We left off yesterday with Paul wishing he could die so that his countrymen could live. Moses felt the same about the wayward Israelites in the wilderness. Do you know what that says about them? It says they are starting to become like Jesus. Jesus surrendered His divinity first and then his life so that we could live.
What Paul is struggling so deeply with is that he gets it but his countrymen don't. They have the Cure. They have had it all along. The ram on M...ount Moriah was the cure in symbol. The sacrifices at the temple for all those generations were the Cure in symbol. God had been blessing and protecting the Israelite nation for generations through ups and downs all for the one purpose of bringing Jesus, the promised Seed into the world to "bless all the nations". Paul sees it and it is killing him that his own people who have been carrying the promises for all these years and waiting for the Promised One rejected Him when He came.
Look what he wrote next...
6 "It is not as though the Word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, who are of Israel;
7 neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children; but, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
8 That is, they who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; rather, the children of the promise are counted as the seed."
Here Paul teaches something profound that most of Christianity still hasn't been able to see. Jesus taught it first. There is no such thing as being special or better or His by birth. Tracing your bloodline back to Abraham or Isaac does make you an Israelite in the sense of inheriting the promises by virtue of your bloodline. You inherit nothing by birth. Jesus is ours by our choice only.
Many today believe the Jewish nation holds the key to the unfolding of future events but this is not so. Like the parade route we talked about yesterday the nation of Israel was "special" only in that they were the path by which Jesus came into the world. The old testament sanctuary was the model to teach why He was coming and the nation was the line through which He came. Once He arrived both the nation and the sanctuary fulfilled their role. The parade route is just ordinary streets again. Now all nations are equally blessed and the message to us all is the same:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
We'll go deeper tomorrow...