Sunday, 9 January 2011

Whose Covering are You Under?

Like Genesis 22, Genesis 24 is stuffed with prophetic pictures of how God comes to the Church. Consider the following:
  1. Issac has been “sacrificed” up on the mountain, he can now “receive the bride.” Jesus receives the Church after his crucifixion / resurrection, not before.
  2. Eliezer is a servant who stands to inherit everything Abraham has if anything happens to Isaac. Eliezer could have sought to do away with Issac after Abraham dies, but no, he faithfully executes all of Abraham’s wishes for the sake of Isaac. Eliezer is thus a picture of the Spirit, who seeks the glory of the Father and the Son more than his own.
  3. Abraham charges Eliezer to get Isaac a bride who is one of their own kind. The LORD leads Eliezer straight to his master’s family and brings Rebekah to him. Rebekah, in traditional (extended) family terms, is Isaac’s sister. Christ’s bride, the Church, is his sister before she is his bride. The Church first has to be made like her Saviour (righteous and full of the Spirit) before she can be united to him as lover.
  4. Eliezer brings gifts from his master’s house to lavish on Rebekah: jewellery (seals of betrothal), clothes (sign of change of status), and silver and gold (provision for all her needs). So it is, when the Spirit comes to the Church he is the seal of our betrothal, he brings Christ’s priest-kingly garments of righteousness to clothe us, and he sustains us with all we need, both natural and supernatural for the days ahead.
  5. Rebekah, is willing to forsake all to go and be united with her new husband. The Church will forsake everything of this life to be united to Christ in the next.
  6. Rebekah meets and lives with her husband Isaac, for the rest of her days in the land of his (promised – not yet given) inheritance. So the Church will dwell with Christ and the Father, in the new world of Christ’s inheritance.
And in Rebekah, a new vice-president of the seed-line appointed.

Notice the Tune to which Psalm 9 is written – “The Death of the Son.” Through that death, God establishes the throne of his Son from which he judges the overweening arrogance of those who set their faces against him, and protects those who seek him.
Like Rebekah, the first disciples of Jesus forsake everything familiar to them so as to follow him.
In Acts 5, the Old Covenant system overseen by the Sanhedrin is beginning to collapse as these uneducated men full of the Spirit, proclaim the message of this new life. The ruling elite resort to violence, but it doesn’t work, the joy and hope the apostles have goes beyond the grasp of death (Satan’s ultimate weapon – death - was destroyed at the cross). The covering of Christ over them is eternal, not temporary. So they joyfully continue to tell people – without fear, that Jesus, “yes that’s right, the carpenter’s son from Nazareth. I know… Who’d have thought our arrogance could blind us so much…” is the fulfilment of all Old Testament prophecy.

Whose covering are you under? The Crumbling World Order’s or Christ’s? Do you want to embrace glory now and suffering later, or suffering now and glory later?

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