January 24, 2022
“While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the 12 disciples aside privately and said to them on the way: ‘Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem.”
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“While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the 12 disciples aside privately and said to them on the way: ‘Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death. Then they will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and He will be resurrected on the third day.’” Matthew 20:17-19
For several summers, my wife and I traveled to Israel with a tour geared for college students. I am looking forward to our next trip! One of our goals is to assist Israeli Messianic congregations in sharing the truth about Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).
Most of the time, the Israelis are receptive to conversations about Jesus. But they always bring up three eras in Western history as defenses against following Him: The Crusades, the Catholic Inquisition, and the Nazi Holocaust.
In all three instances, millions of Jews were persecuted and killed in the name of “Jesus.” Of course, Jesus would never have approved of such treatment. Jesus came to earth as a Jew, and He continues to love and redeem Jewish people, along with anyone else who would come to Him by grace, through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
One of the arguments that errant Christian leaders have given to justify Jewish persecution is that God cursed the Jews for having killed Jesus. That rationale is entirely false on two accounts:
1. God has not rejected the Jews (Romans 11:11)
2. The Jews did not execute Jesus.
Jesus addressed the 2nd false rationale in today’s passage. Yes, the Jews beat and condemned Jesus, but it was the Gentile Romans who ordered the near-death-inducing “cat of 9 tails” flogging and oversaw His crucifixion. Perhaps one of the reasons he allowed those particular circumstances to surround His crucifixion is that Jew & Gentile would be collectively guilty of His death. In today’s passage, Jesus tells His followers EXACTLY how His crucifixion will play out.
The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus rose on the 3rd day! As Jew & Gentile share the guilt of His death, we also share in the hope of His mercy & grace!!
Pray for our efforts in Israel as we continue to seek opportunities to share the truth of Messiah Jesus. Also, pray for the Shalom of Jerusalem and that restoration through Jesus would come to the Jewish people and all Nations.