“When I think about Christmas as a Jewish person, I think of it more from the paradigm of the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy,” Messianic rabbi K. A. Schneider told The Stream recently. “I love that the Lord has created this platform [Pray.com] for getting the word of God out to this generation.”
Pray.com, an app for the whole family, is “the digital destination for faith,” Pray.com’s VP of Content Max Bard told The Stream. “We offer a wide range of cinematic audio stories to help people learn the Bible in the most entertaining and engaging way possible.”
Last month, Pray.com released a podcast called “Stories of the Messiah” with Rabbi Schneider. “I am glad and privileged to partner with Pray.com on this cutting-edge and creative outreach project,” Rabbi Schneider said. “Now, perhaps more than ever, the world needs the hope that can only be found in Messiah.” The two-part podcast has over 40 episodes. The first half explains how some of the heroes of the Old Testament pointed to the coming Messiah; the second half brings the Nativity story to life. The podcast launched November 1, but the Nativity episodes were released beginning November 27.
Creating Some Drama
Episodes of the podcast are a little bit like The Chosen in that the stories come from Scripture, but there’s a bit of drama, too. “They kind of create some drama around the story so that you can’t exactly say that that particular part of it [happened], but you can back it up with Scripture — they’re trying to add some color to it.” He added that the podcast stories go beyond just the facts. “They’re fleshing it out a bit — putting some color in the narrative.”
Bard knew that Rabbi Schneider was the person for the job. “The Rabbi has such a wealth of knowledge about the Bible, we knew his commentary and guidance for each episode would resonate as authentic and meaningful to every episode. The Rabbi and his team have been instrumental in the success and high quality production of this series.”
This series acts as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments, showing us that the gospel is the fulfillment of the Hebrew Bible, not a replacement. Who better to host than a Jew who gave his life to Christ? Rabbi Schneider is himself, an embodiment of the podcast’s core message.
Rabbi Schneider said that, as a Jewish person, it was powerful to “exalt Yeshua” through the podcast. The podcast took Old Testament figures and compared them “directly to Jesus, showing the biblical prophets’ and patriarchs’ strengths and weaknesses, and then showing how Jesus not only excelled in the strength of the Old Testament figures but Jesus also had none of the weaknesses.”
We’re on a Journey
Rabbi Schneider wants people to meet Jesus through this podcast. ” I think my heart’s prayer would be that people who are really hurting in life right now, people who are going through difficult times, people who are experiencing the reality of the darkness that the world is in right now, who have no hope and are confused and don’t know where to turn, that somehow the Lord would get this in their hands and it would lead them to Jesus, to Yeshua.”
And not only those. He wants people who do know the Lord, but have drifted from being committed to Him, to get engaged by the Holy Spirit through the content of the stories in the Messiah, and it would bring them back to a place of full dedication and commitment. “And not that any of us are perfect, we’re on a journey, but it would bring them back to a more dedicated lifestyle. And that it would inspire people with fresh hope and fresh vision that would create a renewed love or an increased love for God.”
Bard wants people to see the Christmas story in a new light. “The birth of Jesus and how it all took place is incredible, and understanding everything that led up to it can really open one’s eyes to how much power and depth the Bible really has. I hope the dramatized stories we’ve created help us to see the Nativity as a story of triumph, love, and determination. We really tried to draw out the human element while not forsaking the divine.”
Listen to the podcast at storiesofthemessiah.com.