The beginnings of our initiative go back to December 2000. It was the distorted anti-Israeli media coverage of the Intifada flaring up in the land of Israel in the fall of 2000 that made us establish contacts with several Christian organizations and churches. We invited them to join a statement of solidarity with Israel on the basis of Biblical principles and faith. The joint declaration was presented to the Ambassador of Israel.Our joint statement wished to be a message not only to the State of Israel but also to the Jewish Commuity in Hungary and to the Hungarian society at large.
We beleive that the regathering of the Jewish people from the dispersion and the foundation of the State of Israel signifies a turning point in the history of Salvation. The return from the “galut” is a prophetic sign for us that the promises and prophetic scriptures of the Bible regarding the rebirth of Israel (there are over 300 such passages in the Bible) are in fulfilment and God indeed has NOT rejected his ancient people, the Jews.
On 20th of December, 2000 a document was presented at the Embassy of Israel in Hungary to Ambassador Judith Várnai Shorer, with the signature of about 21 Christian organizations and individuals. Although Hungarian media was aware of the event, only the Israeli Hungarian language paper, Új Kelet gave a covering on it.
To the Ambassador of the State of Israel in Hungary, Dear Judit Várnai Shorer,
In the light of the latest events in the Middle-East and their media coverage in Hungary urged us to express our solidarity and sympathy with the State and people of Israel. We are sincerely sorry for the victims of violence, to whichever ethnic group they belong to. We pray that no fanatic ideologies, hatred or revenge would increase the sufferings and losses of the people living in Israel. We are glad over the existance of the Jewish State and accept her right to defend the security of her citizens.
We confess and believe that on biblical and historical grounds, the city of Jerusalem is the indivisible capital of the Jewish people and Israel. We would like to see the Hungarian media to give precise information to the Hungarian public about the events taking palce in Israel. We take on the responsibility to do our best to present the modern State of Israel and the history of the Jewish people to the citizens of Hungary in its full reality. We pray that in these difficult times Israel would find strength in the great number of Biblical promises given to her in the Tanach by Almighty. We also pray that the Palestinian people living in Israel would also find the pathway of peace from Almighty.
We are united with you in the faith and with the ancient hope of the Jewish people that true shalom will come to Israel and to all other nations when Messiah comes!
Peter Hocken: Christian Repentance for sins against the Jewish people will lead the Church to the root issue.
…In his book, The God of Israel and Christian Theology , the American scholar, R. Kendall Soulen, has helpfully identified three forms of replacement or supersessionist thinking.
The first two are easy to understand. First, economic supersessionism, which means that Israel is no longer God’s chosen people, because this role was completed when Jesus died on the cross ; and secondly, punitive supersessionism, which means the view that God has rejected Israel because of their sin . But Soulen then points to a third form of replacement or supersessionist thinking that he calls structural supersessionism .
He finds this in all the ways in which the Christian Church has articulated her foundational narrative in ways that ignore the place of Israel and the Jewish people. For example, every presentation of Christian faith that goes straight from the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 3 to the Incarnation and the New Testament is structurally supersessionist. Man sinned, so God sent his Son to die for sinners. Israel has become superfluous to the heart of the story. No mention of Abraham, no mention of Moses, Sinai or the Torah, no mention of the messianic kingdom. Soulen identifies two essential elements in divine revelation that are lost when the story of salvation is misunderstood in this way: the covenant alliance (I shall be your God and you will be my people) at the heart of God’s plan, and the complementary roles of Israel and the nations.
It is only as we repent for and correct this structural supersessionism that we can recover the fullness of the Messianic hope. Repentance for devaluing the centrality of the covenants of God with his people and for eliminating Israel from the nature of the “new covenant” in Jesus (in distorting the prophetic word of Jer. 31: 31, 33) will enable us to celebrate the new covenant in the “one new man” that prepares for the messianic banquet when “many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 8: 11).
The wine in Midrash Ruth is related to the sufferings in Isaiah 53. This leads us to the essence of Holy Communion. 1 Cor. 11:25-26 interprets the message of wine with the words of Jesus: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood – as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the LORD’s death until he comes.” Here we have the same eternal perspective as in Midrash Ruth. The Passover liturgy has four cups of wine. Every cup has its own name and symbolizes certain features in the Seder. Justin Martyr gave his instructions to the Holy Communion.
He explained in about 150 A.D. that after the Eucharist the participants had to “greet each other with a holy kiss”. “Thereafter the supervisor receives the cup, in which the wine and water is mixed. The first cup is called with the name “kiddush”, which means the same as “sanctification”. The second cup has the name “magid”, and it begins the “narrative” part of the Passover. The third cup is called as “kos ha-brakha” , “cup of blessing”, as it is revealed in 1 Cor.10:16: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?” The fourth cup is mostly forgotten in the Christian theology. If we examine the Last Supper with a magnifying glass, we will notice that the Gospels do not speak at all about the fourth cup. It was called “the cup of kingdom”, “kos hamalkhuth”. In Mark 14:25 Jesus promised that “I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God”. According to the professor of the Oxford University David Daube, Jesus instituted the fourth cup “to compensate the real, perfect and final coming of the kingdom which is still a matter of faith and hope”. And “he referred it obviously to the fourth cup”. Jesus did not drink this cup and say “birkhat ha-shir”, ‘the blessing of the song’ because “he moved this part of the liturgy to the fulfilment of the final kingdom of God”. This fits well to the Gospel. In Luke 22:16-17 Jesus said that he will not eat the Passover “until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” and drink the fruit of vine “until the kingdom of God comes.”