Moses summed up God’s commandments to Israel beginning with the “Shema” in Deuteronomy 6:4, and the following verse. “Shema” is the Hebrew word for “hear [and obey]”. It is often the first section of Scripture that a Jewish child learns:
Deuteronomy 6 (NKJV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Jesus (Yeshua) was asked what is the first commandment of all:
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Jesus fulfilled this commandment and also gave a new commandment:
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
God describes his heart to His people in Isaiah 48, emphasizing the importance of listening and heeding His words:
12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, My called:
I am He, I am the First, I am also the Last.
13 Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth,
And My right hand has stretched out the heavens;
When I call to them, they stand up together.
16 “Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.”
17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
In Isaiah 53, the prophet describes the sacrificial work of the Messiah, who would come to take the judgment for sins upon himself, dying in the place of all who believe in him:
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Jesus fulfilled these and many other prophecies as he declares in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul explains the transforming work of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, summing up the Gospel message and God’s calling for believers:
2 Corinthians 5
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Hebrews 2 describes Jesus as “the captain of our salvation”, bringing many sons and daughters to glory:
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
This was the joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, and He is our inspiration as we run the race that God has set before us:
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.