Although God’s creation was terribly ruined by sin, God began the process of reclaiming His creation by calling a man named Abraham. God intended to use this man’s family to bring a blessing that would reverse the curse mankind labored under because of their sin. This man’s family grew into a nation (Israel) through which God intended to show the nations of the world what life looked like under His government. Unfortunately, the nation of Israel failed miserably, resulting in God’s judgment. In the midst of His anger, however, God spoke of a day when He would initiate a new relationship with His people, and would, Himself, become their King. In this post we want to see how God began to bring this about.
Hebrews 1:1 – 2 tells us how God worked out the next step in His recovery plan.
1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came as the fulfillment of everything God had promised Israel. He did the work necessary to set humanity on the path toward the fulfillment of God’s dream.
The Climax of Israel’s History
The history of the nation of Israel climaxed in Jesus Christ. He was the Seed of Abraham in whom all the world would be blessed.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ. Galatians 3:16
Not only is He the Seed of Abraham, Jesus is also the Son of David whom God said would reign on David’s throne forever. Notice what the angel Gabriel said to His mother.
30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30 – 33
Besides all of the above, all of the sacrifices, feasts, and prophecies in Israel’s history find their fulfillment in Christ.
16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17 These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Colossians 2:16 – 17
The Climax of Human History
Not only does the history of Israel find its climax in Christ, He is the climax of human history as well. This because He came as the last Adam.
Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45
The first Adam represented the entire human race in his act of rebellion since the rest of mankind was resident in his loins. Christ also came as a representative Man to reverse the consequences of the first Adam’s actions. Fortunately for us, on the mount of temptation Jesus passed the test that the first Adam failed. As a result, Christ is the true Prototype of what God wants man to be. That is why we are to be conformed to His image today (Romans 8:29), and will be changed into His likeness tomorrow (1 John 3:1 – 2).
The Commencement of the Kingdom
Not only does Christ bring the history of Israel and the rest of humanity to a climax, He also ushers in the commencement of God’s Kingdom.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” Mark 1:14 – 15
When Jesus says the time is fulfilled, He literally means that everything is aligned for the ultimate act of God to set things the way they should be. As a result, God’s government is now close enough to be experienced in the right here and the right now. This calls for a serious readjustment in our thinking. All of God’s promises regarding Him becoming King are about to be fulfilled. By faith we need to lean into what God is doing.
It All Points Toward This
Everything God has been saying and doing up until this time all points toward this. Everything God said and did through Abraham pointed toward the coming of Christ. The promise to David pointed to Him as well. Everything the prophets said point toward the coming of One who would be the offspring of Abraham and David. With the coming of this One, God was now ready to perform the ultimate act of putting things right. The door was about to be opened for mankind to once again be living in the Reign.
The Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.