I used to think that Jews were blinded to Jesus as their Messiah because I only looked at the verses from the OT that I was taught referred to him. Plus, I believed every word of the NT and saw how its message was a consistent line of thought that the Jews were stubborn, blind, and to blame for the death of the Messiah. Basically, the NT is an attack on pretty much all of the Jews, which, now that I know better, is very biased and one-sided and totally unjustified. I feel bad that I thought so lowly of them for so long and didn’t really understand that they were the ones who knew better all along and they, rightfully, rejected Jesus, because they held him up to the tests of the Tanach, and he failed every one of them. They did the right thing! This was shocking for me coming from a Christian background.
One of the many reasons that Jews knew that Jesus was not the Messiah that was promised was the fact that when Jesus came, he did not fulfill even one little prophecy of this end-time king. The Jews had these prophecies for thousands of years and knew them like the back of their hand. They were eagerly awaiting, not so much this one certain king, but what God promised would happen during this time.
In contrast, Christians tell the Jews that they don’t have a clue what their own prophecies state, but rather that Jesus was never suppose to fulfill them “the first time” but would come back and fulfill them “the second time.” Funny, that we find that line of thinking absolutely nowhere in the Hebrew Bible. First, it never says that the end-time king will be the one who needs to die for the sins of the people, and second, that he wouldn’t accomplish the prophecies on his first visit to earth, but rather in round two. Second time is a charm! No wonder Jews don’t believe! Their promised Messiah was to fulfill everything the first time. He didn’t need a second chance.
It’s kind of like me saying to someone, “To prove I’m the promised one, I can do any miracle that you want, just ask me.” The person replies, “Okay, let’s see you raise up this pickup truck and put it on top of the building,” I said, “For sure I will. I’ll do it later, when I come back.” What? Did that prove anything? It basically just proved that I couldn’t do it now.
So, now let’s go to the key chapter in Ezekiel to see this promise of this future kingdom and what the world will look like when the true end-time king comes…
Ezekiel 37 (in full)
“With the hand of Adonai upon me, Adonai carried me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley, and it was full of bones. 2 He had me pass by all around them — there were so many bones lying in the valley, and they were so dry! 3 He asked me, “Human being, can these bones live?” I answered, “Adonai Elohim! Only you know that!” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, ‘Dry bones! Hear what Adonai has to say! 5 To these bones Adonai Elohim says, “I will make breath enter you, and you will live. 6 I will attach ligaments to you, make flesh grow on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you. You will live, and you will know that I am Adonai.”’” 7 So I prophesied as ordered; and while I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound; it was the bones coming together, each bone in its proper place. 8 As I watched, ligaments grew on them, flesh appeared and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. 9 Next he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy, human being! Say to the breath that Adonai Elohim says, ‘Come from the four winds, breath; and breathe on these slain, so that they can live.’” 10 So I prophesied as ordered, and the breath came into them, and they were alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army!
- God is promising that when this end-time comes that God, Himself, will raise to life all of the people of Israel who has died. And, this will become a great army for God.
11 Then he said to me, “Human being! These bones are the whole house of Isra’el; and they are saying, ‘Our bones have dried up, our hope is gone, and we are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy; say to them that Adonai Elohim says, ‘My people! I will open your graves and make you get up out of your graves, and I will bring you into the land of Isra’el. 13 Then you will know that I am Adonai — when I have opened your graves and made you get up out of your graves, my people! 14 I will put my Spirit in you; and you will be alive. Then I will place you in your own land; and you will know that I, Adonai, have spoken, and that I have done it,’ says Adonai.”
- Not only will God raise all of Israel from the graves, but He will personally bring them back to Israel, to the land that God had originally promised them. Not one will be lost.
- At this time, when they are raised from the dead, God will put His spirit within them.
