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Prophecies of the Messiah – His Desertion

Prophecies of the Messiah – His Desertion

The Hebrew Scriptures
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.” (Zechariah 13:7)

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning. (Psalm 22:1)

The New Testament

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered'”…Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. (Matthew 26:31, 56)

Now when the sixth hour had come there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:33,34)

Comments and Quotations

“If we search the prophets we shall find that He who is promised as the Shepherd of Israel is THE MESSIAH. The Messiah therefore is the person to be smitten before the scattering of the sheep.” (Rabbi David Kimchi [b.1160]) on Zechariah)

 

The desertion of Messiah by God and men is another highly significant aspect of His sufferings and death (already referred to on page 16). For men to desert a spiritual leader is not so surprising, it was something that all the prophets had experienced, but to be abandoned by God was something else altogether; unique and unparalleled. Yet Zechariah prophesied it would happen, as did David when he wrote as a type of the Messiah. Why should God abandon one most special to Him? Here we arrive at the heart of the work of Messiah, which will be examined more closely on page 19, on His Atonement. Yeshua experienced such abandonment and desertion by men and God. His words, “Why have you forsaken me?” do not express doubt but are the sort of rhetorical question we all ask when in anguish, even though we know the answer. His anguish was beyond anything we will ever know. Please read page 20 now.