I have chosen to call this blog entry “Israel’s rejection”. While I know this can trigger some strong responses, I felt it was important to clarify why Israel (as a people) rejected Yeshua as their promised Messiah when He came over two thousand years ago. Whether it’s blaming the Jews for Yeshua’s death (“Christ killers”), misusing words from the Bible to ridicule the Jewish people as a “stiff-necked people”, or attributing the “pride” of the Jewish people as the reason for the rejection of Yeshua, etc., many believers simply do not understand why Israel had to reject Him.
Years ago, a Christian group involved in the film industry in Hollywood invited me to give my perspective of the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, by Mel Gibson. They were interested in hearing the opinion of a Jewish person who believes in Yeshua as the Promised Messiah. The one segment in the movie that shocked me (and was not only unbiblical but also clearly a lie of the enemy) was the part when Satan walked only amongst the Jewish people during the moment of the crucifixion, and not the Romans. It disturbed me so deeply because I realized that this scene represented what the majority of Gentile believers in Yeshua believe! This is dangerous because it often justifies millennia of persecution of the Jewish people, as well as the reason that many Christians reject Israel.
The first and most important point for us to understand is that God the Father chose to give His Son as an atonement for our iniquities, Jew and Gentile alike, and the Son, Yeshua, was obedient to the Father’s will, even to the point of suffering a humiliating death of a criminal on the tree. Yeshua gave His life as a ransom for many; no one took it from Him. This is very clear in the Scriptures and one cannot ignore it nor deny it.
The second point that is crucial for us to understand is that God’s ways are completely different than our ways. He views things differently than we do. Why is this important in our understanding of Israel’s rejection of Yeshua? Because He did something so incredible that goes against our human sensibility! The Scriptures clearly state that God allowed a partial hardening of the hearts of the Jewish people, so that He could extend His incredible grace and salvation to the entire world:
I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. – Romans 11:11
It is because of God’s plan to extend His salvation to all people of the world, Jewish and Gentile alike, that He allowed His covenant people to reject Him the first time. It was through that very rejection that salvation came to the Gentiles. However, as Romans 11:11 clearly states, that salvation came to the Gentiles in order to make Israel jealous, so that Israel would return to God through Yeshua.
I will deal with this important topic in greater depth in future blog entries. Until then, I would like to encourage each of you to search your hearts and see if you have anything that you need to repent of regarding your own misunderstanding of Scripture. I would also like to encourage you to be a voice for the truth and help those around you understand God’s mysterious and wonderful plan that “…salvation is from the Jews.” (John 4:22)
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, June 15, 2016, and reposted with permission.