Part II: Is God done with Israel?
The main purpose of choosing Israel was to pave the path for the birth of Messiah, through him all the nations of the entire world could be blessed. Since Messiah is born and restored the human race, the question is that, is God done with Israel? The Scripture and the history show that God is not done with Israel! When the real Messiah was born, Israel rejected him. Prophets had foretold that this would happen (Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3). New Testament denotes a time, until when Israel would reject their Messiah. St. Paul says that until the fullness of Gentiles comes in to God, the mind of Israel will be hardened to receive their Messiah. Romans 11:25 "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in". Apostle St. James also preached the same message as described by St. Peter in the first council:
Acts 15:12 "When they finished, James spoke up. "Brothers," he said, "listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:16 "`After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it. 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' 18 things known from long ago" (KJV).
So, both Old Testament and New Testament show that God would not abandon Israel forever, after the death of Jesus Christ and there are more things to happen through Israel. But because of the sins and for rejecting their own Messiah God chastised them through the hands of Romans (in AD 70), scattering them around the world as prophesied by Jesus Christ: (Luk. 21:24) "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled". But as prophesied by Prophets like Ezekial, God will get them back to their land.
Ezekial 39:24 "According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them herefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid.27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations".
In fact, we witnessed the Geographical return of Israel in 1946-48 and this clearly proves that God has not abandoned them completely but was waiting until all the gentiles to hear about God of Israel, the maker of heaven and Earth. Hopefully we will see the spiritual return of Israel in the future as well. As said by Prophet Zachariah there will be a time when the house of Israel would look back at Messiah whom they pierced: Zachariah 12:10 "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". We hope and pray that they will receive their Messiah one day whom they pierced and rejected.
As said by St. Paul, it was only a time for Gentiles to come to God until God turn his face back to Israel (Romans 11:25). God says that he will not hide his face from Israel anymore. Ezekial 39:29 "Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD".
So, in brief, God is 'not done' with Israel but has given an opportunity for the gentiles to turn to God. If that is the case, then should we ever curse Jews? Absolutely not, and the fact is that our church teaches to love even our enemies and to pray for those persecute us, and thus do not encourage cursing any one whether it is Jews, Greeks or Romans. Jews persecuted the early Christian church but our church prayed for them. Jesus on the cross forgave to those who persecuted him. So, if Jesus forgave them, then there is no need for us to keep an animosity to those who crucified Jesus. Then why do people say that we curse Jews on Good Friday? Let us look into it next.
To be continued as Part III: Do we really curse Jews?
Sinu P. John, PhD
Bethesda, MD, USA