If we are to understand properly the Christian faith. We must understand that the cross and Resurrection of Jesus are its foundation. First we must look at what is happening, surrounding these events in Jesus ministry. His ministry is put firmly in the expectation and hope of believing Israel. What is that expectation and hope? It is clearly the Hope of Yhwh coming to rescue and redeem them from the oppression and godlessness, the long night of her exile and alienation from the one true God. This can be summed up in one concept, that is “The Kingdom of God”.
The time of the Kingdom of God, is the time that Jesus Gods Christ is placed in. John the Baptist declared it was at hand. According to Isaiah 40, the one who is the voice in the wilderness is the one who declares Israels forgiveness, the end of her exile and alienation. John declares the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Kingdom is the time of Israels restoration. John points to the one who is the Christ, the son of David, the King of Israel, Jesus. Jesus, Gods Christ declares repent and believe the good news, for Gods Kingdom is at hand and is breaking through. Most of Jesus’ teaching is about “The Kingdom of God”. Indeed this is what the Christ comes to do, he comes to bring in the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God was Israels hope of salvation. God would bring in the new order of things. He would judge the wicked even bringing His vengeance on them. Wrong would be put right and his people would live perfectly by His Torah, in safety. Yhwh would be her King alone. Evil would be defeated and righteousness would be the order of the day.. This is what Jews in Palestine would have understood by Jesus and John preaching the Kingdom of God is at hand. Let us see then how this is worked out in Jesus’ ministry.
The Kingdom never came in exactly the way, the Jews expected. Jesus died a criminals death on the cross. The Jews expected a conquering King from the line of David, to deliver them from the Roman yolk, and so establish Yhws Kingdom. They only understood after Jesus was raised that by the suffering servant and not the conquering King God would redeem Israel. The whole story is given from Isaiah 51-53 of how Yhwh would redeem Israel. It was not the Romans who needed defeat, rather it was the power of sin that was as much at work in Israel as it was in Rome. Sin was what needed to be dealt with. Sin was Rome and Israels enemy.