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Why some Jews no longer cancel Jesus

Workers remove notes from the cracks of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City, September 9, 2015. Workers on Wednesday cleaned out the cracks and made room for more paper notes that Jews believe are notes to God, ahead of the Jewish New Year that starts on September 12.
Workers remove notes from the cracks of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City, September 9, 2015. Workers on Wednesday cleaned out the cracks and made room for more paper notes that Jews believe are notes to God, ahead of the Jewish New Year that starts on September 12. | (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

Canceling Jesus was in vogue many centuries before today's “cancel culture” phenomenon, dating all the way back to the arrival of the Messiah in Bethlehem (see Micah 5:2 and Luke 2:4-12). 

Dr. Eitan Bar is a native Jewish-Israeli, born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Bar wrote, “To this very day, the question of whether Jesus is or isn’t the Jewish Messiah is not even considered a valid question — anything that a rabbi writes about Jesus will be based on prejudice, and the assumption that Jews should not be allowed to read the New Testament … the rabbis don’t want you to know about Jesus, and for 2,000 years they have been dealing with how to conceal the truth about the most famous Jew in the entire world, and the greatest secret of Judaism.”

Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) was the only Person who lived a perfect life on Earth, suffered and died on a cross even though He was an innocent man, and then rose from the dead on the third day and appeared to hundreds of His followers after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).

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Jesus healed all sorts of people, while also elevating the role of women to its rightful place alongside men. Christ loved the outcasts of society and went out of His way to assist them. So, what was His offense? The irrational opposition and seething hatred Yeshua encountered was the last thing the Jewish Messiah deserved, but even then, He chose to turn the other cheek. While enduring the brutality and agony of crucifixion, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). 

Who does that? Who responds to such aggression and violence with kindness and mercy? Who loves his enemies that much? And who is capable of rising from the dead and launching a revolution of love and compassion which has continued to this day? For example, consider all the hospitals, homeless shelters, and humanitarian efforts that continue to be launched in the name of Jesus. So why cancel Yeshua?

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has raised up a group of Messianic Jews to bring the good news of Yeshua to the Jewish people in Israel and beyond. “ONE FOR ISRAEL is an initiative of native-born Israelis on the forefront of high-tech media evangelism, proclaiming salvation to Israel, raising up spiritual leaders through ONE FOR ISRAEL’S Bible College, and equipping them with the tools they need to transform our communities.” This ministry now has over 47 million Gospel views in Israel. (Check out their Jewish testimony videos in English.)  

Thankfully, some rabbis over the years have come to learn the truth about Jesus. Dr. Eitan Bar writes, “Have you heard of Rabbi Slostovsky, a teacher in a Rabbinic School and the Secretary of the Rabbinical Court of Jerusalem? He was a friend of the famous Rabbi Kook, and he came to faith in Jesus. Or Rabbi Wertheimer, a wealthy rabbi with academic degrees, who became a very popular speaker? You probably haven’t heard of him either, as he also came to faith in Jesus … and what about Rabbi Israel Zolli, Rabbi Zion Daniel, Rabbi Dr. Muller, Rabbi Joseph Teichman, and Rabbi Daniel Weiss? You have probably never heard of any of them. Each rabbi, as important, great, or respected as he might be, had his Jewishness ‘revoked’ from him as soon as he believed in his heart that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, based on Old Testament prophecies. Their names were ‘erased from the system,’ so that they wouldn’t, by any chance, expose other Jews to the fact that there are Jews, and even rabbis, who have accepted Jesus of the New Testament as the Messiah.”

Jews who learn and embrace the truth about Yeshua do not “convert” from their Jewish heritage. Instead, they gladly accept Yeshua's fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies, which of course only strengthens their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A growing number of Jews are coming to realize that Isaiah 53 is a powerful prophecy about Yeshua. The term, “Messianic Jews,” refers to those Jews who have experienced the amazing grace and unconditional love of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah. They now realize that their sins are forgiven today, tomorrow, and forever as a result of Yeshua's sacrifice of atonement on the cross.  After all, “It is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life,” (Leviticus 17:11), and “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). 

There is not a single rabbi, pastor, or priest on Earth who can provide you with the assurance of forgiveness in your heart and mind. Jesus, however, can give you such assurance when you trust Him as your loving Savior. 

So, if you are currently canceling Jesus, why not take a closer look at Yeshua? Let go and let God. You might even come to discover what Jesus was talking about when addressing Nicodemus, the Jewish Pharisee, in the third chapter of the Gospel of John. Open your heart. Open your mind. Trust the God of history, for He is the deliverer of every Jew and Gentile who places his or her faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, the King of Israel, and the everlasting Lion of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:9,10; Revelation 5:5). 

You can call on the Messiah today in the words of this prayer:

“Jesus, please forgive my sins. Live in my heart. I believe that you Jesus are the Jewish Messiah who was promised to us long ago. I believe you died on the cross for my sins in order to save me. I want to follow you not only as my teacher but first and foremost, as my redeemer, my Savior, and my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me with everlasting love. Fill my heart today with the overflowing power and joy of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.” 

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

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