THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL
by PJ Salas
“Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon. He was a devout and just man, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Luke 2:25.
This ancient prophet received a special promise from God that He would not die until he saw the consolation of Israel. In his arms, Simeon beheld the blessing and desire of all nations, the consummation of all things, past, present, and future. Now the prophet could leave his duty and this world in peace, having seen the fulfillment of God’s promise to him (Luke 2:26, 28; Haggai 2:7; Luke 2:29, 30).
Jesus is the consolation of Israel for all who believe in Him. He is the desire of all nations, the promised seed of Abraham, Christ the blessing of the whole earth, the Savior who is descended from King David, sitting on David’s throne forever (Genesis 12:2; 1 Chronicles 17:7-14).
All who believe in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, are true Israel; they are those who seek God by faith in Christ Jesus. “For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly … But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly …” Romans 2:28, 29.
God’s promise to Abraham that he would inherit the world, God’s kingdom, and the new earth, is centered and established in faith. It is a matter of grace, and a guarantee for all of Abraham’s descendants, whether by blood and faith, or by adoption through faith. For the promise is not only for those who are of Israel’s blood, who were given the law; but for those also who are the adoptive of Israel, through the shared faith of Abraham, who is the spiritual, earthly father of all who have faith in Jesus (Romans 4:16).
Thus, the Jew who is of the blood of Israel, and the Gentile who is not of the blood of Israel, both have the consolation of Israel through faith in Christ Jesus, who is the Consolation of Israel.
“For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. And there will be no end to the increase and peace of His government. He will rule over His kingdom, sitting on the throne of David; He will establish and uphold it in righteousness and justice, forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6, 7. desire
Heirs in Jesus
Jesus came to us through the blood of Abraham and king David, but He is also the adoptive of Israel through His stepfather Joseph. He embodies the natural and the adopted heir, representing both. Moreover, all who have faith in Jesus are the adopted children of God, whether of the blood of Israel or not, for all have sinned and severed themselves from God; all are in need of God’s redeeming adoption (Romans 3:23; 5:12; 8:23).
Through faith in Jesus, and His redemptive work, we become heirs and partakers of the kingdom of God. For whoever is led by the Spirit of God is a child of God, heir of His kingdom promised to those who love Him (Romans 8:14; James 2:5).
“In general, consolation is the delight or satisfaction experienced when distress or suffering is alleviated or positive support and encouragement is given.” Encyclopedia.com. desire
In the Bible, the word consolation is translated from the Greek word παράκλησις which means to call near, invite, beseech, comfort, desire.
The Consolation of Israel is the redemption of humankind from sin, suffering, and the eternal second death (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:1-4; 8). It is the purchase Jesus made with His own life to redeem us from living in sin, and to restore eternal life to us.
“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:13.
"After the days of Mary’s purification, according to the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Now in Jerusalem there was a man, Simeon, who was just and devout, and waiting for the consolation of Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him, and revealed to him that he would not see death until he saw the Lord's Christ."
"Simeon, led by the Holy Spirit, went to the temple, and the parents of Jesus brought Him in the temple to do for Him according to the law. Then Simeon took Jesus up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now You are permitting Your servant to depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You prepared before the face of all people; a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel." Luke 2:22, 25-32.
Jesus the Consolation of Israel
The consolation of Israel is the Lord Jesus Christ and the accomplishing of the promises of God to redeem humankind from sin and suffering, from eternal loss, and to restore well-being to His creation, both creature and environment (Romans 8:22, 23).
Jesus is the consummation of all things promised. He has completed His saving work and will finalize His redemptive work when He delivers us from this sinful world and establishes His new earth, wherein righteousness will dwell (Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1).
Jesus died for our sins, He paid the debt we owe, saving us from sin, that we may live without sin, and giving us the hope of eternal life, which is ours when He redeems us from this broken world.
Desire of All Nations
Jesus is the Consolation of Israel; He is the desire of all nations, the delight, and satisfaction of all who trust in Him.
“For thus says the Lord of hosts … I will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations will come, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of hosts. … The glory of this latter temple will be greater than of the former, says the Lord of hosts: and in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-9.
“And in that day there will be a Root of Jesse, who will stand as a standard of the people; and to this Root of Jesse will the Gentiles seek, and His rest will be glorious.” Isaiah 11:10.
“I the Lord have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, a light for the Gentiles” “And the Gentiles will come to Your light, and kings to the brightness of Your rising.” Isaiah 42:6; 60:3.
“Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people” Luke 1:68.
Salvation for All Who Believe
“as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever will believe in Him may not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:14-16.
For the grace of God shines forth, giving light, bringing salvation to all people; teaching us to refuse ungodliness and worldly longings, to live righteously, godly, and wisely in this present world; looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, so He could redeem us from all sin, and purify to Himself a special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14.