Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Unfulfilled Feasts?

Some believers feel it's still necessary to become Observant of the 'day of atonement' because they feel it symbolises events which they feel must still happen in Israel in future. 

Certainly the consummation of our salvation is still to come in future, at Christ's Second Coming and Kingdom. The Apostles said so.

But I don't think the Apostles taught believers to express that future-hope by obligating them to become Observant!

No matter what may or may not happen in Israel in future, I feel it's too much of a stretch to think of today as an atoning day - considering that no atonement actually takes place today.

Nothing anyone anywhere does today - not even in Jerusalem - can have any atoning merit. Therefore today can't rightly be called 'the day of atonement' - not spiritually, and not even in terms of the ancient Torah itself. Today is not the day of atonement. 

We still await our blessed hope - that's part of the Gospel-message. But I don't see in the New Testament that the Apostles taught believers to express that hope by obligating them to become Observant of an annual 'day of atonement' while they wait.

Rather, the Apostles proclaimed that in some very real sense there had already come the fulfilment of Israel's long-promised atonement, salvation and Kingdom of God - in the person of Jesus Christ. Israel's King had indeed come, He had died for them and rose again, He had procured salvation for all Israel.

They were eye-witnesses! Multitudes in Israel who believed their message began experiencing that very salvation. Gentiles next began experiencing the same salvation too. And any who didn't believe missed out. 

The fact many Jews didn't believe didn't mean God had closed the door to Jews - because God continued using Gentile believers to provoke more Jews to faith! 

And that's how things were to continue until the end. In that manner the Prophecies concerning all Israel's salvation were seeing their outworking. 

That was how the Apostles defended their view that Israel's promised-salvation had come - by proving that all of that was the precise scenario foreseen by the Prophets.

Therefore they simply taught all men to embrace Jesus - they never imposed an annual 'day of atonement' on believers. Because Jesus was the atonement. That was the Good News! 

Although we still await the consummation of our salvation at His second coming and Kingdom, there has already come the fulfilment of the predicted-salvation, through Jesus. 

He has already inaugurated a new and living way, through the cross. 

We're already saved - even though we're going to be saved.

We're already in the Kingdom - although the Kingdom is coming.

We've already been raised with Christ - although the dead in Christ shall rise when He comes.

We're already seated together with Christ in heavenly places - although the inheritance is still reserved for us in heaven. 

We express this Already/Not Yet aspect to the Kingdom, not by observing the Torah's ancient 'day of atonement', but by simply living the Gospel.

It's not possible to keep the day the way the Torah had required any way.

We simply show forth the Lord's death 'til He come. 

Many Jews still carry-on an annual commemoration of the ancient Observance. Today is a grand opportunity for us to pray for them, of course - every day is. 

But God's plan for Israelis - and for anyone - is the Gospel.

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