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Yeshua’s broken-hearted plea - Reaffirmation, Not Replacement - Part 3

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

For the next few weeks, we will be sharing with you some excerpts from my new book, When Kingdoms Collide. I am doing this because I believe it's so vital that the Body of Yeshua hears this message. It will change how you view the days we are living in and the age to come. To order the book, please visit our bookstore.

Last week, we covered the first three points on how the New Testament clearly reaffirms Israel's place in God's heart. Israel is not replaced by the Church. Both are key players in God's plans for mankind. Today, we explore several additional passages that demonstrate this truth.

4. Yeshua’s broken-hearted plea.

In Matthew 23, after Yeshua unleashes a scathing rebuke of the religious elites, He becomes tender. He expresses his desire to minister to Israel as a mother hen would her chicks. But alas, they were not willing. He does not say, “Therefore God has rejected you,” but rather, “You will not see me again until you say blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (v. 39).

What most do not know is that this phrase has great meaning. First, in a Jewish wedding, the cantor (liturgy leader in a synagogue) will use this phrase to call in the bridegroom. Yeshua is our bridegroom! Second, in modern culture, this phrase “Baruch haba” is a welcome. It is what I would say to you if you came to my house for Shabbat dinner, “Baruch haba…welcome, come in….” So, Yeshua is saying to the Orthodox Jews of Jerusalem (and maybe to all Israel), “You will only see me when you welcome me back as your bridegroom, your Messiah!” And they will, according to Zechariah 12:10, an end-time prophecy that says the Jewish people will understand that the one handed over to be crucified is the Messiah.

And 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. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn…. (Zechariah 12:10–12)

5. John’s play on words

John alludes to the Zechariah prophecy in his revelation. In John 1:7, he says that when Yeshua comes in the clouds, “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.” He continues, “and the peoples on earth will mourn.” But in Greek, it doesn’t say peoples on earth” but “tribes of the land.” It is a very clever way to say, not only will the nations mourn, but the Jewish people, as Zechariah prophesied, will grieve, as they understand Yeshua is the returning king of Israel, and they had rejected Him.

In Hebrew, the phrase “the land” is how we say Israel. More often than not, if someone wants to know if I am in Israel (because I travel a lot), they will not ask, “are you in Israel?” but will ask, “are you in the land?” God slipped this double meaning into the passage.[1]

Yes, the tribes of Israel will mourn when they see Messiah in the clouds. Fortunately, it is not too late. In the Zechariah prophecy, it goes on to say, “On that day,” the day that Israel mourns over rejecting Yeshua as Messiah and recognizes Him as such, “a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.” This will be the “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26) moment!

6. “With,” not “In place of”

The great mystery of the New Testament isn’t that God has decided not to be faithful to his promises to Israel but that the Gentiles, through the Jew Jesus, gain access to all the covenant benefits without becoming Jewish. Look how Paul makes his argument in Ephesians.

Remember that at that time, you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. (Eph. 2:12-13)

The Gentiles don’t replace Israel but join with Israel. He says, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (Eph. 2:19). I believe God’s “household” here is the “One New Man,” the olive tree of Romans 11, and we know that God is able to regraft the Jewish people back into their own olive tree.[2]

7. Paul’s meeting in Rome

At the end of Paul’s life, after he has written Romans and Galatians, he calls the Jewish leaders of Rome to meet with him. In seeking to explain himself—why he is in chains—he says, “For this reason, I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.” (Acts. 28:20)

Is the hope of Israel that Israel would be replaced by the Church? Of course not. Was it that all the promises they thought would be fulfilled were actually allegorically fulfilled in Yeshua on the cross or through the resurrection? Ridiculous! Paul is speaking to them as if they all agree on what the hope of Israel is. The hope of Israel is the Messiah of Israel. Yes, most of them could not comprehend a crucified king, a martyred Messiah, and went away offended. But Paul is clearly preaching the Messiah of Israel that will return and restore the kingdom to Israel.

8. The New Testament confirms the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Paul writes, “For I declare that Messiah has become a servant to the circumcised for the sake of God’s truth, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs.” (Rom 15:8 TLV) What promises? Clearly, this includes the land promises. You cannot speak of the “promises given to the patriarchs” and exclude the Land of Israel.

More next week...

[1] “Beginning in the late thirteenth century, Jewish biblical interpretation was often divided into four categories, summarized through the acronym PaRDeS: peshat, the simple or contextual meaning; remez, literally ‘hint,’ an allegorical meaning; derash, a homiletical meaning; and sod, a secret mystical meaning.” Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler, The Bible With and Without Jesus (San Francisco, HarperOne, 2020), 29. Seeing both an application to Israel and the nations in Rev. 1:7, would be the remez or hint method of interpretation, though I think I could even make a claim based on the Greek used, that it is the peshat, the plain meaning. [2] Many scholars see the Gentile inclusion into Israel in the same way that the nations of the British Commonwealth enjoy their connection to Great Britain, without losing their identity as Canadians or Australians or any of the other member states. Another good example is Paul. He was not ethnically Roman but had Roman citizenship. Gentiles remain connected to their ethnicity while enjoying citizenship in the commonwealth of Israel. In fact, the NKJV translates Eph. 2:12 as “being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” translating the Greek politeias, not as citizenship, but uses the surrounding context to come up with commonwealth of Israel.

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I totally agree with most of what you say here, but you make no room for the resurrection of the Jewish people. You say that they will be greeting Him when He comes (to establish the Kingdom?), but their welcome must occur when He will gather them (and us Christians) to Him in the resurrection. Later He will bring us all back to establish His Kingdom. We must not ignore all the verses that promise a physical resurrection for the Jewish people. This is also part of their expectation! It could happen almost instantly when they accept Yeshua as Messiah, and then He will raise us all together! There will be only one resurrection of the saints, and then those…

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Shalom from Israel! I am Ron Cantor and this is my blog. I serve as the President of Shelanu TV.

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