Why did Jesus have to die, and why in such a grotesque, physically painful manner? And why did it have to happen on Passover? Christianity’s reason for this is superficial at best. To understand the death of Jesus, you have to go back to what Paul calls “the mystery of the gospel.” By understanding the “mystery,” then you understand that there was an oath that God keeping that He made with Abraham when he walked through the pieces in Genesis 15. That is where you have to go to understand why he had to die in such a physically painful way and why he had to die on Passover. It also explains why his death was not only for sins, but it opened the way for the restoration of the kingdom of Isra’el back together into One Kingdom, One People, and One Community, or as Paul described it as “One New Man.” Thus, the THREE REASONS for his death would be the following:
To fulfill God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15, called “the covenant between the pieces.” This promise was made on
Passover 430 years BEFORE the day was known as Passover. This was the reason he had to die in such a physically panful
way. We see this, for example, in the book of Exodus, we read,
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, EVEN THE SELFSAME DAY it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:41)
Now I know what doubters will say, “It doesn’t say anything about Abraham in this verse.” No, but Paul does in his letter to
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles [the Northern Kingdom plus any Gentiles from the nations] through Jesus Christ [Messiah]; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; [Paul’s about to give an example] Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed. no man disannuls it or adds thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He says not, “And to seeds,” as of many; but as of one, “And to your seed,” which is Christ [Messiah]. And this I say, that the covenant [the covenant of Abraham], that was confirmed before of God in Christ [Messiah], the law [Torah] which was FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS AFTER, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law [comes through our obedience to Torah]: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. (Galatians 3:14-18)
So here we have a specific connection between Abraham and the Exodus, and what was the time between them 430 years. And here Paul tells us the covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 15 was not between God and Abraham, because Abraham did not walk between the pieces. According to Scripture, Abraham had been placed “in a deep sleep,” and so he watched the whole event in a vision. The same phrase, “in a deep sleep,” is used when God put Adam “in a deep sleep” in order to create the woman. And God placed Abraham “in a deep sleep,” God would use to create for himself “a wife,” just as he did for Adam.
Jewish Rabbis have argued that the Torah does not allow human sacrifices. However, when God walked through the pieces, He took upon Himself the responsibility to die a physically painful death if Abraham or any of his seed should sin, that God would die a physically painful death, illustrated by the cut up animals that he had just walked through. (see my articles: “Messianic Mission (Part 3): The Mysterious Covenant of Abraham,” “The Promise of a Lamb: The Connection Between Abraham and the Cross,” and “Why Did Jesus Have to be Crucified on Passover.”
For the forgiveness of sins. This reasons is closely integrated with God’s covenant with Abraham, and it is the one reason that Christianity is actually teaching.
To lay the foundation and to open the way for the restoration of Isra’el. This was actually what “the gospel of the kingdom” was really all about that we see taught throughout the four Gospels, and in the rest of the “New Testament.”
Why the Silence?
Yet out of all the Christian ministers I have heard “preach the gospel,” I have never heard any of them mention reason #1 and reason #3. Why is it that we have never heard reason #1 or reason #3 explained from a Christian pulpit? Is it because these two reasons are not really evident?
Christian Flaws in Their View of Scripture
No, the evidence is there, but Christianity has a major flaw in its belief system.
1. They believe in a “divided Bible” that teaches two distinctly different revelations from God, which they call “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” They do not see the Bible as One unified book that only reveals one revelation from God.
2. There is not a single verse or passage anywhere in the whole Bible – from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 – that defines the phrase “Old Testament” as the first 39 books of the Bible or the phrase “New Testament” as the last 27 books of the Bible. This whole structural understanding is completely man-made and not supported by the Bible once we place its writings back into proper contexts.
Abraham’s Promise – “A Great Mystery”?
God’s promise to Abraham is rooted in “a mystery,” which means that the evidence is there, but we have to have a thorough understanding of this type of covenant ritual, and we have to be willing to spend the time and effort to put the various “pieces” together, but this ability to discover the assorted “pieces” and put them together comes through the revelation of the Spirit.
