“His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25) – Is it true, as someone suggested to me, that this curse is upon all Jews for all time? The Bible gives the answer. Jesus was alive at the time this curse was pronounced, and Jesus is a Jew. The disciples were all Jews. When Peter, a Jew, preached (Acts 2:41) about 3000 of his Jewish listeners were baptised ….and were added to the believers that day! Before that event, God’s Spirit was poured out upon the Jewish believers as they were all together in one place (Acts 2:1-4).
Acts 6:7 – “The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith”
Saul of Tarsus, a Jew and persecutor of Christians, became a believer on the road to Damascus where Jesus, the Jew and Messiah of the Jews revealed Himself to Saul (Acts 9:3-6). Another Jew and believer, Ananias laid hands on Saul and prayed for him (Acts 9:17), so that Saul could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Saul, now Paul, said: “I ask then, did God reject His people? Certainly not! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject His people, whom He foreknew.” (Romans 11:1-2). Paul, the Jew, was the apostle to the Gentiles …. yet many Gentiles reject the Jews today, claiming the Church has replaced Israel/the Jews. Paul, and God says – Never! Paul continues, “I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, in the hope that I may provoke my own people to jealousy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:13-15). Paul’s “own people” were the Jews. If all the Jews for all time were cursed by Matthew 27:25, why would Paul seek to save some of them? Remember too, the gentile branches are grafted into the Jewish root. The Jewish branches are the natural branches. Gentiles risk being cut off through their arrogance against the Jews. Paul says, “Do not be arrogant, but be afraid…” (Romans 11:20-21). We are not to be arrogant, but rather to cause the Jews to seek the Messiah by our love, faith, and obedience to Him. Let us look further. Paul says, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25-27). Don’t replace Israel with the Church (Replacement Theology) …the Church has a Jewish root. Gentiles have a Jewish Messiah. If you reject the Jews saying God has finished with them and they are under the curse of Matthew 27:25, you are in danger of rejecting Jesus, and you are wilfully working against the God of the Bible. Israel is still the apple of God’s eye. The Jews have to be in the land of Israel – not the USA or anywhere else before Jesus returns. God is faithful and will save at least a remnant for Himself. Some commentators put it in the context of the story of Joseph. His brothers, despised and rejected him. They stripped him of his robe and threw him into a pit; then they sold him to Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. (Genesis 37:23-24, 28). Joseph suffered much but God’s favour was upon him. He ended up in Egypt but he never cut off his family. In fact, they had a great reunion. This is the destiny for the Jews and their return to Messiah. I think putting it this way is very helpful, and perhaps readers should at least read the story and consider it. Read about all those that went into Egypt with Jacob, and that God was with them in Genesis 46. See how Joseph’s family didn’t recognise Joseph until he revealed himself to them (Genesis 45). Remember what Paul said in Romans 11:24-26. Israel is experiencing a hardening in part, as God’s plan to save the gentiles. “Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!” (Romans 11:11-12). And again, “For if you were cut from a wild olive tree, and contrary to nature were grafted into one that is cultivated, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will remove godlessness from Jacob.…” (Romans 11:24-26; Hebrews 8:10, 12).
“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. (Matthew 21:44-45). In the parable it is the farmers, not the vineyard (Matthew 21:38-39). The Pharisees got it, but many of us today do not. Some want Jesus to be addressing and referring to the whole house of Israel, so that they can reassure themselves that God has finished with the Jews. Peter had been a fisherman, a Jewish fisherman; and He became a follower of Jesus. Jesus said to him, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19). The kingdom of God wasn’t taken from the Jews per se, but from those religious leaders. God had not, and has not finished with the Jews. It would be the Jewish apostles of Jesus that would lead the faithful remnant of Israel.
This is not an exhaustive study. There are many more examples in Scripture of God working with His ancient people, the Jews. Some more examples are listed below.
For further consideration:
Luke 2:25-26 concerning Simeon, a Jew: “Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.…” Simeon was righteous and devout, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him.
