our children  and our churches proofs from the Bible concerning controversial issues, to enable them to stand against those who want to attack generally accepted truths handed down to believers from generation to generation – the faith which was once-for-all delivered to the saints.

God will abase all pride because He – the great God – humbled Himself and was/is humiliated by the pride and foolishness of man.

–God Almighty came in flesh and blood; born as a baby, in poverty, in weakness.

–What reproach did Mary and Joseph have to bear for being chosen for such a miracle and done in such a way that Miriam was thought to have been unfaithful to Joseph and to the holiness of YHVH?
–If illegitimate, then Yeshua is unworthy and unacceptable to be in the assembly of God (Dt 23:2)  But He is the Holy One of God, the Holy One of Israel! (Lk 1:30-35)

–What did the people of Bethlehem think when all the babies were killed by Herod because of hearing that the Messiah, the rightful King of Israel, had been born?

–Will we stand up for our God and Savior when we are considered strangers and aliens to those we love and care about? (Lk 14:26Mt 10:33-40)

–Let us take up our cross, and not be ashamed of Yeshua/Jesus and His words in this wicked and adulterous generation. (Lk 9:23-26; Mk 8:38)

God does not do things to satisfy our own understanding or expectation, but rather for us to take note that He has intervened in the affairs of man for His own holy name’s sake.

God is good; He is righteous; He is love; He keeps covenant and mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments. He has a plan of redemption that He is fulfilling, and will fulfill fully. Yeshua was born according to God’s promise; Yeshua died and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; Yeshua is acting and governing today according to the will of the Father; and He will return at the set time which the Father has determined already. We are to remain faithful to the end, growing in trust and hope and love in the Living God. Blessed are they who are not offended in Him. (Mt 11:3-6)

We want to celebrate and to exalt our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah, who still today is the Rock of Offense for the falling and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against, that the hearts of many – including us in the Body of Christ – may be revealed. He is our hope and joy.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever should believe on Him should not perish, but inherit everlasting life.”

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, December 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.

Howard Bass

Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.

https://kehilanews.allisrael.com/person/howardbass/

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