Jesus the New Israel

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

As part of my message this past weekend on Daniel 12, “Faith at the End of All Things,” I shared a list of parallels about how Jesus is not only Savior and Forgiver, but also takes all the history of Israel into Himself and becomes the new Israel as the Messiah. A number of people asked if I would share that list, and so I’m doing that here.

A Messiah will come and bring hope and life for humanity. He will be like the Son of Man figure in Daniel 7, worthy of worship and like God. But he will also take all the history of Israel into himself and bring its fulfillment through His life death and resurrection. And so:

  • Jesus’ humble birth at the edges of civilization parallels Israel’s humble beginnings as a nomadic tribe of Abraham.
  • Jesus’ baptism parallels Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea after the Exodus
  • Jesus’ testing in the desert for 40 days parallels Israel’s wandering in the wilderness for 40 years
  • Jesus’ teaching and miracles as God’s tabernacle in flesh parallels the building of the tabernacle and temple where heaven touched earth in God’s presence
  • Jesus’ death on the Cross parallels the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, and the overrunning of God’s people
  • Jesus’ burial in the tomb parallels the exile of God’s people from the Promised Land
  • Jesus’ resurrection in the tomb parallels the double exodus of liberation from slavery in Egypt and liberation from exile in Babylon
  • And Jesus ascension to the Father’s right hand parallels the future resurrection that awaits humanity at the end of our lives and the cataclysmic end of human history at Christ’s return

This is why, with Peter, we can celebrate Jesus as not only our Forgiver and Savior, but the resurrected bringer of hope with God for humanity.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

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