How do we know Jesus is the Messiah?


#1

I’ve come across many Jewish writings on who the messiah is, and I’ve started to doubt if Jesus is the Lord…

Many Jews say that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is Israel, not the messiah.

26reasons.com/ISAIAH_53.pdf

They also say there are no prophecies about a Resurrection on the third day.

Can somebody give me an in depth look into how the Christians view the messiah to be Jesus, with great exegesis on the Old Testament prophecies?


#2

uh, yeah, that would be the New Testament


#3

I would direct you to Pope Benedict XVI's first "Jesus of Nazareth" book. In that book he actually engages in a friendly "debate" with a Jewish rabbi as to why Jesus is or is not the Messiah.


#4

[quote="JDGaney, post:1, topic:320826"]
I've come across many Jewish writings on who the messiah is, and I've started to doubt if Jesus is the Lord...

Many Jews say that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is Israel, not the messiah.

26reasons.com/ISAIAH_53.pdf

They also say there are no prophecies about a Resurrection on the third day.

Can somebody give me an in depth look into how the Christians view the messiah to be Jesus, with great exegesis on the Old Testament prophecies?

[/quote]

Note that the words added in in the ]'s are not original text and are added to make the text comply with the view of the writer. that's a no go when reading and discussing scripture. That’s what the serpent did, when talking to Eve about what God said. It is the practice to deceive. They have nothing to do with the translation into English.

ISAIAH 52: “Behold, My [God’s] servant [Israel] will succeed; he [Israel] will be exalted
and become high and exceedingly lofty. Just as multitudes were astonished over you
[Israel] …so will the many nations [exclaim about him [Israel] and [Gentile] kings will
shut their mouths [in amazement] for they [Gentiles] will see that which had never been
told to them [Gentiles], and will perceive things they (Gentiles] had never heard.” (Isaiah
52:15)


You are going to have to read the Old Testament because most of it is about Jesus, the coming Messiah.

The first one is Gen:3:15: 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.

As far as the resurrection Jesus referred to Jonah as a sign, but I would study the eighth day, as in the Lord God told Abraham the he who lives to the eighth day shall be circumcised, the Sabbath is the seventh day and Jesus rose on the eighth day, the day after the Sabbath.


#5

[quote="JDGaney, post:1, topic:320826"]
I've come across many Jewish writings on who the messiah is, and I've started to doubt if Jesus is the Lord...

Many Jews say that the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is Israel, not the messiah.

26reasons.com/ISAIAH_53.pdf

They also say there are no prophecies about a Resurrection on the third day.

Can somebody give me an in depth look into how the Christians view the messiah to be Jesus, with great exegesis on the Old Testament prophecies?

[/quote]

There are numerous prophecies in the OT, some of which many (both Jews and Christians) believe to be about the Messiah. Nevertheless, the OT does not clearly indicate which ones are messianic, or how they are fulfilled. In light of this, Jews have historically debated among themselves the nature of these prophecies as well as the nature of the Messiah. There is no consensus among the Jews in terms of interpretation, nor do they have any official doctrinal teachings pertaining to such. Hence, when a Jew such as Asher Norman (the author of the article you linked) states that Jesus did not fulfill the OT messianic prophecies, all he is really saying is that Jesus did not fulfill them according to his own personal interpretation of Scripture.

On the other hand, for 2000 years there have been countless Jews (including many scholarly ones) who believe that, indeed, Jesus truly fulfilled the OT messianic prophecies. Here I am referring to the various Jewish converts to Christianity. For example, consider this article I found at random on the internet created by Jews for Jesus: Over 360 Prophecies Foretold Jesus/Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah.

I'll try to post more about specific points Norman makes in his article later, as time allows.


#6

The truth is not soley in the old testament as I am assure you agree. The whole spirit of the bible (old with new testament) screams the truth of Jesus as Messiah. Also to strengthen the Messiahship of Jesus look to our Catholic dogmatic believes in virtually every ecumenical council. Truth and revelation come not only from Scripture, but from the Church. If we start to pick partial sources to choose our beliefs we are making choices based on partial truths. When thoughts like this come to my mind I ponder on Gods sources of revelation that includes the entire Scriptures along with Tradition.