John 12:11 “for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him”
John 12:42 “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue”
John 11:45 “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in Him”
John 7:31 “Still, many in the crowd believed in Him. They said, "When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”
Revelation 21:14 “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” The Jewish apostles, with the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
The second comment made by the same person was an accusation of old, that the Jews are Christ killers – “The Jews killed Jesus, yes. His Blood is upon their heads, and the heads of their children forever.”
I pointed out in my article “The god of this world”, that God, in His grace and mercy prevented the Jews from killing Jesus. That means that in judgment God showed mercy. Israel was under occupation. Rome was the ruling power. The Jews did not have the authority to put Jesus to death, even though the leadership (not all the Jews) wanted to. The leaders handed Jesus over to the ruling authority, Rome, in the person of Pontius Pilot. Concerning the Jews, the Book of Acts records, “This man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law” (Acts 2:23). You can read more on this in the article I mentioned.
There were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5). Peter addresses his “Fellow Israelites” in Acts 2:29. Having spoken of the responsibility of the Jews’ part in the killing of Jesus, he says to the Jews, “For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Him” (Acts 2:39). All who believed were together and had all things in common. They sold possessions and goods and distributed the proceeds to the needy. Day by day they spent time in the Temple, and in one another’s homes where they broke bread together. They spent their time praising God and the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. You see this in Acts 2. These were Jews. “His blood” was not on their heads. Jesus became a curse for them, as well as for us (Galatians 3:13). The Blood now is the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin – Jew and Gentile. (1 John 1:7).
We have already seen that many Jews believed in Jesus, both before and after He was crucified. The curse uttered by “all the people” means the mob, those that actually uttered those words. Not all the Jews in Israel were there to utter anything. I remind you again that many were already believers in Jesus, so the curse cannot be made to fit all Jews that have ever lived, then or in the two-thousand years since. In any case, it would go against Scripture to punish the sons for the sins of their fathers – “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16). “The person who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). There is a distinction made in Exodus 20:5-6; “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Further Scriptures are. “In those days they will not say again, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge.’ “But everyone will die for his own iniquity; each man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge” (Jeremiah 31:29-30). There is absolutely no biblical basis or justification for believing that all the Jews are responsible for the death of Jesus, or that all the Jews for all time are under an eternal curse. Those that say there is are wilfully opposing God.
1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” The death of Jesus was in the purpose and plan of God. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). God was reconciling what? He was reconciling the world. It doesn’t say He was reconciling the world except for Israel/the Jews to Himself.
You who accuse the Jews; are you not a Christ killer yourself? Didn’t Jesus die for your sin? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone (John 8:7). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Your sin put Jesus on the Cross! God was involved in the death of Jesus. He “sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.…” (1 John 4:10). Jesus gave His life. He did so that we might live. “I lay down My life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18). As I pointed out in my article “The god of this world”[i], in the Book of Acts Peter implicated both Jews and Gentiles in the death of Jesus Acts 2:23, 36). That is looking at it from man’s responsibility. Jesus died for the world that we might have forgiveness of sins (1 John 4:14; 1 John 2:2). If you believe that God has forsaken the Jews and that they are Christ killers, you have a problem; you have prejudice. What you don’t have is the authority of Scripture to hold such belief.
There are many excellent studies available on God’s promises to the Jews, promises that stand for all time. There are excellent studies on the prophecies concerning Israel, many that have been fulfilled and some that still remain to be fulfilled. I have taken a different approach in this article in the hope that those that have ignored the teaching of Scripture, and that have imbibed the doctrines of men, will be prompted to go to the Bible and to seek out the truths for themselves. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His Word to you. There are many people that claim to know the Bible, but their study has been somewhat similar to that of Jehovah’s Witnesses who actually read and study the teachings and publications of the Watchtower Society. There are those in the Church that do likewise and follow the teachings of men. I am not asking you to believe me. I am encouraging you to read and study the Bible asking God to teach you by His Spirit. We are nearing the end of this age. Repent and seek the Lord while He may be found. Don’t let your arrogance and prejudice have dominion over you.
Blessings and shalom.