The Forbidden Chapter
"Behold, My servant will prosper,He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. Just as many were appalled at You-- His appearance was disfigured more than any man, His form more than the sons of men. Kings will shut their mouths because of Him, for what they had not been told them they will see, and what they had not heard they will perceive.
'Who has believed our report? To whom is the arm of Adonai revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, One from whom people hide their faces. He was despised and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our pains. Yet we esteemed Him stricken, struck by God and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities. The chastisement for our shalom was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us turned to his own way. So Adonai has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. Because of oppression and judgment He was taken away. As for His generation. who considered? For He was cut off from the land of the living, for the transgression of my people-- the stroke was theirs His grave was given with the wicked, and by a rich man in His death, though He had done no violence, not was there any deceit in His mouth.
Yet it pleased Adonai to bruise Him. He caused Him to suffer. If He makes His soul a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the will of Adonai will succeed by His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul He will see it and be satisfied by His knowledge. The Righteous One, My Servant will make many righteous and He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give Him a portion with the great, and He will divide the spoil with the mighty-- because He poured out His soul to death, and was counted with transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.'"
~Isaiah 52:13-15, 53:1-12
A Prophetic Heritage
Isaiah 53 is often referred to as the "forbidden" chapter because of the controversy it has caused among Jewish scholars. Their attempts to explain away the obvious description of Jesus Christ in the midst of their ancient prophetic scriptures, to their chagrin, (written 700 years before He was born in the flesh) is an overwhelming task that is much easier when avoided altogether. But what a witness!!!
So what, you may ask, is my personal interest in Israel and the Jewish cause? I am not Jewish myself, nor as far as I know do I have any Jewish lineage. I am a southern belle from the Bible Belt where in my world I have had limited interaction with Jewish people. But it has become a great fascination how Yahweh has used this peculiar people, Israel, to bring about His promises in fulfillment of our Lord and Savior, Yeshua Ha Mashiach.
Old Testament study is underappreciated and terribly neglected by the modern day church, in my opinion. This dilemma seems to create much confusion about Who our Savior actually is thus our world sadly grows increasingly dark. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge... ~Hosea 4:6 Did you know that Israel consists of more than just the Jews? The word "Jew" comes from Judah who was only one of the 12 sons of Jacob who was Israel. The rest of Israel (lost tribes) by now is blended into the gentile world, perhaps including many of us.
My late husband was a remarkable story teller. Many of his colorful childhood memories dance around my mind so endearingly as though I were there (I was an adult when we met), including hilarious family tales of noteworthy characters, few of whom I ever actually met. This became part of my story when we married. God's Word has just this sort of flavor. It is His story about His family with the telling of how Messiah came to be. Old and New Testaments are not separate stories, they are one and the same.
Since we belong to him, it is our story as well. Whether believing gentiles or found Israel we have been grafted (back) into Abraham's tree, God's family (Romans 11:17-24, Ephesians 2:11-13). We should be inspired to know more about our heritage and our missing family, those we do not know as well as those we do know. Let us continue to pray fervently for prodigal Israel who has been cut off, that they may return to the sheepfold where their loving Father awaits with open arms.
Listen to some testimonies of some who are found. I Met Messiah
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