The more I read the Old Testament through the lens of Christmas and the Cross (meaning it all pointed to, and aimed at, and passed through the life and ministry and death and resurrection of Christ) the more I am rocked by the foreshadows and physical pictures it contains of spiritual truths and realities to come after the cross, in the New Covenant. Like an hourglass turned on its side, all the sand (events, pictures, signs, hopes) of time before the life and death of Jesus on earth pointed to, and narrowed to, and passed through that narrow neck of the hourglass of time from His birth to death and resurrection. Likewise, on the other side (our side) of those events, all of the sand that spreads out from the neck passed through, and finds its origin and source and meaning in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
It is a fascinating reality—everything before that first Christmas (and ultimately the cross and empty tomb) looked to those moments, foreshadowed those moments, and awaited those moments. And everything after those moments—the spreading church, our position as believers, the power and authority we walk in, and our purpose and mission in life—find their origin and source by looking back to those moments. That first Christmas, leading to the death and resurrection, truly was, as Paul said twice, "the fullness of time" . . . the moment all history prior looked and pointed to and awaited, and the moment all history since finds its explanation, purpose, and origin in.
With that said, I am most of the way through Leviticus in my reading through the Bible, and I am struck by an interesting idea I'd love your thoughts on. We have, in Genesis and Exodus, a people in slavery and bondage in Egypt, as well as a line of redemption chosen and being prepared (Abraham's line). Then we have, in Moses, a man coming in, confronting the powers of darkness, defeating them, and setting the people free from bondage and slavery. Then, in the wilderness, before coming to the land they are to occupy, the people are given the Law and taught how to worship God and how to live. Ahead, they will be brought to the land they are expected to conquer—a calling most will turn from and remain in the wilderness, provided for, with God present, but in no victory and no threat to the enemy who occupies the land. Later a new generation will, in faith, take up the mantle and cross the Jordan and see the strongholds of the enemy fall and capture the land.
I was struck, reflecting on this, that it is quite a picture of the New Testament call. We are in darkness, bondage, slavery. Jesus comes in, confronts the darkness, and the power of God sets us free from that (we are born again, saved). We then, as infants in Christ, are taught God's heart, how to worship Him, how to live as His free people, how to be His people who are set apart from the rest. But then we are called to move past that, to a maturity if you will. We are called to confront the giants, to stand and step out in faith on God's character and promises, and to see the strongholds of the enemy toppled and to occupy the land (to be His hands and feet, His body, and to go in His authority). We are not supposed to remain wandering infants, happy and content in remaining provided for and knowing God is real and there, but not moving in any threat to the enemy or seeing the enemy knocked back or strongholds demolished. At some point we are to be God's people who in faith, and with His leading, start to go against the enemy who is holding families and marriages in bondage, people in addiction, people lost and blinded to the Gospel, etc. It is our calling, I believe, I had just not seen the Old Testament parallel or picture of it in that way before.
I'd love your thoughts. I hope that this has been a wonderful week for you and that it will be an amazing weekend in His presence. Thanks for being a part of my life. —Erick