Reimagining the King of Israel

Sing and be glad, O daughter of Zion, for behold! – I come and I will dwell among you – the words of Hashem. Many nations will attach themselves to Hashem on that day, and they shall become a people unto Me, but I will dwell among you – then you will realize that Hashem, Master of Legions, has sent me to you. –Zechariah 2:14-15 (The Stone Edition Chumash)

pesach

Pesach in Jerusalem – Image found in multiple locations – no photo credit available

Matthew Osborne sat in his easy chair, his teeth clenched and his fingers tightly gripping the arms as he watched the broadcast program from Jerusalem.

“I can’t believe it, Eloise, I just can’t believe it. I mean look at them. How could they all…”

The older man started sobbing and his wife, who had been pouring a cup of tea for him, came out of the kitchen and put her hand on his shoulder from behind.

“Matt, if this upsets you so, turn it off.”

He looked up at her. “Turning off the TV doesn’t change the fact that millions of the saints have turned their backs on our Lord Jesus Christ to follow this pretender, this Jewish King.” He spat out the last two words like a curse.

“Let’s pray together, Matt. Jesus is still our Lord in Heaven.” She hurriedly moved around the chair and kneeled in front of him.

He took her hands in his, tears still streaming down his cheeks. “You are such a good wife to me. Better than I deserve.”

“Let’s pray together, Matt.”

He turned his head aside as if in shame. “How can I? I’ve prayed until I’m blue in the face, and still, the Lord doesn’t strike down this pretender, this anti-Christ who rebuilt the cursed temple in the Holy City.”

“You tried to tell them, Matt. Some of the best sermons of your ministry was when you tried to tell them not to go.”

“They deserted me, but that’s not the worst part. Yes, they left the church I built by the Lord’s providence, left it empty. The worst part though, is that they left Christ. How could they be seduced like this?”

“These are the last days. You said so yourself. The whole world stood against Israel including America. This was their curse for rejecting Jesus. That’s what you said.”

“But Jesus was supposed to come and to raise the Holy Christian Church in place of the Temple, the Law, and the Jews. Instead of a white Jesus, a brown-skinned Jew came in the clouds with his angels and defeated the armies of the world. They conquered us, conquered America, the last Christian nation. He beat us all. Now look at them, just look, Eloise.”

He pointed to the television image. The sound was muted, but the CNN reporter’s comments were displayed in text below. A unprecedented stream of humanity, both Jewish and Christian, had been slowly proceeding up to Jerusalem for the Passover. Lambs were once again being sacrified in untold numbers by the Levite Priests, and the channels leading from the altars ran red with blood.

“I know, Matt. I doesn’t make much sense to me, either. We knew there would be an anti-Christ, but we thought the church was prepared. Why would almost all of them fall victim to a delusion?”

“Judaizers came among us. They called themselves Messianic, filled everyone’s head with lies about Israel, the Jewish people, and how the Bible never said that God had permanently rejected the Jews, their Law, and their synagogues. How could God leave us alone like this?”

He was crying again and Eloise put her arms around her husband of nearly forty years. “It will be alright, Matt. We just have to hang on a little longer. It’ll be alright. Jesus loves us. He will never abandon us as long as we don’t abandon him.”

“I never will. I swear I never will.”

Eloise didn’t know how to tell him about the dreams, and how she woke up hours before him to study the Bible in a way she never had before. She had loved Matt ever since the first time she saw him singing in the choir when she was fifteen years old. She’d married him five years later, had four children and seventeen grandchildren with him.

Even their own children had left. Three of them with their families were in Jerusalem right now, and although they couldn’t eat the pascal lamb not being Jewish, they could celebrate the Chag among Israel as grafted in through their faith in their Rav and King.

How could she tell her poor deluded husband that they were right, that it really was their Lord sitting upon his throne in Jerusalem, and that everything the Bible said about him, about Israel, and about the redemption of the world, had come to pass?

She would be patient with him, re-introducing him to scripture little by little. Her prayers up to Heaven would be answered, and the God of Israel would help her turn her husband’s heart away from sin and to the truth.

I was reading the Bible this morning, and it occurred to me, based on my own particular theology and doctrine, that when the King of the Jews does return, a lot of Christians won’t accept him because he’s “too Jewish”. I’ve written extensively about this in the past on my “religious” blog, particularly in The Church When Jesus Returns and When Jesus Returns, Will We Go To Church?.

I know for a lot of Christians, these are controversial commentaries, but the doctrine of the traditional Church has always bothered me. God, the Prime Creator of the universe, doesn’t make mistakes, thus He wouldn’t have to switch from “Plan A” to “Plan B” somewhere in the middle of Acts 2. Nor would He make covenant promises with Israel and then break them.

My little fiction illustrates how I see some Christians failing to recognize their own Savior because twenty centuries of Christian teaching has refactored the Bible to ignore its blatant pro-Israel message. I also believe that hearts can be turned, and even men such as Matt will eventually see the Word of God as it was meant to be revealed to humanity.

I imagine I’m going to get some pushback for writing this story, and if you have a different point of view, that’s fine. However, consider this as a “what if” and then let your own imagination take flight for a bit. Is it possible that what we hear preached from the pulpit each Sunday isn’t the complete story?

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3 thoughts on “Reimagining the King of Israel

  1. What’s particularly intriguing and disturbing about this re-imagined scenario is that this supposedly-Christian couple somehow missed the news about the “first resurrection” and were not caught up in the “rapture”, both of which are projected to precede the battles and conquests that you cited (viz: 1Thes.4:15-17; 1Cor.15:51-53; and the seventh/last trumpet sounding of Rev.11:15); and yet they survived to see news broadcasts of subsequent events in Israel. I suppose they were also not really paying attention to news about the charismatic pseudo-messianic world leader who previously had been so widely acclaimed, whom this Jewish king and his angelic army defeated. Or maybe they had preferred the former leader’s promises and political platform, thinking it fit their own expectations better, only to be terribly disappointed when he was deposed by the Jew who now reigned from Jerusalem. One may wonder how they managed to remain so unaffected during all of this upheaval; and to what degree their prior survival strategies will limit their ability to adjust to the new political administration and its spiritual and religious consequences.

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    • I’d probably need to re-edit the story to incorporate all of that. I was focusing on how the traditional church in no way anticipates the Jewishness of Messiah nor the centrality of Israel in God’s plan for the redemption of the nations.

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      • I suppose it could require more than just a little editing. After all, an entire fictional book and film series (“Left Behind”) was written to envision such events, even if they also misread the source literature. Nonetheless, I think you captured the notion of mistaken expectations and the difficulty of adjusting to an unexpected reality.

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