How is the promise of Israel’s land inheritance fulfilled in Christ?
The promise of the land to Abraham and his offspring is fulfilled in Christ. How do we know this? There is an important verse in Galatians 3:16:
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).
The apostle Paul tells us that Abraham’s offspring, to whom the land was promised, is Christ. Christ is Abraham’s offspring. Not only this, but we learn also from 2 Corinthians 1:20:
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [in Christ]. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory (2 Corinthians 1:20).
So, the promises were given to Christ who is Abraham’s offspring and were fulfilled in Christ who is also Abraham’s offspring. The promises were given to Christ and fulfilled in Christ. But Paul also takes it a further step in the same chapter. Galatians 3:9 says:
Those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith (Galatians 3:9).
And then in verses 13-14 he says,
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” —
And then verse 14 is so important,
… so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:13-14).
Paul here tells us that we, as believers in Christ, receive Abraham’s blessing by faith, the promises given to Abraham. That is why Jesus for example said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Even Abraham himself, as we learn from Hebrews 11, was not looking forward to the land as the final fulfillment of the Lord’s promises to him. That’s why we learn that, “he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” We also learn from Hebrews 11 that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “all died not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” So, although the fathers and then Israel possessed the land of Canaan, they lived as strangers on earth, for they desired a better heavenly country.