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Review of ‘Messiah: Five Jewish People Make the Greatest Discovery’

This short yet compelling and highly readable book charts the stories of five Jewish people from various walks of life in their quest to find Messiah. Messiah is supposed to bring peace and Messiah’s reign will be centred in Jerusalem and Israel and will be a tremendous blessing to the whole earth. Many Jewish folk are waiting for Messiah though those who have found Jesus say that Messiah has come and is coming again.

An increasing number of Jewish people are coming to faith and trusting in Yeshua (Jesus) as the promised Messiah. There are around 300 Messianic congregations in Israel and there are Jewish believers meeting with other Jewish people and Gentiles who have discovered that Messiah is their shalom (peace) (Ephesians 2:14) worldwide. At His return, Messiah will rule the nations and there will also be peace on earth.

The Search for Messiah

What was it that convinced a singer, businessman, two Rabbis and a Doctor of Medicine that Jesus was and is the promised Messiah? All of these five individuals greatly desired to know the truth and made a concerted effort to search for God and for genuine answers. Jeremiah 29:13 reads “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Similarly Matthew’s Gospel which was written by a Jewish author about a Jewish Messiah and written to a Jewish audience recalls the words of Jesus, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7).”

What did their respective searches involve? Two of those individuals tried searching via Buddhism, spiritism, the occult and New Age though that did not provide the answers and only offered greater confusion. In many ways that avenue is akin to the children of Israel being seduced by the Baals, Ashtoreth, and the false gods of other nations.

Some had either family or friends that had come to faith in Yeshua, or they read a testimony about someone that had been ‘born again’. Some will state as a matter of fact, “You can’t argue with testimony” whilst another will respond “You can’t prove anything by testimony either!” Of course, the claims, content and a changed life of a person are worth investigating from a reliable witness.

Prophesies of Messiah

Prophecies concerning Messiah were a vital piece of the puzzle for each of the five individuals. Prophecies from the Tanakh (Old Testament) give a detailed and specific profile about what Messiah is supposed to do. How you can you find Messiah without knowing how to search for Him? Around a quarter of the Bible, Tanakh and Brit Hadasha (Old Testament and New Testament) contains prophecy so any Bible student would benefit from carefully examining the prophecies.

There are many prophecies written about Jesus that could not be ‘fulfilled’ by being aware of what needed to be fulfilled and finding a suitable candidate to do so. There are an astonishing number of prophecies we could examine though here are some of the ones most often shared.

Micah 5:2 tells us that the Messiah to be the Ruler of Israel would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah and from the tribe of Judah. See Matthew 2:6

Isaiah 53 explains how Messiah would be silent before His accusers and the iniquity of us all would be laid on Him, that He would be killed for our transgressions, that He would be buried with the rich, though He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth and that He poured out His soul unto death, numbered with the trangressors, bore the sin of many and even made intercession for them. See Matthew 26-27

Psalm 22 points towards the crucifixion of Jesus 1000 years previously and before it was even invented as a means of torture. Also, that His clothes would be gambled for and His words on the cross were predicted, “ See Matthew 27:35, 46

Daniel 9:24-27 foretells the exact timing, 483 years between when the command to restore and build Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-10) until Messiah the Prince and that Messiah would be cut off (killed) and before the temple and the city was destroyed (which sadly happened in AD70).

Zechariah 12:10 mentions the house of David and the inhabitants of Israel mourning for their Messiah who they pierced. See John 19:37; Revelation 1:7

You can check these prophecies through this link

Atonement, Messiah, and the New Testament

Since the life was in the blood and upon the altar and was given by God to make atonement for souls (Leviticus 17:11), how is it possible to atone for sin without a high priest, sacrifice of temple? One of the Rabbi’s giving testimony in this book was highly aware that confession alone does not forgive sin. Could it be possible that Messiah is actually our atonement?

Many Jewish people have not read the New Testament or have only read it superficially. Is that surprising in view of the history of persistent and prolonged antisemitism or the unfair claim directed at Jewish people, “You Killed our Jesus”? Sadly and I have to say not surprisingly, some of the people in this book had that unjust accusation directed towards them and I know that several of my Jewish friends have too. How different things might have been if those people could have spoken graciously and accurately  instead of accusingly and misguidedly to their Jewish friends about the Jewish Messiah in the Jewish context?

The New Testament is far from an antisemitic document. In fact it is a Jewish piece of literature and it is only by God’s grace and mercy that Gentiles have now been permitted to enter into the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-13) and to be grafted into the olive tree (Romans 11). The New Testament (Brit Hadasha) is often considered the forbidden book though many Jewish people have been pleasantly surprised that the Messiah of Israel fulfilled the prophecies, has made atonement, lived a sinless live, has risen from the grave and will return to the Mount of Olives and bring peace on earth.