Jesus Did Not Take Away the Sins of the World

Whoa!! Slow down there, son! Of course Jesus took away the sins of the world- why, that’s what John the Baptist told us about him in John 1:29; he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”

Not. If Yeshua took away the sins of the world, why is there still so much sin left?

I know, it’s really a metaphor, but it is important, is it not, to know that what Yeshua did was to provide a means for each of us to be saved? I think it is more important for us to realize this is a personal thing, not a corporate thing.

When one is part of a crowd the individual disappears and becomes a part of the corporate identity. This is something that is both valuable and dangerous. Think of the term “Mob Mentality”, and how easy it was for the Nazi’s to do such horrible things, and Jim Jones, Charles Manson, and the other atrocoties done by people when they were part of a group.

The good side is that in Yeshua we are one, however, we are also separate in that each has been given different gifts to use for the glory of God. We aren’t stripped of our individuality, it is actually enhanced in that we become more of what we were, the good parts, and the bad parts are lessened.

I am still a sinner and I am still me, it’s just that since I was saved I have sinned less and I am a “better” me (I still have a long way to go, though.)

Yeshua didn’t take away the sins of the world- they are still here because so long as sinful people live, so will sin. What Yeshua did, what Yochanan was talking about, was the fact that Yeshua’s sacrifice would provide the opportunity for anyone and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, to be saved. Yeshua did not take away the sins of the world, He took away the Rabbinical legalistic requirement to be “Torah-perfect” in order to earn salvation.

The Torah’s meaning had been perverted to a system of legalistic actions, in that between the 613 commandments in Torah and the additional requirements that the Rabbis put on people, it is impossible to meet the requirement that anyone (born of human parents, that is) live in total accordance with Torah. What was supposed to be the road map to salvation became a maze of turns and corners that led to nowhere. The rules that Moses said were not too high or far, but right in front of us, became unreachable. That was the argument Yeshua had against the Pharisees, in that they  made what was supposed to lead us to God into something that kept us from approaching Him.

Torah is valid, Torah is right, and Torah is still something that everyone who worships the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob needs to know and obey, as best they can. Yeshua followed and taught the Torah, the Disciples followed and taught the Torah, and Shaul (Paul) also followed and taught the Torah. The entire book of Romans is all about how Torah is still valid, and because it is in the process of being replaced, as Shaul tells us, that doesn’t mean it is already done away with. Remember that Yeshua said nothing in Torah will change until all things have come to pass (Matthew 5:17), so unless you can show me the new Temple in the new Jerusalem, with a new Earth and new heavens, well…better stick with Torah.

Yeshua did not take away the sins of the world, He made it possible for us to be saved from our own sin. In that way, John was right: Yeshua made it possible to overcome our inability, individually, to live a Torah-observant life. Yeshua reminded us that Torah is a means to improve and become more holy, which was it’s original intent.

Religion is what changed the Torah from a rope that will help us climb up from humanity to a chain holding us back from salvation. It’s not the Torah that’s the problem, it’s religion. Judaism has, through Rabbinical Halakah, made living up to the Torah a burden that no one can carry, and Christianity, which originally was Judaism, rejected Torah for another religious set of rules, in many ways even more onerous than Torah!

It comes down to this: each of us must make up our own mind about salvation and Torah, and whether or not we do, we will all be held personally accountable for our actions, no matter who told us to do them.

Yeshua didn’t take away the sins of the world, but He did make it possible to take away my sins when I give them to him.

The reason I am stressing the individual’s part is because being part of a crowd doesn’t allow us to “own” our individuality, and what we don’t own we can’t give away. Therefore, if you want to give your sins to Yeshua, then you need to own (up to) them. Not as part of the world, or a church, or a synagogue, but as you, and you, alone.

Salvation is an individual thing, not a group activity. You need to first, and foremost, be saved from your own sins. Then, you will become a part of the group of Believers that are saved. Make sure you join the right group, the ones that understand Torah is still valid and worthy of obedience. Shaul told us that we are all one in Messiah, and he also pointed out that although we are one body, it is made up of separate parts, each doing what they were designed to do to keep the entire body healthy.

