Yeshua is the Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived. I like so many things about Him. Here are some of the things I like about Him that come from the biography written about Him by His friend and disciple, John.
I like when a king makes a grand entrance. I especially like Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem: A great crowd took palm branches (waving the lulav expresses joy and is a way to honor someone) and went out to meet Him, shouting, “Hosanna!” (please save!) “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” This crowd was very happy because they believed that Yeshua was the king of Israel, and that God sent Him to help them. And they were right – even more than they knew. He is the king of Israel, but also the King of Kings and the Son of the High King of Heaven. And He will help not only Israel, but help the world with the greatest help of all.
None of the other religions of the world have prophecies about their founders like we have about Yeshua. I like that Yeshua fulfilled the Zechariah prophecy. Yeshua found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 500 years earlier, Zechariah predicted that Messiah would enter His capitol in an unusual way – not on a great stallion, but on a donkey – reflecting the humility of Israel’s greatest king. Yeshua’s triumphal entry on a donkey not only reveals His amazing humility, but also summarizes His first coming as the suffering servant.
I like that Yeshua knew He was going to die; and that His death was necessary to give life to His followers. He said: Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. And Yeshua wants us to look at our lives the same way He looked as His. It is to be used sacrificially in God’s service: Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Most people don’t know how they will die: I like that Yeshua knew how He would die. He said: When I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself – showing the kind of death he was going to die – crucifixion.
I like that, at His last meal, the Son of God and Creator of all things washed His disciples feet, setting us an example to be servants. If He who is the greatest of all could humble Himself and serve others, can’t I? Can’t you?
It’s easy for people to dislike those who are different, who speak a different language, have a different skin color; who have a different race or nationality or whose political views are different; or those who are richer than they are.
I like that Yeshua told His disciples: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. We are to love our fellow Christians and Messianic Jews in spite of differences in race, nationality, skin color, language or economic status; and I like that Yeshua gives us the power to love one another.
We can be troubled when people we love leave us. I like that Yeshua promised to return for us: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. Yeshua tells us that we are to have the same kind of faith, the same kind of trust in Him as we have in the Father; and that we should trust His promise that during His absence He is preparing a place for us; and that if He prepares a place of us, He will return for us and bring us to that place. I believe in Yeshua and trust Him to fulfill this fantastic promise. Do you? Therefore I am not troubled by His absence.
I like that Yeshua followed up this amazing statement with other amazing statements: You know the way to the place where I am going. But one of the disciples was confused. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Yeshua answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. We can’t get to our heavenly home by ordinary means of travel. We can only get there by having a relationship with Yeshua.
Yeshua is the way. When we are in a relationship with Him, He will bring us to His Father and our heavenly home.
Yeshua is the truth. When we are in a relationship with Yeshua, we are united to the truth. And, God loves truth; and truth saves; and truth is eternal. When we are united to Yeshua, the God of truth will welcome us into His eternal presence.
Yeshua is the life. When we are in a relationship with Yeshua, He gives us eternal life and we will live forever with Him and His Father.
I like that Yeshua said to His disciples: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth … Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you … when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
An advocate is someone who is called alongside to help. Yeshua had been their advocate. He had been with them and had been helping them. He promised that after He left, He would send His Spirit who would be with them and help them.
The Holy Spirit lives in us and gives us the same kind of help that Yeshua gave His disciples when He was physically present with them. The Spirit guides us, teaches us, empowers us for holy living and enables us to serve God. Wow! Only God the Father and Yeshua can send the Advocate. That makes Yeshua very special.
I very much want to be close to Yeshua and His Father. I like that Yeshua told us how: Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Understand that the Father and the Son do not literally live in us. They live in us by means of their Spirit. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. Love and obedience are connected. Healthy people want to live in a clean home, not a home that hasn’t been cleaned for months, is cluttered with junk, has dirty clothes on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink, the garbage hasn’t been taken out and the home smells bad. I’ve been in a home like that and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The Father and the Son feel the same way about us. Love for Yeshua which is manifested by obedience to His teaching create an environment where spiritual intimacy between us and the Father and the Son flourishes. Does that describe you?
