Monday, October 25, 2010

Delivered from the Powers

In Colossians 1:18, when Paul goes from describing Jesus as the "firstborn from the dead" does he have the Passover and Exodus in mind?

It seems likely: First, you have the "firstborn" language which recalls the tenth plague, but secondly, he immediately thinks of "reconciliation" through the blood of the cross (1:20). If the Passover event was an enormous act of reconciliation, a gathering together of the tribes of Israel into the "congregation" of Israel and making peace with God through the blood of the lamb, then it makes sense to think of Christ as "the firstborn from the dead" and therefore simultaneously the great Reconciler of the new Israel. We might note that Paul has already mentioned being "delivered" from the power of darkness and being "conveyed" into the kingdom of the Son "in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (1:13-14). The word "delivered" is the same used in the Septuagint for what God has come to do for Israel in the Exodus (Ex. 6:6, 12:27, 14:30), and clearly the imagery of a transfer of power, an eclipse of kingdoms, has the Exodus all over it.

This suggests that when Jesus teaches us to pray "deliver us from evil" (Mt. 6:13, same Greek word), He is teaching us to pray that God would bring us out of Egypt, out from under the bondage of all the Egyptian gods, all the principalities and powers.

No comments: