Lion and Lamb
As the nations rage against the Lord and against Jerusalem, and everything that can shake is shaking, we see the preparation for the promised Messiah. Israel’s restoration is the cosmic trumpet that signals the ticking prophetic clock:
Messiah is on His way.
But which Messiah … the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 or the reigning King of the Psalms, Prophets, and the NT?
Isaiah (53:3–6) poignantly describes the Messiah as:
“A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. … and we did not esteem Him. … 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.”
The 53rd chapter of Isaiah has been described as the “Gospel according to Isaiah.” I have seen Jews come to faith in Yeshua after hearing this Messianic description. We have heard of elderly Jewish people admonishing their faith-filled children, “don’t read that New Testament to me” when they heard Isaiah 53! It accurately describes the suffering servant who became the Lamb of God.
As a new Believer many years ago—and “lit up” from a month of street witnessing with Jews for Jesus—I gathered my New York family and read “Isaiah’s gospel” to them. A holy hush fell over them, as they pondered the bible verses. Eventually, both my Mom and sister came to faith. My Mom, while I was on a gospel campaign in Africa, and my sister through a tiny storefront mission in Florida.
Don’t ever give up on your wayward family. God keeps His covenants…with the Jewish people and with you. Baruch HaShem (praise His Name)!
Taken together, the many other descriptions of this suffering servant describe a Mashiach Ben Joseph (literally, Messiah son of Joseph) who, like His natural ancestor Joseph the patriarch, suffered many injustices before becoming the Deliverer of His people, Israel.
However, we Jews are not that keen on more suffering but would like a King who triumphantly vanquishes our enemies and makes us “the head and not the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:13)… for a change!
That was the quandary in which the early disciples found themselves. How could this carpenter, neighbor, and friend be He who would deliver them from the oppression of Rome? Matthew 6:33, 8:11, and Luke 11:20 tell us that the mystery of the Kingdom was progressively revealed to Yeshua’s followers. Some were still looking for an earthly kingdom in Acts 1:6.
THAT DAY IS COMING… AND SOONER THAN WE MAY THINK!
The reigning Messiah—Mashiach Ben David—will establish His throne in Jerusalem and reign for a thousand years. Now, that is a Divine Dictatorship that I can accept, a benign monarchy ruled by the only One fit to lead us all.
Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, this King is praised and promised. Daniel 7:9–22 describes the reigning King as the “Ancient of Days.” In verse 9 we read:
“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire …”
We have an extraordinary opportunity to point people to Him—in His role as the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world … AND as the Lion of Judah, the coming King!