THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
Jesus the Jewish Messiah, Part 3
The Salem of Melchizedek
By Rabbi Robert
The SeriesPart 1: A Rod of Jesse, born of a Virgin
Part 2: The Suffering Servant
Part 3: The Salem of Melchizedek
It's clear that Jesus fulfills the prophecies given in the Jewish Scriptures regarding the branch of Jesse and the Suffering Servant. But Jesus wasn't just a metaphor, he was/is a flesh-and-blood man who came in physical form to interact with God's people. This is nonnegotiable when it comes to Jesus, and evident in the Scriptures.
We often hear that God is the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and he chose to interact with his creation. And when we fell in the garden and destroyed our relationship with God by bringing sin into the world, we needed a way to restore that communion with our God. But because there is absolutely nothing that man can do that is worthy enough — that is holy enough — to reconcile ourselves with God, God took it upon himself to make a way for us to reconcile with him.
God has come into our space and time continuum many times. Consider Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18. The Scripture says that "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High." The very name Melchizedek means king of righteousness and we know that no one is righteous except God the Father. Melchizedek is also called the king of Salem, and we know that Salem is Aramaic for the Hebrew shalom which means he is the King of Peace. We also know that he is called the priest of the God Most High. The Most High God being the God of Abraham. But how is he a priest of the God Most High? Abraham is still called Abram here, he has no children. There is no temple, there are no synagogues so where is he a priest? Based on his names and his title I believe that Melchizedek is the first appearance of God in the flesh as the high priest, the eternal high priest, a theophany, an appearing of God in the flesh on Earth in our time and space continuum. And Melchizedek and Abraham perform a ritual of taking bread and wine together. Nowhere else in the Scriptures is this ritual of bread and wine taken together until the Passover of Jesus with his disciples. In other words, Melchizedek, as a theophany, takes bread and wine with Abraham the one God chose for his Seed to bring reconciliation to the world, is the Aleph and Jesus with his disciples at the Passover taking the same ritual of bread and wine together are the Tav. The very Son of God, the Messiah, doing the same ritual just before the fulfillment of the reconciliation which would occur after the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
In order for Jesus to be the Messiah of Israel, he had to be Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus was a prophet greater than Moses in that he didn't just lead people out of bondage and slavery and into the Promised Land. Jesus as the prophet raised by God, who spoke the very words of God, brought man out of bondage from death and into eternal life — into heaven. So Jesus was a prophet greater than Moses. Jesus was a priest on the order of Melchizedek, our eternal high priest, who was able to make an offering, perfect offering of the Torah lived perfectly and to give it both Jews and Gentiles as a free gift of reconciliation to God that brings salvation. When Jesus was born, the Magi came looking for the "King of the Jews." Jesus stopped a funeral procession in Nain which only the King of Israel had authority to do, and he was crucified with a sign over his head that called him the "King of the Jews."
Beloved, that I could offer you hundreds of Scriptures and explanations to refute the objections to Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, the Holy One of Israel. But since time and space don't allow, so consider this: Why is it that we can mention any other deity and it's not offensive? Why is it that Jewish people will practice Hinduism and Buddhism and transcendental meditation and still be considered Jews? How is it the Jewish people can be atheists or agnostic or any sect of Judaism and still be considered Jews? Why is it we can mention Buddha, Allah, Confucius without any visceral reaction? And then consider why the very mention of the name Jesus of Nazareth sends not just Jewish people but all people into a venomous rage. The Bible tells us that there is no name under heaven that has such power as the name of Jesus, Yeshua.
Go back and read Daniel's vision in chapter 7 of a "One like a human being (the Son of Man)...Came on the clouds of Heaven" — one who comes on the clouds is always a reference to God. "Dominion, glory and kingship were given to him...All peoples and nations of every language must serve him." This vision so upset Daniel because only God has all authority, and sovereignty, and is worshiped! Who is this human appearing with the Ancient of Days and why does this human have all authority and sovereignty? Beloved, Jesus always referred to himself as the Son of Man. He told the Jewish people plainly that he was the Messiah of Israel who came to reconcile them to a holy God. Sadly, my people rejected him. Listen to the very words taken from the Haggadah executed by Arthur Szyk, and edited by Cecil Roth, published by "Masada" and "Alumoth" Jerusalem, 1960, Tel Aviv:
The Sufferings of the Messiah, The grace is throughout found up with the idea of the Jewish restoration of, and two, Palestine. This is in conformity with the biblical verse cited above (Deuteronomy 8:10): "When thou hast eat and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee." For to the Jew the Redemption was no remote thing. According to a significant Rabbinical legend, the Messiah is to be found at the gates of Imperial Rome, among the beggars and the maimed, and treated like one of them. There He sits, in the very citadel of Israel's enemies, identified not what the mighty but with the outcasts of humanity, waiting for the Call to deliver His people and to bring a new hope for all mankind.When was the Messiah sitting at the gates of Imperial Rome among the beggars in the maimed and treated like one of them? It was when Rome had conquered most of the known world including Israel in the first century when the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
For all of this and so much more is how this Jewish boy came to believe and to know that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah of Israel. If you read the Scriptures without the interference of the Talmud, you would see Jesus on the cross, you would see your Messiah.
Image Credit: katiew; "life | grafitti"; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Jesus-Christ | Other-Religions
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