The Human Messiah Part I
The human Messiah, the son of man, was born with all human traits that every person had. Yet, He did not sin. His flawlessness did not come from being born without the ability to sin, but from being born as a normal human being with all possibility to sin. Only then His obedience and faithfulness can be measured up to the high standard of being the Messiah.
The significance of the prophecy in 2Sa 7 concerning the Messiah becomes even more prominent when we understand that the Messiah was born as an ordinary human with all the ability to sin. We read thus in the prophecy,
When your (King David’s) days are filled and you rest with your fathers, I shall raise up your seed after you, who comes from your inward parts, and shall establish his reign. He does build a house for My Name, and I shall establish the throne of his reign forever. I shall be to him for a father, and he shall be to me for a son. (2Sa 7:12-14)
It is apparent that this prophecy relates to Solomon and has a certain fulfilment in him and his reign. Solomon did build the Temple of YHVH, as He said to David in 1Ki_6:1 and 1Ki_8:15. And also in the last years of his reign Solomon extremely sinned against YHVH by falling into idolatry and as a punishment for this, after his death his kingdom was divided as one portion was preserved to the family for David’s sake.
At the same time, however the reference to Solomon is not fully exhausted in him. The threefold repetition of the expression “forever” (see also the following verses 2Sa 7:15-16) unmistakably points way beyond the time of Solomon. The phrase “I shall establish the throne of his reign forever” could only refer to a time and a person whose kingdom will last forever and who will build a House for YHVH’s Name. And could that person be but the Messiah, who lives forever and of whose kingdom there is no end?
Yes, the promise of 2Sa 7:12-14 refers to the seed of David, commencing with Solomon. So that by the “seed” we are not to understand Solomon alone and the kings after him, but ultimately to the Messiah Himself to whom the prophecy also refers.
Probably all commentaries that the prophecy refers to the Messiah end here. Yet, YHVH says even more,
If he does perversely, I shall reprove him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. (2Sa 7:14)
Although Solomon sinned greatly he was never punished with a rod of men. He was not punished in his lifetime at all. Nor was his posterity punished in such a manner except one of his seed: the Messiah.
But when did the Messiah sin and what did He do perversely? Yeshua the Messiah never sinned and He did nothing wrong that would have deserved such a punishment.
Yet, the prophecy is telling us that He, the human Messiah, did have the choice to make, whether to be faithful to His Father or not. He chose the faith.
The significance of this prophecy becomes even more prominent when we understand that the Messiah was born with all human traits to sin.
What virtue would have been for Him, if the human Messiah was born without sinful inclination? None. He would not have sinned, because he could not have sinned. Then, He would have been declared righteous not by virtue of faithfulness, but simply by nature of being perfect. Then, His sacrifice to take the punishment on Himself would have been of little value.
But, in order to better understand the concept of punishment of a representative on behalf of an entire nation, we must understand first the oneness of the nation of Israel: as the entire community is considered indivisible, every individual in it shares the guilt for the sins of his fellow man.
Then, YHVH’s justice can address itself to the community of Israel as a whole when a righteous person like Yeshua is chosen to save the nation in his merit by taking the punishment on himself. This principle we may also see in the punishment Ezekiel took upon himself on behalf of the divided kingdom. Sefer Chasidim reads,
For this is the way before HaShem. When something is decreed and they do not repent, then punishment must come. Now. if the Tzadik [The Righteous] is made to suffer, then that punishment has been borne by him. Harsh punishment over Israel had been decreed in the sinful years of king Menasheh and king Yehoyakim. However, the people were merely exiled–they had not suffered harsh physical punishment. The Midat ha-Din of HaShem–the attribute of strict Penal Justice–argued. “Why should they be treated so leniently?” So, HaShem said to Ezekiel: “Accept the suffering upon yourself so that the Midat ha-Din, i.e. the Attribute of Strict Penal Justice, should not have a legitimate claim, for when he sees the sufferings of the Tzadiq who does not deserve to be punished, he will not press his claim.”
Thus, according to this the justice is satisfied when a punishment for the entire nation is meted out only to a righteous representative. This is what the Rabbis have said.
But, if Yeshua was born like we were, and all sufferings, humiliation, and death were of a righteous man who did not deserve all of these, then and only then His resurrection from the dead would have made the difference for the entire nation.
Read more in Part 2 of the series “The Human Messiah”.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.