The Netzarim response:
The above comments by Rabbi Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism shows just how far "anti-missionary" Jews will go to deny Yeshua! Notice first of all that, in order to keep the world's Savior a "Christian myth", Singer refuses to use His given, Hebrew Name which means YHWH is Salvation....
The direct response to Singer's assertion that "Jesus could not die for anyone's sins" is mere opinion. NOTHING says "Jesus" couldn't MARTYR himself on our behalf; there is NO Torah prohibition against that! (See the story of Isaac’s near-sacrifice.) Furthermore, men have been making atonement for YHWH's people since Israel wandered in the wilderness....
Exodus 28:36 "You are to make an ornament of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal, 'Set apart for ADONAI.' 37 Fasten it to the turban with a blue cord, on the front of the turban, 38 over Aharon's forehead. Because Aharon bears the guilt for any errors committed by the people of Isra'el in consecrating their holy gifts, this ornament is always to be on his forehead, so that the gifts for ADONAI will be accepted by him.
Leviticus 6:25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering is slain the sin offering shall be slain before the LORD; it is most holy. 26 'The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. It shall be eaten in a holy place, in the court of the tent of meeting. 27 'Anyone who touches its flesh will become consecrated; and when any of its blood splashes on a garment, in a holy place you shall wash what was splashed on....
Leviticus 10:16 Then Moshe carefully investigated what had happened to the goat of the sin offering and discovered that it had been burned up. He became angry with El'azar and Itamar, the remaining sons of Aharon, and asked, 17 "Why didn't you eat the sin offering in the area of the sanctuary, since it is especially holy? He gave it to you to take away the guilt of the community, to make atonement for them before ADONAI.
Question: If YHWH created the universe and everything in it, including mankind who was created from dust, why can't He present an aspect of Himself in human form, especially since He's done it before (Genesis 3:8, 18:1-3)?
Rabbi Singer is correct in suggesting God never demanded a human sacrifice. But there is no Torah prohibition against martyrs - which is what Y'shua was! He was a human martyr who had a divine qnoma/nature. However, while we weren't supposed to offer human sacrifices, YHWH - as our Elohim and Almighty and Creator of the entire universe - certainly can do anything He wants! And what the Bible clearly shows He planned on doing (as evidenced throughout the Tanach, and specifically in Isaiah 53 and in the Biblical Feasts) was to send us a Messiah who would carry out His Word to the letter. And that Messiah chose to martyr Himself....as a sin OFFERING!
According to a footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament:
Offerings "qurbana" and sacrifices "dabekha" are two different entities. Although there are certain aspects to Mashiyach's death that are utterly unique to him (Zechariah 12:10, etc.), his death nevertheless echoes aspects of offerings and sacrifices that came before. The qurbana is the human life (nefesh) that Y'shua voluntarily offers up on the stake. The result of that offering is his blood put out on the "altar"; hence dabekha.
However, this is certainly not, as some critics suggest, human sacrifice. Rather, this indicates Y'shua's status as Mashiyach ben Yoseph. Per strict accordance with Isaiah 53 and Genesis 22:8, Mashiyach ben Yoseph was required to suffer and die. After his death, the offering of himself became a sacrifice that was taken up, and he was resurrected three days later. Many of YHWH's prophets also suffered and were martyred at the hands of those who fought against the Malchut Elohim. In the case of Mashiyach, his shed blood is counted as the acceptable offering, the Lamb of YHWH, which is most Set Apart unto YHWH.
Deuteronomy 18:18-19: I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen, like you (Moses), and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I command him. And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.
YHWH sent us a DIVINE Offering in the form of Yeshua, the Torah observant Messiah in a human "shell", who was an aspect of YHWH sent to Earth in a form with which we could identify - as opposed to talking through a burning bush (Exodus 3:1-5), appearing to Abraham in human form/"three men" at the Oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1-2;17; Isaiah 48:12,16) or speaking through a donkey (Numbers 22 and 23). Yeshua was to teach us about YHWH, to show us how we were to worship YHWH, and how to live together according to His desires; and then to offer Himself - the Divine Entity who raised the dead, walked on water and turned water into wine - as the Final Sin Offering.
Yeshua did exactly what the Torah Scriptures predicted. What more could be asked of Him? Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9 both predict the death of Messiah and His resurrection. And Zechariah tells us something very interesting about the Messiah's return:
Zechariah 12: 10 "And I (YHWH) will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a firstborn."
