Yeshua, The Fulfillment of G-d's promises to the Jewish people
Today, even after 30 plus years of the "modern" Messianic Jewish Movement, the question still most frequently asked, and furiously debated, is; "can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus (Yeshua)"?
To answer that question we must begin at the beginning, with the call of Avraham Avinu. What should we say G-d was doing in calling Avraham. G-d says "And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing" (Gen 12:2). Clearly then, G-d intended to use Avraham and his descendants as the agency through which He would bless the whole Creation. Stated another way, the Jewish people (the family of Avraham) were to be G-d's gift of blessing to all the families of the Earth. This purpose of blessing was consistent with G-d's intention from Creation onward. We sometimes have a tendency to reduce all the work of G-d in the world to His work of redeeming mankind from the effects of sin, but G-d's salvation is more than just forgiveness from sin. G-d made promises to Avraham, and by extension his descendants, the Jewish people, for abundant life, power, success, prosperity, longevity, and all the other benefits contained in the meaning of the Hebrew word "barak" (blessing).
As we progress in G-d's plan of blessing and redemption, we come to Sinai, where G-d gave the Torah to Israel. Here, He in effect joined Himself in marriage to B'nai Yisrael. G-d is very clear that it is for the purpose of blessing Israel that He gave His Torah. In order that the Children of Israel could live in peace, joy, and abundance in the land He promised to Avraham. (Deut. 7:12-20; 11:8-17; 28:1-14).
Despite G-d's first purpose, of blessing the Creation, the issues of sin and rebellion loom large in all of G-d's dealings with Israel and the nations. So the promises G-d has made provide for redemption as well as blessing. Thus He sent His prophets to proclaim the coming of Israel's Redeemer. The One through whom G-d would accomplish His purpose of redemption, and not redemption only, but blessing as well. Indeed all of G-d's purposes. (Is. 48-49; 53; Jer. 33).
Messiah Yeshua, our King, has come to fulfill all of the promises G-d made to Israel for blessing through the Torah and the Prophets. (Matt. 5:17), and in Him, through His death and resurrection He has redeemed mankind from the curse of sin. Without him their is no Messiah to come and no sacrifice for sin.
Kefa, in his first sermon outlines the fulfillment of G-d's promises through Yeshua. He begins his sermon with a reference to Joel chapter 2. He does this because here is a promise of G-d to restore the fortunes and the place of Israel His beloved people. Kefa indicates that in Messiah Yeshua this restoration has begun. Then he turns his attention to the resurrection by quoting from Psalm 16. This is the great hope of Israel for eternal life with their G-d, and Kefa says that with Messiah Yeshua's resurrection the great promise of our resurrection has begun. Next he quotes from Psalm 110 and declares "therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that G-d has made Him both Lord and Messiah..", thus declaring Yeshua, the King of G-d's kingdom.
When confronted with these truths, the people respond asking; "what shall we do?". Kefa responds with another promise fulfilled, "repent and be immersed in the name of Yeshua Ha Mashiach for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Ruach Ha Kodesh" (Acts 2:38). He stated unequivocally, that it is through faith in Messiah Yeshua that the Jewish people receive G-d's gift of His Holy Spirit. He follows this with a reminder that I want to emphasize for all of us who are Jews; "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our G-d shall call to Himself." (Acts 2:39).
Why is it Jewish to believe in Yeshua? Because as Kefa has clearly shown us, He is the fulfillment of G-d's promises to His Chosen People.