Are These True Expectations of The Messiah?

Continued from Part 3

Let us review the six expectations of verse 24 and see if they have any fulfillment in the life and death of Jesus.

  • to terminate the transgression:  What transgression was terminated by Jesus?  Some of the most heinous transgressions of the basic requirements God desires of mankind have been perpetrated by those who in one form or another give their spiritual allegiance to Jesus.  In fact, many of those nefarious deeds were done to “glorify” Jesus.  So, how did he terminate the sinful behavior of countless millions of treacherous followers?   It does not matter if Jesus would approve of their behavior or if one says they were not his true followers.  What matters is that in respect to this divine pronouncement Jesus failed to fulfill its requirements.
  • to make an end of sinAttempts are made to identify Jesus with the fulfillment of these divine pronouncements through unverifiable claims to his conquering sin and the like.  Perhaps most glaring in terms of non-fulfillment is the claim that Jesus brought an end to sin, as if the world has seen the end of sin and unrighteousness; certainly not among those who venerate him as a god.  Did Jesus terminate idolatry among those who eventually accepted him as part of God or did those who became his followers accommodate many of their old beliefs to the new?  Local gods and spirits became saints to be venerated, pagan religious holidays became Christian holy days and even the very concept of a triune god incorporates pagan thought.  Indeed, the Protestant Reformation did not cleanse itself of pagan influence.
  • To forgive iniquity:  It is said that Jesus made the necessary one time offering that would be the basis upon which iniquity could be forgiven.  Christians claim one’s sins are forgiven on accepting Jesus as sin bearer and repenting past sins entitling the person to eternity in heaven.  Outside of the claims made on behalf of Jesus the savior god no proof exists that this is the fate of the repentant sinner.  There is absolutely no proof other than Christian claims to support the allegation that Jesus “having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:13).
  • to bring in everlasting righteousness:  Where is the everlasting righteousness supposedly brought by Jesus?  Some Christians say that this refers to the alleged second coming of Jesus.  It is very convenient to say anything not fulfilled refers to the future.  But since his fulfillment record is at absolute zero there is not much sustainable promise in saying it is a future event.
  • to seal vision and prophetDid Jesus “seal vision and prophet”?  Some Christians say Jesus sealed both “vision and prophet” indicating that this method of revelation and the “Jewish dispensation” ceased with his death, that is, this refers to the fulfillment of prophecies in Jesus.  Once again, claims are made that Jesus fulfilled prophecy but such allegations are made on flimsy arguments.  It is claimed that he fulfilled all the visions and prophecies of the Jewish Scriptures.  Some supposedly relate to his person and office; others to his coming into the world, the time, place, and manner of it; others to what is portrayed as his “great work of redemption and salvation”; and others to his alleged miracles, sufferings, and death, and the fantasy of glory that should follow; all which is said to have been fulfilled although one sees no tangible change in the world to support Christian allegations.  Some say “to seal up the vision and prophet” means that the prophets were until John the Baptist, and then vision and prophecy were to cease. Therefore, since the times of Jesus; there has been no prophet among the Jews.  Jesus is then the last and greatest prophet of all, with a full revelation of the divine will, and no other is to be expected.  Needless to say, reading the New Testament one finds that events are often remodeled to fit into the life of Jesus sometimes completely disregarding the original intent of the biblical reference.  Therefore, the argument that Jesus fulfilled prophecy is far from the truth.  Some Christians say Jesus brought the era of “vision and prophet” to an end being the last of the prophets.  However, the New Testament authors claim that Christian prophecy continued.  For example, “the four virgin daughters [of Philip the evangelist] who were prophetesses” (Acts 21:8-9) and “a certain prophet named Agabus” from Judea (Act 21:10).
  • to anoint the Holy of Holies: Some Christians say this term refers to Jesus in one way or another by ascribing to him fanciful attributes:  anointed priest of a special non-Aaronic order, priestly officiant in a heavenly temple and the list goes on.  They imagine Jesus to be the Prophet, Priest, and King of mankind.  Others refer it to an anointing of a future earthly temple following a second coming of Jesus.  Some refer it to the anointing of a most holy person, namely Jesus, while others refer it to the church and its membership (confined of course to “true believers” as defined by the particular advocates of this interpretation).  There is an interpretation that says the phrase refers to the holy of holies in the so-called heavenly New Jerusalem established after a second coming of Jesus.  This would then be one more pronouncement not fulfilled by Jesus and consigned to a future fantasy.  Other theories have also been suggested.  What this tells us is that although some might show outward confidence in their claims, they just do not know the answer.

© Gerald Sigal