#7

Psalm 22 contains a prophecy concerning the crucifixion of the Messiah (which Jesus quoted from while on the cross). Psalm 16:10-11 is a prophecy concerning the resurrection of the Messiah, which Peter and Paul stated was fulfilled in Christ (see Acts 2:25-28, 31; Acts 13:35-37). There are other resurrection prophecies in the OT apart from Psalm 16. I have not checked to see whether or not any of them specifically mention a resurrection on the third day, nor do I see why this is even relevant. If you can tell me exactly why some say that Jesus can’t be the Messiah because the OT prophecies do not specifically mention a resurrection on the third day then I will be happy to examine their position and comment on it. As it stands now, such an attempt to argue against Jesus being the Messiah exhibits fallacious reasoning (i.e., it is a non sequitur).

In terms of the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, the article you linked by Asher Norman is lengthy and I do not have the time to give a point-by-point refutation of it. In light of this, perhaps the best way to proceed would be for you to mention what you think is the most compelling point that Norman makes against Jesus being the Suffering Servant and I will address it. It stands to reason that if Norman’s best point can be refuted then the rest of his material can be dismissed (although I will be happy to address any of his points that you would like, one at a time; just let me know).


#8

JDGaney: Before looking at the “Suffering Servant Song” of Isaiah and Asher Norman’s (who you linked to in your initial post) objection to seeing Jesus in this passage, we need to have a correct concept of “the Messiah” or “the Christ”.

First consider what the word “Messiah” means (sometimes you’ll see it as “Moshiach” or even “Mashiach”).

The (Anglicized version of the) Hebrew word “Messiah” is the same as the Greek word “Christos” or “Christ” and merely means “anointed” (or “the anointed”).

Jesus is the Messiah. Since you bring up Asher Norman’s website in your original post, Mr. Norman also looks at the Messiah as an anointed king in his book. Mr. Norman states . . . (pp. 67-68 of Twenty-Six Reasons Why Jews Don’t Believe In Jesus).

The term "messiah" means anointed with oil and in a messianic context refers to an anointed king. . . .

Mr. Norman goes on to state . . .

. . . . Jesus was never anointed king of Israel (by a prophet). Therefore, he failed to fulfill this messianic criterion and is therefore eliminated from messianic consideration.

So let’s look at the concept of Messiah and its relation to “oil” as Mr. Norman focuses in on this aspect (among others) in his book.

Remember who was anointed in the Old Testament. Who were the “messiahs” or the “anointed ones” in the Old Testament? That’s right, Priests, Kings, and Prophets.

What should we expect in the New Covenant Messiah?

THE Messiah needs to be THE Priest, THE Prophet, THE King par-excellence all wrapped up into one. The Old Covenant people should have been (and likely were) anticipating this.

Incidentally, not all people of authority were oil-anointed by a prophet in the Old Testament. For example, we know of no oil-anointing of Moses from the Old Testament yet Moses certainly had God-given authority. (Also think in terms of the Messiah being a what many see as a "New Moses and greater than Moses" or what is sometimes called a "Prophet like unto Moses" based upon Deuteronomy 18:15).

DEUTERONOMY 18:15 15 "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren--him you shall heed . . .

Also regarding no "oil-anointing" in the Old Testament the same is true with Abraham and the prophet Elijah who had God-given authority but no "oil-anointing".

And sometimes the oil-anointing recipient was not even associated with an Israelite priest, prophet, or king; for example when Elijah was told by God to anoint a non-Jewish king (1st Kings 19:15-18) with mere oil!

So people who have God-given authority can in a sense be spiritually anointed without a Biblical oil-anointing.

In fact I would suggest that the Old Testament oil anointings were but a prefigurement of a greater anointing and the ancients imply they knew this as well.

Jesus was anointed from the very time He took flesh upon Himself.

Let’s go on in the next post . . . .

(note all Bible verse and CCC ref. in my posts underline and bold mine)


#9

. . . Jesus was anointed from the very time He took flesh upon Himself.

If Jesus’ anointing were reduced down to a mere oil anointing, people opposing Jesus would say he was given authority at a later time. They would say this would prove Jesus is not God— that Jesus is not God who had taken upon Himself flesh.

Jesus was the Messiah from the moment He took flesh upon Himself.

CCC 727a The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that the Son is the one anointed by the Father's Spirit since his Incarnation - Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. . . . .

This anointing that Jesus ALREADY possessed was REVEALED when St. John the Baptist baptized Him.

CCC 438 Jesus' messianic consecration reveals **his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. **The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing.'" His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power", "that he might be revealed to Israel" as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God".

Let’s back up to the birth of Jesus for a moment and see that the concept of the Messiah ALREADY being anointed was well-understood by the ancient Jews.

The priests who worked with King Herod talked of the coming of Christ as well.

MATTHEW 2:3-4 ** 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and **assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

Notice the chief priests and scribes expected the Christ to be *born *“the Christ” (“the Messiah”).

The chief priests and scribes correctly did not expect the Messiah to “become” the Messiah (“the Christ”).

The chief priests and scribes correctly did NOT expect Jesus to be born the “pre-Christ who will someday have oil poured upon him and then and only then become the Christ”. No! They knew He would be born “the Messiah” (“the Christ”).

The Heavenly Angels likewise bear testimony too that Jesus already at His birth IS (not “will be”) Christ **(anointed**) the Lord!

LUKE 2:10-11 ** 10 And the angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who **is Christ the Lord.

Notice what the Heavenly Angel DOESN’T say:

NOT Luke 2:11 (phantom verse) ** 11 for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, **who some day when he gets oil poured upon him will be Christ the Lord.

The Prophet Simeon in the Temple knew this as well. The Baby that Simeon had seen (Jesus) already IS the Messiah and he, Simeon had now *seen **the Lord’s **Christ *(Jesus was ALREADY the Christ).

LUKE 2:25-26 . 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29 "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; 30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation 31 which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."

So we see the Messiah is the epitome of Priest, Prophet, and King all wrapped up into one, and the people clearly EXPECTED that He would COME as the Messiah that is, already anointed from on-High. Even the heavenly Angels reaffirmed this concept as well.

Mr. Norman does not see what the priests and scribes as well as the prophets of Jesus’ day readily saw—that the Messiah would come as the Messiah.


#10

Great responses.

May I add the argument of the Book of Hebrews: Jesus is the unique Messiah because his role - as priest, prophet and king - does not depend on anointing from predecessors, as does priesthood in the line of Aaron, but rather comes directly from God.


#11

Ah, but Jesus was anointed with oil during his final days.

*Mark 14 *

  • While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,** as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii,[c] and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news[d] is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” **

Matthew 26:6-13

Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news* is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”***

John 12

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them* with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii[c] and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it[d] so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”***

Notice Jesus wasn't anointed by a prophet, but rather a humble woman who would have had to save nearly a year's worth of wages to afford the perfume. After this anointing Jesus was crowned with thrones, and declared King by a written proclamation nailed to his cross. His "kingdom" was not what many expected, yet the prophesies were fulfilled. That is sort of the thing with prophesies, you can guess about what they may mean, but until they are fulfilled, the details remain a mystery.*


#12

Dear Christ is Risen,

The anointing at Bethany is an anointing “for my burial”, not “for my Messiahship”.

MATTHEW 26:12-13 ** 12 In pouring this **ointment **on my body she has done it **to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."

Catholics see Jesus as being anointed by God “since his Incarnation”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us . . .

CCC 727a **The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that **the Son is the one anointed by the Father's Spirit since his Incarnation - Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. . . . .

Or as the Roman Catechism (also called “The Catechism of the Council of Trent”) Article II says:

ROMAN CATECHISM To the name Jesus is added that of Christ, which signifies the anointed. This name is expressive of honour and office, and is not peculiar to one thing only, but common to many; for in the Old Law priests and kings, whom God, on account of the dignity of their office, commanded to be anointed, were called christs. For priests commend the people to God by unceasing prayer, offer sacrifice to Him, and turn away His wrath from mankind. Kings are entrusted with the government of the people; and to them principally belong the authority of the law, the protection of innocence and the punishment of guilt. As, therefore, both these functions seem to represent the majesty of God on earth, those who were appointed to the royal or sacerdotal office were anointed with oil. Furthermore, since Prophets, as the interpreters and ambassadors of the immortal God, have unfolded to us the secrets of heaven and by salutary precepts and the prediction of future events have exhorted to amendment of life, it was customary to anoint them also.

When Jesus Christ our Saviour came into the world, He assumed these three characters of Prophet, Priest and King, and was therefore called Christ, having been anointed for the discharge of these functions, not by mortal hand or with earthly ointment, but by the power of His heavenly Father and with a spiritual oil; for the plenitude of the Holy Spirit and a more copious effusion of all gifts than any other created being is capable of receiving were poured into His soul. This the Prophet clearly indicates when he addresses the Redeemer in these words: Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. The same is also more explicitly declared by the Prophet Isaias: The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach to the meek.


