Saturday, October 29, 2011

Israel (4) - Jesus

Jesus came to earth and perfectly fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matt 5:17-18).
The Israelites never managed to fulfil the law, because it was too hard. Jesus achieved what they could not do, and fulfilled the law on behalf of all those united with him by faith.

The Jewish people will never be able to fulfil their covenant by their own strength. The animal sacrifices never really did the trick, but pointed forward to Jesus sacrifice. Therefore, the Jews can only gain the blessings promised in their covenant by through faith in Jesus.

When Jesus ascended into heaven, he poured out his Holy Spirit on all those who would believe in him. A few in Israel accepted this gift, but most rejected him.

Pentecost was the new covenant promised by Jeremiah.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jer 31:33).
Jeremiah’s prophecy pointed forward to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When he dwells in human hearts, they will naturally do his will. This prophecy will not be fulfilled until he pours out his spirit on Israel at the end of the Times of the Gentiles.
I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zech 12:10).
When the children of Israel believe in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit, they will be able to fulfil the Mosaic covenant.

Without the new covenant of Jesus, the covenant with Moses is valid, but deficient. Until they come to faith in Jesus, the Jews are stuck in a dilemma. They have a wonderful covenant, but cannot experience the blessings it promised, no matter how hard they try to fulfil it. Without the fullness of his Spirit, they cannot walk in the blessing of the covenant. As long as they reject Jesus, the Jews are trapped under its curse. This continual breaking of the covenant is building up a curse that will have to be worked out in the future.

The Mosaic covenant is still valid, but the people of Israel cannot fulfil it without the imputed righteousness of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Without the new covenant, the old covenant is deficient, while in Jesus, the blessings of the old covenant can be received in full.

No comments: