Why Then The Crucifixion?
For the ancient Israelites, the blood of the Paschal lamb was the first step to their release from bondage as the Covenant nation. Similarly, the offer of the Crucifixion is the first step for the repentant sinner to bridge.
In a much deeper sense, it made possible the reconciliation of the ‘rejected Bride of YHVH’, referring to the 10 Tribes of Northern Israel. Hosea 1-3 and Jeremiah 3 refers to this section of ancient Israel as the ‘Harlot Bride of YHVH’ who had been rejected by Him. Judah is also labelled a disloyal Bride, but was never divorced from YHVH. His enduring love for His alienated Bride (the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel), is clear from the Scriptures, but His own Law prevented Him from taking her back. The Law does however provide for a widow to remarry. And so a staggering event unfolded some 2000 years ago: YHVH Who is immortal, became incarnated in human shape, as the Messiah, in order to fulfil the emblem of the “Sacrificial Paschal Lamb”, and was slaughtered by His own creation – to make it possible for Him to reconcile His lost Bride!
Thirdly, in this way the alienated Bride (and anyone else who accepts the Offer of the Crucifixion for reconciliation with the Almighty) are brought into the Eternal Covenant, together with Judah. This time however, in fulfilment of the Prophetic Promise of a “New Covenant, written in the heart and mind”, it is a Spirit driven era. Scripture clearly determines that anyone who claims to be a part of the Covenant people, yet does not live according to its requirements of true Law observance, will most surely disqualify themselves from the Eternal Promises.
A Skeleton Comes Alive
Ezekiel 37 describes the valley of dry bones which becomes revived. (Read this chapter before continuing as we will simply refer to it in short further on in our study).
What do these dry bones depict?
Ezekiel 37: 11-12 “… These bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying; ‘… Our hope has gone. We are as good as dead … The Lord YHVH says this: I am now going to open your graves. I mean to raise you from your graves, My People, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.” Verse 21 “I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in My own Land and on the Mountains of Israel … They will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms”. Verse 23 “They shall be My People and I shall be their God”. Verse 14 “And you will know that I YHVH, has said and done this” (according to the Covenant).
Surprisingly we still find people who maintain that the Jews are permanently doomed, and that the continuing return of Jews to Israel is not the fulfilment of the Covenant Promise of YHVH. They apply the above prophetic description of revival to the historic episode of the return of the Jews from Babylon, in the 5th century before Messiah, and not to the current return of Jews to Israel from all over the world.
Such reasoning does not seem to be consistent with Scripture. True, there has been the return of Jews from Babylon to Israel after the 70-year exile in the 5th century before Messiah. But this was only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin which were involved in this particular instance. By then, the other ten tribes of Israel had already been lost for two centuries. The above Scriptural reference refers to the ‘whole house of Israel…’ and specifically to the joining of the two divided HOUSES INTO ONE NATION ONCE MORE. Never has there been a time in history when both the house of Judah (two tribes), and the house of Israel (10 tribes), have returned to Israel from the four corners of the earth, as predicted by the Prophet Ezekiel in the above quotation from Scripture. It is indeed a miracle of the future, even for us today (year 2000). (READ Ezekiel 37:15-22 carefully)
YHVH has already started moving the Jews back to Israel since the beginning of the 20th century. The city of Jerusalem has also been re-established as the capital of Israel under loud protest of most of the nations. Already Jerusalem has become the centre of international dispute, with advances being made to internationalise it, outside of the control of the Jews. The PLO claims control of Jerusalem for the Palestinians, and the Arabs generally, are determined to expel the Jews from the Land. Unknowingly, these forces are actually challenging the authority of the Almighty! (Refer “Declaring War on God”)
The next step by the Almighty, according to Biblical Prophecy, will be to have the Lost 10 tribes rediscover their Israeli identity (which may be a thorn in the flesh to most of them, who believe that they are Gentiles!), and to move them back to Israel, the Land of their origin, to join them with the tribe of Judah – the Jews (Jeremiah 3:18; Ezek. 37:15-28)
The current intensifying “Battle for Jerusalem”, is slowly but surely developing into an intense power struggle between the Arabs and the Israelis, for the “soul” of Jerusalem. Biblical Prophecy, 3000 years ago, has predicted this Battle, which according to these prophecies, will develop into a cataclysmic nuclear World War, involving all the nations of the world – the War of Gog and Magog – commonly referred to by the media and by leading militarists, as the War of Armageddon.
This revelation regarding the 10 lost tribes may to many readers seem very far-fetched. Similar predictions by Bible students in the thirties, regarding the imminent return of the Jews (Judah) to Israel, were also looked upon as impossible. At that point in time, the Jews were on the verge of total extinction at the hand of Hitler in Europe during the 2nd World War. Who would have dreamt in 1945, with the discovery of the death camps for Jews in Germany, that this same badly marred Jewish nation would declare the independent State of Israel in 1948, only three years later?
Since then, miracle upon miracle amazed even the Israelis. In 1967, after a miracle ‘Blitz’ war, lasting only seven days, Israeli forces were right at the regained Wailing wall, which constitute the foundations of the Temple built by Solomon. For the first time in 2000 years the Flag of the independent State of Israel once again fluttered over her capital, Jerusalem.
YHVH promised this “Land of milk and honey” with a Holy Oath to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. True to His commitment in the Covenant with Israel, YHVH will execute His part of the Covenant exactly, to the smallest detail, and to the glory of His Holy Name.
Ezekiel 37:23 describes how YHVH will purify Israel (after their return to the Land from all over the World – verse 24). YHVH will be their Saviour and they will be His people – thus the Divine Covenant will be fulfilled! We have already pointed out how that YHVH would pour out His Spirit over Israel (“…to revive the dry bones…”), with this one specific purpose : to enable them to perform their part of the Covenant, i.e.. to keep His Laws, Judgments and Statutes. Once again we see evidence and confirmation that His Spirit converts, and enables us to obedience to His Law.
Ezekiel 37:24 – 26 “My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow My Observances, respect My Laws and practise them. They will live in the Land that I gave My servant Jacob, the Land in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David My servant is to be their Prince for ever. I shall make a Covenant of Peace with them, an eternal Covenant”
Another aspect comes into effect here, together with the re-gathering of the nation, the outpouring of His Spirit, and the entrance into a Renewed Covenant, i.e.. that King David will rule over His people Israel eternally. This text appears to refer to king David, the king of Israel long before the Messiah. If this were indeed so, it could well have brought doubts on whether the current rebuilding of Israel is in fulfilment of a Divine interaction or not.
Three overwhelming factors contradict this reasoning and confirm that this prophecy does not refer to the past, but indeed implies a future occurrence, future even to our time (year 2000):
- David’s rule and their stay in the Land, was not eternal as claimed in the Text, but discontinued;
- Ezekiel, the writer of this passage here, only came on the scene centuries after king David, and
- The divided house of Israel (since centuries before Messiah), has to this day not yet been reconciled, as this prophecy proclaims. The return of Judah from all over the world – where they have been scattered for 2000 years, is a miraculous fulfilment of the past few decades. The return of the 10 lost tribes, and their reconciliation with Judah is yet to come!
This prophecy therefore, does not refer to ‘ancient’ Israel but to modern Israel, and ‘David’ can only refer to a future Ruler over the 12 Tribes of Israel. It obviously therefore refers to the Messiah King Who is still to come!
PLEASE NOTE: Verse 26 refers to an Eternal Covenant. Paul, the apostle, in his letter to the Hebrews (Jews), elaborates on the subject of the New Eternal Covenant, sealed by the Blood of Messiah (Hebrews:13:20; 9:12, 15, 23).
When reading the relevant chapters of Hebrews 8, 9 and 10 – the reader should bear the following in mind:
(a) The Bible itself refers to Paul’s writing style “which makes some points in his letters hard to understand. These are the points that uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest of Scripture; a fatal thing for them to do. You have been warned about this – be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled people” (2 Peter 3:16,17). Refer also to the comprehensive study on “Paul and the Law”
YHVH does not misdirect – chopping and changing all the time. He repeatedly emphasises the fact that He will not change nor erase His Word, His Law or the Covenant. If the “hard to understand” writings of Paul are then interpreted by some as implying a change or cancellation of the Covenant, whom will you listen to: YHVH or the teachings of man? (READ! Mark 7:7. Also refer to the enlightening study “In Vain” – which points out the fruitlessness of choosing the teachings of man above the clear Word of YHVH).
(b) Paul’s references to “the uselessness of the Law” in these chapters, refer specifically to the Commandments regarding animal sacrifices, and attempting to “earn” one’s Salvation by Law observance – Paul is definitely not referring to changes in the Commandments, Precepts, Ordinances, and Judgments of the Divine Covenant. At the time of his writing, the Sacrificial System was still being observed by many of his Hebrew contemporaries.