Matthew 20 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“While going up to Jerusalem, Yeshua 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
Almost every summer my wife and I have gone to Israel with a tour geared for college students. One of our goals is to assist Israeli Messianic congregations in their mission to share the truth about Messiah, Yeshua.
Most of the time, the Israelis are receptive to conversations about Yeshua. 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”. Yeshua would never have approved of such treatment. Yeshua 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 they believe G-d cursed the Jews for having killed “Jesus”. That rationale is completely false on two accounts:
1. G-d has not rejected the Jews (Romans 11.11)
2. Jews did not execute Yeshua.
As for the 2nd false rationale, Yeshua, Himself testified in today’s passage. Yes, the Jews beat and condemned Yeshua, but it was the Gentile Romans who ordered the near-death-inducing “cat of 9 tails” flogging, and oversaw His crucifixion. One of the reasons Yeshua allowed those particular circumstances to surround His crucifixion, is so Jew & Gentile would be collectively guilty of His death. In today’s passage, Yeshua tells His followers EXACTLY how His crucifixion will play out.
The GOOD NEWS is that Yeshua 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-out opportunities to share the truth of Messiah, Yeshua there. Also pray for the true Shalom of Jerusalem: That restoration through Yeshua would come to both the Jewish people and the rest of the Nations.
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Thursday, May 9, 2013