Since the fall in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord’s one command, God has been on a mission to redeem what has fallen. The Lord has been fighting ever since the fall to win us back to Him.
Through the Scriptures God has revealed to us His blueprint on how He intends to fulfill His ultimate plan of redemption for all creation.
The book of Genesis defines early on how God plans to redeem all that has fallen. To redeem all that has been lost God chose a man, Abraham, who would be a father to a people called the nation of Israel. Through Abraham and his descendants God promised, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This promise would eventually be fulfilled through one of Abraham’s descendants.
In the Old Testament God used the nation of Israel as His representatives on Earth to display His holiness through the Law He gave at Sinai, and that they were to live out the Law in the land He promised to them, Israel. God considered the sons of Israel His “kingdom of priests” because they were to proclaim His Word, intercede on behalf of the nations, and introduce people to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and His redemptive plan through atonement.
As you continue to read through the Old Testament you find that the broad definition of God’s plan of redemption in Genesis 12 becomes even more elucidated as He continues to reveal His plan to Israel. By the end of the Old Testament you understand that God is sending a future King to the Israelites (2 Samuel 7:13), who is also God’s Son (2 Samuel 7:14). You know where the future King of Israel would be born (Micah 5:2); you know He’s divine, (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13-14); and you also know, according to Scripture, that He must suffer on our behalf in order to accomplish the ultimate plan of redemption God has predestined (Isaiah 53).
That descendant of Abraham who would fulfill these prophecies from the Old Testament and accomplish redemption is King Jesus, the Messiah! Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4–7), He manifested His divine power through miracles He performed when He was on Earth, He suffered on the cross on our behalf, enduring the wrath of God (Matthew 27:32–6), and gloriously resurrected to prove He has accomplished redemption (Matthew 28:6). Amen!
So now that Jesus has accomplished redemption through His shed blood, has God’s plan been fulfilled? Did Israel fulfill its role by bringing forth the Messiah or is there more left for the nation of Israel to accomplish?
God’s ultimate plan of redemption for His creation has not seen its culmination just yet. For believers, the blood of Jesus provides redemption now, but we are also waiting anxiously for the completion of our redemption when Jesus will return and our bodies are resurrected. Paul says, “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits [believers] of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption [resurrection]of our body” (Romans 8:23). Here Paul is looking prophetically into the future, highlighting the zenith of God’s plan of redemption.
I also believe Israel still plays a significant role in God’s ultimate plan of redemption. To begin, God is not through with ethnic Israel. According to Romans 11:1, He has not forsaken them because of His covenantal faithfulness to them. Instead, He desires to see them come to full belief in His Son, Jesus.
An amazing verse in Romans 11 shows that the climax of God’s plan of redemption comes when Israel repents and believes that Jesus is their Messiah. Paul says, “For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (v. 15).
In this passage Paul is proclaiming that even though Israel rejected Jesus, that doesn’t mean God’s plan of redemption was thwarted. Instead, it was spread to the nations and the once-severed relationship between God and His creation was reconciled in Jesus. That’s real good news.
However, the news gets even better, Paul looks ahead prophetically to that day when Jesus will return, and on that day Israel will believe, and a resurrection (life from the dead) will take place and God’s divine plan is fulfilled with Israel as the centerpiece of the Kingdom and Christ as Ruler.
So is Israel still a part of God’s ultimate plan of redemption? According to the Scriptures, Yes!