Friday, April 17, 2015

The Trinity, the Gospel, the Church and the Resurrection in the Old Testament

Types in the Bible are a form of prophecy. Here is one that is central to the fundamental message of God providing the redemption price in the Bible.

Genesis 15:2 - And Abram said, "My Lord, What can you give me seeing that I go childless, and the steward of my house is the Damascene Eliezer?" Eliezer was more like a business partner who would inherit Abraham’s estate if Abraham did not have his own offspring.

Genesis 22:1-19

The offering of Isaac is a recognized “type/prophecy” of God the Father (represented by Abraham) sending His only begotten Son (represented by Isaac) to die for our sins. But there is far more to this type acted out by Abraham of God’s plan of salvation which demonstrates at the very beginning of Israel as God’s Chosen People that He would send Jesus to die and rise from the dead. Consider how could such a plan be told in such detail 2000 years before the time of Christ?

The plan of salvation, acted out by Abraham, was fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus. After His death Jesus appeared to many of His disciples and then ascended to heaven (Acts 2). Since His death the Church has been established by God the Holy Spirit calling out those in the world, both Jew and Gentile, to be the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11 and John 14:16,17) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (paraclete = helper, comforter, advocate), that he may abide with you for ever;  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

Genesis 22 (italics and underlining mine)
And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (This mountain [ridgeline] has three peaks, Mt. Zion on the south, the Temple Mount, and Golgotha to the north of the Temple Mount).
And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; (typifies Jesus carrying His cross to Calvary) and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself (provide FOR Himself, or provide HIMSELF?) a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. (Abraham KNEW God had to resolve this command by either resurrecting Isaac, or providing an alternative, because God had promised descendents through Isaac.)
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the Lord (probably Jesus Himself) called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns (not by his wool for that would have made the ram unclean for sacrifice): and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen (2000 years later).
15 And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19 So Abraham returned unto his young men (where is Isaac? Why is he omitted from the story of Abraham coming down the mountain? Because Christ ascended to heaven after His resurrection), and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

Continuing the “type/story” in Genesis 24 Abraham calls Eliezer and makes him promise to go to Haran to find a bride for Isaac. Eliezer returns later with Rebekah. The name Eliezer means “helper.” So Eliezer is a type of the Holy Spirit calling out a bride (Rebekah) for Christ.

In these events in the life of Abraham we see the Trinity (Abraham = Father; Isaac = Jesus; Eliezer = the Holy Spirit), the Church (i.e., Rebekah = the Bride of Christ), the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and on the very ground God set aside for it long before. These “types” are prophecy in story, in history, and even in people’s names. This is the kind of internal unity that convinces me the Bible is from a divine author. The Jews, who killed the prophets and even Jesus, would not even know they were writing God’s plan of salvation when they lived this, and wrote this.

But the above is just a tiny sample of many such “hidden below the surface” types.