As a whole, the Jewish people have emphatically rejected Jesus. One author—Jewish himself, and not Messianic—puts this rejection so very clearly: his name—Michael Medved, film critic and political commentator. He ascribes this attitude to American Jews, but it applies to all of world-wide Jewry:
The chief distinguishing characteristic of most American Jews is not what they do believe, but what they do not believe. They do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Period. End of sentence, end of story. Tragically, for all too many members of today’s Jewish community, this rejection marks the sum total of their theological commitment…. (Himmelfarb: “What Do American Jews Believe? A Symposium. Commentary, 8/1996, 68-69)
Thus, their chief theological commitment is a negative: “I do not believe in…”
THE QUESTION: Will that ever change, and if so, how and when?
The answer to that question is found in the Prophecy of Zechariah, chapter 12.
In their homeland, as a people gathered from the ends of the earth, they will experience their redemption.
The first part of this prophetic vision involves the nations of the earth uniting against Israel. In that battle, the weak in Israel will be made strong, and the whole House of Israel will be made Godlike in their strength. The Lord says: “On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples.” Victory, glorious victory will ensue!
At that point the Chosen People (Jews) will experience a great spiritual rebirth. On that great day, the appearance of an unnamed person will throw the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into an outpouring of grief.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10 ESV)
Their hearts are changed. They are no longer “stiff-necked,” as they are called in the Bible. They are no longer “sabras” as those who are born in Israel call themselves; instead, they will have hearts of graciousness which will call forth pleas for mercy. Their hearts of stone will be morphed into hearts of flesh.
Their vision too will have been changed, because now they “look upon the one whom they have pierced.” And the word for “look” connotes a fixed look, a gaze, an intense look. His appearance is there for all to see and contemplate. They who have rejected Him are confronted with His image.
The speaker here is God the Lord designated by the use of the first person singular. And so the statement is of a divine personage being “pierced.” It is of the Lord’s Messiah who in human flesh was pierced on the cross—a phenomenon of which Zechariah the prophet was moved to write down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
As I say in my book, Israel the Chosen, this experience of all Israel is reminiscent of Saul of Tarsus who was stopped dead in his tracks on the road to Damascus. As Saul was, so this people is transfixed. In this moment, they see the one they pierced. “When they look on me.” (In Saul’s experience, he heard Jesus say to him, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9:5)
Then it is said: “They shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child.” And it elaborates as to this national day of mourning: “The land shall mourn, each family by itself.” Grieving and repenting with a full awareness that their Savior/Messiah is their own—a Jew born in one of their families. Can you imagine such a scene?
Their pride will dissipate as they are stunned and shaken to the depths, gazing upon the one they rejected.
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In the 1860’s through the next decades, Charles H. Spurgeon, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, preached this message to his congregation. On one occasion, he said:
Not long shall it be ere they [the Jews] shall come—shall come from distant lands, wher’ere they rest or roam, and she [Israel] who has been the off-scouring of all things, whose name has been a proverb and a bye-word, shall become a glory of all lands. Dejected Zion shall raise her head, shaking herself from dust and darkness and the dead.
On another occasion, he, Mr. Spurgeon, said this:
We cannot help looking for the restoration of the scattered Israelites to the land….We also look for the time when they shall believe in the Messiah whom they have rejected, and shall rejoice in Jesus of Nazareth, whom today they despise.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.