Referenced Messianic Jewish Review Blog

The official blog of the Referenced Messianic Jewish Review. The Referenced Messianic Jewish Review studies the history, composition and theology of the Messianic Jewish movement.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

17 of Tammuz

Today is the 17th of Tammuz, the day commemorating when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem leading to their eventual destruction of the Holy Temple on the 9th of Av. Now, many in the Messianic "Jewish" movement claim that everyone needs to accept Jesus as a sacrifice.

This ignores the fact that Leviticus makes clear that only certain animals can be used as a sacrifice and they must be slaughtered in a ritual fashion by the Priests at the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple, while Jesus (a human) does not fall under the Biblically-approved sacrifical items and he was killed by the Romans away from the Holy Temple. They also fail to take into consideration that sacrifices were for sins which occurred prior to the sacrifice, not after, as is the way Christians (including Messianic "Jews") attempt to apply Jesus' "sacrifice." They also ignore all of the other Biblically-approved methods of atonement and forgiveness such as repentance and helping the poor. This tends to get me thinking to Deuteronomy Chapter 4, in which the Jewish people's removal from the Holy Land for misbehavior is predicted. How does Deuteronomy 4 say that the Jewish people can gain G-d's forgiveness, outside of the Land of Israel (and by definition, without the Holy Temple for sacrifices)?

Deuteronomy 4: 29 But from there you will seek the L-RD your G-d; and you shall find Him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
30 In your distress, when all these things are come upon you, in the end of days, you will return to the L-RD your G-d, and hearken unto His voice;
31 for the L-RD your G-d is a merciful G-d; He will not fail you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore unto them.

As you can see, G-d is willing to forgive the Jewish people even without sacrifices. And did you notice that the covenant was forever? No mention of having to accept Jesus for forgiveness or acceptance by G-d.