Do we curse Jews during Good Friday Service? (Part I)
- It is a frequent question and concerns for many of our members that why we curse Jews on Good Friday. But what is the truth? Do we really curse the Jews?
First of all we should consider who Jews are and what their special status in the Bible is. Jews are the descendents of Abraham, the forefather, whom God chose for a particular purpose. It is very important to know the purpose why Abraham was chosen.
For the convenience I am splitting this article into three parts (Part I: Why did God chose Israel?; Part II: Is God done with Israel?; Part III: Do we really curse Jews during Good Friday Service?)
Part I: Why did God chose Israel?
The entire human race was deviated from God and fell side with the Satan through the disobedient act of Adam and Eve. But God loved all humans and wanted to restore all of them back to his side. For this, a great sacrifice was absolutely necessary and no animal sacrifice (Hebrews 10:8 and Psalms 40:6) could redeem the entire nations of Earth, but only through the sacrifice of the almighty God himself. For this great purpose God decided to be born as a human being, but the question is in whom he can be born, because most of the people on earth are sinners and are evil doers and thus not appropriate for God to be born through them. God wanted a righteous man to be chosen for this purpose, someone who could be a role model of life for all the people on earth. Through his seed (the descendants) the Messiah, the redeemer, could be born. God expected this chosen people to live the way God wanted. God could not find someone with these good qualities for a while. Finally, God found Abraham and blessed him and said, through his seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed!
Genesis 22:18 "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice". (KJV)
Why would God say that all the nations of the earth will be blessed through his seed? This is one of the earliest Messianic prophecies in the Bible, indicating that through the seed of Abraham, someone will be born to bless the whole world. But, the history shows that it took a while for God to find the appropriate woman to be born, from the seed (descendent) of Abraham. Though Abraham had several sons, Isaac was chosen to fulfill the God's plan and the blessing was continued through his son, Jacob. Among the twelve sons of Jacob, Judah was chosen to fulfill the birth of Messiah. In fact, the history shows that all other tribes of Israel, except Benjamin and Judah were finally lost and is difficult even to track today. This shows that keeping the identity of all the tribes was not that important as only the tribe of Judah was the chosen tribe to fulfill God's plan. The rabbis in Israel are now trying to find all the lost tribes of Israel. Although it is very difficult to prove, one of their discovery was very interesting: Ketturah, the wife of Abraham after Sarah, moved to the East (as far as India) with his children and thus most likely the ancient religious people in India are the descendents of Ketturah, through Abraham! Not sure of the truth in it, but found very interesting.
Anyway, New Testament shows that finally, through the tribe (or lineage) of Judah, the Messiah (Christ) was born to fulfill the purpose of choosing Abraham, for the redemption of entire humanity. So, Israel, the descendents of Abraham was a chosen vessel for a great purpose which was finally fulfilled through the birth of Jesus Christ. Through his birth, death and resurrection all the nations of the earth were blessed as promised in Genesis. God loves everyone, not just Jews. He loved Jews, but was for a purpose and because of the good deeds of Abraham. The gospel writers, Mathew and Luke gave so much importance to show that the lineage of Jesus was from Abraham through the tribe of Judah. From the beginning, God loved every one of us irrespective of the nationality and not just Jews or Israel. The story of Prophet Jonah shows that God loved even the enemies of Israel (remember Nineva was the capital of Assyria and they were the enemies of Israel-a reason why Jonah hesitated to go there and preach). The same message (God gave to Jonah) was given to us by Jesus, that is, love even your enemies: Mathew 5:44 "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
For a time, Israel was the chosen people of God, but later it became only the tribe of Judah, but after the main mission was accomplished, that is the birth of Jesus Christ, his death on cross and resurrection, those participated in his death through baptism (Romans 6:3) became the chosen people of God (which include Jews, Greeks, Arameans and all nations). For this same reason, some people call the (followers of Christ) church, the `new Israel'.
But the question now regarding Israel or Jews is this: Is God done with them?
To be continued as Part II: Is God done with Israel?
Sinu P. John, PhD
Bethesda, MD, USA