Why did the Righteous suffer?

The Roshpinaproject has my “The lion dug the nail into my hand” as a cross-post.

David cook (AdventofMessiah) commented on what “virtualyeshiva.com” wrote about “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?. David wrote (his piece is in italics):

The writer(s) of the virtualyeshiva.com in his/her counter argument of Psalms 22 reason that since Yeshua quotes David in Psalms 22:1 as He is hanging on the cross and dying a heinous death, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV); they deduce that since Messiah was “forsaken” by His Father in heaven that therefore Messiah Yeshua is “unrighteous” based upon Psalms 37:25

I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
Psalms 37:25 NASB

In other words, the writer(s) reason that since Messiah was forsaken by His Father in heaven on the cross during His execution by crucifixion that His Father must have judged Yeshua and found Him “unrighteous”.

Orthodox Jews remind me of Muslims, who say that the Messiah Jesus could never be crucified because prophets of God don’t die.

“Al-Masih—”The Messiah” (Holy Qur’an 3:40). ‘His name shall be Messiah Jesus.’ Al Kamalan, the commentators, say he is called Al-Masih either because he was both blessed and anointed by the Angel Gabriel, or because whomsoever Jesus touched he healed.”

What I find very odd is how Jews (not “Messianic Jews,” of course) play down the idea of sacrifice – in Temple times – as an expiation for sin.

I listened to four talks by Rabbi Moishe Lichtenstein on “sacrifices” in the Torah. The gist of it was that sacrifices were pleasing to the Lord. I didn’t here anything significant – if anything at all – about the connection between sacrifice and sin.

So, what was those hundreds of years of millions of litres of blood running down those troughs through the temple, and all that blood spattered over pristine garments and altars – blood, blood everywhere, and all that gore for? To tickle the nostrils and taste buds of the Holy One of Israel, the LORD of Lords.

Chet, chet, chattah of a stiff-knecked people:

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed (Isaiah 6:10).
הַשְׁמֵן לֵב־הָעָם הַזֶּה וְאָזְנָיו הַכְבֵּד וְעֵינָיו הָשַׁע פֶּן־יִרְאֶה בְעֵינָיו וּבְאָזְנָיו יִשְׁמָע וּלְבָבֹו יָבִין וָשָׁב וְרָפָא לֹֽו׃

The rivers of sin and blood make sense when Jesus shows us how they become rivers of living water – not through DO DO DO, but through faith in the power of that blood. The Unapproachable Endless One drowning in the middle of a river of blood, spilled from His broken body – to rise and raise us to new life


Here is the link to the sacrifices talks


Talking about the righteous and suffering, Rabbi Lichtenstein gives a brief – very brief – talk on why the righteous suffer. The gist: “Who knows?”

4 thoughts on “Why did the Righteous suffer?

  1. Another interesting “post”. Thank you!
    I don’t believe that Yeshua’s quote … “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” should be ‘complicated’ out of proportion by the Muslims, the Orthodox Jews, or the Messianics …
    If the Messiah was indeed “made sin for us” … If He indeed took on our UN-Righteousness so that we could be made the Righteousness of G-D through Him … Then at the moment of His “Vicarious” Death He would have become all of that on our behalf. HaShem would have turned His “Face” from Him. BUT According to Acts Chapter two ALMIGHTY G-D RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, Baruch HaShem! As far as a Prophet not being able to die is concerned … I believe that we should leave G-D to be G-D and do EXACTLY what He purposes to do!
    Only my two-pennies worth!

    • Barry, I was quite alarmed by the following piece:

      “Were sacrifices a symbol of the savior to come?
      Not according to Judaism. Quite the contrary, some would say that the original institution of sacrifice had more to do with the Judaism’s past than with its future. Rambam suggested that the entire sacrificial cult in Judaism was ordained as an accommodation of man’s primitive desires.”

      Rambam is – arguably (I don’t want to land in deep Talmudic water) – talking through his far too civilised hat.

      See my https://onedaringjew.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/sacrifice-and-the-weaning-of-the-primitive-jew

      • Yes! Right! Now we are both going to be in deep trouble! A lot that was attributed to Rambam was probably never his anyway. He also wrote at a time when the Jews were very anti-anything-Christian and He might have been “kicking against the pricks” [NOT US!!!!!!] to fight the idea of Yeshua being Almighty G-D’s Sacrificial Lamb!
        However! I have often wondered deep in my “secret place” whether the Ancient Middle East idea of Sacrifice wasn’t a wee bit primitive!

  2. Barry, you said, “I have often wondered deep in my “secret place” whether the Ancient Middle East idea of Sacrifice wasn’t a wee bit primitive!”

    THAT is something that generally sticks in the craw. Richard Dawkins in his “The God delusion” makes a banquet of it. All that blood and gore – Yech. Surely not something that a pure, holy, spiritual, loving, blah blah blah god would do. But when this god also does it to human beings, and his own son. I’m outta here! Hurry Krishna.

    As I said in my post: blood, blood, millions of litres of blood and buckets of gore. Why, why, why? Because God doesn’t only want to paint a picture, and paint it red, He wanted to come out of the picture Himself and show why all that animal blood and gore were necessary. He didn’t have to do it. He wanted to come into the world and become one of those sacrifical lambs Himself. It’s impossible – especially a Torah Jew – to wrap THAT round his tefillin. But as Jesus said “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

    When Jesus told his disciples – the Gospels record several occasions; who knows how many times more? – that He was going to suffer, spill his blood, and be “lifted up,” His words went in one obtuse ear and out the other. Who can take it in?

    Only when we really take it in – when God opens our eyes – do we get a glimpse into that beaten to death verse: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that those who believe in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:16). “Gave” his son leaves other euphemisms standing.

    “Before the mountains were brought forth – or the earth and world were formed, from everlasting Jesus Christ was, like the Father, very God. From the beginning He was foreordained to be the Savior of sinners. He was always the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, without whose blood there could be no remission. The same Jesus, to whom alone we may look for salvation, that same Jesus was the only hope of Abel and Enoch and Noah and Abraham and all the patriarchs; what we are privileged to see distinctly they doubtless saw indistinctly – but the Savior both we and they rest upon is one. It was Christ Jesus who was foretold in all the prophets, and foreshadowed and represented in all the law – the daily sacrifice of the lamb, the cities of refuge, the brazen serpent, all these were so many emblems to Israel of that Redeemer who was yet to come, and without whom no man could be saved. There never was but one road to heaven: Jesus Christ was the way, the truth and the life yesterday as well as today.”

    J.C. Ryle

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