“(M)ay it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Paul’s letter to the Galatians 6:14).
John Piper opens his Christ crucified, our boast:
“Exultation in the cross of Christ. That is very strange. Like: exultation in the electric chair. Exultation in the gas chamber. Exultation in the lethal injection. Exultation in the lynching rope. That is very strange: exultation in the cross. But that is exactly what is being said here in verse 14: “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And that word boast is translated elsewhere as “exult.” May it never be that I would “exult” except in the cross of our Lord Jesus. Exultation in the cross.”
Contrast Paul (in Galatians above) with Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok (kosherTorah.com) in his “Yeshu HaNotzri The Man In His Own Words: A Torah View of the Founder of Christianity”: “…the historical Yeshu was not a very good person and in no way could have been the Biblically promised Messiah of Israel.”
Rabbi Zadok later:
“Yeshu says in Matt. 23:23-33:
‘Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. You blind guides . . .they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. . . You blind Pharisee . . .For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanliness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. . . . You serpents, you brood of vipers.'”
“Hypocrites? Blind Guides? Full of robbery and self indulgence? Blind? Whitewashed tombs? Full of dead men’s bones? Full of hypocrisy? Serpents? Brood of vipers? Are these, asks Rabbi Zadok, the words of a dissenting Jew, or are they the words of a Nazi anti-Semite? If I didn’t know any better, I would swear these words belonged to the later (latter).”
Referring to Jesus’ deeds, Rabbi Zadok says:
“These indeed are not the deeds of a messiah. They are not even the deeds of a good teacher, nor of a good Jew. Is it any wonder then that the holy Rabbinic Sages have said, “May we have no son or student who publicly “spoils his food”, such as did Yeshu HaNotzri” (Ber. 17B). Notice that the language of the Rabbis is quite subtle. “Spoils his food” is a more dignified criticism than calling people names like hypocrites, blind guides, full of robbery and self indulgence, blind, whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones, full of hypocrisy, serpents and a brood of vipers. Yeshu could never have been a messiah. He wasn’t even a decent human being. For a Gentile to elevate this man to godhood, to worship and pray to him as an extension of G-d is a most hideous crime. It is bad enough when a righteous man is elevated to the level of the Divine. It is all the more so offensive and horrible when a wicked man is elevated so.”
Contrast Rabbi Zadok with another rabbi, Rabbi Saul (Paul) of Tarsus, who says, exult in the cross, in the cross alone. Surely, though, we exult in other things, God’s glory for one?
Paul “means, John Piper says, that, for the Christian, all boasting should be a boasting in the cross. All exultation should be exultation in the cross. If you exult in the hope of glory, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in tribulation because tribulation works hope, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in God, you are exulting in the cross of Christ. If you exult in your weaknesses, let it be an exulting in the cross of Christ.”
Rabbi Zadok says above that the rabbis (sages) were “more dignified (in their) criticism than calling people names like hypocrites, blind guides….” Rabbi Zadok, in contrast, I must say, doesn’t pussyfoot around: Jesus is a hideous Nazi criminal, candidate par excellence for Nuremberg. Hang him on a tree.
For Rabbi Zadok, to boast in (the cross of) Christ is hideous idolatry. For Rabbi Saul, (hideous) idolatry is to boast in anything else but (the cross of) Christ. If Christ was wrong, he is now in hell. But perhaps Rabbi would never wish this even on his worst enemy – the Nazi criminal Jesus. If, however, Jesus Christ is right – this is terribly certain – it will be Rabbi Zadok who will be in hell. Or is it true that if you belong to the House of Judah or Israel, you’re safe, no matter what? Not at all.
“Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him,
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:11-19).
“He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead'” (Luke 16:31 ).