Jesus was a Jew, one of the Chosen People of Abraham, who had made a Covenant with the One God. Previous gods had been pagan and did nothing but reflect the idiosyncracies of the people who created them. But the One God was different. Without personality, he intervened directly in human history in freeing the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery through his agent, Moses.
Further, he placed upon the people the Ten Commandments, demanding obedience to a moral code. For the first time in history, a God had intervened in human affairs directly and demanded a system of morality intrinsically linked with every event in a person’s life. This made God invincible, but in the 6th century BC, the Babylonians destroyed the empire built by David and Solomon, thus proving their gods were more powerful than the One God and exiling the Jewish people. The Jews returned to their Promised Land, but were never again to be a nation until 1948, and the creation of Israel. But if they were the Chosen People of the most powerful God, why had God punished them in this way?
TOWARDS THE MESSIAH
Coming in line with the birth of a tradition to analyse and redefine God’s words, the Jews came to two incredible conclusions. First, they had been chosen by God to suffer. Second, when the time for suffering was at an end, a Messiah would come to bring Paradise. This was the intellectual tradition into which Jesus came. And we can see in Christ’s suffering a Messiah who embodied the suffering of the Jewish people. He was their society in one man. However, the Jews rejected Jesus as the Son of God.