A central motivation for me in writing The Jewish People and Jesus: Is It Time for Reconciliation? You Decide. was to portray traditional Jewish objections to reconciliation with Yeshua with Biblical responses to these objections. Most Jewish people were brought up to reject the messianic claims of Yeshua without hearing or reading respectful responses to the rabbinical point of view. However, it is equally true that most professing Christians have never been introduced to the rabbinical point of view or have tried to understand why resistance to Yeshua continues.
One piece of continued Jewish resistance to reconciliation is the history of “Christian” anti-Semitism, especially in Europe. The Jewish people lost their land to the Romans, and then were eventually absorbed into a Christianized Rome circa the fourth century where they resisted conformity to this new “Gentile” religion. The result was overt or covert persecution, expulsion, massacre, dehumanization, pogroms and eventually the Holocaust. Most learned people understand that Nazi paganism sentenced Jews in the millions, but what could not be denied is that a perceived “Christian” civilization allowed these attitudes to fester.
I was raised in an Italian Catholic family in the 1950s and 1960s where I understood the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) to be Catholics. Mary, of course, was Italian. Why else would we call her the Madonna? As for the Jews, they rejected Jesus for no good reason and handed him over the Pagan Romans to seal his fate. I did not understand this as God’s plan, so the Jews were referred to as “Massa’Cristo” – Christ-killer.
At the time I was also biblically ignorant. When I was in college these beliefs were challenged by Biblical responses from a man named Dave. At the conviction of his words, I started to read the Bible. As a result, I discovered that the “Holy Family” practiced the Jewish faith, including Jesus. One of the most wonderful parts of the Bible I read were Rabbi Saul’s (The Apostle Paul) letters to the Romans, especially Chapters 9-11. Here it clearly states that Gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah are to show the Jewish people mercy because God had mercy on the Gentiles when the Gentiles were pagans. If the New Covenant stated this, why weren’t these words conveyed to the masses?
The message for non-Jews is that those who came to the Messiah before Emperor Constantine “Christianized” the empire converted; i.e. they had a change of heart for the Messiah. After this period, a change of heart was exchanged for an official decree. Therefore many in Europe who considered themselves as Christians were never converted to faith in the Messiah.
The message for non-Jews who believe in the Jewish Messiah is that anti-Semitism is sinful and contrary to the New Covenant.