April 15, 2012

Revealing Christ In The Old Testament II: Redemption


When we move to Exodus we see the sufferings and the glory of Moses, as Genesis does of Joseph, and in both we see a type of the sufferings and glory of Christ. Joseph's sufferings began with his rejection, his own brethren asking, "…are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?" We then see the parallel of Moses's sufferings began with his rejection and the question of "two men of the Hebrews" when Moses has to flee to Midian…

“One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?” The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.” When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian” ~ Exodus 2:11-15

In all this in both Joseph and Moses we see the rejection of Christ by a similar question, the very core of what the people felt towards Jesus (which was hate) was put to words in Jesus’ parable of the Ten Minas of Luke 19:14 when the antagonists say, “We will not have this man to reign over us!" This is the same Moses whom they inevitably refused was the one send to be ruler and judge by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.

“This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and did wonders and miraculous signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the desert. Acts 7:35-36

This is the same as God sending Jesus, who was also rejected. So in the history of Genesis and its accounts we see the great foreshadowing of the sufferings and the glory of Christ more than just foreshadowed. Exodus tells us also of Christ as the true Paschal Lamb or sacrifice of Passover. 

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 ~”Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Jesus Christ is the true Priest of Exodus 30:10 as stated in Hebrews 5:4-5

“Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering for the generations to come. It is most holy to the LORD." ~Exodus 30:10

The Lamb of the Passover as outlined in Exodus 12:1-14. At midnight on a certain night, the Lord would go through the land of Egypt and every firstborn son would die immediately. But God would spare his people – if they followed His instructions. When blood of a lamb was sprinkled on the doorpost of each home, God would see the blood and would “pass over” that house. But if God didn’t see the blood, he would take the life of the firstborn in judgment. It was the blood of the lamb that saved the people of God that night. It is in the blood that the life of the animal or person resides. So this is an foreshadowing of substitutionary atonement in that the lamb slaughtered for the blood/life to be put on the doorpost was giving its life to save those in the home that would be passed over because of the blood/life. What is even more interesting is the demands / requirement made of this sacrifice. In these requirement we truly see Jesus...(if you need me to spell out some of these you need your head examined).

The Lamb Needed To Be Chosen

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.” Exodus 12:3

The  Lamb Needed To Be Male

“...the animals you choose must be year-old males.” Exodus 12:5

The  Lamb Needed To Be Unblemished

“The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect.” Exodus 12:5

Hebrews 4:14-16 states: "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

When Pontius Pilate finished examining Jesus, he declared I find no fault in him.” John 19:6

The Lamb Needed to be Slaughtered at Twilight (Dead by Twilight)

“Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight.” Exodus 12:6

The New Testament tells us that Jesus was nailed to the Cross at the “third hour,” meaning 9:00 a.m as the day began at sunrise around 6:00am. Matthew 27:45 tells us that there was darkness from the sixth hour until the ninth hour, or from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. Shortly after, Jesus uttered his final words and died. His body was then taken down from the cross by sundown. therefore he was dead by twilight. Jesus actually died “between the evenings” (3-5 p.m.) at the exact hour the Passover lambs were being sacrificed throughout Israel.

The Lamb's Bones Must Not Be Broken

“Do not break any of the bones.” Exodus 12:46. 

Romans executioners/soldiers often use to break the legs of those being crucified in order to hasten their death. John 19:32-36 specifically tells us that the Roman soldiers did not break Jesus’ legs because he had already died. This is told in Scripture by John to show that the Scriptures (Old Testament) had been fulfilled the Scripture.

The Lamb Needed to  be Eaten

“That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast… This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.” Exodus 12:8-11

Folks, we do this every time we share in communion or the Lord's Supper.

Jesus specifically states:

“Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.” John 6:53-56

The truth is it is not the blood of the lambs at Passover in Exodus that has the Destroyer pass over the households. It is the obedience and trust in God and God's promises.

