Where Will Jesus Come When He Comes?
Let's just hope it's not on the carpet.
Cheeses the reverential one.
Cold Steel- since you have Jewish friends ask them why this Jesus of the Gospels is not their messiah.
For starters the numerous errors about and against Judaism in the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles.....
We can certainly discuss them here if you are up for it.
The Jesus of the gospels was rejected because Jewish eschatology talks of two messiahs, a Messiah ben Joseph and a Messiah Ben David (the Christ). Jewish traditions have merged these into one; however, the Messiah the Jews (and that of many of Jesus' own disciples) was a military savior. According to their traditions, the Messiah would appear during a seige of Jerusalem. This seige was described by many of the prophets, and this is most likely the reason the Jewish leaders in the First Century were itching for a confrontation with the Romans, who had the ability of crushing them several times over. Josephus knew that three legions were more than enough to desimate Israel.
Ezekiel described this confrontation:
After many days thou shalt be visited:in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that isbrought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. (Ezekiel 38)
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. (Zechariah 14)
Thus it is that the Jews expected their Messiah to come with fire and with a sword. When Zechariah described it, he wrote:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:9-10)
Again we have the same situation. The Lord said he would destroy all the nations that came against the city of Jerusalem, but we have the passage about the Lord being "pierced." What are these wounds in thy hands, the Jews ask. And he will reply, "These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends." So why not celebrate the coming of the Messiah? Why go into mourning "as one mourneth for his only son" and be "as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn...."?? The reason they go into mourning is because they will first be filled with joy at his coming. But when they realize that this is the humble carpenter of Nazareth whom their fathers insisted on being put to death, the joy will turn to abject sorrow and lamentation. This glorious being that stands before them -- their Lord and their God -- is the one their fathers rejected, as Isaiah described (see below). Note the terms above: "as one mourneth for his only son" and "for his firstborn." These are both sacred references to Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father in the flesh and his firstborn of human spirits.
Thus they missed all the points that the Lord was trying to teach them. Animal sacrifice was symbolic of what? Why would God want animals sacrificed to him if there wasn't a lesson in it? The sacrificial lamb without blemish was for atonement. The lesson of the sacrifice of Isaac, Abraham's only begotten son. The Lord kept it from happening, but it was more than a test; it was a teaching tool. Then the story of Jonah being in the belly of the beast for three days, symbolizing the three days Jesus spent in the tomb. Then there's the scapegoat. And in the days of Moses there was the graven serpent, which represented Jesus being lifted up and providing salvation for all those who beheld him. And of course there is the suffering servant passages in Isaiah 52-53, which screams fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth:
Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were [astonished] at thee; his [facial expression] was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: so shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For [my servant] shall grow up before [the Lord] as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we [the Jews] shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we [the Jews] hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
It's difficult for me to read this without seeing Jesus Christ in every sentence. Also, this prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. Jesus made his grave with the wicked (the two criminals with whom he was crucified) and with the rich in his death (his grave being provided by a very wealthy Jew).
These verses illustrate first what the Jews expected of their Messiah and then what they missed. There's no doubt that many religious Jews in the First Century thought that the Romans represented the wicked nations coming down on them and they simply got it wrong. Instead of deliverance, they were scourged and scattered among the nations of the earth. According to prophecy, however, they are now returning to the lands of their inheritance. In the great war of 1948, then in 1968, the Jews were horrendously outnumbered and not expected to survive as a nation. But they not only survived, they miraculously defeated their more powerful foes and acquired more of the land God promised them. I suspect that eventually the Muslims of the region will be successful and form a caliphate in Turkey. That caliphate will eventually become the military machine that drives down against Jerusalem and will be stopped in the valley of Armageddon. But only time will tell.
If you have anything to add to this, Designs, please feel free to add it. You specifically mention the errors "about and against Judaism in the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles." Whether such errors negate the claims of Jesus and Christianity would be the key question.
Why even worry about it? What good does it do in the here and now? An omnipotent God should be able to write better.
Crisis of Conscous: I like your cartoon but I think Ken Ham will disagree.
He never existed.