No one forced Yeshua to do what he did, in dying for our sin. “He submitted himself to death... bore the sin of many, and interceded for the rebels.” (Isaiah 53:12)
His sacrifice was a willing sacrifice. It was not easy. It was not a “walk in the park” as we say.
At one point he even prayed that what he was about to suffer would pass him by. I don’t think this points to any unwillingness in him, but rather to his consciousness of what was about to take place. He clears this up by following in his prayer to the Father with: “Yet not as I will but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
What an amazing prayer. He knew it was about to get tough, but it was his Father’s will, and Yeshua submitted because he loved us.
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Yeshua was wounded, but not for his own sins. He had none. He was bruised, but it wasn’t because he broke the Sabbath, or stole from his neighbor, or committed adultery.
The punishment for our peace fell on him. His stripes bring us healing. We would not have peace with the Father, had not Yeshua willingly submitted to die in our place.
He died. He really died. Christians have said it so much, and cliched it so much that we forget its potency. He suffered and died. Not because he deserved it. He laid down his life for his friends.
I was going back over Isaiah 53 this morning. It is powerful. If I had to pick only one text of Scripture to teach about Yeshua’s substitutionary, atoning death, it wouldn’t be in the New Testament. It would be Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12.
One part that I’ve had a hard time with is 53:10. “Yet YHWH was pleased to crush him.” Yahweh was pleased to crush the suffering servant? I have to admit that makes me cringe a little. But knowing the totality of Scripture helps at this point.
Yahweh is holy. We are not. There was a man who came up to even Yeshua once and began the conversation by saying “Good Master.” Yeshua, in humility, said: “Why do you call me good? There’s none good but One, the Almighty.” (Matthew 19:17)
The prophet Isaiah, perhaps the holiest man in Israel at the time of his prophecy, said in the presence of Yahweh that he was ruined, and a man of unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5).
Yahweh is holy, and therefore must punish sin. Yahweh wasn’t pleased to crush Yeshua (the Servant) because Yeshua was such a sinner. He was pleased to crush him because he was willing to suffer for the sins of the sheep. (Isaiah 53:6) In crushing Yeshua, he was crushing sin.
Paul put it like this: “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of the Almighty in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The bad news is that we are transgressors. All we like sheep have gone astray. If Yahweh kept track of iniquities, who could stand? If He dealt with us as we deserve, we would get eternal destruction. But He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve. He forgives us, because He dealt with our sins by sending His Son to live perfectly according to the law, and then die for our sins as an unblemished sacrifice.
This is the Gospel. All else pales in comparison. Nothing else would even matter if our sin problem was not dealt with.
Because of Yeshua’s obedience to the law, and submission unto death, Yahweh resurrected him to immortality, never to die again. He was delivered up for our trespasses, and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
This was Yeshua’s vindication. His resurrection proved that he had not died because of his own sins. His resurrection is just as much a part of the Gospel as his life and death. When the Apostles preached in the book of Acts, they didn’t just preach about his death, they always finished their preaching with his resurrection.
Yeshua was raised to immortality, and later he ascended to the right hand of Yahweh (Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 10:12). He is Yahweh’s right hand man. He is Yahweh’s priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:9-10; 7:17, 21-22). He serves as a priest for us, in the heavens; in the heavenly Tabernacle. He’s obtained a superior ministry than the Levite priests. He is the mediator of a better covenant. (Hebrews 8:6).
Give thanks to Yahweh. Yahweh loves us so much that He sent his Son to live for us, die for us, be raised for us, and then be our high priest in the heavens. It all goes back to Yahweh the Father. He made all this happen, and He did it through His Son.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about a great Elder in the faith: Orlando Smith.
Brother Orlando was the first man to teach me about the tassels (Numbers 15:37-41), back in 1998. I was sitting in my in-law’s living room, and he had these strings hanging from his clothes. I didn’t know what they were. I asked. He explained. I tied my first set that night. Me and my father-in-law even wrote a song together about the ribband of blue. I still sing it today.
Orlando was a dedicated man of YHWH. He was quiet. He talked slowly. He was old when I met him. He studied a lot. He would sit in the living room there and study all day long. Sometimes he’d nod off, then he’d wake up and start studying again.
Orlando had calloused knees from kneeling down often to pray. He would always get on his knees to pray. He said it was a way to humble ourselves before the Almighty.
He had two silver trumpets that he would blow at the same time. A Tennessee newspaper once took a picture of him on top of his house, blowing both trumpets. The county was trying to get him to move some trucks out of his yard that had been there “forever.” He didn’t believe he needed to. He was blowing the trumpets in defiance of local government persecution, lol. Orlando meant business.