#13

[quote="Cathoholic, post:12, topic:320826"]
Dear Christ is Risen,

The anointing at Bethany is an anointing “for my burial”, not “for my Messiahship”.

MATTHEW 26:12-13 ** 12 In pouring this **ointment **on my body she has done it **to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."

Catholics see Jesus as being anointed by God “since his Incarnation”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us . . .

**CCC 727a **The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that **the Son is the one anointed **by the Father's Spirit since his Incarnation - Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. . . . .

Or as the Roman Catechism (also called “The Catechism of the Council of Trent”) Article II says:

ROMAN CATECHISM To the name Jesus is added that of Christ, which signifies the anointed. This name is expressive of honour and office, and is not peculiar to one thing only, but common to many; for in the Old Law priests and kings, whom God, on account of the dignity of their office, commanded to be anointed, were called christs. For priests commend the people to God by unceasing prayer, offer sacrifice to Him, and turn away His wrath from mankind. Kings are entrusted with the government of the people; and to them principally belong the authority of the law, the protection of innocence and the punishment of guilt. As, therefore, both these functions seem to represent the majesty of God on earth, those who were appointed to the royal or sacerdotal office were anointed with oil. Furthermore, since Prophets, as the interpreters and ambassadors of the immortal God, have unfolded to us the secrets of heaven and by salutary precepts and the prediction of future events have exhorted to amendment of life, it was customary to anoint them also.

When Jesus Christ our Saviour came into the world, He assumed these three characters of Prophet, Priest and King, and was therefore called Christ, having been anointed for the discharge of these functions, not by mortal hand or with earthly ointment, but by the power of His heavenly Father and with a spiritual oil; for the plenitude of the Holy Spirit and a more copious effusion of all gifts than any other created being is capable of receiving were poured into His soul. This the Prophet clearly indicates when he addresses the Redeemer in these words: Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. The same is also more explicitly declared by the Prophet Isaias: The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach to the meek.

[/quote]

I don't disagree, Jesus says so himself.

But the Passion is symbolic of his crowning as King, is it not? We have a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, we have an anointing with precious oil, he was clothed in royal purple and given a crown of thorns, an official decree was placed on the cross INRI (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.)

The CCC gives the complete theological picture, but the OT prophesies were still fulfilled, albeit in an ironic way.


#14

But the Passion is symbolic of his crowning as King, is it not? We have a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, we have an anointing with precious oil, . . .

Good point Christ is Risen.

As long as nobody is denying that Jesus was anointed “since his Incarnation”, I can see the symbolic layered meanings here. Jesus’ crowning with thorns, etc. further highlight this anointing that Jesus ALREADY possessed and was being REVEALED in a deeper way.

And there is another layer of meaning too as you also pointed out concerning the involvement of the “People of God”. Thanks for the insights.

CCC 783 Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.

(See also CCC 782, 784-786, 91, 698, 739, 745, and elsewhere).


#15

[quote="Cathoholic, post:14, topic:320826"]
Good point Christ is Risen.

As long as nobody is denying that Jesus was anointed “since his Incarnation”, I can see the symbolic layered meanings here. Jesus’ crowning with thorns, etc. further highlight this anointing that Jesus ALREADY possessed and was being REVEALED in a deeper way.

And there is another layer of meaning too as you also pointed out concerning the involvement of the “People of God”. Thanks for the insights.

CCC 783 Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.

(See also CCC 782, 784-786, 91, 698, 739, 745, and elsewhere).

[/quote]

Looking back at my original post, I can see I didn't write enough to clarify that point. Don't worry, no adoptionism here. :thumbsup:


#16

JDGaney, now we have a partial idea of Whom the Messiah will be (concerning the “anointing” aspect at least), that is, Priest, Prophet, and King all wrapped up into one, we need to know more info concerning who He is.

It is reasonable to consider the attributes of God. The Catholic Encyclopedia has more on this subject.

God is all good, all holy, all knowing, etc. God is perfectly just. God is also perfectly merciful.

We are sinners. All people are sinners (Jewish persons and Non-Jewish persons—that’s St. Paul’s point in Romans 3:23 when he said “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”).

Catholic Answers has a wonderful tract concerning some of this titled: “God’s Love For You”. It can be seen here. catholic.com/documents/gods-love-for-you

Let’s look at an excerpt from this tract:

Something is wrong with the human race. We all sense it. Things aren't the way they should be. Not in the world. Not in our neighbors. Not in ourselves.

