7.2.06

Bread and Wine: Death, Resurrection and Return!

I love the Old Testament; it's all about Jesus! When the risen Christ walked with his disciples along the Emmaus road it is recorded that "beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." These Scriptures were not the New Testament (which had not been written yet) but the Old! All of the Old Testament points towards Jesus; on that walk, Jesus took any passage, and showed how through typology, symbolism and prophetic imagery they all ultimately served to point to him. This should not surprise us when we think about it, for all the Scriptures, New Testament and Old, were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and his ultimate ministry is to testify about the Son (Jn 15:26). Indeed the whole of history, from God's point of view, is really His story.

I have been reading the account of Joseph lately. Joseph himself is a "type" of Christ in the Old Testament: He left the place of honour at his father's side, was betrayed by his brothers, entered this King's service in humble and lowly sate, yet was raised in glory to his right hand, and through him many who otherwise would have perished were saved. Yet even within this account there are yet further details which testify towards Jesus and his work on the cross.

In Genesis 40 we read the account of Joseph's two visitors while he was in prison: the royal baker and the king's cupbearer. One was responsible to give the King bread, the other wine. Both had dreams, and Joseph interpreted them both.

“Do not interpretations belong to God?" (Ge 40:8)

The interpretations and the resulting fate of the two men were very different, but both were fulfilled within three days. The baker was sentenced to death and "hung on a tree", while the cupbearer was restored to his position of honour at the king's side. It was from this position, that the cupbearer (eventually!) called forth Joseph from out of prison too.

By now it should be obvious that both these men, what they represented, and what happened to them point towards Jesus. He was sentenced to death, hung on a tree, yet on the third day he was gloriously raised to life, and restored to his eternal place at the Father's right hand in glory. From there he will also return to take us to be with him. This is what we celebrate when we take the bread and wine of the new covenant meal.

It is important therefore that when we take the bread and wine, we do not just remember his death, making ourselves solemn by picturing the pain. It is indeed wonderful what the Lord endured on our behalf, but this is just part of the story. When we break bread, we are "proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes" (1Co 11:26). It does not speak ultimately of death, but of resurrection and return. Our Lord is not dead, but ALIVE! He is no longer on the cross, but risen gloriously, having conquered every enemy, and seated above every power and authority at the right hand of God in majesty. We do not just look back to the pain of Calvary, but forwards to the glory of the consumation. Our Lord is alive! Our Lord is risen! Our Lord is seated in glory. Our Lord is King of kings and Lord of lords. Our Lord has all authority in heaven, and on earth, and under it. There is nothing that is not subject to his authority. He now waits in heaven for us to take that authority and bring his Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven... and then at the fullness of time.... our Lord is coming again! Hallelujah!

3 comments:

Anna Sacha said...

Amen! I preached on that same authority this sunday and it was a blessed time. What an exciting time to live in when we know that our Lord is seated triumphant on the throne with everything under his feet!

Kev C said...

Hallelujah indeed Chris! What a fantastic post, never thought of the story of Joseph this way, although now you've shown me its pretty obvious I guess (never was the brightest star). Thanks Chris as ever...

Chris HH said...

Thanks Kevin... though I thought I covered the Joseph-Daniel-Christ typology in week 1 of the Daniel Masterclass! ;-)