When we understand that each of us is responsible for our actions, then we can truly realize the impact that Yeshua’s sacrificial death has made: every single person on Earth can be saved.

Who or What; Was or Is; Which is Right?

Yeshua, called Jesus by most of the world, is recognized pretty much as the Messiah by the Christian world, although He is also called the Lord, to the exclusion of THE Lord, and God in the Flesh, although there is only one God, and the son of God, which He can’t really be if He is God, can He?

Here is an excerpt from my book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” regarding who or what Yeshua is or was:

Let’s not overlook the fact that He was in existence from the Beginning- He may have been born of a virgin, as the prophecy states, but He certainly wasn’t born as a human is born. He was fully human, but He was not of human origin. He was subject to human frailty and temptation but He was also so completely filled with the Ruach HaKodesh He was, as no other person ever has or will be, able to overcome His humanity.

I know, I know…this sort of “He was – He wasn’t” back-and-forth can give you a headache! Was He human? Yes. Was He God? Yes. Did He die? Yes. Well, if He was God how could He be human, and if He was God how could He have died, and if He was human how could he be God, and if He was Human how could He do those miracles, and if and if…. YIKES!! That’s why it is just so much easier to just take things on faith. Although, being faithful doesn’t mean accepting ignorance. We still need to know what the truth is, and the only way is to hear it from His own mouth. The way He allows us to hear Him is that He gave us The Bible, The Manual. Reading that, and asking Him to guide our understanding by the Spirit, is the best and most productive way to know His word. Since Yochanan (John) tells us in his Gospel at first that there was the Word and the Word became flesh, if we know His Word then we know Him.

Some things we know, historically, about Yeshua was that, first and foremost, His was born into a Jewish family and His name was never ‘Jesus’- that is a translation of a transliteration. For the etymology of the name Jesus do a search on “what’s in a name” in the Search window at the bottom right of this page. We also know His mother and father, what the family business was, that He was circumcised, had been to Yerushalayim at least once (and was left behind there for a week alone), He was baptised by Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), had a wandering ministry, healed many people of different diseases, taught 12 Disciples who lived and travelled with Him for about 3 years, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. We also are told by the same dependable writers and witnesses that He was resurrected and wandered among the people for about 40 days (40- another well used number in the Bible) until He rose into heaven.

So, where’s that leave us, with regards to the title of this blog? Is Yeshua a “who”, meaning a human being, or a “what”, as in a proper noun such as Messiah? We know He existed and was killed, so do we refer to Him in the past tense as with a dead person? If so, when He was resurrected He became alive, again, and He is forever alive so shouldn’t we say He “is”, as we do when referring to a living person? He was the Messiah for those people, but, then again, He is our Messiah today. He was God’s son and God in the flesh- didn’t He say if you see me you see the Father? To know Him is to know the Father? If so, that fits in with the old Jewish adage that the Torah is to be a mirror so that when we look into it we see ourselves. John says that Yeshua was the Living Torah, that the Word became flesh. Since Torah is still valid and the Word of God, and Yeshua is the living Torah, then Yeshua is alive, so we should say He “is” and not that He “was”, anything. As a living entity, He is a “who” and not a “what”, wouldn’t you agree?

Who He was is why He was able to do what He did, and what He is is why He is able to do what He does. (say that three times fast!)

It’s all a bunch of literary hoopla. It doesn’t really matter who, what, was, is… whatever! Yeshua was the Messiah, He is the Messiah, and there is only one true Messiah; even after all is done and Yeshua takes on whatever mantle of leadership or divinity that He will wear at that time forevermore, who or what He was or is will not change.

God is eternal, Yeshua is eternal ( Yeshua said, “…before Abraham was, I am.”), and past and present are irrelevant when discussing the eternal.

What is important from this discussion is to understand and accept that Yeshua always has been and, until the end of this existence will continue to be, the only hope we have for salvation.

I have collected this laundry list of questions, and I figure when I see Yeshua’s face I can ask Him because He will know the answers. But you wanna know something? When I do see His face, I don’t think any of those answers will have any meaning for me.

Once I see His face, all that is important to me now won’t matter anymore.