Seven Climaxes in Israel's Rejection of the Kingdom

by Edmund S. Delancy

Christ crucified climaxes.gif (1500 bytes) Christ raised
Stephen stoned (7:59) Saul introduced    (8:1)
Disciples dispersed (8:1) Saul called   (8:99)
James killed (12:1-3) Saul separated  (13:2)
Paul stoned (14:19) Paul completes mission (14:20-26)
Paul about to be killed (21:31) Gentiles protect Paul (21:32, seq.)
Jews (in Rome) reject
Paul's message (28:25)
Nations become channel
of gospel message (28:28
and epistles)
This diagram brings before us seven climaxes of the Jew's rejection of the gospel message, and shows God's answer to each rejection. The first horizontal line standing by itself shows the first climax in their rejection—the crucifixion of Christ—and God's answer to it—His resurrection. Both these events took place before the story of Acts begins, but they are referred to very definitely in the opening verses. The open end of the diagram at the top shows that up to and at the beginning of the Acts the Jewish people were the channel through which God was offering salvation to the world. The second horizontal line, which crosses the diagram, shows the stoning of Stephen--the second climax. The diagonal lines from this horizontal line to the right vertical line show the gradual setting aside of the Jews and the gradual development of the work which is to be predominant during the time that Israel is temporarily set aside because of the fullness of their rejection. In the upper angle of the diagram the gospel to the Circumcision (see Gal.2:7) is predominant; the lower angle is the record of the work of him to whom the gospel to the Uncircumcision was committed—though to get that gospel in its fullness it is necessary to go to the epistles of Paul, and especially to Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Each successive rejection shows the testimony to Israel narrowing down until at the close of the book they are wholly set aside and the Gentiles become the channel through which, in this dispensation of grace, God offers salvation to all.