On the way to the cross, Yeshua was slapped on the face twice: Once by the servants of the High Priest and once by the soldiers of Pilate.
John 18:22 – One of the servants standing there struck Yeshua with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do you answer the high priest like that?”
John 19:2-3 – The soldiers… said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck Him with their hands.
This fulfilled prophecies that the Messiah would be rejected and would give “my back to those who strike and my cheeks to those who pluck the beard” (Isaiah 50:6); and that they will “strike the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek” (Micah 5:1). See also Jeremiah 20:2 as a prophetic foreshadow.
The High Priest represents the religious authority of the Jews. Pilate represents the secular authority of the Gentiles. Both of these worldly authorities rejected the spiritual authority of God when they rejected the Messiah. The Messiah is King of Kings and therefore above the authority of worldly governments. He is the High Priest of Heaven and therefore above the authority of religious leaders.
On the cross, Yeshua absorbed the hatred and rebellion coming upward towards heaven from mankind. Likewise, He absorbed the righteous wrath of God coming down from heaven toward men. Thus He gave protection and forgiveness to mankind.
Because He absorbed the rejection from the authority of both the Jews and the Gentiles, and also forgave them, He enabled the possibility for the inherent authority in those two groups to continue. It is continued in those who repent and turn to Him. By receiving the slaps on the cheek (and the whole crucifixion) from the hands of both Jews and Gentiles, Yeshua created in that moment the opportunity for both the remnant of Israel and the international Church to arise.
Among all nations there are those who do not reject His authority, but submit to it. Within Israel that is also true. The authority that was originally invested in Israel and the nations is transferred spiritually to those who submit to Him. And in the world to come, those righteous remnants will rule in the Messiah’s government.
By the “double slap,” Yeshua also allowed for the reconciliation between Israel and the Church. If He forgave the soldiers of Pilate and the servants of the Priest, how can we not forgive one another? In the cross, forgiveness and reconciliation and authority are granted up and down, left and right.
Whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also – Matthew 5:39.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.