|The Best Present For Israel's 64th Birthday|
Monday, 23 April 2012 20:42
This Thursday, Israel will celebrate her birthday! It's 64 years since Israel was established again as a state in 1948. And what gift could be given to celebrate this anniversary? What does Israel most need? Charity? Political support? Or salvation through Yeshua the Messiah? What gift would you choose to offer them, and what is on the heart of God to give to his people?
The remarkable, traumatic and convuluted journey of Israel’s reestablishment as a nation should leave us shaking with awe and wonder as we trace God’s hand through the historical events. And her journey is not over. The Bible, in both testaments, give us much reason for hope and expectation regarding God’s great plans for this little nation. Her destiny is not yet complete. But far from presenting two covenants for two separate peoples, the two testaments weave one wonderful story of salvation for us all.
Do Jewish people really need Jesus?
Some people erroneously say that the Jewish people are already saved if they keep the law of Moses, because God’s covenant with Abraham was eternal. This not only contradicts so much of the Bible about how people are saved, but it deprives God’s precious people from their greatest need: to hear and respond to the Good News. Also, the fact is that there has only ever been one human being who could keep the law properly, and that was Yeshua himself!
Yeshua informed his disciples that he was not just “a” way to the Father, but THE way. He was not just part of the truth, but THE truth, and he was not just an add on to give gentiles a shot at life, but he is LIFE itself. He solomnly instructed them that there was NO OTHER WAY to the Father, except through him. And you know what? He was speaking to Jews when he said that, not to Gentiles. Philip had asked him a question, and Yeshua was answering them all. He was letting his dear Jewish brothers know that it was only through him that they might be saved.
Where did “Dual Covenant” theology come from?
One of the sources of this thinking known as "Dual Covenant" theology came from a medieval Jewish Rabbi called Maimonides (or Rambam) who put forward the idea of two covenants, one for Jews and another for Gentiles. He wrote that while Jews were saved by following the Law of Moses, Gentiles could also have a share in the world to come if they kept the seven commandments of Noah, which are not actually found anywhere in the Bible. It is a development of Rambam’s twisted ideas about God and these two covenants that were not even based solidly on the Bible that has taken hold in a stronger way in recent years, and it is no less incorrect than it was back then.
There has also been a reaction against the faulty teaching that the Church has "replaced" Israel, and can take all the promises given to Israel for itself. Whilst this "Replacement Theology" misappropriates promises given specifically to Israel, to go to the opposite extreme by saying that the New Covenant did not replace the Old Testament is clearly defying vast sections of Scripture. It negates not only the teachings of Jesus, but the whole story of promise and salvation through God’s Messiah throughtout the entire Bible. Perhaps Dual Covenant theology believes it is trying to honour the Jewish people by maintaining that the Law is still a valid way to God, but in fact it achieves the opposite. It stands in the way of Jewish people being able to find their only way to God - THE Way. Yeshua.
Yeshua is the best gift that Israel could ever receive
Acts 4:12, Galatians 2:16, 1 John 2:23 and others all clearly show us that Jews need Jesus too. Hebrews teaches us that God has established a BETTER covenant with us in his Son, just as he promised he would do in Jeremiah 31: