Monday, October 25, 2010

Blood and Water and Exodus

I noted in the previous post that Jesus comes as the eternally begotten One to be begotten again from the dead. The Eternal Exodus comes in history, in flesh, to perform that Great Exodus, delivering this world from Satan, sin, and death in His death and resurrection, through the blood and the water.

John notes this twice: When Jesus is pierced with a spear, blood and water come out (Jn. 19:34). And again in his first letter: "This is He who came by water and blood -- Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth... And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one." (1 Jn. 5:6, 8)

All of this of course is birthing imagery, but it is more specifically Exodus-birthing imagery. Israel passed through (under) the blood of the lambs and then through (between) the waters of the sea. John is insisting that Jesus' death is His Exodus, His rebirth. And this is why the apostle will talk this way in His epistle: "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments... For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and the blood..." (1 Jn. 5:1-2, 4-6)

If Passover is the birth of Israel, then all of this birthing imagery in John's letter is actually passover and exodus imagery. As I noted in my sermon on Ex. 12:6, this is the first time that Israel is called a "congregation." Prior to this it has always been a prophecy. When the lambs are slaughtered and the blood is poured out, Israel is born as a congregation. The tribes, the families, the clans, the free and the slave, male and female, old and young are all born into the congregation of Israel in the blood of the passover lamb.

And John is saying the same thing: To be "born of God" is to join the Exodus of Jesus and that means loving all the other people who have been begotten in this same Exodus. And this is why he immediately thinks of keeping the commandments. If you have come out of Egypt, if you have been born of God, then you have come to the mountain with this new Israel and therefore you will love this new Israel and keep the commandments of this new Moses.

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