And so, while zealous religious scribes and Pharisees were preparing the Passover by way of commemorating the redemption of their people from Egypt, they were also plotting the crucifixion of their Messiah! And the Messiah Himself would become in the wisdom of God the Last Passover, who would put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offering for ever, and bring about a perfect redemption for fallen man from every tribe, and kindred, and tongue and nation. . .Consequently the blood He shed on the cross became the blood of the New Covenant that God had designed for Israel. But the New Covenant was intended for all nations—so the gospel of Christ was sent “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles”. But because of their disobedience God sent them to the end of the line, and they became last. God delayed nothing when Israel as a nation cut themselves off from the Covenant. Nor was all Israel cut off—it was just the unbelieving branches that were cut off (see Rom. 9:6, 7; 11:17).
Now if we are not prepared to receive the New Testament scriptures as equally inspired as the Old Testament scriptures, we are dishonoring the Author of both Covenants. And if this be so, we must accept the apostolic interpretation of the Old Testament. For it was the same Spirit who inspired the writing of both Testaments. If we believe this, then we must accept what the apostle Paul said about “the seed of Abraham”. God was not speaking “of seeds, as of many; but as of One, And to thy Seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). So what about all Israel being saved? He tells us clearly: “They are not all Israel who are of Israel, but in Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Rom. 9:6, 7). And what does this mean? Paul explains this very clearly also: “That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rom. 9:8). So, if we accept the New Testament as God’s word, it is very clear what Paul means when he refers to all Israel: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).
Seed of God, the Real Israel
God did not postpone the New Covenant He promised to Israel. Rather He extended more grace to the undeserving nations, enabling them to respond to God and become His chosen people also. He is quick to do this when His people fail to walk before Him in obedience and in the fear of God. He does not delay the marriage supper when the day arrives, and the invited guests do not show up. He sends out His servants to bring in others. . .anybody. . .anywhere. . .from the streets and the lanes. . .men and women of honor, or dishonor. . .good or bad. That’s what He said, and that’s what He is doing (Matt. 22:8-10). I am not teaching that God replaced Israel with the Gentile Church. He only replaced the dead branches of Israel, by grafting in wild olive branches from the Gentiles—and the Tree of Israel continued to flourish. By the cross, we are told, Christ made in Himself of twain (of these two segments of the human race), “one new man, so making peace” (see 2 Cor. 3:1-11; Rom. 11:13-28; Eph. 2:11-20). He did this, not by condemning Israel to extinction, but by destroying the enmity and taking away the middle wall of partition—and joining them together as “one new man” in Christ. This is the new Israel. . .the remnant of old Israel that remained in the Tree, combined with wild Gentile olive branches that were grafted into the same Tree.
Israel to be Grafted in Again.
“Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first” (Matt. 19:3). This is the way it happened when Jesus came to confirm the promises made to the fathers. But next time around it will be arrogant branches in the church who will be cut off, who have disdain (and sometimes a lot of hatred) for Jewish people. (When I speak of the church, I generally speak of it as the corporate people of God who call themselves Christian—but recognizing that the Lord alone knows those who are true Christians, and have the Spirit of Christ). The Name of Jesus has been blasphemed among Jewry much as the Name of Israel’s Jehovah had been blasphemed among the Gentiles in Old Testament times. But regardless of the persecution that the people of Israel have suffered at the hands of so-called Christian nations. . .God will open their eyes when the Lamb of God is revealed in the appointed time as their Messiah. What a glorious day awaits this repentant Israel when they shall say of the anointed witness who comes to them in the power and nature and character of our Lord Jesus: “Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:39). This ‘he’ could be an Arab, or a Palestinian, or a person from Germany, or Japan, or China, or England. . .it matters not.
For this anointed one comes to them in the name of the Lord Jesus, bearing His image and likeness, and shining with the Light of the Lamb of God. Then their eyes will be opened, and they will see their living Messiah, still bearing the scars of the wounds that He received from their forefathers. But because of the spirit of grace and of supplications that God will pour out on the house of David, there will be a deep repentance. “They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zech. 12:10).