Israel has consistently fought against any form of appeasement. To illustrate, a few years ago it's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, challenged his nation's strained relations with its western allies lack of reality regarding the Palestinians by likening their vows of support to the appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the subsequent failure to stop the Holocaust.
He told a seminar organised by the Jerusalem Post, "All the expressions and promises of commitment to Israel's security from all around the world remind me of similar commitments made to Czechoslovakia in 1938…many key leaders would be willing to sacrifice Israel in order to appease the radical Islamist militants and ensure quiet for themselves."
Tomorrow we look at the nature of the Covenants and note that should the Covenants no longer apply, then Israel is like any other nation where weightier nations can force their political applications. However if the Biblical announcements within the Covenants hold true, then it is a supernatural story. There is a way forward with a fresh approach might be applicable.
In this article I'm inviting you expand your horizons in the light of Biblical thinking on supernatural events. In our western culture are are restricted to what we can understand by the mind and see with the eye. Some Messianic Jewish groups are thinking with a very different mindset, and one particular view is set out here which puts appeasement out into the cold.
The Australian Missionary News IPTV interviewed Joseph Simon, who is a Jew by birth and a Christian Minister by personal conviction. When this Messianic Jewish presentation was put to him, he not only understood where it was coming from philosophically, but endorsed and rejoiced in its theological parameters.
Jewish Salvation—a theological reflection
This Messianic Jewish theological position relates to 'Jewish Salvation'. This position comes to the Gospel in as if the 'past and present' tense are "one and the same". This is the key to appreciating the philosophical background to this theological interpretation.
The Acts of the Apostles' sermons reveal a past event, in other words, The Cross and the Resurrection, occurred "some time ago". Yet Jesus' critical question to Peter.
"Who do you say that I am?" (in this theological position) is both past tense (the question was asked in the 1st Century), yet 'present tense' as if happening as you read it.
This Messianic position refers to Jewish people (the Covenant people) who have (like Peter) recognised Jesus as Messiah. In other words, as the recognition happens "here and now". Imagine the Jewish person coming to this recognition: "Ah ha – Yes, I now see, Jesus 'is' Messiah, Jesus is the Lamb of God, the fulfilment of prophecy, the Prince of Peace, the Ancient of Days, the fulfilment of the Covenant!"
The "past future" becomes the present – there is no separation between past and present tense in this theology.
Jesus' death on the Cross
It is important at this juncture to jump ahead a little in this theological way of thinking. Jesus' death on the cross, as in John 3 verse 16, died for the whole world, in other words, the Gentiles, but Jesus' death on the cross applies to a Covenant Jew in a slightly variant manner. This is the crux - the Cross of Christ, as Paul explains in Romans, has the Gentiles "grafted into" the Covenant family.
Any Gentile who has come to the foot of the Cross in repentance and accepted Jesus as Lord (Messiah) is connected into the Covenant community by what occurred at Pentecost, this is the New Covenant, the 'grafting in' .... That's theology 101.
This Messianic concept opens a Covenant door for Jewish Salvation, in that at the 'moment in time' a Jew recognises Jesus as Messiah, at that moment in time, for that Jew, Christ's death on the Cross fulfilled the original Covenant. This is 'not' a new covenant for the Jew, rather the fulfilment of the Old Covenant.
(Gentiles experience this self-same 'Salvation' moment when spiritual eyes are opened).
Answers some of Paul's writings
This view appears to answer some of Paul's more difficult writings regarding the Jews. Its dynamic opens a fresh set of possibilities for the Covenant of God's chosen people 'to be retained', not superseded (or replaced).
As I understand this particular Messianic view, when Jesus died on the Cross, the Jew who acknowledges Jesus as Messiah, has the Covenant fulfilled (for themselves). Salvation becomes a given by recognising Jesus as Messiah. When Messiah is recognised, the Jewish person is intoxicated with the love of Messiah, this is the longing depths of the Jewish soul. (This has been the consistent experience I have witnessed whenever a Jewish person recognises Jesus as Messiah). Sin is forgiven, repentance offered, love overwhelms.
This draws a distinction between the Gentile who falls at the foot of the Cross of Christ in repentance and calls upon the Lord to be saved, and a Jew, who through the Spirit of God has a supernatural recognition that Jesus is Messiah, which is the fulfilment of the Old Covenant for that Jew. Sometimes this recognition of Jesus as Messiah comes through a dream. Dreams are being verified as carriers of Jesus' Salvation truth in the Muslim world as well.
The Day of Pentecost, the receiving of the Holy Ghost, is as valid for the Messianic Jew as it is for the Christian. This is where the "grafted" link is formalised. Christian thought on Salvation has a focus on a "past tense" Salvation, whereas this Messianic view reinterprets Covenant Salvation with "past-present tense" applicable only to a Jew.
The two views as understood by the western mind seem not to be reconcilable. This is a very difficult theological debate. But it affirms that within the economy of God there is a place for his Chosen people, and moreover illustrates that appeasement has no place in the life of Israel.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html