Studio with Samuel Smadja
August 24, 2019
No matter how high you think you have climbed the ladder of righteousness, it is not enough. Nothing can be done through self-effort to earn your way to heaven. No matter what you do, it will never be enough. When Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount he was talking about the law; it was He who wrote the law. But the law would not be the ultimate way to salvation. The system of works did not work, so God had to find another way. This way had to be through redemption—not through good works, not by knowing all of God’s teachings, but through believing Christ was the Son of God who lived, died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins.
Today our message to the Jewish people is one of comfort:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
— Isaiah 40:1
We are doing all we can to bring comfort to the people of Israel, to the Jewish communities that are suffering. We’re feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly, building a trauma center and now rebuilding a city that was ravished by fire. This is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy—Isaiah 61—strangers and aliens coming to work alongside God’s chosen people. But there is another way we must bring comfort to God’s people … tell them their “sin has been paid for.”
Here are 4 primary reasons we believe Jesus is who He says He is:
1. Historical fact
2. Miracles are documented
3. The life of Christ is documented
4. It is prophesied in Scripture 1500 years before it occurred - David, in Psalm 22, wrote about the suffering, praise and posterity of the Messiah.
Number 4 is of utmost importance as we share the message of comfort that Isaiah speaks of with Jewish people. They believe in our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but they need to see that the idea of a Divine Messiah is not new. In fact, it existed in the Old Testament and was prophesied about in great detail. God pointed to His Son from the very beginning, and now the message is, “You can be forgiven. Your sins are paid for, double.”
Today, more and more Jewish people are returning to Israel and it all has to do with a change of heart, a return to their God. You can have a change of heart as well. In the book of Isaiah it mentions that “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.”
We do not talk about a religion of “Do, Do, Do”, because it is “Done, Done, Done.” This was never more evident than when He said on the cross “It is finished.” He has secured your salvation and eternal life. He has doubled the payment for your sins and nailed it to the cross. You can have eternal life, you can have comfort, and this is the Good News. It becomes the Good News as soon as it is not dependent on you. Jesus said, “I came to give you life and life more abundantly.” What else do you need? He has so much more for you.