Israel failed in their mission to reach the world. Not only were they disobedient to the commandments of God, but they did not extend themselves in missionary activity. And yet, the God of all grace did not renege on His choice. He would still use the nation of Israel to bless the world and ultimately fulfill His promises to and through the Jewish people. (See Romans 11:11-29)
Israel did not fulfill their mission as a witness to the Gentiles, so God completed the task Himself. He sent His Son, Jesus, to live perfectly under the Law, to be a light to the nations, and to intercede once for all on behalf of Jews and Gentiles alike. The faithlessness of man can never thwart the faithfulness of God. The Gentiles most assuredly would share in the salvation brought by the divine seed of Abraham. Paul wrote,
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,’ in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).
It is tempting for some to think that Israel’s role in world redemption is complete, but quite the contrary. Israel remains chosen and still has a role to play in the future! The Apostle Paul declared:
“Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be? … For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:12, 15)
The Apostle spoke of a future day when Israel will once again don the mantle of obligation and fulfill her role as a missionary nation. Israel will again be used by God to bring the message of the Messiah to the nations; for Israel will be central to His Kingdom ministry.
Isaiah spoke of a day when Jerusalem would be restored, both physically and spiritually.
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. (Isaiah 62:1-3)
In that day, Israel will not be the tail, but the head of the nations, according to Deuteronomy 28:13. Jerusalem will be the spiritual focal point of the world because the King of Jerusalem, the Prince of Peace, will reign in His chosen city. Isaiah wrote of that joyful occasion,
“Break forth, shout joyfully together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God” (Isaiah 52:9-10).
The day is coming when a restored and renewed Israel will be a light to the nations, as the destiny of Israel is linked to the destiny of the world. Their testimony will be glorious and true because the One who is all-glorious in truth will sit upon His throne. In that day, the Jewish people will be “life from the dead” for the nations of the earth.