Yeshua and the Angel of the Lord

One to the blogs I follow is a Jewish blog called 1000 Verses.  The blog is written by an Orthodox Rabbi who is working to combat Christianity’s attempts on Judaism.  I started following the blog when I read his posts that were debating Dr. Michael Brown, who is a Jewish follower of Yeshua (Jesus).  I enjoyed reading what Dr. Brown wrote about the Jewish messianic beliefs and was curious to read the beliefs of an Orthodox Rabbi to see where Christians made assumptions that were not true and Judaism.

I have a lot of respect for what Rabbi Blumenthal writes on his blog.  While I do not agree with all of what he writes, I desire respectful conversations with him and his followers about what I believe versus what they perceive Christians as believing.  We don’t all think the same.

Rabbi Blumenthal put out a new post titled “The Angel of the Lord” where he compares Christian thoughts on the Angel of the Lord who had an encounter with Abraham versus what Jewish perspectives on the encounter.  To cut to the chase, Jewish people do not think that the Angel of the Lord was Yeshua (Jesus).

In his post, Rabbi B notes that Rashbam and Ibn Ezra consider this person to be an “angel who is called by God’s name”.  The commentators mention this as this character is referred to as ‘adonay or Master in the Masoretic Texts and this term is reserved for God alone.

This is why Christians will seize on this event and claim that the third person was a preincarnate Christ.  Rabbi B does point out that nowhere in this passage did Abraham worship this character in order to show that he was not God.

Now Rabbi B will continue to make his argument that this is not Yeshua as other passages detail how God used angels as his messengers at other times, such as Numbers 22 where the angel of the Lord appeared and spoke for God but was entirely separate from God.  I agree with him.  Nowhere does this angel claim to be God or referred to with the term ‘adonay, thus he was not God.  That does not prove that the entity that had the encounter with Abraham was or was not God.

Now I want to point out that I do not see where Yeshua was worshipped either prior to His assent to the throne.  Does that mean He was not God?

One of the big debates about the divinity of Christ has to do with His role as the everlasting offering before God.  My stance is that no created being could ever be holy enough to be an everlasting offering.  Unblemished animals were only good for a year and human sacrifices where prohibited, so if Yeshua was the Christ and His death was the final atoning work, what else could He be but God in the flesh?

Now I have no proof to this, but that is why people keep arguing about religion and what things mean.  Give Rabbi B a read sometime, but be respectful and do not just throw out Christian’s views as responses to his writings.

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Finding God in Death

Four months ago, my brother-in-law passed away suddenly.  He decided to go out for a run before going to get a haircut and his heart gave out on him.  He was only 35 years old and he was the closest thing I had to a brother.

I don’t want to say I feel lost without him, but it still hurts.  My wife is devastated as she practically raised him.   His three kids are trying to learn how to deal with their emotions at the loss and figure out how their lives will now go.  His widow is basically engaged to a man who doesn’t pay child support or have a job.

I judged her pretty harshly when I first found out, but that has past.  God has shown me some of her damages so I understand why she is doing what she is doing.  It doesn’t excuse the damage she is doing to her kids or the hurt she is causing others, but I understand it more and I have sympathy.

So many things have gone through my mind once I found out.  That is the first time in a long time that I have felt shock.  I had no clue what to do, but I knew I had to be strong for the family.  I am not sure if I had to be strong, but that is what I felt like I needed to do.  I have cried so many tears in private, but I sucked it up for the family.

I questioned my relationship with God while trying to process it.  Not if God was real, but why didn’t he warn me that this was going to happen.  What if it could have been prevented and I was just too busy to hear the warning.  I thought about Jesus and wondered if I should have tried to pray for him to awake and walk.  That one kind of sounds silly, but if we are supposed to do what Jesus did then why not?

I am thankful for the time I have had with him but I regret the missed opportunities.  he wasn’t a Christian but he really wanted to believe.  I understand why he struggled and I know God did too.  I am not sure if that means he is saved, but I sure hope so.

What if I wasn’t too busy and I could have shared more with him?  I could have talked to him more and maybe he would have believed.  I think it is human nature to blame ourselves to some degree, but as a Christian I still feel some guilt for not doing more.  I know salvation was between him and God, but our words and actions will play a bearing on how people will react.  We are warned not to have idle words as we are responsible, in part, for what comes of them.

The loss came on the heels of struggling with my relationship as I pursued my degree in religion.  I didn’t think that studying the thing I loved would be so detrimental, but I love God and not the religion.  You cant really study God.  Either you get to know Him or you don’t.  Studying Christianity without walking it out is probably why so many people lose their faith when they think they are pursuing God.

I am not sure where I will go from here, but I know God has been waiting for me.  He talks to me and the prophecy is starting to come back.  He has helped me through this grief.  This grief is like none that I have ever experienced before, but now I can better relate to those who have suddenly lost someone .  I don’t think God took him so that I would learn this lesson, but it is something I will take out of it.

I know I cannot do what makes me happy without God.  I try, but I am always miserable.  My wife can spot it immediately, even though I try and deny it.  I know God is real because He has changed me.  I know He is real because He never left me.  I know He is real because He is always with me.  I think my brother-in-law knew He was real, because of my relationship with Him.

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