The exile was the watershed moment of the Israelites history on which the entire Bible gains its significance.
Exile is one of the core, yet often overlooked, themes underlying the entire Biblical storyline. In this video, we'll see how Israel's exile to Babylon is a picture of all humanity's exile from Eden. As you might guess, Jesus is the one to open the way back home.
Jesus is the answer, but the answer to what, exactly?
For followers of Jesus, the story of his life, death, and resurrection is the absolute center of our practice, belief, and worldview. It’s the central event which generated the entire Christian story and the New Testament.
However, these events didn’t occur in a vacuum. Jesus saw himself fulfilling a larger storyline that was told in His Bible, the Hebrew Bible, or as most Christians refer to it, the Old Testament. One of the most important events in Jesus’ Bible, which also changed Jewish history forever, is the Babylonian exile.
Exiled in Babylon
For the Israelites, the exile was the watershed moment of their history on which the entire Bible gains its significance; everything else orbits around the gravity of this faith-shaking moment.
The exile left its mark on Israelite history in an unparalleled manner.
The entire national structure of the kingdom, which was thought to be ordained by God himself, came crashing down. This event fulfilled centuries of prophetic warnings, as hundreds of years of tradition, culture, and history was destroyed in just one year. This was their Day of the Lord, and it left them absolutely devastated. Such a role, it played a key role in the formation of the Bible itself as the prophets warnings were finally vindicated and their words were included in the Jewish canon.
Read the book of Lamentations if you want some somber reflection on what it felt like to live through the tragedy of Jerusalem’s destruction and the people’s enslavement under Babylonian rule. You can understand how it may be hard to find hope in such a situation.
After spending decades in a foreign land under foreign rule, the Israelites are allowed to return home under Persian rule. However, this offers only a false climax. The people's hearts and spiritual state is as broken as it was before they left. Hope for future is all they had, but we know how that story ends! Jesus.
Jesus leads us home.
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