(494) – THE WOUNDED SHEPHERD

Jesus Christ remained unknown for thirty years, and after that he came down from Galilee to meet John on the banks of the river Jordan to be baptized by him (Matt. 3:13). In this manner Jesus was manifested in order to do his great work. After this Satan tempted him for forty days (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus went from him, victorious, to choose the twelve apostles. One may ask: Why did Jesus choose twelve apostles? Answer: That was because Israel had twelve tribes. When Jesus would sit on the throne of David he would have twelve ministers to rule with him. Mathew, who preached the gospel of the Kingdom, reports the words of Christ: “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28). Jesus would be the Messiah of Israel according to the flesh, in the words of the prophecy uttered by the mouth of David (Acts 2:30). Paul confirms this prophecy saying that Christ belonged to Israel and to the fathers according to the flesh, not according to the spirit (Rom. 9:3-5). When Jesus died, the twelve apostles abandoned him. Why? That was because the death of Christ — his unchallenged arrest — revealed weakness. This was the end of the Messiah according to the flesh. Not one of the twelve apostles hoped for a different life in the flesh. Jesus said: “All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’” (Matt. 26:31). Luke tells us that, in the day of the resurrection, two disciples were going to their village. Jesus approached them and said: “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?” (Luke 24:17). They told Jesus all about his death, because they did not recognize him. Then they said: “But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened” (Luke 24:21). They were completely ignorant of the ministry of grace, which was revealed to Paul only years later (Eph. 3:1-5).

In the apostles understanding, who had their eyes closed to the preaching of Jesus (Luke 18:31-34), his death on the cross had been the end of the kingdom of the Messiah, promised by Jehovah. Jesus told them: “Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). And who was responsible for the death of Jesus? Zachariah answers: “Awake, sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is close to me, says Jehovah of Armies. ‘Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; and I will turn my hand against the little ones’” (Zech. 13:7). The crucified Christ was the cursed of Jehovah (Deut. 21:22-23). And why was that? Because he had refused to sit on the throne of David when he said: “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

David prophesied that the Christ according to the flesh would sit on his throne (Acts 2:30). This promise was also made to Mary, who had borne him in the flesh (Luke 1:30-33). The promise was not fulfilled, for the resurrected Christ was another: “Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God” (Rom. 7:4). The apostle Paul confirms this, saying: “Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more” (2 Cor. 5:16). The Christ according to the flesh was Savior only of Israel; however, the resurrected Christ is the Savior of all (Acts 13:22-23; Matt. 28:19). Before his death the command was to preach only to the Jews (Matt. 10:5-6). After the resurrection the command was to preach to every creature (Mark 16:15-16).

Christians think that God the Father was the one who killed Jesus, for Jesus took upon him our sins. He did not take: he died for them. It is a different thing altogether. The one who killed him was Jehovah, as vengeance, because Jesus did not accept to sit on the throne of David according to the flesh (Zech. 13:7). Before his death, Jesus was the son of David according to the flesh. After resurrection he went on to be the Son of God the Father, according to the Spirit of sanctification (Rom. 1:3-4). And Jesus makes us children of God when we believe in him (John 1:12-13).

By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira

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