oday in Israel, as it was in the time of Yeshua, there is still an expectation that the Messiah will come to rule as king and bring world peace. The concept that the Messiah must come first to die (and only later rule) is very difficult for our people to grasp. However the ancient Israelite prophets prophesied the death of Messiah directly on three occasions:
Daniel 9:26 – Messiah will be cut off and be no more. And the people of the prince to come will destroy the city and the Temple.
This passage tells when the Messiah will die. The word for “cut off” is like cutting down a tree and implies that the person will be killed before he reaches old age. He must die before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Some followers of the Lubavitch Rabbi Schneerson claim that he is the Messiah. This cannot be true since he died in old age more than 1900 years after the Temple was destroyed.
Zechariah 12:10 – I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look toward Me whom they have pierced.
Here the “I” that will pour out the Spirit of God is the same “Me” that is pierced. This tells us who it is and how his death occurs. To be pierced, one must have a body. To pour out the Spirit, one must be divine. So the Messiah must be a divine figure who is pierced in bodily form.
Isaiah 53:8 – He was cut off from the land of the living; for the sin of My people he was struck.
This verse tells why the Messiah must come to die first. The word “cut off” here means by a legal decree. The death sentence comes because of the sin of “My” people, the children of Israel.