“The Gospel of the Kingdom” – “An Announcement of the Restoration of Isra’el”?
The connection between the life and ministry of Jesus and the restoration of Isra’el can be seen just by looking back at the prophetic context of two primary texts: The prophecy of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34) and the Atonement of the Messiah (Isaiah 53). Both references are set in the same context: the Restoration of Isra’el. Jesus died so that the way could be opened so that the restoration could happen.
Even Jesus’ calling of his initial disciples alludes to a prophecy given by the prophet Jeremiah. In chapter 16, we read,
Behold, I will send for many fishers says the LORD, and they shall fish them,… (Jeremiah 16:16a)
Who were Jesus’ initial four disciples? They were “FISHERMEN,” and what did he tell them when he called them? “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-22), a direct reference to the Jeremiah prophecy. Did God’s plan change when Jesus died? Absolutely not! His death was part of the plan all along.
Why was Paul sent out to preach to the nations? He was sent out to find the descendants of the Northern Kingdom (the lost 10 Tribes), as well as any other Gentiles (non-Jews), who wished to attach themselves to Isra’el. We can see thee Restoration of Isra’el being alluded to as the backdrop for Romans 11 and Ephesians 2. For example, in Romans 11, we read,
“blindness in part is happened to Isra’el, until THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES be come in.” (Romans 11:25)
This verse actually alludes back to the blessing of Joseph’s two sons by Jacob in Genesis 48. In this scene, Joseph thinks that Jacob has made a mistake because he placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head (the younger) and not Manasseh’s (the eldest). And when Joseph tries to fix it, Jacob tells him:
I know it, my son, I know it: he [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become A MULTITUDE OF NATIONS. (Genesis 48:19)
This phrase that is translated as “a multitude of nations” is in the Hebrew, melo’ ha-goyim. Melo’ speaks of a process of filling up until the eventual fullness, and ha mean “the,” and goyim can be translated as either “nations or Gentiles.” Thus, a literal rendering of this phrase is “the process of filling up until the eventual fullness of the nations/Gentiles.” Paul is arguing that when the Northern and Southern Kingdom are brought back together and made one kingdom under one King, Messiah, then the partial blindness will be removed. But I would argue that not only is the two kingdoms partially blinded, but so is the Christian Church, since “religion” is the cause of this “partial blindness.”
In Ephesians 2, Paul writes,
But now in the Messiah Yeshua you who were sometimes far off [the Northern Kingdom and any non-Jews who attach themselves to Isra’el] made nigh by the blood of Messiah. For he is our peace, who has made both ONE, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us: having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two [the Northern Kingdom of Isra’el-Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom of Judah] ONE NEW MAN [ONE REUNITED KINGDOM], so making peace; and that he might reconcile BOTH unto God in ONE BODY [ONE KINGDOM] by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off [the Northern Kingdom and any non-Jews who attach themselves to Isra’el] and to them that were nigh [the Southern Kingdom of Judea]. For through him, we both have access by One Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2: 13-18)
Here Paul is telling us that the Lord has died to atone for the sins that caused God to divorce the Northern Kingdom of Isra’el and to sent away when they were taken into exile by the Assyrians back in the eighth century, B.C.E. Another name for the Northern Kingdom is Ephraim, and Jacob prophesied that Ephraim would become “the fullness of the Gentiles,” and therefore, the Northern Kingdom not only includes those from the nations – Gentiles (non-Jews) – who have given their lives and hearts to Isra’el’s Messiah, but it also includes the physical descendants of the Northern Kingdom.
Also, the Greek word Ecclesia, which has been translated as “church” – was a term that was used throughout the Greek copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, along with the Greek word sunagogue for the unified people of Isra’el. So why did Paul use the word Ecclesia, rather than the word sunagogue? Because Ecclesia was already well-known word outside of the land of Isra’el. It was already known by both those who had been attending the synagogues and those who had not. It was actually used by the Greeks 620 years before the conception and birth of Yeshua. It was a political term referring to a group summoned and gathered for a particular reason. Today, we have other words for this. The local Ecclesia we call “a town meeting” or the one that gathers at the national level, Rome and the United States calls “the Senate.”
What Happened to Hinder the Restoration?
So what happened? What changed? Prior to his arrest and his martyrdom in 68 C.E., he was on his way back to Jerusalem to observe the biblical feast of Shavuot (Pentecost). On his way, he stopped off at Miletus to give the leaders his final farewell and to give them a prophetic warning one final time. In Acts 20, we read,
For I know this, that after my departure [death] shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of THREE YEARS I ceased not to warn every one NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS. (Acts 20: 29-31)
Obviously, this was not some random warning. He spent every day – night and day – for a period of THREE YEARS warning them about when he saw coming. This was not something he believed could happen, nor was it something he thought might be a possibility, but he said “I know this.” He saw this as a certainty. And two years after his martyrdom, Jerusalem and the Holy Temple were destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., and when the Gentile (non-Jewish) believers heard about it they “misinterpreted” it as God turning His back on Isra’el and the Jewish people, and they again “misinterpreted” this to mean that they were the “New Isra’el” and the “New People of God.” So they began to teach that they got all the “blessings of God” while the Jewish got only “the curses.” And to further reconfirm this teaching, they also began to teach that the “New Testament” (representing the church) had “replaced” and “annulled” the “Old Testament” (representing Isra’el). This teaching became known as “Supersessionism” or “Replacement Theology.” And every Christian church teaches this abomination on some level. This is the great “perversion” that Paul warned them about. The Greek word diastrepho means “to misinterpret.” And Christianity has been misinterpreting the Scriptures since sometime after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple by the Romans in 70 C.E., and it really accelerated it with their official beginning near the beginning of the Second Century, C.E.
And once Christians (Gentile believers) broke away from thee original Jewish restoration movement, just like the Northern Kingdom broke away from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the other half of the prophecy in Jeremiah 16 came into play.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, says the LORD, and they shall fish for them; and AFTER will I send for many HUNTERS, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rock. (Jeremiah 16:16)
And the “hunters” have been historically made up of two groups of people, Christians and Muslims. This is well documented in history. I believe through the Messianic Jewish movement that began in 1967, we have been seeing the fulfillment of another verse from that same prophecy:
O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, THE GENTILES SHALL COME UNTO YOU FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, AND THEY SHALL SAY, SURELY OUR FATHERS HAVE INHERITED LIES, VANITY, AND THINGS WHEREIN THERE IS NO PROFIT. (Jeremiah 16:19)
I have heard many Gentiles in the movement, including those in Isra’el, say that they were tired of all the errors, misinterpretations, and man-made doctrines that Christianity had been teaching them, whether they were Catholic, or one of the 34,000 Protestant denominations. They join the Messianic Jewish movement because they found truth being taught there.
We Need to Prepare for the Time of Testing!
We are in the last of the last days, and we need to prepare ourselves for the coming tribulation. God did not take the people of Isra’el into the Promised Land until He had tested them, so why do Christians believe that God would take us into the Promised Land of His Kingdom without testing us first? That time of testing is coming. It is known by several different names: “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), “the Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24: 15, 21, 29; Revelation 7:14); or “the fiery test” (Didache 16:5). And for those of us who are alive, whether we make it into His Kingdom or not will depend on how we handle the coming time of testing. Do not be deceived by Christianity into believing some secret “rapture” is going to happen, and you will not have to go through this time of testing with everyone else, because I can guarantee you, you will. It is coming for all of us. The only question is will you remain faithful to God and His chosen Messiah, or will you buckle under the pressure and accept the false Messiah, the lawless one, which is a modern version of Antiochus IV? The choice will be yours to make.