Dr. Michael L. Brown's series "Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus" says, in part:
All of us know that God is not interested in human sacrifice. But are you aware that the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud, as well as the New Testament clearly teach that the death of the righteous has atoning power? When the Messiah, the totally righteous one, laid down His life, it was the ultimate act of atonement in human history.
The Talmud (m. Makkot 2:6;b. Makkot 11b; see also Leviticus Rabbah 10:6) asks the question: Isn't it the exile of the innocent manslayer [in the city of refuge] that expiates? The answer is no. "It is not the exile that expiates, but the death of the high priest." And Milgrom comments, "As the High Priest atones for Israel's sins through his cultic [i.e., ritual] service in his lifetime (Exod. 28:36; Lev. 16:16, 21), so he atones for homicide through his death."
This theme finds its climax in the Hebrew Scriptures in the portrait of the righteous, Suffering Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53. There we read these powerful words:
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; an the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
In the closing verse of Isaiah 53, God promises, "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (v.12). The Messiah bore our sins! This is exactly what Peter, known as Shimon Kepha, wrote more than 150 years before the Mishnah was finalized:
When the hurled their insults at him he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls (1 Peter 2:23-25).
The Netzarim response:
Obviously Rabbi Singer, like most anti-missionaries, sees the message of Yeshua as the final Sin OFFERING as being contradictory to the scriptures which provide for two other methods of atonement: heartfelt repentance and charity. (See Numbers 5:6-7 and Leviticus 5:16.) Singer specifically cited Leviticus 17:11 which says that the blood of the sacrifice must be placed "upon the altar to make atonement for your souls".
What is the problem with his argument? The fact that he elevated the "altar" to be a place of supreme importance! YHWH never said that an "altar" had to be a "special place" made out of special materials; the altar was simply the place where the sacrifice was offered. Yes, there has to be an altar for the sacrifice and, yes, the altar is a holy place - but the altar is not the central issue.
In Exodus 20:21 (which is verse 24 in some Bibles), YHWH says: "For Me, you need only make an altar of earth...." He goes on to say that if you do make an altar out of stone, not to use cut stones because if you use a tool on it, you profane it....
When Yeshua offered Himself on our behalf, where did his blood spill? On the Earth! The Earth was the altar! Yeshua's blood was sprinkled on the altar to make atonement for us! He WAS, in essence, the final sin sacrifice! He martyred Himself on our behalf. He chose to do that! He could have called down legions of angels to take him off that stake, but He KNEW WHO HE WAS - and He obeyed His Father's Will....
The Netzarim response:
Yeshua was NOT an idol or a "demigod"! (Please see our article on Idol Worship.) Yeshua, as YHWH's "Son" (Proverbs 30:4) was fully divine and fully human. He was the "arm" of YHWH (Isaiah 53:1); He was not any other entity separate and distinct from the one God of Israel. He is the same God who revealed Himself in human form over and over in the Torah (Genesis 18:1-14; Genesis 32:24-30; Exodus 24:9-11; Proverbs 30:4). He is the same God who spoke through a burning bush (Exodus 3:4) and revealed Himself as a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night (Exodus 13:21). Of all the ways YHWH has revealed Himself, Yeshua was the only manifestation to receive a name. Translated, Yeshua means "YHWH is Salvation." He is the "seed of a woman" as promised in Genesis 3:15; and His virgin birth was to be a sign to Israel of His Messiahship.
What else do the Scriptures say?
Proverbs 30: 4 - Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has cupped the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!
Yeshua's goals were to provide divine interpretation to Torah and to offer Himself as the final Sin OFFERING for Israel and all humankind. The Torah tells us that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob through Judah, of the house of David, that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that he would be preceded by a forerunner (Malachi 3:1), and it even predicts that he would arrive before the destruction of the Temple - which occurred in the year 70 C.E. (Daniel 9:24-26).
Furthermore, the Messiah would be a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18-19), rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3), betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9), sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12), smitten, spat upon and mocked (Psalm 22:7-8), crucified (Psalm 22), but would be raised from the dead in three days (Psalm 16:10, Jonah 1:17).
Isaiah prophesied that Messiah will be a light to the nations so that God's salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). Yeshua has been that light to the Gentiles. Yeshua has become the most popular, the most studied, the most influential figure in the history of mankind. No Jewish person should be indifferent to the fact that this Jew should have had such a tremendous part in the religious history of mankind.
There are myriad Tanach prophecies which all find their fulfillment in one particular man....Yeshua of Nazareth! We challenge Rabbi Singer to present any other "messiah" who has accomplished all that Yeshua has!