Salvation: What Happens When Jewish People Die?

 

This is a question that most people don’t like to face but nevertheless is most important to people of faith. If you are Jewish, it is a question that most may feel comfortable asking their rabbi. Depending upon the persuasion, the rabbi may answer: (1) “Eternity with G-d”; (2) “It depends on how you’ve lived your life”; (3) “We really do not know”; and (4)  “We go to the grave and that is it”.

Depending upon the rabbi, Jewish people will either be comforted by these words or troubled by them. After all, most Jews would expect the rabbi to know. To the Jewish mind G-d has certainly made provision for their eternal salvation.  Does this answer reside solely with the rabbis? If it does then Ultra-Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Revisionist Jews may all have a different destination based on the opinion of their rabbis.  The rabbis will admit that the Torah is vague on the subject-which it is-and then quote from a tractate in the Talmud to derive more clarity. The rabbis cannot totally agree concerning life after death because the Torah is vague and the Talmud is subject to interpretation, which can result in multiple conclusions. The Jewish people know that they must remain faithful to the covenant that their forefathers entered with Adonai. The tragedy is that the Jewish people know they are  G-d’s chosen and the apple of his eye, yet they are taught  that they cannot know for certain what will happen when they close their eyes for the last time. Here is some great news. The Jewish people can know what happens after death and can know that they can spend eternity with Adonai and know this before they pass on.  Some may think, “All I have to do is be a good person, a good Jew and believe in the Almighty. That should do it.”, but the Tenakh states specifically how a Jewish person can know. Before we go further, if you are Jewish, ask your rabbi this question, then record the answer.

The premise for most Jews is that good deeds must be abundant. G-d wants this and the abundance of these deeds and your faith can justify you before Adonai. Let us now turn to the Tenakh. Kindly read these following citations: 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 106:21; Isaiah 43:11, 45:21, 49:26. In all of these verses, the reader learns that Adonai, specifically YHVH, is the Savior and besides G-d there is no Savior. What this means is that G-d alone saves. G-d is ע י ש ו מ Moshia (Savior) and provides ה ע ו ש י Yeshuah (Salvation). This means that Adonai does the saving because G-d is the Savior and the author of Salvation. What about all of your good deeds, don’t they lead to salvation? What does the Tenakh say?

Isaiah 64: 3-6: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, besides you, what he has prepared for him that waits for him. You meet him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember you and your ways: behold you are angry; for we have sinned in them continually, yet we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as a filthy garment; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our sins like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calls upon your name that stirs up himself to take hold of you: for you have hid your face from us, and have consumed us, because of our sins.”  

What this means is G-d has prepared a place for you after this life ends. This place is reserved for those who are righteous. The problem is G-d gave the Torah but the Jewish people have continually broken G-d’s 613 laws. Now, did you catch this part, “…yet we shall be saved”? How can this be that people who sin can be saved? Are Jewish people saved by their good deeds? The scripture says Jews are unclean due to sin and that Jewish righteousness is as filthy clothing. Good deeds do not compensate for Jewish sins. Sin, therefore, separates the Jewish people from their G-d.  How can Jewish people sin yet be saved as G-d promised? Temple sacrifices do not apply. That has not occurred in the past 1943 years. How then can the Jewish person know they are saved as G-d promised despite their sin.  

Isaiah 49:26 “…all flesh (Jews and Gentiles) that I the Lord am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”  

This means the Lord, the Savior, not only belongs to Jacob (Israel) but comes from Jacob. Here is the great news and how the Savior can be identified: (1) The scripture says this will be very hard for Jewish people to accept (Isaiah 53:1); (2) He will grow up among his people and look very much like his people (Isaiah 53:2); (3) He would be despised, rejected, and not considered to have status among his people (Isaiah 53:3); (4) He would suffer at the hands of his people yet he would be accused of being cursed by God (Isaiah 53:4); (5) The scripture says our sins wounded and bruised him yet we can find peace through him because we are healed through his wounds (Isaiah 53:5); (6) Because all of us have sinned the Lord caused all of our sin to be placed upon him (Isaiah 53:6); (7) He was oppressed and tortured yet he was silent as he was led to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7); (8) He could not rule at that time because he was judged by his people and killed. He was stricken because of the sins of the people (Isaiah 53:8); (9) Although he did no violence and deceit could not be found in him he was executed with the wicked yet a rich man was in his death (Isaiah 53:9); (10)  Despite this it was G-d’s will that he suffer because his life was an atonement for guilt. Although killed, he will see those who belong to him. His days will be prolonged and the Lords will or his kingdom will be made alive in him (Isaiah 53:10); (11) G-d will witness his sacrifice and consider it sufficient.  The knowledge of God and righteousness shall come from him and he will bear their sins (Isaiah 53:11); and (12) He will be considered great and give to those who are accounted worthy because he bled to death with criminals yet he removes the sin of those who accept his sacrifice and makes intercession for these sinners who accept him (Isaiah 53:12). 

The assurance for Jewish salvation can be found in the pages of the Tenakh. A savior is described in the pages of the prophet Isaiah. He is further identified by the prophet Micah (Micah 5:1-2). The ruler of Israel was born in Bethlehem.  The king of Israel entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9). The King of Israel is the Lord (Zech 14:9).  Dear beloved Jewish people, choose not to forget these words. Remember them before your last days arrive. The Tenakh states that you cannot save yourself through your good deeds. You can only be saved by the Savior who brings salvation. This savior is the one who bore your sin in his own execution. To prove his mission his tomb was found empty (Psalm 16:10). The rabbis cannot give you these words of eternal life because their loyalty is to the Talmud, but the Tenakh does give you these words of eternal assurance. May G-d bless and save the Jewish people. You just need to choose. Shalom, Joe.

 

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