We aren't as kind, as generous, or as loving as we should be. We do things we shouldn't. We are selfish, arrogant, sometimes even cruel. We use other people for our own ends. We fall short even of our own low standards.

The Bible has a word for this: sin. . . .

. . . We sense that things shouldn't be this way, that there must have been a time when things were right in the world. And there was such a time.

When God first made man, he made him perfect, able to live and love as he should, free from sin and sin's worst consequence, which is death. But our first parents turned away from God, and the human race hasn't been right since.

If you sin against a person you don’t sin against his pinky or toe. You sin against all of that person.

Likewise if you sin against the infinite God . . . it is a sin that doesn’t merely transgress “part” of God, but it is a sin against God Himself (who is INFINITE).

St. Thomas Aquinas puts it much more eloquently when he states . . .

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Reply to Objection 2. Satisfaction may be said to be sufficient in two ways--first, perfectly, inasmuch as it is condign, being adequate to make good the fault committed, and in this way the satisfaction of a mere man cannot be sufficient for sin, both because the whole of human nature has been corrupted by sin, whereas the goodness of any person or persons could not be made up adequately for the harm done to the whole of the nature; and also because a sin committed against God has a kind of infinity from the infinity of the Divine majesty, because the greater the person we offend, the more grievous the offense. Hence for condign satisfaction it was necessary that the act of the one satisfying should have an infinite efficiency, as being of God and man. Secondly, man's satisfaction may be termed sufficient, imperfectly--i.e. in the acceptation of him who is content with it, even though it is not condign, and in this way the satisfaction of a mere man is sufficient. And forasmuch as every imperfect presupposes some perfect thing, by which it is sustained, hence it is that satisfaction of every mere man has its efficiency from the satisfaction of Christ.

God is perfectly just! His justice is perfect.

Q: So HOW can a mere finite man ever “get right” with God if God’s justice is perfect? Are we all doomed to "fry" in eternal condemnation?

We will give God a sacrifice to “pay” this account right?

A: Wrong. Our mere sacrifices could NOT PAY a full account for one transgression against an all-holy God.

Q: Well can’t we just offer prayer from our lips or the blood of bulls and goats, and cereal offerings, and wine or drink offerings?

A: We need to pray. And in our Old Covenant, we did offer animal and cereal/drink offerings. But these offerings were never meant to “take away” the sins of the world in a permanent sense.

Q: Well WHY would God have us offer sacrifice then in atonement for sin in the Old Covenant?

A: As a kippur (covering, atonement), as an act of obedience, and as a shadow of “better things to come” (c.f. Hebrews 10:1), viz. the Messiah. This Old Covenant sacrifice foreshadows something greater than bulls and goats that would come and not merely take away sin, but put God’s own spirit within us in a new way. A Covenant not like God made with Moses and Abraham, but a New Covenant that really and actually gives us the Spirit of God. It helps us to circumcise our hearts in a way we could never have done on our own or with the mere sacrifice of bulls, goats, our lips, etc.

Q: Well if this New Covenant sacrifice were to pay an account for sin against God, this sacrifice would have to be an INFINITE sacrifice to pay the account for God’s perfect justice! Right?

A: That’s right.

Q: But what about God’s mercy? Isn’t THAT perfect too?

A: Yes it is perfect mercy (God’s greatest attribute is His Divine Mercy but beyond the scope of this thread to go deeper here).

A perfectly merciful God cannot transgress His own perfect justice so our only hope is not God merely looking the other way from our sin (He cannot do such—if He could He would not be perfectly just) but paying the actual account required Himself.

So we need a sacrifice that satisfies God’s perfect mercy AND at the same time satisfies His perfect justice. The Lord, Who loves righteousness AND justice is blessed forever. We are ALL sinners and sojourners in a foreign land (the earth). Earth is not our ultimate home.

continued...


#17

. . . Earth is not our ultimate home. . . .
**
DEUTERONOMY 10:16-17** 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.

ROMAN CATECHISM ** When Jesus Christ our Saviour came into the world, **He assumed these three characters of Prophet, Priest and King, and was therefore called Christ, having been anointed for the discharge of these functions, not by mortal hand or with earthly ointment, but by the power of His heavenly Father and with a spiritual oil; for the plenitude of the Holy Spirit and a more copious effusion of all gifts than any other created being is capable of receiving were poured into His soul. This the Prophet clearly indicates when he addresses the Redeemer in these words: Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. The same is also more explicitly declared by the Prophet Isaias: The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me: he hath sent me to preach to the meek.

