In the coming weeks, we’ll be celebrating the Biblical feast of Passover and some of us will also be marking the traditional Christian holidays of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (sometimes called “Easter Sunday” but I know some people get really upset and love to argue and lecture others about the use of this term, so I won’t mention it again.)
Whatever terms we use to describe these occasions, it is at this time of year that our thoughts are drawn to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, a time when He was dead but came back to life. But that’s not the only example the Bible gives of something that was dead coming back to life. There are several instances where dead people are miraculously brought back to life, mostly by Jesus, and in Romans 11:11-15, the Apostle Paul, speaking of the Jewish people, said “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. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
I have never claimed to be a prophet or a theologian, but it is my personal opinion that as far as God is concerned, the revival currently taking place among Jewish people here in the Land of Israel is the most important thing going on in the entire world today. I say that with all due respect to whatever is dominating the headlines wherever you live, whether it’s the war in Ukraine or skyrocketing inflation in the prices of gasoline, food, etc. or national elections in France or epic flooding in the major cities of Australia or whatever else it might be.
The situation in the world 2,000 ago was also very bad. But despite all the wars, natural disasters, plagues, famines, political corruption, cultural decadence and societal decay that was going on in the world 2,000 years ago, the most important thing going on in the entire world was that here in Jerusalem, a man was executed by crucifixion but then God raised Him from the dead.
Hardly anyone who was alive at the time this event occurred had even the vaguest idea of how important it was. In fact, the overwhelming majority of people who were alive on that day didn’t even know there was anything unusual about it. Now, as then, there is something going on here in Jerusalem and the Land of Israel which is more important than anything else going on in the world, and most of the people living through these days are completely unaware of it and even those few who are aware don’t seem to understand how important it is.
I am speaking now to those Christians who are very interested and even involved in the modern State of Israel.
As a citizen of this country, I thank you for all the prayers, money, time and effort you invest in projects to help us with all the things we need help with, from Aliyah to support for hospitals, schools, etc. All of that is hugely important and valued.
But as a fellow subject of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, I beg to point out that as urgent as the needs are for physical restoration of the Jewish People and the State of Israel, what is of VASTLY more urgency and importance is the need we have for spiritual restoration and revival.
This is of urgent importance for us, but as Paul tells us in the passage from Romans, this is also something that will bring desperately needed “life from the dead” for the whole world.
At present, only a very small fraction of the time, effort, money and attention given to the needs of Israel and the Jewish People by Christians is being invested in efforts to share the Gospel with them or care for the Body of Messiah in this country. There are even some Christian Zionist organizations and individuals who have publicly called for even those modest efforts to stop, and some of these Christian Zionists have also made common cause with Orthodox rabbis who are actively resisting the Gospel and persecuting the Body of Messiah in this country.
So, in conclusion, I have a request for whoever might be reading this blog.
If you are praying for Israel, start (if you haven’t already) to include prayers for Israeli Believers. Pray for our congregations, our pastoral leadership and the families which make up our laity.
Beyond that, if you are giving money, time, or any other kind of support to Christian Zionist efforts, ministries, groups or individuals who are active in this country, make a serious effort to find out what the groups you’re supporting are doing to share the Gospel with the Jewish People and/or support the Body of Messiah in Israel. Ask questions, and keep asking until you get serious, concrete answers. I say this because the leadership of some of these organizations have gotten really good at dodging questions about this topic.
I leave it to you to take whatever actions the Lord leads you to take after getting answers (or not) to your questions.
In any case, Brothers and sisters, please know and believe that God is VERY aware of how difficult things are becoming on this earth. He is not surprised by any of it. He knew it was going to be like this before He even created this world, and He’s got a plan to bring “life from the dead” to this world. The Body of Messiah in Israel is the razors edge of that plan, and in my humble opinion, every single person who calls themself a follower of Jesus Christ should be very, very interested in this plan and doing whatever he or she can do to bring it to fruition.
Those are the thoughts I had on “life from the dead” that God put on my heart to share this week. I hope it blessed someone, and I wish all my readers a happy and productive Passover, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.