Human Sacrifice and Atonement
I have been asked both of your questions by many Christians in the past, although not often with the earnestness and openness that comes across in your letter. You have essentially asked two questions, and I will address each separately.
Regarding your first question, the Bible is clear on the subject of the advent of the Messiah.1 It should be noted, however, that although many sections throughout the Jewish Scriptures vividly describe how the world will be forever transformed with the arrival of the Messianic Age, very few discuss the Messiah personally. The vast bulk of Messianic Scripture in Tanach2 depicts the state of perfection that the world will achieve at the End of Days.
In contrast, parishioners pray to Jesus repeatedly, whom they venerate as God. How frequently is Jesus’ name mentioned during a typical Church service? Probably hundreds of times. Throughout the entire corpus of the Jewish Scriptures, there is not a single instance where we are encouraged to pray to or in the name of the Messiah. This stunning, radical contradiction should inspire every parishioner to tremble, wonder, and seek out the truth.
The Tanach is clear that the significance of the Messiah himself pales in comparison to the utopian age that his arrival will usher in. In a similar fashion, the status of Moses is overshadowed by the unprecedented events of the Exodus. Although Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, no Jew would even consider praying to or through Moses. Moses’ name is therefore virtually absent from the Passover Haggadah. Why is the lawgiver’s name missing from the Seder liturgy?
Because Judaism draws man’s eyes toward Heaven – the God of Israel. We are inspired by the saintly lives of great men like Abraham and Daniel, but the notion of worshiping them would not cross our minds. We worship the God for whom they were willing to die.
The reason Judaism does not accept the Christian messiah, Jesus did not fulfill a single messianic prophecy clearly outlined in the Jewish Scriptures. The following is an overview of the central messianic prophecies outlined in the Jewish Scriptures that both Judaism and Christianity agree are messianic: