Unlimited: The Privileges of Israel
Feb 27, 2023 324
Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah (Romans 9:4b–5a).
Here the apostle Paul lists the privileges of the children of Israel. The Cross had not removed these privileges. The Jewish people had approximately a millennium and a half divine revelation, including the law and the prophets. Everything that had been granted to them, whether it be the covenants, the temple and its rituals, and the promises, all pointed to the coming of the Messiah. How could they not understand! How could they ignore, or even worse, betray all of these blessings!
The Cross had not removed the privileges of the children of Israel.
It is because they could not see that all of these things – “the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises, the patriarchs” – all pointed to the coming Messiah. They all pointed to the Gospel: the salvation that the Messiah would bring into the world through his self-sacrifice. They had all of these things, yet they did not recognise Jesus and accept him for who he was. This is why Jesus said these tragic words to their religious leaders,
nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You studythe Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life (John 5:38–40.)
Think of all the privileges you have received in your life. What have you done with them? Have you used them to become merely more “religious” like the Jews did, or have you allowed God to draw you closer to Christ?