Are Jews who lived through the centuries saved by the OT standards and is
Israel still the Holy Land?
Bear in mind that no one was ever saved through obeying the Law of the Old
Testament. “By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the
law so that we serve in a new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of
the written code.” (Romans 7:6) “For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded
by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to
death.” (Romans 7:11). “for if righteousness could be gained through the
law, Christ died for nothing.” Galatians 2:21) Many other verses could be
quoted. In the end, what we have from New Testament teaching is that in
order to be saved by the Law (the Mosaic covenant), one had to obey it
perfectly, which no man was able to do. That is why Christ had to come.
There are several exclusive statements in the New Testament which clearly
state that even for Jews, the only path to salvation is through Christ. “I
am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father, except
through me.” ( John 14:6) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is
no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts
4:12) Bear in mind that both of these statements were given by a Jewish
speaker to an entirely Jewish audience.
Can Jews be saved today? Of course they can. Just as in New Testament
times, they can be saved by putting their faith in Jesus Christ.
Your next question is interesting. Is the geographic area now known as
Palestine still the Holy Land? The answer is that politically and
culturally it is still the Holy Land. Because Jerusalem is the historical
capital of Christianity and Judaism as well as one of the three chief
capitals of Islam, the city and its environs are still considered by
historians and geographers as the Holy Land. More importantly, however, is
how God views Jerusalem and the former nation of Israel. The New Testament
makes clear God’s attitude toward Israel and Jerusalem.
In Hebrews 8:13, one finds the statement, “By calling this covenant “new,”
he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will
soon disappear.” The Hebrew writer makes the statement that in his time,
the Old Covenant was old and outmoded, and that from God’s perspective it
was about to completely disappear. This prophecy was fulfilled just a very
few years after Hebrews was written. Due to its rejection of the Christ,
God allowed Jerusalem to be completely destroyed by the Roman armies under
Titus in the year AD 70. This event was prophesied by Jesus himself in
Matthew 24:15-25 and Luke 21:20-24. God gave the Jews in Jerusalem a grace
period of about forty years from the time of the crucifixion and
resurrection of Jesus Christ until his patience finally ran out in AD 70.
At this time, not only was Jerusalem destroyed, but the system of
sacrificing animals for forgiveness of sins was permanently eradicated.
For this reason, in God’s eyes (not that God has eyes) the Holy Land, the
Temple of God and the Kingdom of God all reside in his people–the Church
of Jesus Christ–those who are saved through their repentance and their
faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. So geographers and politicians may
still call Palestine the Holy Land, and for good reason, but God stopped
viewing Israel in that way nearly two thousand years ago.
John Oakes, PhD