From Series: "Jesus and the Resurrection of Israel"
Samuel and Kings tell the tragic story of the rise and fall of Israel. In love, God called his people out of death and destruction in Egypt, to himself in the wilderness, and then led them to the promised land so that they might be a light to the nations, for the life of the world. Yet instead of responding in love to God, they turned away from him to worship idols and embrace the death and destruction of the surrounding nations. God sent them many prophets to call them back to him, but they refused to listen. Eventually the land was conquered by foreign invaders and the people were carted off into exile. This Sunday we will begin with the End of Israel in 2 Kings 17:6-23.
Was exile the true End of Israel? The prophets had promised a descendant of King David who would someday restore God’s kingdom and accomplish the End of Israel that God had originally intended, namely, healing for the nations. In the desolation of the exile and the centuries that followed it looked as if the prophets had been mistaken.
Then (Mark 1:1-15) John the Baptist appeared to prepare the way for the Messiah. And having passed through the waters and endured temptation in the wilderness, Jesus came to a people living in darkness, saying, “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus came to restore the kingdom, but it couldn’t happen without the forgiveness of sins. In his death on the cross Jesus redeemed God’s people, and his resurrection paved the way for the resurrection of God’s kingdom, the true End of Israel, and the healing of the nations.