Thursday, 9 January 2014

No Future Law-Keeping Shall Be Required

It's amazing that so many Christians wonder whether Bible-prophecy requires that Israel and the nations must again travel to Jerusalem to keep the feasts and offer sacrifices in a future temple.

We should be able to put that question to rest. The Prophets said no such thing.

The Prophets indeed prophesied a regathered Israel, a rebuilt Temple, rebuilt wall, reinstituted Levitical priesthood, and nations going up to Jerusalem to keep the feasts and offer sacrifices on the altar.

But they were prophesying such things before Israel had been restored to their land after captivity in Babylon.

And in the context of all those prophecies, they also prophesied the coming of Christ.

We know it was the first and not the second coming of Christ that they prophesied, because the New Testament quotes the prophecies and asserts that they were fulfilled at the crucifixion.

Therefore according to Scripture, Christ was to arrive on the scene for the first time, at a time when all those other things which had been prophesied concerning Israel had already become a reality in Israel. They had. And He did.

Jesus was born at a time when the Jews had indeed been regathered from Babylon. The Temple, walls and priesthood had indeed all been reinstated. All nations were indeed coming up to Jerusalem to keep the feasts, just as prophesied, as we saw in Acts chapter two.

Then into that national context, Christ came, just as prophesied.

A short number of years after Christ, the city and Temple were again destroyed, the sacrificial system was forever brought to an end and the nations had to stop going up to Jerusalem to worship.

If Christ hadn't come onto the scene by then, then the Jews' prophetic Scriptures had failed.

But the Scriptures hadn't failed. Christ had indeed come onto the scene at the exact stage of Jewish national history that had been required by prophecy.

He inaugurated the New Covenant in His blood, thus fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. Worship was no longer required to be exclusively in Jerusalem but in spirit and in truth.

So those prophetic Scriptures, rather than requiring that Israel and the nations must again travel up to Jerusalem and observe Moses' Law in future, serve instead as powerful proof-texts that the historical Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. 

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