“He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” (Psalm 130: 8).
How can the Bible be read in its entirety and not be credited with God’s affirmation of undying love and eventual redemption for Israel? The Jewish rejection of their own Messiah, Yeshua, has been a cause for offense by some. This offense is not warranted by scripture or Yeshua himself. He said, “…everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Luke 12: 10). Yeshua forgave those who were crucifying Him. Who has not disbelieved, until their eyes were opened and faith was set to work in their heart. So too, the remnant of Israel will come to their Messiah and it will be His work of redemption, fulfilling what started two thousand years ago, and what was prophesied thousands of years earlier.
The first cord cast to Israel is explained by Paul, “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.” (Rom. 11: 11). The salvation of people from all nations is meant to draw Israel to God and it has been effective, in part. In the end, God will save Israel through faith in their Messiah, Yeshua who will return not as a sacrificial lamb, but as the Lion of Judah. “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.’ ” (Romans 11: 25-26).
Has any nation been as oppressed and tormented as the nation of Israel? They spent four hundred years in Egyptian slavery; experienced a German holocaust with six million perishing in Nazi death camps; embattled by surounding nations, and attacked, terrorized, and threatened by the Islamic nations to this very day with cries of death to Israel. Yet, they have been preserved, maintaining a national identity and reunited in 1947. This has been in accordance with the prophetic scriptures, “Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ ” (Ezekiel 11: 17). “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43: 5-7). It is for this purpose that God brings back the Israelites into the land, to show His power and lovingkindness in their ultimate redeemption by their victorious Messiah, Yeshua.
I believe Yeshua gave us another illustration of His love for Israel just before His ascension. The Apostles were all gathered except Thomas and the Lord appeared to them had said, ” ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’ And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’ ” (John 20: 21-22). Thomas who was also called Didymus, which means twin, was not there and refused to believe the Lord had risen from the dead unless he saw with his own eyes. “A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and My God.’ ” (John 20: 26-28). Thomas represents Jacob, renamed Israel by God, who was a twin. Thomas’ absence was set up by God, as they were all together a week later, i.e there is a purpose for Yeshua’s return for Thomas. Yeshua reveals himself, calling Thomas to faith with the imparting of the Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:3, Matt. 16: 17). It was s simple thing for Yeshua to return and redeem Thomas and it will be that simple in the last days when Yeshua returns, appears to Israel and imparts believing faith to them as well. At that time, the congregation of believers on earth will be unified and it will be glorious.