For many people, the concept of forgiveness for something either done to them, or that they have done to someone else, is something that either is of no interest, or conversely causes great anguish and distress. And ultimately for the person who has a thriving conscience (a gift from God by the way!) they will do whatever it takes to gain the peace that can only come from resolving this need. But while we can manage to forgive people to some extent, most of us will discover we will not be able to do it fully, solely in our own strength and certainly as Christians, we are required to ask God for His strength to enable us to forgive someone. And ultimately it’s placed in our awareness every single time we recite the “Lord’s” prayer, that we cannot gain forgiveness ourselves unless we do indeed forgive others who’ve wronged us, and in fact, Jesus gives the impression that it is also to whatever extent we forgive others that our own forgiveness will be provided by God, so it’s a hugely important area to deal with.
But the point of this particular post is aimed somewhat at my Jewish friends – those at least who’re willing to read something of a “Gentile, Christian” viewpoint – because I think forgiveness and everything involved in it from the point of view of our relationship with God, is hugely important when it comes to a Jew determining to know more about his Messiah. One of the threads running through Judaism is a continual desire to please God, and since the destruction of the 2nd Temple, Jews have endlessly turned to many ways of attempting to do this. But one aspect of life has never been able to be fully dealt with by the multitude of Mitzvots undertaken by any religious Jew, and that is in this whole area of forgiveness.
All Jews are more than aware of the sacrificial system which God set up from the very beginning of time, and this is what I want you to ponder on. One important thing to notice is that God declares that He is Holy, and that sin requires a price to be paid, primarily a blood sacrifice and He goes to great lengths to provide information on exactly how this is to be achieved.
Now, what you need to think about is a very important question, namely ‘Does God Change??’. If you think He does, then perhaps you need to either change your religion (if you’re a Jew or Christian at least) or re-read your scriptures to discover that Jehovah, Yahweh, the God of the Torah absolutely does NOT change, and thus what He determined to be necessary 3000 years ago will most likely be necessary still. So back to the sacrifices that the Jewish people were commanded to undertake for payment for the sins of the nation, and they did so until one very important point in history – the loss of the 2nd Temple. Now, what I find hugely interesting is that since that point in time, Jews have never even tried to provide another Temple, nor have they had the facility to do so, at least not in Israel, although things are starting to happen now in that area which is interesting too. So, how do Jews obtain forgiveness now??? I’ve read all sorts of ways the Rabbi’s explain this away and state that since they can’t offer sacrifices, that God somehow allows that because He’s not allowing them to build another Temple. To me though, and admittedly I’m looking at this purely from a Christian vantage point, it is yet another proof that Jesus has to be the Messiah of Israel, because the one thing He stated He had come to do was to be the final sacrifice for all time for all people, and he prophesied that the Temple would indeed be destroyed because now God has provided His own sacrifice just as He did for Abraham (with the lamb in the thicket).
Thus it makes perfect sense to me that Jews haven’t been able to build another Temple yet because Jesus has been their once-for-all sacrifice ever since the 2nd Temple was destroyed, and those who refuse to accept Him as such, will be open to believing all manner of deceptions with the worst one up ahead – where God will indeed allow the 3rd Temple to be built, but one which the AntiChrist (against Messiah) will defile in the worst way possible, thus fulfilling many more prophecies of Daniel, Jesus and also Paul.
And he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease, and on a corner of the altar desolating abominations, even until the end. And that which was decreed shall be poured on the desolator.
(Jesus says..) “But when you see the abomination of desolation, that spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him who reads understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. And let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house. “
So many Jews miss the fact that their Messiah is also a Suffering Servant
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
– God’s own Lamb provided as His sacrifice for mankind, in His Grace and Mercy for us in recognising that we would never be able to atone for our sins ourselves. Once again, I would suggest people ponder on Who Jesus Is – He said He could forgive sins, which makes Him God; He said He could heal sickness, which makes Him God; He did miracles, which makes Him God – so He is either Who He said He is, or He’s a liar because He knows He’s not God, or a lunatic because He just thinks He is God (in which case He can’t even be considered a good/holy man or a prophet) – but He was resurrected and no evidence to the contrary was ever provided at the time, hence HE IS GOD, and He alone can thus provide salvation through His personal sacrifice on the cross for YOUR SINS!! He is also not the “God of the Christians” as so many Jews tend to hold, as if somehow we had sole claim on Him or worse still, that we thus worship a different God entirely – He is the Saviour of the world and of all people, regardless of colour, class, creed and was sent by God to provide redemption for his entire creation, not just the Gentiles (John 7:35) – however, God declared in scripture that He would ultimately pass over his people in favour of the Gentiles for a period of time, after which He would lift the blindness He imposed “in part” on them and they would recognise their Messiah, repent and be fully saved (Romans 11:25).
Found another interesting post on this topic over on Blogspot – 1st image “hiked” from his site 🙂 .