(See Psalm 45:6-7 and Hebrews 1:9)

It naturally follows that the one to definitively offer this perfect sacrifice is the perfect Priest, the one to definitively demand this perfect sacrifice is the perfect King, and the one to definitively tell us of this sacrifice is the perfect Prophet—Jesus the Messiah.


#18

JDGaney, I said I would comment on Asher Norman’s interpretation that you reference-linked in post number 1 on the Suffering Servant Songs and his denial of Jesus being seen in them by him. Sorry it has taken awhile to get back to this.

Before commenting directly on some of Mr. Norman’s points, let’s see what we mean when we are talking about the “Suffering Servant Songs” (of the Book of Isaiah).

The American Bible Society gives a good listing of the verses for us of what comprises the “Suffering Servant Songs”.

Four passages in Isaiah are often identified as “the Servant Songs” because they focus on the call and work of “the Lord’s servant” (or “God’s servant”): 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; and 52:13—53:12. These songs (or poems) describe the servant as the one God chose to “bring justice to the nations” (42:1) and “to lead back the people of Israel” to God (49:5). But the servant will also be “a light” so that other nations will recognize God’s “saving power” (49:6). Unlike others in the Jewish Scriptures who are called the Lord’s servant (for example, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses), the servant in Isaiah suffers physical pain and humiliation (50:6; 52:14; 53:3-5,7) in the work the Lord called him to do. The last of these songs, however, recognizes that the suffering of the servant will help accomplish the work he was called to do. In other words, his own suffering will ultimately take away the sins and guilt of others (53:4,5,10,11), and the Lord will reward the servant for sacrificing his life for others (53:12).

Our Catholic Bishops give us a nice summary as to what these Suffering Servant Songs teach.

The Songs of the Suffering Servant

Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.
In brief:

[LIST]
*]The first song introduces God’s Servant who will establish justice upon the earth
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The second song, spoken in the Servant’s own voice, tells of being selected from the womb to become God’s mouthpiece and help renew the nation
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]In the third song, we learn of the abuse and derision the Servant endured at the hands of his enemies
[/LIST]
[LIST]
*]The fourth song proclaims the salvific value of the Servant’s innocent suffering that will justify many and blot out their offenses.
[/LIST]

Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service.


#19

Now let’s look at the actual verses of the “Suffering Servant Songs”.

In the Old Testament, when you see “mountains” talked of, often think Israel and Judah and when you see “seas” or “coastlines” often think Gentile nations.

When going back to read the Old Testament in light of the New, when you see “mountains” talked of, think Christianity and when you see the “seas” and “coastlines”, think people who are outside of Christianity.

Now let’s look at the Bible verses from Isaiah that contain the Suffering Servant Songs so we know what they are (I may take the liberty to include a few verses more than the actual Songs before or after when further context may help clarify).

Song 1 of 4

**ISAIAH 42:1-7 ** 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not fail or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5 Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6 "I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7 to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.

Song 2 of 4

ISAIAH 49:1-7 1 Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. 3 And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” 4 But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.” 5 And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength-- 6 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” 7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”


#20

And the last two (of four) Suffering Servant Songs.

Song 3 of 4

*ISAIAH 50:1-11 * 1 Thus says the LORD: "Where is your mother's bill of divorce, with which I put her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was put away. 2 Why, when I came, was there no man? When I called, was there no one to answer? Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst. 3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering." 4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. 6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7 For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. 9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. 10 Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the voice of his servant, who walks in darkness and has no light, yet trusts in the name of the LORD and relies upon his God? 11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who set brands alight. Walk by the light of your fire, and by the brands which you have kindled! This shall you have from my hand: you shall lie down in torment.

Song 4 of 4

ISAIAH 52:7-15 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." 8 Hark, your watchmen lift up their voice, together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion. 9 Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. 11 Depart, depart, go out thence, touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her, purify yourselves, you who bear the vessels of the LORD. 12 For you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. 13 Behold, my servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high. 14 As many were astonished at him-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men-- 15 so shall he startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which has not been told them they shall see, and that which they have not heard they shall understand.

*ISAIAH 53:1-12 * 1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; 11 he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

In the next post I will comment more directly on some of Mr. Norman's assertions.


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