Orlando wore a hat all the time, but with the bill cut off. Most of the time his hat would have the Sacred Name on it, in Aramaic or Paleo script. Once though it was a Philadelphia Eagles hat. I never asked him why. It’s possible he didn’t even know that was a football team. He mightta’ thought it stood for the scripture about eagles wings.
Orlando wore an untrimmed beard, solid white. He also didn’t trim the hair on the temples of his head. That’s how he understood Leviticus 19:27. One time I saw him walk in the house and his beard was crooked. I said, “Brother Orlando! Your beard!” He responded that he had gotten a new shirt with the Tetragrammaton on it. With his long, untrimmed beard you couldn’t see the writing. He had trimmed his beard so people could see the Name on his shirt. He trimmed it crooked. 😃
I was at a Feast of Tabernacles up in Pennsylvania about 15 years ago, and brother Orlando was there. They had a huge congregational sukkah; the biggest I’ve ever seen. One night it started to rain. I said, “Brother Orlando, we’re going to go inside or get in the van. C’mon with us.” He said he’d be fine. He reached down in his sleeping bag, pulled out a plastic sheet, and pulled it over his head. I watched him lay there under that sukkah with the rain drops hitting him right in his face on the plastic.
Orlando told me that when he prayed, he always asked Yahweh to enlarge the borders of his heart, so that all the commandments could fit there. He didn’t want to neglect anything in Torah. I believe he was a man after Yahweh’s own heart.
Brother Orlando died somewhere in his 80’s. I wasn’t there. I didn’t attend his funeral. I don’t even know if he had a funeral. I don’t think he would care either way. He wasn’t well known on this planet, and he never tried to make a name for himself. His reward will be great in the Kingdom. He’s in the book of remembrance, because he feared Yahweh, and had a high regard for His name. He will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
Rest in peace wise Elder. You made a huge impact on me. I still think about you most every day.
Yahweh’s message should not be made merchandise of. I’ve been teaching and writing for years now. I know the amount of work and labor that goes into these things. I know when someone is excessively charging for a CD or DVD or book.
I realize that it is ok for a true minister to be compensated. Don’t muzzle the mouth of the ox that treads the grain. A laborer is worthy of his hire. I get all that. But if you have to hike up the price of something you offer, and peddle it like you would a cleaning supply, is that really honoring the Most High?
I believe a person’s ministry should be self-sustaining. We should not be in the ministry to get rich. It shouldn’t be what we use to make us wealthy. We should instead work and labor like everyone else. Scripture is not against a wealthy man who has earned it honestly.
Ministers, if we are putting out material that Yahweh smiles upon, He will provide us the means to do that. He will make a way for that to happen.
I’ve never asked anyone for money, and Yahweh has always provided. I don’t turn down an offering, but I don’t ask, and certainly don’t beg. Some of these guys I see are always begging for a donation. I just don’t see Yeshua and His apostles doing this at all.
I’ve never felt comfortable putting a price on any book I’ve written, or on a teaching CD I’ve made. Maybe a minimal price is fine, but I’m just not comfortable with it. Send it to whoever wants it, and Yahweh will take care of you. People will donate. People will see true effort. We don’t have to peddle the law or gospel.
My 21st wedding anniversary is in less than three weeks. I love my wife all year long, but this time of year stirs up all kinds of memories, and makes me re-evaluate my relationship with her.
I like to log all my thoughts down so my children will be able to read them one day when I'm gone. So you'll be seeing a lot of posts about my wife, and about marriage in general.
Here's something I remember fondly. Before we were married, Tisha would bring me hot wings from a local wing place. She'd show up at my school, after school, with piping-hot-hot-wings. She's taken care of my appetite since the beginning. 😃
The first time we went out together (we weren't a couple yet) we were with a youth group at Wendys in Conyers GA. She offered me her French fries and of course I took them, lol. Later on she told me she wanted the fries, but wanted to give them to me. She knew the way to my heart. 😂
She's always taken care of me. She still feeds me well to this day. Those of you that know her know she is basically a 5 star chef. Several women have complimented her on not only the taste of her food but the presentation. I remember one sister that came to our house to eat said "Tisha's food always looks so pretty." Tisha says that people eat with their eyes first.
She always makes my plate for me. When she says it's time to eat, I go sit at the table, and she makes my plate and brings it to me. Please don't think I force her to do that, lol. It's one way she shows me she loves me.
These things that people call little things have made an impact on me. No matter how small a matter, she puts me first. It's really amazing. She is such a good wife.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.