Additional Shadows

Also from Exodus we see types and shadows of Christ elsewhere....

In Jesus we also see He was the true Tabernacle which the God pitched and not men as so eloquently described in Hebrews 9.

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. ~Hebrews 9:11-28

Please understand I have barely begun to dig down from the surface here for Genesis or Exodus. I have not even begun to mentioned that the Exodus experience itself is a parallel of the New Testament Christian leaving behind and old life to find a new one sanctified and approved by God. By passing through the waters of the Red Sea there is a foreshadowing of a life going down to death (dying to self) only to come out the other side. It is the idea that it is the life of the believer in an encapsulated form. The Life of a believer saved and redeemed by the work of Christ on the Cross. It is obviously the Lord miraculously intervening in the lives of His people. It is also a foreshadowing of the non-believer before he is saved, during his conversion and is eventual glorification that is achieved by faith through grace in Jesus Christ.

Egypt in this story is the world system and the trappings of life that cause us to be and remain sinners. Then comes God's miraculous intervention (election/reprobation) to save His people from the world system that enslaves them. In the case of the Exodus it is Pharaoh's enslavement of the Hebrew slaves. God warns and warns and warns but Pharaoh/the world's system continues to harden its heart making it less and less receptive to the voice of God and His commands. It takes a mighty and divine act of the death of the firstborn and the passover (which is another portion of the storyline I'm not prepared to go down right now) for Pharaoh to temporarily relent. Once the Hebrew slaves are released Pharaoh again changes His mind and goes in hot pursuit. At this point God's mercy and grace ends and the hammer falls killing Pharaoh's army. Each event until this point in time appeared to be horrible punishments for the Egyptians but in reality they were merciful half measures to allow the Egyptians chances to repent and were perfect examples of God's long-suffering attitude for His creation. The incident at the Red Sea ends this. The Egyptians finally crossed a line they shouldn't have crossed. Additionally in the Red Sea incident we see God allowing people to walk through a sea on dry ground but in Jesus we see Him up the ante by walking on the sea. In the parting of the sea and walking on a sea we see God sovereign over the very forces of nature.

The release of the Hebrews from captivity is another foreshadowing of a believer's release from the captivity of sin through conversion. Pharaoh, being the evil world system pursues them vehemently and attempts to stop them. The system of this world, it's powers and principalities don't want to release their slaves either. Misery loves company. Inevitably, like Pharaoh sin will be crushed, God will crush the world's system because it is reprobate.

Even in light of their amazing release from captivity and momentous crossing of the Red Sea, the fledgling nation of Israel chose to bow down to a God that they made with their own hands. Since they couldn't return to Egypt they brought Egypt to themselves. More specifically they allowed Egypt (sin, culture & the world) to dwell in them. They complained incessantly and actually wanted to return to Egypt (their sin) because they were eating manna everyday (and were sick of it) and wanted to melons, onions, leeks and cucumbers which are analogous to the trappings of this world. God had every right to annihilate them at this point but did not due to His mercy, grace and long-suffering. They continue to sin and God continued to be patient. Because of continued rebellion against the God that delivered them they were condemned to wander the desert for 40 years until all but two of the original people from the Egyptian exodus died. Only then were Joshua, Caleb and the next generation allowed entrance into the Promised Land. The Promised Land is analogous to Heaven. A land flowing with milk and honey. A place of rest after a long and sometimes painful wandering. A purposeful wandering inflicted on the future Israelites for the purpose of punishment but also a lesson of building faith and dependence on God. The due punishment for sin is death. Every Christian knows this or should know it. The analogy is to a modern day Christian's act of sanctification on a winding road of trial and error towards eventual death and glorification all dependant on the work that Jesus Christ did on the Cross on our behalf.

There are also the obvious implications of Jesus fulfilling the Law as Jesus was the Law incarnate since the Law was part of the Word and the Word was God (John 1:1)

A heck of a way to begin to show the Messiah in the Old Testament...don't you think?

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