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Prophecies of the Messiah – His Atonement

Prophecies of the Messiah – His Atonement

The Hebrew Scriptures
He will provide atonement for His land and His people. (Deuteronomy 32:38)

In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified and shall glory. (Isaiah 45:25)

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.….

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin (asham), He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. (Isaiah 53:4-6,10)

The New Testament

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

For Messiah also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)

For He [God] made Him [Messiah] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” … Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”). (Galatians 3:10-13)

Comments and Quotations

“Jonathan ben Uzziel interprets it [Isaiah 53] in the Targum of the future Messiah; and this is also the opinion of our own learned men in the majority of their Midrashim.” (Don Isaac Abravanel [b.1437])

“But He was wounded,” etc. … meaning that since the Messiah bears our iniquities which produce the effect of His being bruised, it follows that whosoever will not admit that Messiah thus suffers for our iniquities must endure and suffer for them himself.” (Rabbi Eliyahu de Vidas [b. 1518], The Beginning of Wisdom (1575))

“What is his [the Messiah’s] name? … The rabbis said: His name is ‘the leper scholar’ as it is written, ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him a leper, smitten of God and afflicted’.” (Sanhedrin 98b, Babylonian Talmud)

 

The Scriptures are clear that it is God who provides atonement for sinners; we cannot atone for ourselves. The sacrificial system of Moses’ Law foreshadowed God’s method – by an atoning sacrifice – a life was laid down in death, the animal suffering what the sinner deserved; death. Messiah is the reality which those sacrifices foreshadowed, the prophet Isaiah revealing that to us when he described Messiah as an asham, a guilt offering. Isaiah’s point is clear – Messiah is to die in our place. He is to be the sacrificial lamb, which God provides. He would suffer in the sinner’s place. Long before he was arrested and put on trial, Yeshua described himself in this way to his disciples. He spoke of himself as a ransom, giving his life to pay the penalty of our sin to set us free. That was what was happening when he was crucified. This explains the desertion of Messiah by the LORD, who had sent him. He treated him as a sinner; He cursed him as a law-breaker. Yeshua experienced this abandonment on the cross, crying out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” It is a rhetorical question, uttered in anguish. He did it for us. Such is God’s love!