The birth of Yeshua is recorded in Luke 2. Here are some key verses (KJV) in this chapter showing that Yeshua is separate from Yahweh.
Lu 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Lu 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Lu 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Notice that the baby was lying in the manger, but God was in the highest. The baby in the manger is Yeshua. The God in the highest is Yahweh. This hearkens back to Luke 1:32 where Yeshua is called the Son of the Highest. Yahweh is the Highest, Yeshua is His Son.
Lu 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Yeshua, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Lu 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Lu 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to Yahweh;)
Lu 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
Once Mary's purification was accomplished, her and Joseph brought Yeshua to Jerusalem to present him to Yahweh. Do we really think they thought they were presenting God to God? Yeshua was a firstborn male, and thus was holy to Yahweh, so they presented the baby Yeshua to Almighty Yahweh, as Yahweh's law required.
Lu 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Lu 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
The child that grew here is Yeshua. He waxed strong in spirit. Waxed means he had to grow. God's grace was upon him. He wasn't God, but God's grace was great in his life.
Lu 2:52 And Yeshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Yeshua had to increase in three things here: wisdom, stature, and favor. He increased in these things with both God and man. Catch that. Yeshua increased in favor with Yahweh. The more he learned and grew, he became more favorable in Yahweh's sight.
These are points that are very easy to see, but I think man-made theologies have caused people to pass over these verses without really believing them.
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.
Over the years, one of the arguments I've heard in attempts to prove that "Yeshua is really Yahweh," is that Yahweh had to die in order to be able to re-marry the nation of Israel. I've even heard it said that this is the argument that clinches the belief. I heard this come again just the other day, so I thought I would comment on it here.
People who promote this basically say (in a nutshell): "Yahweh was married to the nation of Israel. Yahweh later divorced Israel, because of her harlotry (with other gods). After the divorce she continued her harlotry, and based upon Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Yahweh could not have taken her back as His wife again. But, He could die and be resurrected, making it possible for Him to remarry Israel (based upon Romans 7:1-4)."
I must say that it seems odd to me to try to prove that Yeshua is Yahweh by piecing Scriptures together like this (arguing from reasoning instead of direct scriptures). I would suggest that if we want to know who Yeshua is, we start with the Bible verses that specifically address the issue. Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 16:13-18 are a good place to start. I believe anyone who reads those verses (among many others) with no "axe to grind," will easily see that Yeshua is Yahweh's Son.
Here are 5 reasons why this idea of "dying to remarry" just does not work at all.
1. Yahweh's marriage relationship with Israel is strictly metaphorical. It is certainly not like the marriage I have with my wife (Yahweh didn't ask "Israel's father" for her hand in marriage). We can know this further by looking at Exodus 4:22-23 where Yahweh calls the same people (Israel) His son. So which is it? Is Israel's Yahweh's bride or Yahweh's son? Is Yahweh married to His own son? Ridiculous I know, but these points show that Yahweh's relationship with Israel can be described as both a Father and a Husband because they are metaphorical relationships, not literal ones. Literally, Yahweh is our Creator and we are His creation.
2. The law of Deuteronomy 24 is a law that Yahweh gave for His people Israel to abide by. We should not take that law given for human beings and try to apply it to Yahweh who is Spirit. The law is speaking about a man of Israel divorcing a woman of Israel, and then she being allowed to go and be another man's wife. If then this second husband divorces her or dies, she is not allowed to go back and marry her former husband. How in the world does this apply to Yahweh? First of all, Yahweh cannot die (I'll get more into that in the next point). Secondly, if hypothetically He did die, then to whom does Israel marry? A resurrected Yahweh? How does that follow the law of Deuteronomy 24? The law in Deuteronomy is talking about the first husband divorcing her, and then she marrying another man who is not her first husband. To apply all of this to a metaphorical relationship that Yahweh has with His people is absurd.
3. Yahweh is immortal (1 Timothy 6:16). Immortal carries the meaning of "not able to die." Immortality is what Yeshua obtained at his resurrection from the dead, and it is what we are seeking to obtain in the future as well. Now that Yeshua has been resurrected to immortality, is it still possible for him to die? How then can the word immortality even have a meaning to it? To say that Yahweh can die is to say that He is not really immortal. We would then have to say that Yeshua, although immortal, still has the possibility of dying again, and also that we (when we obtain immortality) will still have the possibility of being able to die. All of this makes the word immortal not really have a meaning at all. If we start changing the meaning of words we can come up with any teaching we want to come up with.
4. I've heard some try to use Romans 7:1-4 in pushing this doctrine of Yahweh having to die to remarry Israel, but go read Romans 7. Paul is talking about a woman being bound to her husband as long as he lives. It's like my wife and I. She is my wife. If she tries to "marry" another man, she is an adulteress. But, if I die, she is free to get married to another man because I'm no longer in the picture (alive). Paul uses this as a means to get across his point that we have become dead to the law through the death of Messiah. In other words, the law's death penalty had us bound, but through Yeshua's death we are set free to be married (metaphorical here) to him who is raised from the dead. Married here literally carries the idea of "attached to" rather than wedded to, but Paul uses married to go along with the point he just made. There is zero here about Yahweh having to die in order to remarry Israel. In Romans 7 it is us who die to the penalty of the law through the one who died in our place, Yeshua.
5. Some have asked how we can be both the bride of Yahweh and the bride of Yeshua. The answer is simple. Seeing that the relationship is metaphorical and not literal, there is not a problem. In the same way Israel can be Yahweh's son (Exodus 4:22-23) and bride (Ex. 19:1-6) and it not be a problem, because these are not literal relationships. It's not like one woman is married to both a man and his son in the natural. That would be adultery. The relationships that Yahweh and Yeshua have with us aren't literal in this sense.
As I said before, instead of trying to reason our way into believe that Yeshua is Yahweh from texts that do not say such, why not go to texts that are explicitly about who he is?
"You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call his name Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and [Yahweh] Almighty will give him the throne of his father David." ~ Gabriel (to the virgin Mary; Luke 1:31-32)
I grew up in a singing church. Sometimes we would sing for like 2 hours solid. I remember playing the bass guitar for the church as a teenager and my fingers getting so tired that they wouldn't work anymore. Those bass runs were killer.
As a child I just sang along with everything. I didn't pay much attention to what I was singing. The older I get, and the more I study Scripture, theology, christology, and all the other "ologies," I realize that some of the songs I have sang over the years are just bad. Real, real bad.
Not too long ago I heard a brother belt out this line, "I know Yahweh will make a way for me. If I live a holy life, shun the wrong and do the right." Man I used to love singing that song. But I'm gonna just be honest. I can't sing it anymore.
Yahweh makes ways for us we we live holy and do right? Um... if that song is accurate then none of us would be saved. We've all lived unholy lives. We've all shunned the right and did the wrong. The whole gospel message is that Yahweh has made a way for us WHO HAVE NOT DONE WHAT IS RIGHT. Of course I know there are people out there who actually believe they don't do wrong. They sing that tune with great gusto. I used to be one of them. Now, I've gotten to the point where I don't even know how else better to start a prayer than, "Father, have mercy upon me, a sinner."
Let me tell you about another song that I think is just a big, fat lie. It's an old one, and I'm sure this will upset some old saints in the faith, but I'm just keeping things real. It's called "I Surrender All." It starts out like this:
All to Jesus I surrender
The last time I sang that song I just thought in my mind, "No I don't. I should. I know I need to. I know that's what is demanded of me. But I don't." I put myself above my Savior all the time. I put my job above my Savior, my wife, my kids, my money; it often all comes before my Savior. There may be times when I do a bit better, but to sing "I Surrender All" at the top of my lungs acting like I mean what I am singing? Nope, not gonna lie.
The way I suggest we sing the song is "Christ surrendered all, Christ surrendered all." This way the song is absolutely true. Yeshua did surrender all to the Father. He humbled himself even to the point of death on the cross. I've failed the Father often. Yeshua never did. My faith rests in him and only him for my righteousness.
I wonder what other songs I'm still singing that aren't theologically accurate. I guess it's back to the drawing board.
References: Romans 5:6-11; Philippians 2:1-11
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.