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Foreword

One chapter really can change your life!

That chapter is Isaiah 53, and the best-selling book in which it is found is the Bible—the Hebrew Scriptures, often described as the Old Testament.

This brief volume is written primarily for those who are not religious. Since Isaiah 53 is found in the Hebrew Scriptures, much of what you are about to read is written with the Jewish reader in mind.

However, this is not intended to be exclusively so. Like Jerusalem—a Jewish city important to many faiths—the Hebrew Scriptures, originally Jewish documents, are considered to be holy writings by Christians as well. The Old Testament is also referenced in the Koran. Therefore, even though this book is primarily written for Jewish people, hopefully it will be read and understood by those of a variety of faiths: Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and those who do not claim allegiance to any formal religion, but are looking to deepen their relationship with God.

There are a number of reasons why Isaiah 53 can change your life. As a chapter in the Jewish Bible, Isaiah 53 is part of the book that describes our history, ethics, religion and the very basis for our Jewish heritage. There is also considerable information in the Hebrew Scriptures regarding God’s love and plan for the Gentile nations. Whether or not you are Jewish, whether or not you are religious, I hope you will discover that reading and understanding Isaiah chapter 53 will change your life.

Allow me to offer a few compelling reasons why I hope you will find Isaiah 53 meaningful:

  • This chapter will help you understand some things about yourself—especially regarding your relationship to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  • This chapter will demonstrate that the Bible can be trusted.
  • This chapter will introduce you to God, who predicts the future and also brings it to pass.
  • This chapter will help shape your expectation of who the Messiah would be. You will discover how this chapter has been fulfilled in the life of the One whom many call “the greatest Jew who ever lived.”
  • This book was written by a Messianic Jew—a Jewish person who believes that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah of Israel and the fulfillment of Isaiah 53—and one whose life was completely changed as a result.

Having been raised in a traditional Jewish home, I fully understand the challenges of keeping an open mind to the possibility that Jesus is the Messiah. So many of my fellow Jews are searching for a deeper spirituality and desire an intimate personal relationship with God. Many of us have not found this within the Jewish religion, but we would never consider detaching ourselves from the Jewish community.

When I came to believe that Yeshua was the Messiah many years ago, I certainly had no intention of abandoning my Jewishness. I was looking for an authentic spirituality, and I imagine you might be interested in the same thing. I hope you might be willing to put aside—at least for a moment—the common belief that you cannot be Jewish and believe in Jesus.

After all, if one of our greatest Jewish prophets predicted the Messianic details that Yeshua ultimately fulfills, then we would certainly have the basis to believe that one can be Jewish and believe in Yeshua.

More than anything, I hope that as you read this brief volume, your soul will be deeply touched by God. I pray that your spiritual search for a deeper and more intimate relationship with the Creator will become a reality in your life as it has in mine. There is no relationship in the world more fulfilling—or one that brings greater joy and satisfaction—than connection with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The purpose of this book is not to persuade you to change religions, but rather to discover a new relationship with the One who made you in His image and created you for this relationship. Not knowing God is like not knowing your mother or father; it leaves a hole in your soul that can only be filled by discovering where you have come from. Without knowing God, it is difficult to answer the fundamental questions of life: Why am I here? What is my purpose for living? How should I live my life in a way that gives me the most fulfillment and helps me to be a better person? These are the questions that either plague us or propel us into the arms of our Creator.

May the Lord enlighten your path and give you the insight to understand Isaiah chapter 53—and to find a new and personal relationship with the God who made you and loves you.

Dr. Mitch Glaser
Jerusalem
May 2010