Living in a fallen world can cause us to be troubled and be afraid. I like that Yeshua offered to give His peace to troubled and fearing disciples: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. The world’s peace comes from the absence of conflict or from circumstances going well. Yeshua offers us a different and better kind of peace, a peace not dependant on circumstances, a peace that comes from knowing God and knowing that God will vindicate His servants.
Yeshua offers us His peace. My peace I give you. Because He knew He was doing what God wanted Him to do and would be vindicated, Yeshua was able to have peace – not because of the absence of conflict or because His circumstances were good – they weren’t. He had been experiencing a tremendous amount of conflict and knew He was going to be arrested, put on trial, suffer and die a horrible death. In spite of this, Yeshua had peace. And now that He is risen and full of honor and power and peace, the Prince of Peace is able to give His peace to us.
I like that Yeshua used things that everyone understood to teach spiritual truths that were not understood. People knew how grapes were grown. He said: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. In order to have a productive life, we must be united to Yeshua – by having faith in Him. If we are united to Messiah, He will give us life and energy. That will enable us to believe the things we need to believe, do the things we need to do; not do the things we shouldn’t do. And even though we are united to Yeshua, drawing life from Him, we are to expect God to allow us to experience hardships – which are designed to improve us and make us more productive. However, if we say we believe in Yeshua yet engage in the same old sins and bad habits; have the same old values and wrong ways of thinking; have no desire to serve the Lord or build up Messiah’s Community or proclaim the Gospel – we are useless to God and He may end our life or end whatever relationship to Yeshua we have.
I know that Yeshua loves me. I never want Him to stop loving me. I like that Yeshua said: If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. Love and obedience are connected. Yeshua is the greatest example of love and obedience. He completely, always, perfectly obeyed His Father; and therefore remained in His Father’s love. It’s easy to say: I am saved. I am a Christian. I follow Yeshua. I belong to God. However, to really belong to God, we must be obedient to Yeshua’s teachings. God, grant me the desire to obey Yeshua’s commands – and the grace to keep them.
Before I get involved in something, I want to know what I am getting myself into. I like that Yeshua warned us that following Him means we will be a hated minority. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. The world is evil. The world is corrupt. Being hated by the world, who hated Yeshua, lets me know that I am on the right path; and that I am truly following Yeshua. This comforts me – a lot. Knowing that the world will hate me frees me from needing to along with the majority, from needing to be popular, or liked or accepted.
God has placed eternity in our hearts. I very much want to live forever. I like that Yeshua told us how we can live forever. This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, whom you have sent. To live forever, we must know that the God of Israel is the only true God, and that Yeshua is the Messiah. Since Yeshua entered the world, knowing that there is one true God is not enough. We must also know that Yeshua is the Messiah that the only true God sent. This means that atheists and agnostics, and followers of non-Messianic Judaism and Islam, and other world religions, will not experience eternal life – which is why we must proclaim the Good News about Yeshua to them.
God is wise and powerful and knows how to run His universe without us. He doesn’t need our advice. Yet, He is willing to respond to good prayers from people who are in a proper relationship with Him. I like good prayers from people who know God. I especially like Yeshua’s great prayer He prayed the night before He died, especially His prayer for our protection and our unity. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one … My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. I want to be protected from the evil one. Yeshua prayed that would happen. God will answer that prayer. I want to be part of a new humanity, characterized by a deep and profound love and unity. Yeshua prayed that would happen. I want the world to know that the Father sent the Son. God will answer that prayer. Yeshua prayed that our love for each other and our union with God will cause that to happen. God will answer that prayer. I want to have a little bit of glory. Yeshua prayed that would happen. God will answer that prayer.
The world is unholy. People are unholy. I want to be holy, pure, set apart from an unholy world, set apart for God and eternal life. I like that Yeshua prayed for us to be holy, and in His prayer, let us know one of the things God uses to make us holy: Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. The truth sets us free; and the truth sanctifies us. What is the truth? God’s Word, the Bible. Almost makes me want to read and study the Bible, until I understand it from Genesis to Revelation. How about you?
