PART 2, MORE THAN A BABE IN A MANGER: “DEITY AND HUMANITY ESTABLISHED,” 19.12.18
2 Chron. 6:18
I John 2:2
I Pet. 1:19,20
Survey Of Bible Doctrines 1, The Deity and Humanity of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, by Rabbi Calev Goldberg and Joshua Teitelbaum Munan, Beth Shechinah, Calgary, AB, 2015.
Yeshua/Jesus established His own divinity when He said: “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I and My Father are one” (John 10:17,18,30). Restated in John 17: “they may be one as We are” (v.11); “as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us. . . that they may be one just as We are one”(v.21,22). It’s somewhat disturbing to think any additional information would be required to establish Christ’s divinity; however, increasing doubts appear to surface, even amongst those who identify as “Christian.” As stated by Rabbi Cal Goldberg in his writing/teachings on “The Deity And Humanity of Yeshua,” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015), “As we rapidly approach the end of day, Satan and his powers of darkness are doing everything in their power to deceive humanity. . . . . In order to bring this about, Satan realizes that he must first DETHRONE the true God in the hearts and minds of people. His strategy is to attack the Deity of Yeshua” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.1), the primary source of doubts in the minds of people today.
It is therefore a strategic time for believers to be armed with Scriptures that equip one to address such questions/challenges regarding the identity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. It is an opportunity to share faith and witness, by speaking the truth in love (Eph.4:15), when people are unaware of what “Christmas,” (although it came out of replacing a heathen holiday), was designed to represent to christians. Let us at least provide a right spin on the original intention by christians, engaging peripheral and/or unbelievers in dialogue around the birth of our Saviour and Lord.
And surely He could not have assumed such a title without having been a fully divine, equal participant with the Father. We can know that Messiah is divine, because He has always existed: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”(John 1:14); “He that comes from above is above all. He who comes from heaven is above all”(John 3:31,32); “For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me”(John 6:38); “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”(Rev.1:8); “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End’” (Rev.22:13). So if He was “The Word,” and if He came down from heaven, and He is, always was, and will always be, He truly must always have been united with the Father, thus divine.
“Another way to understand this is when Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord. . . . Solomon constructed an earthly house for the Lord,” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.12), but, the authors go on to point out that he “understood the limitations of such a temple; “But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built” (2 Chron. 6:18). Solomon understood the promise Adonai gave to Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” (Ex.25:8). The God whom the heavens could not contain chose to dwell in the midst of His people in the Tabernacle and Temple, but how? He would pitch His tent among them. So just as God pitched a tent in the midst of His people Israel through the Tabernacle and Temple, while remaining God in heaven and filling the universe with His presence – so He pitched His tent among us through His Son – while remaining God in heaven and filling the universe with His presence. One Scholar put it this way, Yeshua was the spiritual embodiment of the ancient Tabernacle and Temple” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.12).
“Yeshua was not only fully God but also fully man, with one exception, He was without sin and no other human being has ever had this characteristic” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.7), for “we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb.4:14,15). “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor.5:21). “Yeshua became a man in order to show His Father’s glory,” (Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.9). Although He had the same power as the Father, He “chose to lay aside His power and perform miracles through the power of the Spirit. (Mt.12:28). On several occasions Yeshua made it very clear that He was doing the work of the Father. . . . Yochanon (John) declared the Messiah’s purpose was to reveal the Father. . . . Yeshua emptied Himself in order to provide salvation for man. His very name means salvation”(Goldberg & Munan, Fall 2015, p.10).
Paul’s teachings serve to reaffirm Yeshua’s divinity: “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.. . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . . every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”(Phil.2:6-11). “God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory” (I Tim. 3:16).
In the statement, “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:13), Paul clarifies that God and Yeshua/Jesus are One. When we see Yeshua/Jesus, we see God, just as Yeshua/Jesus told Philip in John 14. The fact that “He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2), substantiates everything, because God would not have been satisfied with anything less than a pure and perfect sacrifice; and it would require the divine to meet that criteria. He was, in fact, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). And Peter verified: “knowing that you were ransomed . . with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world” (I Pet.1:19,20). Scripture has all the answers. We need go no further to understand that Yeshua/Jesus Christ, although He was born in a manger in Bethlehem, is much more than the baby in the manger celebrated at Christmas.
© 2015, revised 2016, 2017, 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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