SALVATION, RECONCILIATION, and DIVINE MERCY FOR GENTILES
After the Apostle Paul informed Israel that Christ had been raised from the dead to give to Israel “the sure mercies of David” (Acts 13:33-37 ), and how they could have forgiveness of sins and complete justification from all things through the crucified and risen Christ (Acts 13:38-39 ), Paul warned them not to do what the prophets had foretold, “behold, ye despisers and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” (Acts 13:38-41 ). But Israel was filled with envy, they contradicted, opposed and blasphemed. They were setting the stage for the crisis of Romans 11 . It is interesting and informative to compare Paul’s words to Israel, in Acts 13:46 , with all the truth recorded in Romans 11 . Note Acts 13:46 , “It was necessary that the Word of God should ‘FIRST’ have been spoken to you (Israel); but seeing ye put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, Lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
With Acts 13:46 think of Romans 11:7-10 , that God blinded Israel. Think here of John 12:37-41 . According to Romans 11:11 , when and because of the ‘FALL’ of Israel, God sent salvation unto the Gentiles. In Romans 11:30 we read that, because of Israel’s unbelief, Divine mercy was extended to Gentiles. In Romans 11:15 we learn that when and because Israel was cast away, reconciliation was sent to the world. In Romans 11:12 we learn that because of the ‘FALL’ of Israel, God offered ‘riches’ to the Gentiles. So repeat with Paul Romans 11:33-34 .
FOR THIS CAUSE CAME I UNTO THIS HOUR
Let us again read the words of Christ, in John 12:27 , “for this cause came I unto this ‘HOUR’”, and His words, in John 3:14 , “the Son of man ‘MUST’ be lifted up.” We know that the vicarious death of the LORD of Glory was neither premature nor accidental. Standing before the human Judge, Pontius Pilate, before whom we are told, in 1 Timothy 6:13 , Christ witnessed a good confession, the LORD Jesus said to Pilate, “thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above.” (John 19:11 ). The eternal, Divine, omnipotent Christ was not the helpless victim of circumstances in the hour of His death, which took place not one hour before God’s appointed time or one hour thereafter.
Note the charge of the religious rulers against Christ when they urged Pilate to put Him to death: “we have a law, and by our law He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.” (John 19:7 ). This question presents itself to any intelligent, thinking person who has examined the Bible Record: “if Jesus of Nazareth was not God, the Son, should He of have been put to death in accordance with the law which God gave to Israel, as recorded in Leviticus 24:16 ?” Hear Leviticus 24:16 ; “he that blasphemeth the Name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all of the congregation shall surely stone him.” Israel tried in vain several times to stone the Lord Jesus to death. In John 10:28-33 they declared they were doing this because of Christ’s blasphemous claim that He was equal with God.
Pilate knew that Jesus of Nazareth had not broken the laws of Rome and Caesar, for ‘blasphemy’ was not forbidden by the Roman law unless it was rebellion against Caesar. Christ had instructed His own nation to render to Caesar things that were Caesar’s. (Matthew 22:21 ). Therefore, said Pilate unto Israel’s rulers; “take Him (Jesus) and judge Him according to your law.”, “The Jews therefore said unto Pilate, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” (John 18:31 ). With these words Israel tried to escape the responsibility for the awful crime of the death of the Son of God. But the Holy Spirit directed the LORD’s servant to say that by Israel’s wicked hands Christ was slain. Acts 2:22 , and Acts 3 .29-30. “Pilate was determined to let Him go; Ye killed the Prince of Life.” (Acts 3:12-15 ).
THE HOUR IS COME
It is most interesting, and it should prove informative, to compare Christ’s statement to His mother in John 2:4 , “Mine ‘HOUR’ is not yet come,” with His statement in Matthew 26:18 , “My ‘TIME’ is at hand.” Christ’s statement concerning His ‘HOUR’ to His mother followed the question He asked her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” Think prayerfully of this question. Then turn to John 19:26-27 and read what the suffering Christ on the cross said to John, the apostle, and to His mother: “Woman, behold Thy son!”; “To the disciple, Behold thy mother.” When the Savior called Mary ‘woman’, in John 2:4 , His ‘HOUR’ had not yet come. When He said, “Woman, behold thy son!”, His ‘HOUR’ had come.
Read again, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” and the statement, “Mine ‘HOUR’ is not yet come,” and you will see that Christ did not call Mary, “mother,” but “woman.” Mary had to come to Christ in His ‘HOUR’ on the cross to be saved. Then note that after Acts 1:13-14 , right after Christ’s ascension, Mary is never again mentioned in the Bible.
Now read John 7:30 , “Then they sought to take Him (Jesus): but no man laid hands on Him, because His ‘HOUR’ was not yet come.” Why did they not lay hands on Christ? Because His ‘HOUR’ was not yet come. Again in John 8:20 , “No man laid hands on Him: for His ‘HOUR’ was not yet come.” His ‘HOUR’ did not come, and could not come, UNTIL He truthfully said, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” (John 17:4 ). When that work was finished the LORD Jesus said, “The ‘HOUR’ is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.” (John 12:23 ). “Jesus knew that His ‘HOUR’ was come that He should depart out of this world.” (John 13:1 ).
It seems that the Lord Jesus was tempted to ask deliverance from the agony of Gethsemane and Calvary when He asked, “shall I say, Father save Me from this ‘HOUR’?” (John 12:27 ). He answered His question by saying, “For this cause came I unto this ‘HOUR’.” (John 12:27 ). So in His prayer to His Father, the Son, Who was obedient unto the death of the cross, said, “Father, the ‘HOUR’ is come.” (John 17:1 ).
In John 10:31 we read that the Jews took up stones to stone Him (Jesus). In John 5:18 we read that the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He made Himself equal with God. In Luke 4:28-30 we read that they sought to kill Him.
In Acts 7:57-60 we read that the Jews did stone Stephen to death. In Acts 14:19 we read that Paul was stoned, “having stoned Paul, drew him out of city, supposing he had been dead.” In 2 Cor. 11:25 Paul wrote of this stoning.
By reading Exodus 19:13 , Leviticus 20:2 and Leviticus 20:27 , Exodus 24:14-23 , Numbers 15:36 , Deuteronomy 17:5 , Deuteronomy 22:21-24 and Joshua 7:25 , we learn why Israel was supposed to use stones in putting to death a law‑breaker. They considered Christ worse than a law breaker. By God’s decree He was numbered with the transgressors.
In Luke 13:34-35 and in Matthew 21:35 the LORD Jesus accused Israel of stoning His faithful prophets. Of course, if they had had their way, they would have done to Christ what they did to Stephen. But note the words of Israel spoken to Pilate, after they had unsuccessfully attempted several times to stone Christ to death, they said, “it is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spake, signifying what death He should die.” (John 18:31-32 ).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31 , while there is still time!
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20 )
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