Whom Say Ye That I Am?
The question is, Who did the rejecting? What do we mean by saying that the nation rejected? And with that question is another; Why did not the Lord ever announce Himself publicly that He was the King, the Messiah? Also where does repentance come in?
From what we see of Pentecost, we would think that the nation was going to repent. That had been the message of John, the Lord Himself, the 12, and also the 70 who were sent out. Prophecy also seems to indicate that there was a remnant that would finally be involved instead of the whole nation. Malachi prophesies, as well as others, that when the Lord comes, there will be a judging and a burning up of the chaff. There is clear evidence that not all Israel is saved as a nation when the Lord comes. But there is a time coming when all Israel will be saved, none unbelieving.
Now the reason that the Lord did not proclaim Himself as King is that such a proclamation should be made by the rulers of Israel, who would then represent the nation. The Sanhedrin (70 men) and the high priest was this ruling body. It was their business to recognize the King from the miracles and signs which they had in their possession.
But those who represented the people did not choose to recognize Christ. The truth was preached to the people, as by John and by others so, that the multitudes might get to know. But the leaders paid no attention to the people. They were ignorant and even accursed in their estimation.
So in Judea the Lord was rejected and crucified. In response to the Lord's last request for them, they were forgiven for that, and another offer was made during Acts. But the same ruling body rejected again by the stoning of Stephen, the arrest of Paul in the temple, and finally even the Synagogues for the most part rejected not only in Judea, but even the leaders of the Jews in Rome (Acts 28:28).
The pattern cannot be followed by looking at one side of the tapestry only. Prophecy must be studied along with the history. The fig tree was cursed for not having fruit when it was not the season for fruit. That makes nonsense to most folks. Prophetically it was not time for Israel to bear fruit, but the offer was bona fide and they refused. So there was a curse laid upon them.
Even at the all day meeting in Rome there was still a chance that leaders of the Jews would accept the truth and start a movement that would end up in Jerusalem with the leaders repenting (changing their minds) and believing that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah. But the last chance slipped by and the pronouncement was made that the Salvation of God was then sent to Gentiles.
We might add that the Sanhedrin represented all 12 tribes. It ceased with the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, the Roman. When God deals with Israel again, there will be new conditions. We have very little idea of what they will be.
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