Where is the Jewish Messiah?
Is the Messiah promised by ancient Hebrew prophets still coming to earth, or has he already come? That is the most profound mystery in all of Judaism.
Author Ray Stedman reveals that the long-awaited hope for the Jewish Messiah is a resounding theme throughout the Old Testament (The Hebrew Scriptures also known as the Tanakh).
“From the very beginning of the Old Testament, there is a sense of hope and expectation, like the sound of approaching footsteps: Someone is coming!… That hope increases…as prophet after prophet declares yet another tantalizing hint: Someone is coming!”
For several thousand years, the Jewish People have been waiting for the Messiah who, among other things, would redeem Israel and usher in an age of peace for the world. But do the Hebrew prophets speak of the Messiah as a literal person, or of the nation Israel? Let’s look closer at these prophecies.
Hundreds of ancient prophecies provide clues to the Messiah’s identity, such as his lineage, his birthplace, his mission and atoning death. Numerous imposters have claimed to be the Messiah, however, has anyone actually fulfilled the ancient Hebrew prophecies?
Christians and Messianic Jews (Jewish followers of Jesus) are convinced that while on earth, Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled hundreds of these ancient messianic prophecies in detail.
In his book, A Rabbi Looks at Jesus of Nazareth, Jonathan Bernis attempts to unravel the mystery of the Messiah by taking a deeper look at Jesus (Yeshua) and his claims. As a Jew, Bernis thought Jesus was just a great moral teacher who started a new religion. After being challenged to look at Jesus in light of ancient Hebrew prophecies, he began his search.
Five profound questions intrigued him:
- Did Jesus truly fulfill the prophetic “fingerprint” of the Messiah?
- Why did the Jewish leaders reject Jesus as their Messiah?
- What was the Messiah’s Mysterious Identity?
- Was Jesus the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53?
- What evidence supports Jesus’ resurrection from the dead?