“I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say, “The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness. And this is my covenant with them that I will take away their sins.” Romans 11:25-27
It would be easy to look upon Israel and condemn them for rejecting Jesus, but Paul said they have experienced a hardening to the gospel on our account until the full number of Gentiles come to the Lord. Does this mean that the Jews are not saved? Paul did not want us to be unaware of this truth and although it seems difficult to understand, we have been advised in the revelation of this mystery so that we will not become conceited in our position of grace.
As a whole, Israel has experienced a hardness of heart concerning Jesus. They do not see him as the promised Messiah. They are relying on the Law and what they do for God to be right with Him instead of relying on His grace. It appears that for the most part they have missed out on the long awaited Messiah. However Paul explained earlier in Romans that there was currently a remnant of Jews saved by grace. Jews, who saw Jesus as the Messiah, and have put their trust solely in Him.
Does this mean the entire nation of Israel will be saved whether or not they believe in Jesus? No, it means that the temporary blindness that they are experiencing as a nation will be removed and we will see God moving mightily among them as they turn to him and put their trust in him. He will reveal to them the truth of Christ and reconcile the reality of the scriptures to them.
Israel must come to Jesus the same way we do, by faith; by placing our entire hope in Him to save us. They are loved on account of the patriarchs and they are chosen and called out from the world, but the truth is in Christ alone. God promised, “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13). For those who are looking to God with the right motive of the heart, he will reveal himself to them and what he reveals is always Jesus. Israel must come to God through faith in Jesus alone.