The Jews had an opportunity to accept their Messiah or reject Him at His first coming. While many Jews accepted Yeshua as their kinsmen Redeemer and King, the majority did not. Over the centuries, many peoples have hated and persecuted the Jews, citing the rejection and crucifixion of Yeshua as “justification.” Many people smugly criticize the Jews and yet are guilty of the same sin.
The same challenge is presented to each of us. Do we accept Yeshua as our Redeemer and King? Have we asked for forgiveness of our sins and invited Yeshua to be King over us?
Jewish leaders resented Yeshua’s criticism of their man-made traditions and their hypocrisy. They wanted to do things their own way (Luke 6:1-12; Luke 7:29-30). They refused the help they so desperately needed. Some people today say that belief in God is for weak people, not recognizing that they, too, are weak people who very much need a Savior. They believe that they are capable of running their own lives and sometimes the lives of others without Yeshua’s help.
Jewish people were looking for a leader who would save them from physical oppression (John 6:14-15). They didn’t realize that the spiritual oppression Yeshua overcame is far more serious and is also the root cause of the physical oppression. Many people today are focused solely on the physical realm, unaware or misunderstanding the spiritual realm. We can choose to renounce our subjection to Satan and embrace the salvation offered by Yeshua, but it is a choice that each of us must make in order to enter the Kingdom of YHVH.
Jewish people believed that being born Jewish was sufficient or that following the traditions and rituals established by men would secure them a place with YHVH.
Many people today believe that it is enough to be a “basically good person” or to belong to a particular denomination or congregation. Many people do not recognize their own sins, especially the most glaring one, the sin of rejecting Yeshua as their Redeemer (Luke 5:32).
Yeshua died a gruesome, violent death to pay the penalty for our sins and to ransom us from the grip of the evil one. Do we honestly believe that we can ignore Yeshua’s redemptive work and make our own way into the Kingdom of YHVH? If this were true, then Yeshua’s work would have been a waste of time and effort. Do you honestly assume that YHVH made the agonizing decision to send His precious Son to be slaughtered on our behalf, but is now willing to overlook our rejection of His beloved Son and His hard-earned gift of salvation?
Do not be deceived. No matter how “good” you are and no matter how exemplary your life has been, you have absolutely nothing to offer that can save you from eternal damnation. You are like a drowning person who has been thrown a precious Lifeline. However, it is necessary to seize and cling to this Lifeline in order to be acceptable to YHVH.