Israel did not Believe in the Messiah

Prophecy: Israel did not Believe in the Messiah

As it was written in the Tanakh (NIV & TLV),

Isaiah 53:1-3 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
Israel and the Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53:1-3 describes the rejection of the suffering servant. For some people, the title of the suffering servant in Isaiah 52:13-53, was interpreted with reference to Israel or the people of Israel. But it seems best to take these verses as referring to a single person, for these reasons:

  • עבד (eved) in Hebrew is translated as a slave or servant. It was used in 762 verses in the Tanakh. When the title “suffering servant” is used, all of them are pointing to a person not a nation.
  • The servant is described as being totally righteous (Isaiah 53:11). But this is not the picture Scripture gives us of the nation of Israel in the Tanakh.
  • The Torah promises that if Israel, as a nation, lives righteously before God, then they will be blessed and not cursed (Leviticus 26:14-46 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68). But in the history of the nation in the Tanakh, Israel was rebellious and worshipped idols and, therefore, was cursed.
  • The suffering servant’s suffering and death are said to bring mankind deliverance and redemption. But this can hardly be applied to the sufferings of Israel.

How did Messiah Jesus Fulfill this Prophecy?

Not All the Israelites Accepted Jesus

Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection are said to bring mankind the ultimate deliverance and redemption. However, not all the Israelites accepted Him.

God Himself lived with us as a servant and paid the price of the atonement for our sins with His own blood.  We tend to look up to prestigious and respected people, and many chose to believe that the Messiah would come like a noble king to conquer and reign in a physical kingdom on earth.  On the contrary, Jesus came humbly, without vanity and honor.  We despised Him when He passed by us.  This is how our prophet Isaiah (see above) foretold the reaction of the people towards Jesus.

As it was written in the New Covenant (NIV & TLV), 

Romans 10:16 “But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
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