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Just as we can look at Jesus through the image of Adam, so we can look at Jesus through the image of Israel – the Son of God. Only in this way will we find out what is hidden and what only the holy spirit can reveal. For Israel and for Jesus, his principal representatives, God could say the same thing:

Israel is my firstborn Son” (Exodus 4:22)

Jesus is my firstborn Son” (Heb. 1:5; Luke 9:35; Ps. 89:27)

Both Sons were part of Adam’s sinful offspring and needed to be redeemed for the right price and used for a specific purpose in order to save the world because:

 “Salvation comes from the Jews (that is, from Israel).” (John 4:22)

 and from Jesus Christ the “Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

 Israel had its value, which required a ransom price. This is evident in the situation when Israel (the Son of God) was in bondage to other nations.

“For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your saviour (and redeemer). For thy ransom I give Egypt, instead of you I give Kush and Sheba. Because you are precious in my eyes, you are valuable and I love you. Therefore, I give people for you and for your people for your life.” (Isaiah 43:3,4; 44:24)

We see that in this case God redeemed his firstborn Son, Israel, out of Babylonian slavery. Instead of him, who was redeemed from slavery, God gave other nations into slavery of the Persian Empire. That was the appropriate price for the ransom. The first impression we have is that ungodly people from these pagan nations had no value and therefore could not be the price at which God would redeem his people. However, the very act of atonement at the price Israel had indicated that this was not true. God took their worth into account because he knew that among the present-day wicked people there were many who would die for themselves in order to live for God in the coming Kingdom.

God could have easily delivered his people at no cost, but by his righteous principles, he wanted to express their value that God intended to use to bless all nations. So these same nations who were delivered into slavery and death in order for Israel to be freed from slavery were eventually to be blessed by Israel (Abraham’s offspring). So those who were taken as ransom for Israel eventually had to be redeemed through Israel in order to be blessed.

By this same principle, God could have delivered Adam’s children into the slavery of death in order to use their death through Abraham’s chosen offspring to redeem the chosen man from the slavery of death, after which they would all be redeemed and given life. Only in this case can we see the hope in death that God provided when He subjected humans to the slavery of death. Thus it would actually mean

  • I will deliver them to death so that they would live”

Therefore, when we consider God’s relationship with Israel, we then see that He gave sinful people to redeem His firstborn Son, Israel. It means that the lives of these Gentile nations had a certain price and value in the eyes of God because they suffered the punishment of Adam. In addition, many of them will have attained righteousness in the kingdom of God, and God counted that into their value. Even before this atonement and deliverance from the enemy’s hand, God acquired Israel as his own children before they were created as a people by redeeming them from Egyptian slavery with the death of the firstborns, so the psalmist could say:

“Remember the congregation that you have acquired from the old, which you have redeemed for the people of your heritage…!” (Psalm 74:2)

In order to redeem his people, another nation had to die in such a way that the death of the firstborn signified the death of the whole nation. The Bible says:

“To him that smote Egypt in their first-born;
For his lovingkindness endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:10, ASV)

  • By the death of Egyptian firstborns – Egypt dies
  • By the death of Israel’s firstborns (by the lamb) – Israel gets redeemed

By the death of one nation, another one is redeemed from death the by the salvation of their firstborn from death by the blood of the Passover lamb. It was as if Israel had been redeemed by the death of all the firstborn; only that these firstborns were saved through the replacement blood that represented their death. Thus, through the blood of the lamb, God took this people for a specific purpose by its firstborns. Namely, God had announced in advance the creation of a nation with the role of mediator through whom all nations would be blessed. So he said to Abraham:

“I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it may be as a star in heaven (…), and all your people on earth shall be blessed in thy seed, when thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:17,18)

And now one important question: How is it possible for God to bless all nations through Abraham’s offspring if we know two facts:

  • that this offspring is sinful and mortal
  • that the blessing involves eternal life

How can the value of the lives of sinful and mortal people allow eternal blessings to all other people? This was possible as in the case of Jesus, because God had them:

  • predetermined
  • enrolled in the Book of life
  • created (born by woman)
  • bought
  • dedicated
  • separated from other (sinful) nations
  • made a covenant with them
  • anointed with the holy spirit
  • become his firstborn Son

All of this has given special value to Israel as a chosen people. Behind them stood God (Heaven) Himself, and therefore they were God’s (heavenly) people.They were not to be born as perfect humans or appear as incarnate heavenly creatures in order to be the blessing to other nations. They only had to show holiness and obedience to God and in accordance with the decrees of covenant with God be appointed a royal priesthood. That is why Jesus, who descended from them, was just a human like his brothers.

The Israelites, like Adam and Jesus, had to know why they were created and what was expected of them by the covenants because it was not only about their eternal good but the eternal good of the whole world. That is why it was important for Jesus to be sent only to Israel to prepare them for this dedicated role. Israel, as we have seen, is an advocate for the whole world. That is why Jesus was not sent to any nation from the world, but only to Israel. But it’s the same as being sent to the whole world, so we read:

“I was sent to none but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

“For I say that Christ became the servant of the circumcised, to confirm the truthfulness of God and the faithfulness of the promise which God gave to their fathers.” (Romans 15:8)

Although Jesus was sent to the Israelites, he was sent to the ‘world’ by them, because they represented that ‘world’

Israel world

Israel had a representative and mediating role because God was supposed to bless the whole world through them, so in that sense it can be said:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.” (John 3:17)

Paul says that by Jesus ‘all Israel will be saved’ and by them the whole world (Romans 11:26). So their existence did not happen by accident. They were even made like Jesus by the ransom sacrifice in order to be the ransom (atonement) sacrifice God needed in his plan of salvation. Let’s see how.