Does the Church replace Israel? (Part 6)

Now let us examine the priesthood of Israel. The key section of Scripture on this subject is found in Hebrews 7:11-28. In this portion of Scripture the author of Hebrews is making the case that the priesthood of the Old Covenant did not do anything. By that I mean that the sacrifices prescribed by the Mosaic Law could not take away sins. They only made the Israelites ceremonially clean. This means that the sacrifices of the Old Covenant era only brought the Israelite into good standing with the nation of Israel and not with the God of Israel.

If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? (Hebrews 7:11 NIV)

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. (Hebrews 9:13 NIV)

But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. (Hebrews 10:3-4 NIV)

The priesthood of the Old Covenant functioned only as a picture and not the real thing. As a priesthood it prefigured the coming priesthood of Jesus which is called the Melchizedek priesthood.

For it is declared: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”(Hebrews 7:17 NIV)

Of the priesthood of Jesus the author of Hebrews says that this priesthood actually accomplishes the saving of a people by the death of Jesus on the cross, which is the work of a priest who offers up a sacrifice, in this case his own death, for all those for whom he represented, in this case all those whom the Father chose to save.

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:23-25 NIV)

With the coming of Jesus the priesthood of Jesus took that place of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. His priesthood purchased a people who are also described as being a part of his priesthood.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV)

In the New Covenant the work of Jesus as our high priest secured our salvation by his death on the cross and purchased for us an eternal priesthood. This means that we now become the real people of God, eternally forgiven, unlike Israel who are only a picture of the people of God. The priesthood of the Old Covenant could not produce a real people of God because it could not take away sins. It is only the priesthood of the New Covenant that truly pays the penalty for the sin for all for whom it was intended. The church does replace Israel for it is only the church that has experiences the satisfying of the wrath of God. The church is the true Israel of God.

5 thoughts on “Does the Church replace Israel? (Part 6)

  1. In his facebook somebody posted that Replacement Theology is unbiblical and evil. In response I post your articles on Replacement Theology. But then he responded that it’s a waste of time to read the articles.

    Somebody also commented and asks:
    What do you mean by these prophesies? How did they fulfill?
    Amos 9:14-15
    Ezekiel 37:21-22
    Jeremiah 16:14-15
    Ezekiel 34:13

    Here’s the link…

  2. Cesar, I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your question. I have been out of the country and I have just returned. Each of these passages refers to the regathering of Israel back into the land. Whenever an OT prophecy regarding the regathering of Israel back into the land is quoted in the NT it is ALWAYS fulfilled spiritually in the church and in a land that does not end (Hebrews 4). Acts 2 quotes Joel 2, Acts 15 quotes Amos 9, Romans 9 quotes Hosea 1,2, Galatians 4 quotes Isaiah 54:1, Hebrews 8,10 quotes Jeremiah 31. The Old is interpreted by the New.

  3. Its okay, Geoff.

    Some theologians argue that these verses speak about the millennium and eternity. Remnant of National Israel restored to their homeland, a land promise made to Abraham. God restores the tabernacle of David.

    Theologian commented, “The future restoration included the land, its cities, and the return of God’s people. God promised to bless the land with an unprecedented prosperity. God would reverse the calamity. The promise is in contrast to loss described in 5:11, 16-17; 3:9. It is a time of great prosperity something like Israel has never known before. It will be a time of supernatural material blessings on Israel. This blessing will far surpass any past experiences.”

    “…Be very careful how you treat Israel. She is still God’s chosen people. The land belongs to Israel. We live in a day when politicians will not accept the Biblical truth.”

  4. Cesar, every time a prophecy about the restoration of Israel back into the land is quoted in the new as fulfilled it is always fulfilled spiritually in the church. The church is the new Israel. It is a matter of picture and fulfillment. Literal Israel was the unbelieving picture of the real Israel of God (Galatians 6:16).

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