Monday, March 22, 2010

Blood on the lintel

Following on my previous posts about some things I've noticed in the Law, I thought I'd briefly mention Exodus 21. You know Exodus 21, it's the part about the servant who chooses to remain with his master when he could have gone free:

2* If thou buy a Hebrew bondman, six years shall he serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
3* If he came in alone, he shall go out alone: if he had a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.
4* If his master have given him a wife, and she have borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone.
5 But if the bondman shall say distinctly, I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go free;
6* then his master shall bring him before the judges, and shall bring him to the door, or to the door-post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall be his bondman for ever.
(Exodus 21:2--6)

I want to be very careful here, because it doesn't do to be flippant in holy things. And especially touching the Son of God, it is very, very easy to fall into blasphemy. But it seems there is an illustration of the Lord Jesus in these verses.

False religions tell us how men can become gods. Indeed that was the promise of the serpent to our father and mother in the Garden. But in God's wisdom, One who is God has become Man. The Eternal Son has humbled Himself to become a man. The Man.

The amazing thing is not only that He became a Man (astonishing as that is), but that this is apparently a permanent thing. After He has gone back to Heaven, we read, "For God is one, and the mediator of God and men one, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, the testimony to be rendered in its own times;" (1 Timothy 2:5--6). In fact, I suspect (although I don't know for sure) that "the Man" is a title of Christ, particularly in the Psalms. But that's for another time...

The Hebrew servant in Exodus 21 seems to me to be a foreshadowing of the Christ "who, subsisting in the form of God, did not esteem it an object of rapine to be on an equality with God; but emptied himself, taking a bondman’s form, taking his place in the likeness of men; and having been found in figure as a man, humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, and that the death of the cross." (Phil. 2:6--8). And as amazing as that might be, He has refused to go free, but has declared His intention not to go free. In fact, He has promised to come and get us. He has no intention of leaving us behind: it is His explicit plan to come back for us. He has, in a very real way, put His ear to the doorpost and had it pierced by the awl.

No comments: