The highly regarded church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, served as counselor to Emperor of Rome, Constantine, who, as we shall soon see, would turn the world upside down by claiming to be converted to Christianity and then legislating antisemitism with stringent laws forbidding Christian interaction with Jews.
Eusebius’ thick volumes demonstrate fourth-century Christian identity confusion and its (mis)justification to render the Jews as worthless and cut off from God.
James Seaver, author of the vast Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire, writes:
“In the Praeparatio Evangelica Eusebius attempts to prove the superiority and greater antiquity of Christianity in comparison with all other religions; in the Demonstratio Evangelica he tries to show the superiority of Christianity over Judaism and the uniqueness of Christ’s person.” He sees a fundamental distinction between “Hebrews” and “Jews.”
According to Seaver’s extensive research, Eusebius’ theorized the patriarchs descended from an ancient people who practiced a religion based on Greek philosophy, neither Jews nor Gentiles, but, somehow, pre-Christians who walked with God. Eusebius believed that the Law of Moses was for the Jews alone and the Hebrew Scriptures had value only in conjunction with the promises to the patriarchs, which would overtake Christians due to their faith in Jesus.
To Eusebius, Judaism had been cast aside as an unworthy son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, replaced by Christianity. Unfortunately, this distortion is still being taught today.
On Day 8 of 40 Days of Repentance, we remind ourselves that the slippery slope toward antisemitism began with early grafted in former gentiles considering themselves superior to Jews. Our purpose in these 40 Days of examining the shortcomings of our forefathers is so that we can search and cleanse our own hearts, lest we too be deceived and used by the evil one.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. (Psalm 24:2-3 ESV)
Most holy God, Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we appeal to You as Judge of the whole earth, as did Ezra, Nehemiah, and Daniel, to forgive us and to forgive the sin of our forefathers. Thank YOU that from the beginning, You made provision for unintentional sin, both for the individual and for the entire congregation.
“If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a female goat a year old for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who makes a mistake, when he sins unintentionally, to make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the people of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them. But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.” (Num. 15:27-31)
Abba, please show us where we have unintentionally harmed someone. Help us to acknowledge it, ask forgiveness of the person or persons we have harmed and make restitution so that You can restore. Thank YOU that Yeshua is the ultimate sacrifice for every sin and shortcoming. We plead His blood as we seek forgiveness. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 KJV
For the congregation that sins unintentionally:
“But if you [the congregation] sin unintentionally, and do not observe all these commandments that the LORD has spoken to Moses, all that the LORD has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the LORD gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations, then if it was done unintentionally without the knowledge of the congregation, all the congregation shall offer one bull from the herd for a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma to the LORD, with its grain offering and its drink offering, according to the rule, and one male goat for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for all the congregation of the people of Israel, and they shall be forgiven, because it was a mistake, and they have brought their offering, a food offering to the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD for their mistake. And all the congregation of the people of Israel shall be forgiven, and the stranger who sojourns among them, because the whole population was involved in the mistake. (Num 15:22-26 ESV)
The Lamb was slain from the beginning of the world and His blood is enough to wash away every stain, so long as we repent! We have a Great High Priest in heaven who ever intercedes for His congregation–all of it, Jew and former gentile. We have the holy privilege to repent for our sin and the sin of our forefathers. Let’s take advantage of it.
“But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers in their treachery that they committed against me, and also in walking contrary to me, so that I walked contrary to them and brought them into the land of their enemies—if then their uncircumcised heart is humbled and they make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. (Lev. 26:40-42)