The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ some two thousand years ago was a pivotal point for all peoples of the world. It was the marking of the end of one age and the beginning of the next age, and the precise point at which the change took place was at the death of Jesus Christ.
In His death He issued in and ratified the New Covenant and by it all mankind entered this age of hope.
The prior age was the age of selection through descendancy. It was where those who were chosen to be God's people were selected on the basis of being the descendants of Abraham who was called “the friend of God”. In that age it was the physical, fleshly descendants of Abraham who were the special chosen people of God. And in that age the law was given to rule and control the weaknesses of the people and priests were appointed to teach the people wisdom.
But this all changed at the death of Jesus when the new age came into being. The age of hope for all mankind began.
In the days before Jesus came to the earth the favor of God rested only with those selected by God for His favor. His selection was based upon the same things we see today, which are all about faith, obedience and reverence to the one true God.
When Abraham came he was specifically chosen by God as the forerunner for those who would accept God by faith and because of abraham's faith he was proclaimed to be righteous.
God promised Abraham that he would have a multitude of children unable to be numbered for quantity. And then through his grandson Jacob, who was renamed Israel, God chose the children of Israel as His own special and favored people.
And God promised to keep His favor on His people Israel, provided they would obey His commands and follow His ways, worshipping the one true God with all their hearts, minds and strength.
God then made many promises and prophecies to His people as to what would come. He also knew that the people of Israel would fall and fail Him, but He did not cast them off for the sake of the promises He had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Many of the promises and prophecies related to the new covenant that would come into existence when Christ appeared. And the priests and people knew the Christ was coming, the Messiah who would restore the kingdom to Israel. But they failed to understand the purpose of Jesus' coming and they missed Him.
We see in these scriptures of Romans 15:8-13 the purpose of Jesus coming to the world. It is shown here in verses 8-9 the fullness of the purpose of God in sending Christ.
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” – (Romans 15:8-9)
I have often written and spoken about the need to take note of the small and apparent insignificant words in the bible as they often convey an immense amount of meaning. Here we see such a word. The word “and” at the start of verse 9 connects the two primary purposes of the coming of Jesus Christ so that we see how He came not for the Jews only, but for all peoples.
First, He came to fulfill the promises and prophecies that were given to the old patriarchs and prophets of Israel. Jesus came to fulfill those as proof that He was the Messiah and Christ who was to come. This was to confirm to the Jews the truth of the messages that they had received over the course of hundreds of years.
But then we see He also came to give hope to the Gentiles as well. He came to give mercy to the Gentiles that they could then enter into the favor of God, just as the Jews had God's favor, so that both Jew or Gentile could live in and receive the grace of God.
This, in a nutshell was the purpose of Jesus coming to the earth. So that the Jews would know God is true and that He does what He says He would do, and so that ALL mankind, whether Jew or Gentile could have the hope of salvation.
Hope For All
And so we see that in Jesus the hope of God was proclaimed and offered for all mankind. We can now all come and stand before God as individuals through Jesus Christ. We do not need the mediation of priests or high priests as the Jews did under the law when only a select few could come and stand before God. Now we can all stand directly before God through the great high priest who is Jesus Christ who died so that we could live.
This is our hope. Jesus suffered and died so we need not suffer death but rather may have life in abundance. And He proclaimed the gospel of hope which is the way by which we can take hold of the hope of salvation and the life that God offers all men if they will come to Him and seek Him.
And the hope that Jesus gave to the Gentiles was to break down and destroy the divisions that previously existed between Jews and Gentiles. In His death He removed the distinctions between all races and nationalities of men by claiming all as His own if they would come to Him. We are no longer Jew or Gentile but have just one nationality…we are the children of the kingdom of God.
We are now brothers and sisters of the Lord Jesus Christ, sharing the same hope for salvation and looking to Jesus through faith in the grace of God.
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