For Jews Only (Part 17 of 42): The first century A.D. – Part A

God had always promised the Jews a Messiah who would avenge them and deliver them from their enemies.  They accepted Jesus as the Christ, because he fulfilled all the signs written in their Holy Scriptures; signs they had been hearing in Synagogue all their lives.

Jesus had done all the things required of the Messiah.  All the signs were there, but they erred because they didn’t understand the Scriptures: much like the Christians are doing today concerning their ignorance of Elijah and the second Coming of Jesus!

The Jews expected Jesus to lead them in an armed revolt against the Romans.  They expected Him to use that wonderful power God gave Him to destroy their enemies.  They had a right to believe it, because the Old Testament also testified to those things.  Their error was, the conquering Christ was reserved for a later date, and would not happen during the lifetime of Jesus.

The Jews believed it was impossible for the Messiah to die or be killed, but again their information crossed the boundaries of two different times.  Boundaries that would separate one set of events scheduled to happen during the physical life of the Messiah Jesus, and another set of events that would only occur after the physical death of the Messiah Jesus.

One Messiah to deliver the Jewish people from their conqueror and another Messiah to die for their sins.  They had it right, but they erred in the order of which event would first occur.  Naturally, they chose being freed from their conquerors first.  Yet, God sent the Messiah to die for their sins first!

The Jewish prophet Daniel testified that the Messiah must die before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem!  Yearning for rescue, Israel swapped the two segments of the Messiah’s work, because they wanted freedom during the life of Jesus.  So, they became disillusioned when the Romans arrested and killed their Messiah.  They expected Jesus to surprise the Romans.  They waited for the moment when Jesus would suddenly turn into Rambo and use laser beams and lightning to destroy the Romans.

Slowly they became disappointed.  Slowly they began to doubt and become disillusioned.  Then the jeers and spitting began.  Their hearts broken and their hopes dashed, they believed they had been swindled.  They turned their backs on Jesus and left him hanging on the cross to die.  Their Messiah had physically died and let them down!

He had refused to accept the role of warrior and king, but the second act was about to be unveiled.  The curtain was ripped opened after Jesus’ death on the cross; and the power of God was unleashed!  Jesus had beat satan by dying, and He returned from the grave, cheating death.

They saw him die.  They handled his dead body.  They buried him in a tomb.  They knew he was dead, but suddenly there He was___alive! The news spread like fire.  The Jews who doubted remembered what he had taught them about the resurrection of the dead; now they understood; now they believed.  The last sign of the Messiah was fulfilled.

Jesus was resurrected from the dead; and he wasn’t the only one!  All of Israel saw thousands of loved ones return from the grave to visit them.  This was one event the Jews could not ignore or doubt.  Dead family members came back from the dead.  They were right in their house sitting and eating with the family.

To be continued…

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