WASHINGTON – Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, offered a major reason why he unequivocally and unapologetically supports Israel, saying, “I worship a Jew.”
“I support Israel not only because I worship a Jew but because of what the Bible says about Israel and the future of Israel,” Graham said in an address to the 13th annual Israel Solidarity Event at the Israeli embassy.
The event was associated with the National Day of Prayer.
In his message, Graham cited God’s promise of the land of Canaan, His choice of Israel as His people, His instruction to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and His sending of His Son, Jesus – a Jew – to bring hope of eternal life to those who turn from their sin and put their faith in Jesus.
“In the past,” Franklin said, “there were many wicked, evil men who in the name of Jesus Christ used this story to persecute the Jews. To kill the Jews. They called them ‘Christ-killers.’”
Graham said, however, it wasn’t the Jews or even the Romans who killed Jesus Christ.
“It was each and every one of us,” he said. “Because the Bible says, ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
“You see, God sent his Son on a rescue mission, and Jesus Christ voluntarily went to the cross to take your sins and my sins,” Graham said. “It was you, it was me, it was all of us that nailed Him to the cross. … And I thank God that He loved me enough to send His Son to take my sins and to die on the cross for me.”
Prior to Graham’s message of solidarity, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer addressed the evangelical leaders in attendance.
“To be Israel’s ambassador to America is to be the ambassador to the friendliest country on earth to Israel,” Dermer said. “And the anchor of support for that friendship in America is you.”
Graham finished with a personal message of support.
“Mr. Ambassador, we love Israel, and we love you, and we thank God for your country. And I can’t speak for evangelicals, but I can just say for me, I’m going to support Israel.”