“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” (Isaiah:53:6-8 KJV)
[Sixteenth century Jewish scholar] Ben Abraham contended that Isaiah described the nation of Israel. Israel suffered at the hands of the sinful nations. Really? Israel died for the sins of the world? That made no sense to me. “Am Yisrael Chai” (the people of Israel live!). The Jewish people will never perish and certainly are not a silent people such as this servant of the LORD. We are the most vocal people around. His arguments were surprisingly weak.
While in Jerusalem, I went to the “Wailing Wall…where Jewish people come to pray. Some believe that their prayers go directly to heaven from this specific location, as though the ruins of the once glorious edifice retain holy properties that can connect people to God. I had no idea that this would be a turning point in my life.
I stood watching people weep as they shoved pieces of paper written with prayers into cracks between the stones. And then God spoke to me, not exactly in a voice, but in a quiet thought unlike any I’d ever had: “Why don’t you tell your people? You know Who they’re looking for. You say you love your people, but what you really love is being liked and accepted by them. You have chosen to please people rather than pleasing God.”
I was stunned by this truth. Then I was horrified. For years, I had been ashamed of Jesus, the One who suffered and died as a covering or atonement for my sin. If I should be ashamed of anyone, it was not Jesus, but me.
—Stan Meyer (Missionary with Jews for Jesus)