Tuesday, 7 July 2009

It's more than that

I've been using a certain commentary on Exodus with my Bible college students this term. It's OK; I don't think any commentary I know of really suits their needs, but we're doing the best we can.

I keep reading things like this "Just as the children of Israel .... so we also". Just as they did this, so we do that. Just as God did this with them, so he now does this to us through Jesus.

Well, yes. But at least some times, I'd be glad if the author spelt out that the relationship between "them" and "us" was more than just correspondence - more than a handy similarity of appearance and form useful for illustration Christian principles with. The link is vastly deeper than that. The Exodus is a type of the gospel, planned in great detail. We are a covenanted people, redeemed by blood and living under the rule of our Saviour-King, travelling towards the promised inheritance. Jesus was active at the Exodus, teaching people about himself and filling out more of the content of the promises he'd given before that time. Redemption is progressing, as God had planned. As Oliver Cromwell cried out on his death-bed, "the two covenants are one!" Do we evangelicals today really have this grasp of history, as one coherent story moving forward perfectly as planned? Is the Old Testament just a book of neat illustrations for Christian doctrine, or is the multi-faceted jewel of the gospel being shown to us from all kinds of angels, and the growing people of God developing from infancy to their full maturity in Christ?

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