A Prayer
of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will


Brother Ed, the nation of Israel was expected to hear the voice of our Lord and obey it by repenting and doing His Words, yet they did not have his crucifixion as an example for hatred of life in this world before they "were cut down". Surely it does not suggest that the crucifixion was not important for without that example, it would be hard for one to base their hatred of life in this world to save it for life eternal. Is it suggesting that perhaps if the nation of Israel would have responded to the Lord by repenting and following His Words, that something different would have happened with this world, that perhaps the kingdom would have been given to the nation of Israel ruling over the Gentiles?

My Answer

First, your thinking may be influenced by an incorrect assumption.  The Jews did have Jesus' crucifixion as an example of the hatred of life in this world before they were cut down.  The cutting down came in AD 70, as much as forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus during which the gospel was being preached in their midst by the apostles and other disciples. 

In the large view, history would have been no different had Israel accepted Jesus, heard, believed his Word and followed him.  Some of the details would have been different. The Jews would have retained a central place in the promotion of the gospel to the world, Jerusalem would not have been destroyed in the rebellion of 65-70 AD because, following Jesus, the Jews would not have been militant rebels. There may have been no Catholic Church, but there would have been something comparable to include both Gentile and Jewish disciples.  But the Romans would have crucified Jesus anyway, and the Great Principle would have been manifested by Jesus precisely the same. The same prophecies would have been fulfilled -- we would just have been interpreting the metaphors a little differently.

Three men, other than Jesus, were scheduled to be crucified that day on Calvary Hill.  All three were rebels against Roman authority, for this is the means of execution customarily used in such cases. The Romans wanted the public to see what happens to such patriots so as to discourage rebellion.  Two of them were classified as robbers and criminals, (Luke 23:32, Matt. 27:38) but I speculate they robbed to support their planned insurrection.  One of them, Barabbas, had committed murder in the insurrection (Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19). The charge against Jesus that was put up by the Jewish elders and priests was that he was "perverting our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king."(Luke 23:2)  When Jesus was crucified in place of Barabbas, Pilate ordered a an inscription placed above him on his cross, "This is the king of the Jews." Although Pilate exonerated Jesus, he placed the inscription to certify that his sentence of death was a legal one, supported by Roman law. Jesus died as the leader of an insurrection.

My point is that Jesus was to be crucified that day regardless of the attitude of the Jews. Their faithlessness toward God that caused them to reject Jesus did not cause a death that would not otherwise have occurred.  It is easy to speculate that, had the nation supported Jesus and become the fruitful fig tree in the prophetic metaphor, they would have joyfully acknowledged Jesus as their promised messiah and king and would have become the first generation of the kingdom of God on earth.  But Jesus, becoming a public figure and a king, would have been arrested and crucified anyway, as an insurrectionists like the others because the Romans could not allow the nation to recognize anyone
as their king if unauthorized by Rome.  The only differences are that Pilate would not have offered to release Jesus, and the crowd gathered about the judgment seat would have been peacefully but loudly protesting the crucifixion of their king. The details would also have been much different in subsequent Jewish history for, following the Prince of Peace, they would have become a docile nation, and would not have rebelled as they later did.  This is not speculation, for Jesus strongly suggests this scenario in the following sorrowful refrain:


[41] And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it,
42] saying, Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.
43] For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side,
44] and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.
His gospel was and is always the same; his death, a demonstration of the Great Principle; his resurrection, the hope of Glory.  Instead of a little flock, however, many more Jews would have carried the gospel of the Kingdom to all nations.  The Jews of the dispersion already formed an international network that would have been ideal for the propagation of the good news of the kingdom. Paul would have done his thing also, perverting the gospel, and the wicked weed of anti-Semitism in the world may have become even greater because the people who are of the world would not have understood this message any better than the Jews in fact understood it, and they would have hated the Jews as a nation even more that history has hated them. There would probably have been no Catholic church as such, but a vast institution of messianists would have formed around the synagogues and through the Hebrew religious institution, founded on the fabricated gospel of one Paul, while the sheep of the Lord's little flock would have fulfilled prophecy exactly the same.  It is reasonable to suppose that history would have been little different, except that a greater minority of the Jewish nation would have entered the kingdom and Jerusalem would not have been destroyed in 70 AD.  All the prophecies would have been fulfilled the same, except that details would differ. Without regard to who did and did not follow Jesus and believe in him, the fact is that men are on one side and God on the other, and the world would have hated his disciples no less than they do, and no less than the real Jesus is hated by the world.

Again, The prophecies would have all been fulfilled through Israel rather than thorugh the small minority of Israel that constituted the initial little flock.  In essence, the fig tree would have blossomed and filled the whole earth with fruit -- but this would not have changed the overall shape of history.


[6] In days to come Jacob shall take root,
Israel shall
blossom and put forth shoots,
and fill the whole world with fruit.

And so it happened, but not as Isaiah first foresaw it, for the fig tree did not blossom, consequently only a remnant was saved:


    [20] In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
    21] A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
    22] For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return. Destruction is decreed, overflowing with righteousness.
    23] For the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will make a full end, as decreed, in the midst of all the earth.
Would the Jews have ruled over the Gentiles on the earth?  No, the kingdom would have been no more visible than it now is.  True disciples of Jesus on the earth would all still be brothers and sisters of one Father and persecuted for righteousness sake. 

Jesus was sent to Israel and not another nation because Israel had been prepared to receive him through the ministry of the prophets, and was the only nation on earth worshipping the Father, though they hardly knew him. 

Return to List of Questions         Email          Return to Home Page