Are you a good Jew

Your first response to this question may be yes as you compare yourself to all of the evil Hitler’s of this world but how would measure up to a Holy G-d?

Perhaps you are a traditional Jew who attends synagogue twice a year on Yom Kippur and Passover and occasionally performs mitzvot as well as abstaining from pork. Does this make you closer to G-d?

Perhaps you are an observant Jew who has done everything within your power to uphold the requirements of Judaism so does this mean that you have obtained righteousness?

Are you righteous enough to secure a heavenly home in the afterlife such as what is written in Daniel 12:2 which says that some will awake to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt?

Perhaps you are thinking that you are kind of a moral person and even though you have not kept the 613 commandments you are comfortable about your viewpoints on G-d and how you generally treat people.

In light of all these viewpoints let’s take a simple test by looking at just a few of the requirements of the Ten Commandments which form the moral basis of the law alone as found in Exodus 20.

The commandments state that you should have no other gods before me and that you should not make an idol nor misuse His name in any way. A deeper application to this law may be found in Deuteronomy 6:5 in which G-d commands covenant Israel to “Love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul and all your strength.”

The next requirement was to keep the Sabbath day holy which was a covenant law that pertained specifically to Israel. This was such a serious matter that those who violated this law were put to death, Exodus 31:15.

The fifth commandment requires you to honor your father and mother. Have you always done this? According to Leviticus 20:9 this too was a serious violation that was punishable by death for those who cursed their parents.

The sixth commandment was a prohibition against murder. You might be thinking I’m off the hook here. Yet murder is a companion to hatred and in Leviticus 19:15-18 the law speaks out about slander, hatred, revenge, and bearing a grudge with the added requirement of loving your neighbor as yourself which brings about the true nature of this law.

The seventh commandment is not to commit adultery. Leviticus 20:10 states that those who commit this act are to be put to death. Yet is it all right to look at pornography or to view someone else as an object of lust? Psalms 51:6 says that “G-d desires truth even in our inward parts.” David understood this and He was also inspired to write in Psalms 139:23 saying “search me O G-d and know my heart and to see if there is any offensive way in me.”

The eighth commandment says do not to steal. This commandment is not quantifiable so to steal anything no matter how small or insignificant it is would make you a thief. What if you thought you could get away with stealing would you still be restrained from this course of action?

How about the ninth commandment which says not to give a false testimony against your neighbor? You may be thinking this would just apply to being a truthful witness in a court of law. Yet outside of the courthouse have you ever told a harmful rumor, joke, lie, or any unfounded and slanderous accusations that would hurt or defame someone which in turn would be an act of injustice then read Leviticus 19:15-18.

Lastly have you ever coveted or desired what someone else had? This scripture shows you that G-d is not just concerned with the outward keeping of His laws but He is also looking at the heart as well.

So by taking all of this in account would G-d find you guilty or innocent on the Day of Judgment?

You may say guilty on all accounts. Then by your own admission you are a godless person who is a dishonorable child who lies, steals, covets, who is an adulterer and murderer at heart and who likewise desecrates the Sabbath. So when God judges you will you be found guilty or innocent before the court of heaven?

Perhaps you are thinking I have overstated my case and that I am being unfair in my presentation. Yet everyone sins and no one is exempt from its influence.

We see the patriarch Jacob who was a father of the Jewish nation who coveted and deceived Esau by gaining his brothers birthright and blessing.

Later we see Moses who was acclaimed to be the humblest in the land coming under the judgment of G-d because of his angry outburst which kept him from stepping foot into the Promised Land even though He was Israel’s law giver.

We see the likes of David who is the standard for Israel’s kings and the forerunner to the Messiah and even though he was given the honorary reputation of having a heart after G-d, he still committed adultery and murder.

We also see his son Solomon who was the model for wisdom yet he disobeyed G-d by marrying foreign women and therefore he was carried away by deception in becoming an idolater through the worship of false gods.

Its no wonder that David said in Psalms 14:3 that “there is no one who does good no not one.” Also Solomon chimes in with Ecclesiastes 7:20 stating that “there is not a righteous man upon the earth who does what is right and never sins.”

Sin is all encompassing and that is why on Yom Kippur that everybody had to have a sacrifice given on behalf of the covenant community from the high priest all the way down to the common Israelite.

Sin is a serious violation between G-d and mankind which has resulted in causing death and separation with his creation. Ezekiel 18: 4 states that “it is the soul who sins that will surely die.” Isaiah 59:2 says “your iniquities have separated you from your G-d: your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

You might say well what about my righteous acts? Isaiah 64:6 says “all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”

Whether it is the Garden of Eden, the flood, the dispersing of the nations, and finally the exiling of Israel, sin has and continues to leave its indelible mark upon mankind.

The good news is that G-d made a provision for sin that was central to the Mosaic covenant which involved the sacrificial and ceremonial rites of the temple.

In Leviticus 17:11 it says “for the life of the flesh is in the blood and I have given it upon the alter to make atonement for your souls.”

The innocent life was exchanged on behalf of the worshipper and was therefore substitutionary in nature. Even some religious Jews today on Yom Kippur will perform kaparah by cutting a chicken and swinging it around their head covering themselves with blood because they intrinsically know that something essential and vital is missing from their faith.

You might wonder where this leaves you since the Jewish people haven’t had a temple for 2000 years. You may say that you believe what the Rabbis teach in that through prayer, good deeds, and fasting that these are our sacrifices now. These things might be an essential part of worship but this does not annul the requirements of the Mosaic covenant with its regulations.

The Mosaic covenant cannot be fulfilled because much of the covenant requirements revolve around the temple rituals therefore the 613 commandments can not be fully upheld. Is it possible that G-d could be doing a new thing? In Jeremiah 31:31 G-d says that He will make a new covenant (testament) with the house of Israel and it will not be like the Mosaic covenant.

So if the Mosaic covenant was to be completely sufficient in how people were to relate to G-d then why does Jeremiah speak of a new covenant therefore making the Mosaic covenant obsolete?

Deuteronomy 28:64 shows that upon proclaiming the curses on mount Ebal one of the consequences of sin was that they would be scattered among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other. If this covenant was truly effectual then why did it lead to the exiles and the Diaspora?

The centerpiece to the Mosaic covenant was the temple and if the temple plays an essential part to the fulfillment of G-d’s will then why does a Mosque occupy its very location?

The reality is that G-d provided an eternal atonement that was given once and for all therefore eliminating the need for the temple regulations. The prophet Isaiah gives us a snapshot view concerning  a servant to whom G-d would raise up who would be the sacrifice and He was described as being despised, rejected, stricken, smitten, afflicted, pierced, crushed, punished, wounded, oppressed, and finally having suffered all of this He was slaughtered and cut off.

The prophet clues us in by telling us why this act of love and justice was committed. The reason states that He bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors in taking upon himself their iniquities therefore his life was given as a guilt offering with  the benefactors of this action receiving peace, healing, and justification in their relationship with G-d.

Many Jews have come to see the person of Yeshua or Jesus as this suffering servant who is portrayed in this text as found in Isaiah 52:13 -53:12.

I ask you today that you would prayerfully read this scripture and ask G-d to reveal to you the truth behind this prophetic utterance of Isaiah.

After reading the moral requirements of the law can you still say that you are a good Jew or do you feeling naked and bare attempting to hide your sinful acts from a Holy God who sees through the thin veiled cover-up of your filthy rags which represent your human efforts in achieving righteousness or goodness.

Lastly we can only cloth ourselves with the righteousness that has resulted from the   provisional grace of the “Righteous Servant” who will justify many having poured out His life for you and me.

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