The Arch Of Titus And The Olive Tree Of Romans 11 -- By: Gordon Franz

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 23:2 (Spring 2010)
Article: The Arch Of Titus And The Olive Tree Of Romans 11
Author: Gordon Franz


The Arch Of Titus And The Olive Tree Of Romans 11

Gordon Franz

Gordon Franz

Olive trees (right) line part of the Via Sacra leading up to the Arch of Titus. The olive tree demonstrates that God still loves ethnic Israel, and one day “all Israel will be saved.”

Introduction

During the last two decades of the first century AD, Rome was in the grip of the self-deified Emperor Domitian. Imagine a small group of believers in the Lord Jesus walking past the Coliseum in Rome and turning westward toward the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill. They observe, at the highest point of the Via Sacra (Sacred Way), the newly erected Arch of Titus. Perhaps a few in this group might be struck by the olive groves on both sides of the road and caught the irony of this view. The

Arch of Titus commemorated the triumphal procession by the Roman army after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and also memorialized the apotheosis (deification) of Titus; but what of the olive trees?

Imagine again that one of the individuals in this group had survived the destruction of the Holy City of Jerusalem by the Roman army, was brought to Rome as a prisoner, and had been paraded as a captive in the triumphal procession of Emperor

Gordon Franz

The Apotheosis of Emperor Titus. An eagle carries the dead Emperor Titus to heaven after he was deified by the Roman Senate.

Vespasian and his son Titus. He was later sold as a slave in the Eternal City, Rome. Perhaps the household this individual was sold into also had Christian slaves. Eventually, one of the Christians shared with this Jewish person the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. The message was simple: God loved the world and sent His Son, the spotless Lamb of God—the sinless Lord Jesus—to die and pay for the sins of all humanity. He offers the free gift of eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, God’s righteousness and a home in Heaven to any and all that would put their trust in the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Doing good works and obeying the commandments were not good enough to merit God’s righteousness. Only faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, would gain God’s favor (Jn 3:16; Rom 4:5; Phil 3:9; Eph 2:8-9; 1 Pt 1:18, You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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