Q. Re: Why The Mystery?. Concerning Israel’s acceptance of the Messiah, I’m trying to understand what “their acceptance” really means. My initial thought was that if they hadn’t killed Him, then that would have been their acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah. But after reading “Why the Mystery” it reminded me that He had to die, to fulfill the Scriptures. In “Why the Mystery” you said, “Had they accepted the Lord’s death as the final sacrifice for their sins there would have been no Church” So, what would have constituted their “acceptance”?
A. Through the course of His ministry, Jesus had persuaded untold numbers of people from all levels of Jewish society that He was their Messiah. But Israel’s covenant with God was made through the High Priest. That meant that the relationship the people had with God was determined by God’s relationship with the High Priest. When it was good they were blessed, but when it wasn’t they weren’t.
What I mean by Israel accepting the Messiah is this. In order to accept Him the High Priest had to believe Jesus was the son of God who came to die for the sins of the people in fulfillment of their Scriptures. Remember, the Old Testament said the Messiah would die for their sins (Daniel 9:24-27), so the fact that they killed Him wasn’t the issue. It was that they refused to allow His death to pay the penalty for their sins that so offended God. They had relegated the death of His Son to a status below the deaths of sacrificial animals, which at least had temporary meaning to them.
Contrast that with the Church. Our covenant with God is also made through our High Priest. But in our case the High Priest is His Son. Therefore, our relationship with God is determined by God’s relationship with His Son. Since that relationship is always good, we are always blessed.