A New Jerusalem

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I want to begin by acknowledging and addressing those Palestinians who are grieving the death of their loved-ones as a result of the protests in Gaza.

So if you’re reading this, I need to tell you that there is one who, having drank from the cup, is acquainted with our deepest grief, and that one is  Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior to all who will receive him – one who shares the grief of a mother, father, son or daughter, over the loss of their loved one – be they Israeli or Palestinian.

The past will become prologue to the New Jerusalem someday.

The chosen people that God reaffirms in Exodus 6:7, have been largely blinded to the New Covenant that God made with them through his son, Jesus Christ.  They have yet to receive Yeshua (Jesus), their Messiah and Savior.  It was because of Israel’s struggle to keep the Old Covenant,  that Jesus came to keep it on their behalf, doing what they could not – but today they still know him not.

Whereas the Old Covenant was written on stone, the New Covenant is written on the hearts of those choosing to partake in it.  Old foretelling New.

Israelis and Palestinians are fighting an Old Testament war, when there’s New Testament grace to be had for both.

The day will come, says the Lord, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. . .” Jeremiah 31:31

Despite their ancestors’ failure to keep the Old Covenant with God, Zionists continue to believe they deserve a second shot at God’s promises to Abraham.  They’re more concerned about being separated as a people from the land (physical prosperity), than they are with their salvation from sin and life everlasting with God – which is what the New Covenant offers them…and us.

The New Covenant made with Israel and Judah, opened the doors to Jews and non-Jews alike, allowing us “Gentiles“, to partake in the same promises as Israel.Sin is the problem.

Oswald Chambers said that, “sin will kill the life of God in us…and is why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life”.

Jew or Gentile; Arab or Israeli – the fundamental application of that truth remains the same. Sin is no respecter of person, nationality or race; and the consequences are the same – even if that race is “chosen”. Then as now, the nation of Israel doesn’t get a “get out of jail free” card in the game of sin and consequences.If I have learned anything about the sin condition effecting human nature, it’s that a race or group of people can be ginned-up into hate and violence by their leaders – Palestinians, Israelis and Americans included.

So from this aspect, are Palestinians that much different from those walking around the United States wearing red “MAGA” hats?

Think about it.

Is there not innocence and evil in both groups?  When does a person transition from throwing insults…to throwing punches…to throwing rocks…to shooting  guns…to firing missiles?

Whether you’re wearing a white cotton skull-cap, or don a red baseball cap, the innocent in any group will always suffer because of the evil and depravity of their leaders. Let’s not forget that Christians comprise part of the Palestinian population.

To characterize all Palestinian refugees as terrorists, is to do this segment of the population and other innocents, a grave disservice – as it would to characterize all those wearing red hats in this country as thugs and racists.

Are you beginning to see the point I am trying to make here?

This conflict really isn’t as much about geography as it is the heart.  After God’s covenant promises to Abraham were fulfilled, the Nation of Israel became self-interested and turned away from God. But because God is a God who elects, those Jews who had not turned their backs on him, were separated out.  God pruned the rest from the tree – blinding their eyes, and deafening their ears to the message of Christ.

What began then, continues to this very day, but the story didn’t end there.

Does this mean that God has rejected his Jewish people forever? Of course not! His purpose was to make his salvation available to the Gentiles, and then the Jews would be jealous and begin to want God’s salvation for themselves.Now if the whole world became rich as a result of God’s offer of salvation, when the Jews stumbled over it and turned it down, think how much greater a blessing the world will share in later on when the Jews, too, come to Christ.  Romans 11:11-12 (TLB)

Paul goes on to tell us that the hardness of heart possessed by those Jews that God discarded with blind eyes and deaf ears, would only be temporary; allowing outsiders to enter into the same relationship with God – in other words, be grafted onto the tree along with the Jewish branches already there, and those coming back to Christ someday.

A complete tree…a complete Israel.

Speaking to Gentiles, the Apostle Paul continues:

“A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion; he’ll clean house in Jacob.
And this is my commitment to my people: removal of their sins. From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.”

There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. Now they are on the outs. with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.”

I believe the story will end with this:

Someday, those who believe in the message of Christ, both Jew and Gentile, will be citizens of a resurrected Jerusalem – Gentile believers of this age, saints of past ages, and of course, those Jews whose eyes have been opened, and who have returned to Christ; and when that day comes…

I doubt we’ll be fighting over who calls it their capital!