I like that Yeshua is wiser than the wisest, shrewder than the shrewdest. Knowing that if He claimed to be a king, He would be guilty of treason against Caesar, I like that when the Roman governor asked Yeshua, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He replied, “My kingdom is not of this world.” What an great answer! Yeshua spoke the truth – that He the king of the Jewish People, but He also communicated that He was a different kind of king, a king of a different kind of kingdom which was not a threat to Caesar.
I like that the notice fastened to the cross by the Romans told us the crime for which Yeshua was being executed: Yeshua of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. Pilate knew that Yeshua was not a theat to Caesar – but for political expediency had Yeshua executed anyway. The world didn’t like our king then, and it doesn’t like Him now. Do you?
Again, none of the religions of the world have prophecies about their founders like we have about Yeshua. This lets us know that Yeshua is unique; and He is the Messiah and the Savior of the world. I like that Yeshua fulfilled the Psalm 22 prophecy. When the soldiers crucified Yeshua, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” How ironic, that the King of glory, the One who created all things, died without any possessions, and stripped of the clothes He was wearing, so that He probably was naked. This makes me love Him even more.
I like that when He had suffered enough, Yeshua said, “It is finished,” bowed His head and gave up His spirit. What simple yet profound words. Yeshua did everything God asked Him to do. All the work God had for Him to do – finished. God’s great plan, starting from eternity past, to make salvation possible for the chosen ones – finished. Because the work of salvation is finished, that means there is nothing we can do to be saved. All we need to do to be saved is have faith in the finished work of salvation made possible by Messiah’s perfect life and atoning death.
I want to be resurrected. I want the One who promised to resurrect me to Himself be resurrected. I like that Yeshua was resurrected; and that there is a lot of evidence for His resurrection: John, who was a reliable eye-witness, testified that the heavy stone had been moved from the entrance to the tomb; and the body of Yeshua was not in the tomb – the tomb was empty. The strips of linen that had been used to bury Him, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around His head were in the tomb – indicating that something unusual had happened to the body of Yeshua.
And we know that for something to be accepted as true, only two or three reliable witnesses need to testify – and John let us know that more than that saw the resurrected Yeshua. Mary Magdalene was the first to see Him. He then appeared to 10 of the disciples – Thomas wasn’t there. Then a week later He appeared again to the disciples; and Thomas was there. So, we have Mary and the 11 disciples – 12 reliable eyewitnesses to the resurrected Yeshua.
Since God would not allow a liar, a sinner, false prophet or false Messiah to be resurrected, Yeshua’s resurrection is God’s seal of approval on everything Yeshua did and said. Yeshua’s resurrection is God’s affirmation of Yeshua’s life and ministry; that Yeshua is truthful, sinless, perfect, the Messiah and the Son of God and mankind’s Savior.
Yeshua’s resurrection makes Him unique, since no one else has been raised from the dead – not Buddha, not Confucius, not Moses, Mohammed, Marx or Freud or anyone else. Yeshua’s resurrection lets us know that He is greater than any of the prophets of Israel or the leaders of any other religion or ideology – and that we should believe everything He said.
Yeshua’s resurrection means that He defeated Satan and the fallen angels. He conquered sin. He defeated death.
I like that Yeshua said to Thomas: Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed – that’s me. I am one of those blessed ones because, although I have never seen, I believe; and most of you have never seen, and yet have believed. You too are blessed – very, very blessed.
I like that, after Yeshua came back to life, and the disciples were in a boat fishing all night on the Kinneret, the lake of the Galilee, and had caught nothing, He appeared to them on the shore and told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat – and when they did, they caught a huge number of fish. When Yeshua is present, good things happen; unusual things happen.
I like that three times He told Peter, who had denied Him three times, to feed His sheep; and prophesied Peter’s death and the way he would die – by crucifixion. Yeshua does not promise us a life without pain. He promises us a meaningful life – and the grace to endure the pain.
Let’s pray: Our Father in Heaven, please give us a greater understanding of Yeshua; a greater love for Yeshua; a greater appreciation for Yeshua. Fill us with the Spirit of Yeshua. Transform us into the image of Yeshua. Make us more like Yeshua. Help us be very close to Yeshua. Help us fulfill the ongoing mission of Yeshua that He has entrusted to us; may we be faithful to Him and to His great mission.