(This post is a sequel of “Jesus Had to Die – By Why On a Torture Stake?”)
Some professed Christian religions are focused on the modern day nation of Israel. They expect big things to happen there in fulfillment of Bible prophesy.
Other questions also arise, did Jesus save all of the Jews with his death? Or are some condemned forever?
Jews, on the other hand, often have the feeling that they are God’s chosen people. They have nothing to do with Jesus, thinking of him, essentially as a first century Jewish apostate.
Using the scriptures we can consider all of this neatly with a sweep of the two edged sword, God’s word, the Bible.
There is a prophetic picture in the Bible that can help us out here.
For forty years (between 1513 and 1473 B.C.E.) the Israelite nation wandered in the wilderness of Sinai, “a fear inspiring” place, serving their time for fatal cases lack of faith and obedience.
What specifically did they fail to obey? Jehovah had given the Israelites the command to invade the Promised Land and destroy the squatters inhabiting it. The Israelites thought this unwise. They felt that they couldn’t win since they didn’t factor in Jehovah’s support.
Instead of the plenty they would have had Jehovah brought them to a place were they would learn that every single day of their life is in reality fully dependent on Jehovah’s blessing. They would learn that this blessing is only given if one is in a healthy relationship with Jehovah God. That in turn is only possible if one is faithfully obedient and has developed the quality of faith in God.
The Jews of today and most of the professed Christians are not obeying Jehovah nor have they developed a faith in him. You see, to develop faith we need to have accurate knowledge of Jehovah and what he purposes. Part of his communication to his people are specific directions for salvation. We need to listen carefully to this and then follow through on that obediently.
It doesn’t matter whether we claim to be a Jew or a Christian, if we are not obedient to the Sovereign Lord, there is no salvation.
Jehovah gives specific direction during a calamity whereby obedient to that direction will lead to getting out of the calamity. In other words careful obedience leads to salvation. One specific situation we can refer to actually happened during the 40 year sentence on Israel.
The Israelites had taken up irreverently complaining about the miraculous food and water supply. The monotony was testing them. As always, Jehovah disciplined them to the proper degree. Yet in Jehovah God’s greatly diversified and farsighted wisdom he also used the punishment to foreshadow things about the coming Seed and Messiah.
Jehovah used a punishment of the Israelites to foreshadow something important about Jesus.
In this situation Jehovah sent poisonous snakes into the camp of the Israelites. The people kept getting bit and dying. They came to Moses to beg him to intercede. What was Jehovah’s answer to Moses? What would be the way for the Israelites to gain salvation from this particular threat. Moses was directed to make a copper serpent and hang it on a pole or upright stake. The Israelites, if they got bitten, would need to look at this single copper serpent that was hung on a stake. If they would do that then Jehovah would extend mercy and heal them of the snake bite.
So, again here we have a threat for which people couldn’t help themselves out of and specific directions that needed to be followed in order to gain divine intercession.
The Israelites needed to look to a copper serpent on a pole. The serpents being sent into the camp may have stood for the bite of the Original Serpent (Revelation 12), Satan. In the garden of Eden, Satan led the first humans into disobedience to Jehovah God, creating the first crisis. All acts of disobedience are like fatal snake bites. They lead to death. No matter how small or large, ‘the wages sin pays is death’ so says Romans 6:23.
Jehovah had set Jesus up on a stake more than 1475 years after that event. If any human would look to Jesus with faith based on accurate knowledge of Jehovah and full obedience then Jehovah would consider them qualified to receive the free gift of salvation.
Evidently, the non-Israelites traveling with the Jews also got bitten by the snakes as they too were complainers. Though the camp was vast there was no other snake. There was no snake for the non-Jews and one for the Jews. There was not a series of snakes so that people could easily look at it wherever they were in the vast camp. Anyone who wished to live needed to look at that one copper serpent.
So too today, whether a person be a Jew or from any other nationality they must learn about Jesus and then obey Jesus with all their heart. Just as faith in God came to mean looking at a simple copper serpent for those people back then, so looking to Jesus and obediently following in his footsteps is the only way to gain a favorable relationship with God today which leads, of course, to salvation.
The fact that Jesus died on a torture stake saved obedient Jews who lived between 1513 B.C.E. and 33 B.C.E. These Jews were bound to obey the Law of Moses. They were cursed under the Law of Moses since they couldn’t obey it perfectly. Only a death of a perfectly obedient Jew on a torture stake could help them. However, the legal power of the Law of Moses was done away with upon Jesus’ death in 33 C.E. After that time the Jews as a people were no longer a special possession and could claim no special relationship with Jehovah God whatsoever.
Jesus fulfilled the Law – which was a tool to teach humanity about the death-dealing reality of sin – and thus abolished its legal power in 33 C.E. with his death on a torture stake.
Thereafter, Israel was no longer a chosen people.
Other Jews living after that time can take advantage of salvation from God the same way as any other human. They must come to know and obey the Sovereign, Jehovah and also his son, Jesus Christ, and bring their lives into harmony with their commandments.
Christians who continue to watch the news for some movement in Israel are lacking in accurate knowledge of God and Christ. They have to take such in and then become obedient to it as indicated by their names. As I stated before, most Christians do not really follow God and Christ acceptably. In another post we’ll use the Scriptures to clearly show that most Christians are not following Christ and what it looks like when one is.
All of humanity must also learn about Jesus and follow him if they wish to escape the bite of the snake. Remember, just as Jehovah God foreshadowed thousands of years ago in the desert of Sinai, there is only one “copper serpent”, one channel, one set of directions to gain salvation.
“There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is not another name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must get saved.” – Acts 4:12.