Is it important that Jesus was “sent” by the Father?

Monday Musings for February 11, 2019

Good morning, Musers,

About 2000 years ago, Jesus made it to earth — and I’m glad! After all, there’d be no salvation without him! But he was sent to the Jews, not to us Christians, and this makes me wonder… did we get the leftovers?

That’s not today’s question specifically, but my mind cannot help but go there. Back when I was a dispensationalist, I would have had to say yes to that on some level… the Church being parenthetic to God’s dealing with Israel and all that. Now that I’ve discarded that hermeneutical template, I’m free to see God as dealing with us directly.

Jesus was sent to the Jews to be their Messiah — and that will always be a big deal… but let me tell you why it’s not as big a deal to me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I don’t tend to think of him as my Messiah. I agree that he is the Messiah, but I see that as a Jewish thing — and I’m not a Jew. How about you? … because I’m thinking most of you are Christians.

Now, it is important for Christians to acknowledge that Jesus is the anointed one of God. First, this is part of his pedigree (Luke 9:20). But second, he said he was the Messiah (John 4:25-26) … and if Jesus was lying about that, then we’re following the wrong guy. But what does his messiahship do for you on a daily basis? Not a whole lot. It’s good information… but so aren’t the dietary laws. Yet, most of us eat pork without a spiritual, mental or emotional struggle.

Today’s questioner asked if Jesus’ being “sent” by the Father had special significance — and I believe it does — but I believe that he was “sent” only to the Jews (Matthew 15:24). So, what about us? We only benefited from this sending because the nation Israel rejected him — and the thoughtful dispensationalist must ask himself, what would today’s salvific world be like if a critical mass of the Jews believed that Jesus was the Messiah back in 30 AD?

But they didn’t… and God knew they wouldn’t… so, his direct purpose for the Church was served through the agency of their failure. Jesus died on the cross rather than sit on their throne — and the world was saved through his blood… and how many drops of his blood do you think were leftovers? No, not one. No, not one.

God used this one action — his sending — to become another action — his giving. Jesus was sent to the Jews to be their Messiah (and they refused to believe in him), but he was given to the world to be its Savior (John 3:16). Today, both Jews and Gentiles must rely on Jesus' sacrifice to be saved.

This is why I have Left Behind certain of my early beliefs concerning Israel. I had a disabling bout of cognitive dissonance trying to find biblical warrant for sacrifice in a future age. You see, the Bible teaches emphatically that we are through with that stuff (c.f. the entire book of Hebrews, to start) … and we can’t be through with it and looking forward to it at the same place and at the same time.

I understand that many of my brethren are still looking ahead to a temple — and I affirm that we can remain in fellowship because this is a secondary issue of the faith. Just know that the notion of future sacrifices comes at a hermeneutical price.

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