Get out the chocolate Easter eggs! Anyone remember this little slogan from Hershey’s chocolate?
I’m fascinated how the Bible has something for everyone. For the artists, the adventurers, those who love the ancient equivalent of chick-flicks, and (gulp!) yes, even horror stories! This is a tome that communicates both in the concrete and the abstract, through definite laws and regulations, as well as metaphor and poetry and song.
So here’s a nugget for those of us who are treasure hunters, looking for veins of gold in the pages that most of us are tempted to just skim over. For me, one of those for years was Ezekiel (some of it still is, just being honest…) We pick this up in the middle of a heavenly vision where God’s prophet is being instructed on the proper temple worship; but we should remember that in real time, God’s people had been unspeakably wicked and as a result, their beautiful temple now lies in ruins, and they themselves were being ousted from their promised land and are left languishing in captivity in Babylon. Not pretty. After a vision of a gorgeous new temple, here’s part of the instruction that follows—
“The prince must enter the gateway through the entry room, and he must leave the same way. But when the people come in through the north gateway to worship the Lord during the religious festivals, they must leave by the south gateway. And those who entered through the south gateway must leave by the north gateway. They must never leave by the same gateway they came in, but must always use the opposite gateway.”
This doesn’t sound too logical to my otherwise 21st century American ears. I mean, I get that the prince has to go through the same way he came, security being what it is and all that. But for the common people, what’s the big deal?
The big deal is when I see that this is speaking of the promise of the Messiah, the One who would come to save me from my past, my projected eternal future, from myself. The “prince” is the one who came from heaven as the Son of God, and went back to heaven as the Son of God, unstained by my sin, triumphant over Satan’s schemes.
The people come from one place and leave the opposite way; that’s speaks to my 180-degree change of heart (A.K.A., that great old-fashioned word, repentance). It also brilliantly illustrates that fact that we enter the world under sin, and leave as holy, because of our Prince.
And as if that weren’t enough, then this—
“The prince will enter and leave with the people on these occasions.”
That is, Jesus doesn’t leave until He is finished with us. He never forsakes us. Ever.
The Bible has something for everyone, and even though sometimes it might not taste so good at first, it’s all sweet! Happy Easter!
Ezekiel 46:8-10 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.