Friday, March 11, 2016
Is Jesus Named in the Old Testament? Part 3
Let us review from previous blogs where our journey so far has taken us. The position I am taking is if Jesus is the Messiah, His name would be found throughout the Old Testament. That is a reasonable assumption to make given the enormous significance of this claim of Jesus being the Messiah.
The angel announces to Mary the name of the Baby she carries, which will be Yeshua. It means "the LORD saves." Mary and Joseph did not select the name of their firstborn--He was already named in the courts of Heaven. His name designated His office and His mission. His name designated His office, that of being the "Anointed One," the King of kings and Lord of lords. His name also captured His mission: to save people from their sins. How this would be accomplished is not revealed in the name; it is enough that He is appointed and anointed to do what He will do, once He enters the world as that wee Baby.
The first use of the word yeshuw'ah in the Old Testament is recited in what is called "Jacob's blessing." Jacob is on his deathbed, looking at his sons, who are the future of his family and the nation that will bear his name: Israel. Israel is Jacob's God-given name.
It is God Who calls us, and the name He gives is His confirmation of His calling. Do you know what your name is? Beloved! But we will get to that in the near future!
As Jacob looks over his sons, he sees the light and the dark of what they've done and who they are. When he gets to fourth son, Judah, he describes him as a "lion's whelp" and his preeminence before his enemies and his brothers. Then Jacob goes into an interesting prophecy: "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his." (Gen. 49:10)
The scepter is what kings carry, but Judah will not be a king in his lifetime. But he will be the family's keeper of the symbol of royal rule (metaphorically speaking) and he will keep it until the One Who will carry it, ruling over all the nations. The King to come is named "Shiloh."
Here is an interesting sidelight on the name Shiloh: "The Messianic name Shiloh is then, with quite a substantial bit of poetic lenience, said to mean He Whose It Is (according to BDB Theological Dictionary). The main literary defensive argument for this view comes from Ezekiel 21:27, where the prophet speaks of Him who shall come and whose right it is to own everything. In this statement the section between "until the coming of..". and "...is the right, and I will give it" is spelled אשר־לו, which looks a lot like the expanded version of our name. Add to that the detail that both Genesis 40:10 and Ezekiel 21:27 deal with Judah and the government or ownership of that tribe, and the argument becomes quite compelling." (http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Shiloh)
So, Judah is the keeper of the Messianic keys, so to speak. How so? His tribe will be the Messiah's. The only king whose dominion will be over the nations (not only his own) would have to be the Messiah, whose government is universal. Isaiah, Chapter 6, speaks to this.
After the 7th son, Jacob invokes the first use of the word yeshuaw'ah. After looking at his sons, and then looking ahead, he sees the need for salvation on a deep and grand scale. He invokes the Name of the only Son Who can lead uprightly and forever, Yeshua to come.
The next time we come across the word is in Exodus 14:11-14:
"And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.
11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the yeshuw’ah (salvation) of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever. 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."
You can just picture the scene: the sons and daughters of slavery are now the sons and daughters of the One True God. But they are standing with their backs to the sea and Pharoah's army bearing down on them. They are so afraid that they are very willing to trade in their freedom for bricks without straw and the lash of the whip.
Back up, children of Israel...You have seen plagues that have judged the gods of Egypt. The last one, where the blood of a lamb kept away the Angel of Death from you and yours, smote down the very son of the Pharoah, who was supposedly a god and his son, by extension, would be also. The mighty God, the LORD, has led you out and do you think the waters of a sea and the army of a king could stop you?
It is salvation that they are longing for, and yeshuwa'h is coming. Moses is reminding them of what is coming...not an army but a complete and utter rescue. How so? The Egyptians are going to go completely away.
So, if Yeshua is our salvation, what army do we face? The army of sin and death, pure and simple. Both are terrifying. Hebrews 4:9-11 says, "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience." Yeshua is our peace and rest.
Yeshua stood and fought for you the day He mounted up on that cross. He satisfied completely and forever the justice that God demands for our sins. He knows the terror of death and being overwhelmed by the army that charges at us every chance it has.
Hebrews 4:14-16 is the ground we stand on: "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
Our sin, just like that Egyptian army, is drowned forever in His blood. He remembers it no more and wants us to instead focus on what is to come: the Promise Land of His Father. No sin, no death, just eternal life with Him.