The Chosen People Chosen to Bless All People (Lost Sheep Series)

  Was Jesus sent only to the Lost Sheep of Israel, as He said? Yes, of course He was. But there is a bigger picture we all need to see. We need to read Jesus' own words within the context of the whole story, which goes back to a promise God made about 2,000 years before Messiah:


  In Genesis 12, Moses writes about what Yahweh God told Abram, a man from Ur of the Chaldeans, or what is known today as Iraq.

 1 The Lord said to Abram:
Go out from your land,
your relatives,
and your father’s house
to the land that I will show you.

 2 I will make you into a great nation,
I will bless you,
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

 3 I will bless those who bless you,
I will curse those who treat you with contempt,
and all the peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.

  God chose Abraham to make of him a nation.

  From that nation He would create a holy people, separated for His purposes. He made them distinct from all the other peoples for a reason. They would not dress as the others dressed. They would not eat as the others ate. And they would not worship as the others worshiped.

  They were made a sanctified and holy people because out of that people would come the Promise to beat all promises. Out of them would come...

  the Messiah. 

  The Messiah Whose very name announced His Message: Yeshua, which means "Yahweh Saves."

  The Messiah Who would bring salvation for all.

  To the Jew first, and then the Gentile.

  Read again what Yahweh promised Abram (italics mine for emphasis):

  "... all the peoples on earth
   will be blessed through you."
   Genesis 12:3

  God's Chosen People have been richly blessed, but they have also suffered much. If we read our Bibles correctly, more of both are still to come. But neither the blessing nor the suffering have been pointless because, through it all, they serve the purposes of God... the fulfillment of His promise to Abram. 

  Yes, Jesus was sent only to the Lost Sheep of Israel. But that mission had a greater outcome that had always been a part of The Plan:

  to bring Yahweh's salvation to all the ends of the earth! 


Jesus is Lord!


  See also:

  Jesus and the Centurion (Lost Sheep Series)

  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2015/07/jesus-and-centurion-lost-sheep-series.html


  Did Messiah Come Only for the Lost Sheep of Israel? (Lost Sheep Series)

  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2015/07/was-messiah-coming-only-for-lost-sheep.html

  Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Lost Sheep Series)

  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2015/07/jesus-and-samaritan-woman-lost-sheep.html



Eli Eli... They Pierced My Hands and My Feet!

  Muslims have a few favorite Bible verses which they love to throw at Christians in debates. Matthew 27:46 is one of them, even though it's a verse in which Jesus speaks from the cross, a fact which Islam denies ever happened. The verse reads:

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Matthew 27

  Jesus' words are a direct quote from the Messianic psalm 22. A thousand years before the coming of the Christ, the psalmist King David wrote:

1
 1 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Psalm 22

  As Christian apologists explain to our Muslim counterparts, Jesus shouted those same words from a cross which the Romans had erected at a spot which they had 
specifically  chosen for its visibility to the many who were coming in and out of Jerusalem during the Feast of Passover.


  Where the Roman Empire had sought to make an example of Jesus by displaying His battered and bloodied body where the greatest number of Jews would be forced to see Him, Jesus Himself used it as a platform to proclaim the message that their Messiah had come, and that salvation for all was about to be secured through His sacrifice.

  Psalm 22 describes the agony Yeshua the Messiah endured both prior to and during His crucifixion, but the last portion of one verse sticks out because in it David says something he could never have imagined...


16 For dogs have surrounded me;

a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced my hands and my feet.

(in photo: actual bones from a 1st century victim of a Roman crucifixion)

  "They pierced my hands and my feet."


  David wrote those words about 400 years before crucifixion had even been invented by the Persians. It would be almost 1,000 years before the Romans would refine it and turn it into one of the most evil and torturous methods of execution known to man. 


  Only then would it be used on Messiah.


  David may not have known that he was prophesying about a very specific method of torture which would be used to murder his Lord. But he knew full well how the story would end, because he wrote:


27 All the ends of the earth will remember

and turn to the Lord.
All the families of the nations
will bow down before You,

28 for kingship belongs to the Lord;

He rules over the nations.

29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down;

all those who go down to the dust
will kneel before Him— even the one who cannot preserve his life.

30 Their descendants will serve Him;

the next generation will be told about the Lord.

31 They will come and tell a people yet to be born about His righteousness— what He has done.


  Three days after His agonizing death, Jesus rose again from the grave, just as He had promised. 


  And just as David had prophesied, one generation of believers after another tells others about the Lord...


  about His righteousness... 


  and about what He has done!



Jesus is Lord! 

  With thanks to Dr. Michael Brown, whose podcasts at  thelineoffire.org are a regular source of inspiration for these blog posts.


  See also:

  Why Did Jesus Shout, "My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?" at the Cross?


  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/01/why-did-jesus-shout-my-god-my-god-why.html


  Jesus, the Cross and the Megaphone


  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/02/jesus-cross-and-megaphone.html


  Was Jesus Crucified? 


  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/01/was-jesus-crucified.html


  Who Said Messiah Would Go to the Cross?


  http://apologika.blogspot.com/2014/11/who-said-messiah-would-go-to-cross.html 





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