In Proposition 57, George Peters states:
“This Kingdom was offered to the Jewish nation, but the nation rejected it.”
From the larger perspective, when we look at the nation during the time of Jesus, it is clear the leadership and many of the people rejected the Messiah as the one promised by the prophets. With that said, this does not mean that the entirety of the nation rejected the offer of the Kingdom. There is always a faithful remnant, albeit a small one at the time who understood the message of the Kingdom with the Messiah as the promised King and thus grabbed firm of this offer. From a national level, Peters is correct – the offer was rejected. The dispensationalist uses this reality to suggest the “church” took over the nation’s place due to this national rejection. We have discovered in our study thus far how far off such a notion is within sound theology.
The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 57 is the following:
“Nationally, through the nation’s highest officials and council, the Kingdom was rejected on account of the unposed condition, repentance, although individual Jews repenting were received as believers. The Kingdom could not be erected, owing to its affiliation with the nation itself, requiring not merely a few who believed, but a national moral regeneration. The past history of the nation clearly taught the sad truth that, without such a moral reformation, it was utterly unfitted to bear a Theocratic rule. This is most painfully evidenced at the First Advent by crucifying its own promised Messiah. This was, when fully appreciated, a fearful crime. The great question with the Jew, after the Messiah was killed, was this: How could he under such aggravating guilt, slaying the covenanted David’s Son, be saved from his sin? This it was that caused, under Peter’s exhibition of this guilt, that anguish of heart, bursting forth into the significant inquiry: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” What they were to do – this key of knowledge given in mercy – was committed to Peter, as well as the other key pertaining to the Gentiles.”
Peters covers a lot of ground in this observation and rightly so. The fact is the nation under the guidance of its leaders, rejected the Messiah and the offer of the Kingdom under the rule of the Messiah. This rejection led to the crime of crucifying the Messiah. It would seem all hope would be lost as after all, a crime of this magnitude carries a hefty penalty. I appreciated Peters noting the anguish this ultimately caused among the people, at least those who recognized the ramifications of their action. “What shall we do”. The same response was provided by the apostles – “Repent and be baptized” and receive the offer. God’s grace was extended to His people provided they repented and His promise to extend the offer to the entire world would also take place. We continue to see God remaining faithful to His covenants even when His people clearly demonstrated their lack of faithfulness and their national rejection of His Son. There will come a time with the Jewish people will declare, “Baruch Ha Ba B’Shem Adonai”.