Did Jesus Change from Jew to Christian?
Jews or Christians
Does the Bible Separate Jews and Christians?
Somethings in the bible are so plain until you have to "study" to get them wrong! For instance the Jewish/Christian question. Does the New Testament teach that Christians replaced the Jews as God's special people? Or, is this just bad teaching and a misconception? Did Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, who kept every aspect of the Mosaic Law, change the religious practices and rituals regarding His followers? Well,... Yes and no.
First, we need a little understanding about covenant agreement and the God of covenant. Although the "Lord" (YHWH - tetragrammaton that we mistranslate into Jehovah or Yehweh) appears many times before the appointed Exodus of Israel out of Egypt it is not until Moses had, first, failed to "impress" Pharaoh with his message from God to release the Children of Israel that the Name (HaShem) is used regarding covenant. Exodus 6:1-8 The Lord states "NOW," after it appears that the My word does not work with the world's system, "you (Moses and everyone else) will see what I will do to Pharoah." Ex. 6:1 He then makes an interesting statement: "I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty [El-Shaddai], BUT NOT BY MY NAME THE LORD [Yahweh--the redemptive name of God]. [Gen. 17:1] Ex. 6:3, Amp. Bible The Lord re-states the promise of delivering Israel from bondage and judging the nation (Egypt) which held them. Ex. 6:4-8 Every "name" that God revealed Himself by in the Pentateuch (First 5 books of the bible) express an aspect of His Person and character. (For the sake of this article I will use "Jehovah" regarding the Lord.) The Lord literally explained to Moses that, up until this specific time in history, NO ONE had experienced Him in the full reality of the name Jehovah. The name "Jehovah" denotes: The Self-Existing, Eternal, Covenant-Keeping One. Covenant is not an act or action with God. It is a vital element of His Person. From the beginning of the unvealing of His relation with man we heard "let US," which is the perfect harmony of agreement. Gen. 1:26
God made covenant with men. We call each covenant by the name of the person who came into agreement with the Lord. e.g. Adamic, Noahaic, Abrahamic, etc. These covenants were all one covenant: The Covenant of the Lord. The problem was that no one man could enter into a covenant that he could uphold. God is eternal, man is limited... mortal. You can see just from this that God never intended for man to be "limited" or die. But, God was not caught offguard at man's fall. His plan was already in action to redeem and restore man. Not just back to the unfalling state of Adam, but beyond that to His eternal purpose of having a family to reflect His glory.
Through Abraham God entered into the agreement (covenant) that would bring about the nation of Israel. Gen. 171-8,19,21. The faith that Abraham displayed in the Lord was kind trust that God sought to "solidify" the contact for all mankind to receive the Promise of the Seed. Gen. 22:14-17; Gal. 3:6-9;13-18 To make a long story short Israel was to instruct the nations in the Law and rituals (Feasts, sacrifices) of the covenant. This did not happen on a grand scale, but it will in the future. Isa. 11:10; 42:6; 49:6;60:3
Jesus came from the generations of the Jews. The Gospels are the "Good News" of His coming and His fulfillment of the Law, which no one could keep due to the "fallen nature" of mankind. Jesus had to be born of a virgin in order for His blood to be pure from sin. The blood comes from the father of a child, not the mother. In the Gospels Jesus kept to the House of Israel. Matt. 10:5,6;15:24 He was not being a racist. He was being focused. Regardless of whether it is accepted by the world or not, Jesus FIRST had to fulfill the Law and all righteousness. Matt. 3:15. In His death and resurrection all humanity is identified as "in Him" by God. Just as all mankind was "in Adam," so God sees all in Christ. Jesus did the work! However, individually we must accept or reject this work of salvation and restoration.
By human nature Jesus was a Jew. He lived as a Jew. He died a Jew. He rose as EVERY MAN! Let me explain. Jesus rose as the Last Adam. His identity now reflect the perfect and complete plan of God for mankind. Romans 5:6-21
The Cross was an exchange place. Vertically, in Christ (Messiah), God is joined with man. Jesus is First Fruit of a new species of mankind. "Therefore if any person is [ingrated] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether)..." 2 Cor. 5:17, Amp. Bible We have a very hard time receiving this fact. You are a spirirt which will exist beyond this physical realm. The question is where? With God or away from His Presence. The choice is yours. You are a spirit. You have a soul (mind, will and emotions). You live on this planet in a body. At the New Birth you receive a brand new spirit. Your soul is re-newed or restored to God's accepted state by consuming the Word of God (being in Christ and by meditating on the written word). You will one day possess a glorified body like the one the Lord Jesus Christ has. (That is sooooooo cool!) Horizontally, the Cross joined Jew and Gentile in what is known as the Church or Body of Christ. Read Eph. 2:11-22. God is not finish with Israel. During the Tribulation they will be the evangelists of the world! Rev. 7 (Sorry. The Church is gone by now. The Tribulation is the time of JACOB'S TROUBLE, not the Church's .Jer. 30:5-7;Dan. 10:24-27;12:1-13
The early Church continued to function as "Messianic Jews." They went to the Temple. Acts 3:1 They kept the Feasts. Acts 18:21. The Disciples did not stop being Jewish. They were, as Paul stated, part of the NEW MAN in Christ. Eph. 2:15 God has promised Israel access into the New Covenant. Hebrews 8:13. In the Book of Isaiah many of the references have doubled meanings and must be understood as such: Israel and Church.
Naturally, Jesus never stopped living as a Jew. Neither He nor the leaders of the early Church. The Disciples continued to go to the Temple. Acts 3:1 They attended and took part of the Feasts. Acts 18:21 No one ever called a meeting saying, "Hey! Listen up everybody! Starting a week from now we no longer are Jews. The new "thing" is Christian. You got that?" As a matter of fact, the scriptures say that the term was first used to describe this group of followers of Christ in Antioch. Acts 11:26 The use of the term, "Christian," may had been used in sarcasm or praise. We don't know.
We do know that the inportance of understanding our Jewish roots was so great that Paul covered it intensely in Romans chapters 9-11. We are grated into Israel. Regardless as to what anyone's opinion is these are the facts. Here are some more facts: It was not until the middle or end of the 2nd century that all reference or aspects of Judaism was removed from the Church. I need not inform you that what replaced it was sheer paganism! Somehow whenever the devil is involve with the removal of something from the Church there is an evil, weakening, distorting reason for it. I'm surely not saying that you must start doing Jewish stuff or anything like that. But THINK about this: Jesus lived as a Jew. The whole Church was Jewish for awhile. And, in closing, the Feasts of the Lord are ETERNAL! Lev. 23:1,14,21,31,41 You may say, "That's Israel!" Then I would say that you either didn't know or forgot about The New Jerusalem and the position that Israel will have in the New World! The 12 Disciples were PROMISED that they would sit on 12 thrones, ruling over Israel. Matt. 19:28 Interesting to say the lest.
Did Jesus or the Church change from Jewish to Christian? What do you THINK?
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