15 The word of Adonai came to me: 16 “You, human being, take one stick and write on it, ‘For Y’hudah and those joined with him [among] the people of Isra’el.’ Next, take another stick and write on it, ‘For Yosef, the stick of Efrayim, and all the house of Isra’el who are joined with him.’ 17 Finally, bring them together into a single stick, so that they become one in your hand. 18 When your people ask you what all this means, 19 tell them that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Efrayim, together with the tribes of Isra’el who are joined with him, and put them together with the stick of Y’hudah and make them a single stick, so that they become one in my hand.’ 20 The sticks on which you write are to be in your hand as they watch. 21 Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will take the people of Isra’el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Isra’el; and one king will be king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will never again be divided into two kingdoms.
- Not only will God bring back all of Judah, but He will reunite all of the lost tribes of Israel, so all will be united in purpose and community. They will finally all become one family again and none will go against the other tribe.
- All of the lost tribes will be moved by God back to Israel to live in their own land.
- People who do not know they are one of the lost people of Israel will come to realize their heritage and they will be overjoyed to understand and to move back to the home they never knew.
- God will put one king over each of these tribes, united into one nation, not 12 nations. They will only need one king to govern them all because they will be so united in purpose and community.
- Once all of the tribes are back into the land, they will never be divided again.
23 “‘They will never again defile themselves with their idols, their detestable things, or any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the places where they have been living and sinning; and I will cleanse them, so that they will be my people, and I will be their God.
- The people of Israel will never turn to other gods again, or do things that do not please God, but they will fully honor His Torah and will not stray from it. They will no longer break any of God’s laws.
- God will personally cleanse Israel so that they are fully holy and set apart for Himself.
- It is God who will do all of these things for Israel to save them.
- Israel will fully be God’s people, and God will finally be their God only.
24 My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd; they will live by my rulings and keep and observe my regulations.
- Notice it is in this one verse in the whole chapter where the king, or Messiah, is referenced. His role is ultimately very minor compared with what God will be doing in all the land.
- God will put David as king over them. Personally, I now see this as actually King David as God already said that He raised people from the dead and brought them back to Israel. He specifically states that David will be king…. not a seed of David, but David himself. At this point, I’m putting my bets that the risen David is actually the end-time king, or what Christians would refer to as “The Messiah.”
- All of Israel will have God as their shepherd (who will care for them).
- All of Israel will keep God’s laws fully.
25 They will live in the land I gave to Ya‘akov my servant, where your ancestors lived; they will live there — they, their children, and their grandchildren, forever; and David my servant will be their leader forever.
- All of Israel will live in the same land that God gave Jacob. It is their heritage to all future generations. Notice that the people still continue to have children and grandchildren, so the bodies that are being raised from the dead are human bodies that can produce more children (not the spiritual bodies that cannot that Paul seems to talk about in the NT).
- The risen, David, appears to then be God’s servant leader forever.
26 I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever.
- Israel will have God’s everlasting covenant of peace and wholeness. No longer will any war against them, nor will any war within them. This is also stated in other prophecies.
- God will bless the people with fertility and they will continue to have babies and raise new families in Israel.
- God’s temple will be rebuilt (it also shows this in other prophecies) and it will remain standing within Israel forever. This is a physical place, not a spiritual place.
27 My home will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.
- God’s temple will be among them and He will call this last temple His home among them.
- It is at this time that God will finally be their God, and they will be fully His people because they will be in full obedience to Him.
28 The nations will know that I am Adonai, who sets Isra’el apart as holy, when my sanctuary is with them forever.’”
- The people around Israel, that is, the nations, or those NOT IN THIS PROMISE, will recognize that God is the God of Israel, and that He has set them apart as a special nation to Himself. All of the nations on the outside will understand this when God’s temple is among Israel and they live in peace.
Has any of this happened yet? No.
What do we notice? Before the end-time king (The Messiah, to Christians) will reign, Israel will be raised from the dead and brought back to Israel to live in the land. It’s AFTER this point, that God will anoint King David to reign on the throne.
Jesus did not fulfill any of this when he came, so no wonder the Jews don’t believe. And, I don’t believe either.
After reviewing this and contemplating it, I do have a suspicion that this king will actually be King David. How COOL is that? King David will once again take his throne, as this was the one king of all the kings of Israel that God said was after His own heart. Wow, that gives me goosebumps just thinking about that. Can’t wait!