Recently, blogger Marv (a.k.a asphaleia) posted an excellent series of discussion regarding his view of the redemptive plan of God. It winds up being a progressive dispensational model but was interesting enough to house here on the Bible Archive for consumption by friends and family. This is post 3 of 5.
At the conclusion of Phase One God separates humanity into nations. The diagram pictures them as discrete rays, but in reality these nations blend in and out of one another. In His plan He sets the nations aside (Acts 14:16; 17:26-27) and builds one for Himself from one man of his choosing Abra(ha)m. This nation will serve as His remnant through which He will effect His redemptive plan.
Abraham is indicated by a green dot (recalling the green plants of Gen. 1 containing its seed) and is the beginning of Israel, the arrow represents the promise to his Seed, the point of the nation of Israel. God gives promises which are (a) for Israel and (b) through Israel for the world. Israel’s purpose is accomplished by millennia of history, however, as the expanded red ray shows.
On the red ray the left triangular section pictures the increase in population from Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob to the time of the Exodus. Magnified it might look something like this:
At the time of Moses (yellow dot) the people Israel is constituted as a nation under the Mosaic covenant with the Law as its constitution. The law is illustrated by the gray lines on either side of the red ray. The law is a visible representation of the righteousness of God, and serves several functions:
1. It keeps the ray discrete, coherent light, like a laser beam, so that the nation of God’s own making does not intermingle with the nations.
2. It defines the covenant, which Israel as a whole fails, but Christ as Israel par excellence fulfills.
3. It serves as a checklist for the life of God in a man. Man, in spiritual death, fails and is condemned by the law. Christ, in whom is Life, obeys it perfectly, showing Him to be the Perfect one who will become sin for us that we may become His righteousness.
The gray line extends only until Christ, since the Law leads to Christ (Gal. 3:24), who is the end of the Law (Rom. 10:4).
Along the course of history the nation is prepared for Christ. King David (purple dot) is an ancestor and type of Christ. God makes a covenant with him that will ultimately lead to Christ, and the structure of Israel’s kingship will be expanded to the Anointed one, the Messiah, King of kings.
The prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah (orange dot) also prepare the nation for Christ. They prophesy the Suffering Servant and the New Covenant that He will mediate. Is the Servant Israel or the Messiah? Both. Israel’s purpose is to bring redemption into the earth, which it accomplishes through Christ who is Israel par excellence, the quintessence, the remnant of remnants. Magnified it might look like this:
Isaiah prophesies that Israel’s Messiah is also to be a light to the nations (Is. 49:6; 60:3). Christ comes to the Nation, and reminds them that they serve as light to the world (Matt. 5:14), which again, they ultimately fulfill through Him (John 8:12; 9:5). His life is the light of men (John 1:4,9). The light is shown by the glow of the white dot, and the light to the nations by the transverse rays from Christ across the spectrum of rays representing the nations.
Daniel’s seventy times seven years (faint white rectangle). 69 sevens brings us to Messiah (triumphal entry A.D. 3/30/33?). After the 69th seven (not during the 70th week) Christ is crucified and on the third day resurrected.