From the very outset, the Gospels unveil for us the many ways that the Christ is “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). We are meant to see that He would succeed where Israel had failed. As Israel was called to be a holy people and a light to the nations, Christ came as the “Holy One of God” (John 6:69) and is Himself the Light of the World. It is no accident that so much of His ministry (for example, His being called out of Egypt, His wilderness temptation, His crossing the Jordan River) recapitulated the life of Israel. We are made to see that while Israel was a son of God (see Ex. 4:22), Christ is the beloved Son of God.
Thus, the New Testament marvelously unfolds the idea that the rich blessings and covenantal promises to Israel have found their fulfillment in Christ. All of God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Him (2 Cor. 1:20). Through Him every family of the earth will be blessed and the nations will be glad in Yahweh. Through Him the covenant curses for our sins have been fully atoned for by His once-for-all sacrifice. Supremely through Christ and the outpoured Spirit, the very heart of covenant itself—that God will be our God and we His people—is realized.
The significance of such truths for the church cannot be overstated. Because Christ is the true Israel, all those who are in Christ by faith are grafted into this new humanity, both Jew and gentile. Thus, Paul can say, Christ “has made us both one” (Eph. 2:14). Through Christ, all believers are children of Abraham and heirs to the promises of God. This is why the church is termed “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16).