I must live a sheltered life because a few years back when Passion of the Christ came out a very strange topic arose: Christians who are anti-Semitic. At first I nearly thought it was a bad joke, but then I realized there are indeed Christians (or people professing to be Christians) that truly hate the Jews. If this wasn’t bewildering enough for me, imagine my surprise when I discovered there are some Christians who actually blame the Jews for the death of Jesus Christ. In fact, the root of their antisemitism comes from this whole notion. Antisemitism (or any racial prejudice for that matter) is stupid, but for Christians to blame the Jews for the death of Christ is exceptionally high on the stupid-meter.
Obvious is Obvious
The most obvious reason of course is Christ’s command to show love to all. Jesus tells us to “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matthew 5:4 NIV).
Let’s not forget the iconic John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:17 takes it even further, “ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The Jews are no exception to this plan.
The Jews are God’s chosen people. Our birthright comes from their birthright. Our Covenant comes from their Covenant. God’s original plan was for the Jews to bring the message of God’s love to the world. They turned their backs on the Messiah and as a result we became the messengers. It was through their rejection of God that we became God’s chosen people. That doesn’t mean that the Jews lost their status, but that their status now applied to us in its fullness.
Romans 11:11-12 (NIV)
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
God’s wonderful plan still includes His chosen children, Israel. We’re not of lesser value to God. We are His adopted children and He sees us of no lesser value. But, with any good parent, He also desires for all of His children to be united. It’s His hope that His love for us will also bring them back to the fold. Imagine, if we are blessed through their exclusion, what wonderful things lie ahead for when prophecy has been fulfilled and the remnant joins our Holy family through acceptance of Jesus Christ?
We Can Be Removed
Not that God would gleefully do so, especially not to those of us who are faithful. He loves all of His children. Romans 11 holds a strict warning to us to avoid being prideful. In fact, if you have the time I strongly suggest you read all of Romans 11. But for now, another passage:
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.