by Bill Nugent
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) led the French army into Egypt in the summer of 1798. He was seeking to establish a route to India to attack the British there. India was ruled by the British at the time.
Napoleon scored a stunning victory at the Battle of the Pyramids in July of 1798 . Months later, in early 1799, Napoleon invaded Syria and seized Gaza, Jaffa and Haifa. During this time he reached out to the Jewish people in a futile attempt to form an alliance with them to fight alongside the French army.
It was likely during this Middle East campaign that Napoleon allegedly pointed to a Jewish man and said “If you need proof of the existence of God just look to the Jew. God has miraculously preserved them over the centuries.” Napoleon is not alone in seeing that the endurance and accomplishments of the Jewish people are evidence of God’s provision and protection.
The Bible proclaims that Israel is a chosen people. The Jews are still a specially chosen people today because as Romans 11:28-29 says: “from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (NASB).
The church is also a chosen people. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” (I Peter 2:9).
The Jews are a Miracle People
In spite of unrelenting hardships, Jewish people have managed to be high achievers in every field of human endeavor. They are at the top of every profession, wealth, politics and literature. Of the 900 plus Nobel prizes awarded since 1901, about 211 (more than 20%) have been awarded to Jews. This is in spite of the fact that Jewish people are only about one fifth of one percent of world population.
God speaks to humankind through miracles. God reveals truth and confirms truth by miracles. Moses worked miracles. The ancient Hebrew prophets such as Elijah and Elisha worked miracles. Jesus worked the greatest of all the miracles recorded in the Bible.
The Jewish people have not only survived as a distinct people with a distinct religion and culture but they have thrived. This is the result of divine providence.
They’ve been scattered among the nations with no land of their own from 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, all the way up until 1948, when the Jewish state was proclaimed.
Jewish people have endured the harshest persecutions of any ethnic group. The Romans massacred upwards of a million Jewish people in the first century. Jews endured centuries of persecution all the way up to the Holocaust of Adolf Hitler, from 1938 to 1945, when millions of Jewish people were persecuted to death.
God took a Test Tube and Dipped it into Humanity
Around 1800 BC, God chose Abraham to be the progenitor of the chosen people. It’s as if God took a test tube and took a sample of humanity and began to process and work with the test tube consisting of the nation of Israel.
Centuries later under the ministry of Moses God gave great revelation to the chosen people and gave them a special covenant, the Covenant of Sinai. It’s not as though God was rejecting all the other nations of the earth. The other nations of the Earth had access to God through the Covenant of Noah (Genesis 9:1-17). All people also had revelation from God as revealed in nature (Psalm 19:1-4) and the light in their own consciences (Romans 2:14-16).
The Sacrificial System Proves Our Works Can’t Get us to Heaven
God gave the Jewish people a sacrificial system to obtain forgiveness of sins. Their good works were not enough to qualify them to enter heaven. The Jewish people were commanded to offer animals in blood sacrifice on an altar at the temple that was built in Jerusalem.
The animal blood covered the sins of the people and provided forgiveness. Also, and this is important: the very fact that there was a sacrificial system is itself a statement that the Jewish people could not earn salvation by their own good works.
The very existence of the sacrificial system was like God speaking loudly that their good works, however virtuous and noble, could not in and of themselves purchase entry into heaven in the afterlife. God commanded Israel to keep His commandments but they fell short. God provided the sacrificial system to make atonement for their souls.
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
The Messiah Came and Offered Himself as the Ultimate Sacrifice
The Old Testament contains many predictive prophecies of the coming Messiah. “Messiah” means the same as “Christ.” “Messiah” and “Christ” are used interchangeably. The Messiah was predicted to come and offer Himself as the sacrifice for sin.
The most stunning and detailed prophecy of the coming Messiah is in the 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah. This chapter consists of not just one but several repeated statements in prophecy that the Messiah would take the sins of the people upon Himself. “The LORD hath laid on him [Christ} the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).
Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Jesus also fulfilled the sacrificial system. Jesus, the Messiah, came and offered Himself on the cross for the sins of the people of Israel, and also for the sins of the people of all nations. Since Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system, He made sacrifices of bulls and goats obsolete!
The Jewish Temple and Altar Were Destroyed
The Romans attacked Jerusalem 40 years after Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead. They burned the temple to the ground and destroyed its altar. It’s as if God gave Israel a 40-year grace period in which they were to cease offering animal sacrifices because Messiah had fulfilled the sacrificial system and made animal sacrifices obsolete.
However, human nature being as it is, many of the Jewish people did not see Jesus as the Messiah even though Jesus worked miracles among them, giving sight to people who were born blind, cleansing lepers and even raising several people from the dead.
The Jewish people waited 1500 years from the time of Moses to the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel. Yet tragically, many of the Jewish people at that time, perhaps the majority, rejected Him.
The Jewish People Will be Saved at the Second Coming of Christ
There are several passages in the New Testament describing the end-times just before the second coming of Christ, that strongly indicate that the Jewish people will be living in the land of Israel in the end-times. One such passage is Luke 21:24 “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
The treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles began in 70 AD when the Romans conquered Jerusalem and burned its temple. The Jewish people took back Jerusalem in 1967 during the six day war. The “times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled!
In the New testament there are many passages that show God’s continuing love for the Jewish people. God loves even those who’ve rejected the Messiah. Romans 11:25-29 describes the current state of the unbelieving Jewish people. “They are beloved for the sake of the fathers” (Romans 11:28). Most Jews alive today are in unbelief of Jesus. However, there are many Messianic Jews who are Jewish people who believe Jesus is the Messiah of Israel.
In the 1600s, Puritan writers, such as John Owen and many others, wrote glowingly and emphatically of Israel’s restoration to its own land. This was long before the rise of Zionism and centuries before the state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. Studying the Old and New Testament scriptures alone, they saw Israel restored to its own land in the end-times before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Moreover they saw that the whole nation of Israel would be saved and would turn to Christ at the time of the second coming of Christ.
“Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27).
“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10).
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1).
“I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (Zechariah 3:9).
“Then His own arm brought salvation to Him” (Isaiah 59:16).
Entrance Into Heaven
Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system which involved animal blood sacrifices. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus took the sins of all people upon Himself and suffered the punishment for the sins of all humanity. Jesus is the divine Son of God.
Only the divine Son of God, who is one in essence with the Father, could take the sins of all humanity upon Himself. All who repent and turn to Christ and ask for forgiveness of sins will receive forgiveness of sins and entrance into heaven in the afterlife. I invite you to turn to Christ today and receive forgiveness of sins.
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!