The End of Judaism

So the destruction of AD 70 was not an act of anti-Semitism. Rather it was an act of divine judgment. 

…That was the end of Judaism as it had been known for hundreds of years. The priesthood was at an end. The animal sacrifices were at an end. The worship life that centered on Jerusalem and the Temple was at an end. And it has never been restored to our own day. Judaism as we know it today in Minneapolis and New York and Tel Aviv is not the same way of life practiced before AD 70.

What is the meaning of this cataclysmic event for Judaism?

It was a witness to the truth of Christianity. Jesus predicted it. And it came to pass. Christians did not fight against Israel in this revolt. In fact, Christians suffered in Jerusalem with Israel because of the revolt. As far as Rome was concerned Judaism was the tree and Christianity was the branch. If they could destroy the tree of Judaism, they could wipe out Christianity as well. Jews and Christians suffered together in AD 70.

So the destruction of AD 70 was not an act of anti-Semitism. Rather it was an act of divine judgment. That is what Jesus says in Luke 19:43-44: these things happened“ because you did not recognize the time of your visitation,” — that is, you did not recognize the coming of the Messiah. It was God’s testimony that the coming of Jesus was in fact what the book of Hebrews says it was — the replacement of shadows with Reality — Christ himself.

One of the early church fathers, Athanasius (born A. D. 373), put it like this,

It is a sign, and an important proof, of the coming of the Word of God, that Jerusalem no longer stands. . . . For . . . when the truth was there, what need any more of the shadow? And this was why Jerusalem stood till then — namely, that [the Jews] might be exercised in the types as a preparation for the reality.

In other words, one might say, the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem was God’s way of saying: “Wake up to the meaning of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.”

from Jesus: Mediator of a Better Covenant by John Piper, Deember 22, 1996

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