Henry Law was Dean of Gloucester from 1862 until his death in 1884. He is especially known for his work entitled "Christ is All: The Gospel in the Pentateuch", which surveys typologies of Christ in the first five books of the Old Testament. It was originally published in 1867. This is part two, dealing with the types in Exodus.
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The Gospel in Exodus
The Gospel in Exodus, H. Law
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
Cover Design: based on an artwork by Toby Hudson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27897824
'I Am That I Am'1
The Smitten Rock. 29
Prevailing Intercession. 33
The Willing Servant45
The Ark Of The Covenant49
The Table Of The Bread Of The Presence. 53
The Golden Lampstand. 57
The Tabernacle. 61
The Bronze Altar65
The Holy Garments. 73
The Incense Altar77
The Washbasin. 81
The Name. 85
"I am that I am." Exodus 3:14
The believer is called to wayfaring and warfaring struggles. He has to bear a daily cross and to fight a daily fight. But in every hour of need a sure support is near. Behold Moses. The ground which he must tread is very slippery. The hill of his difficulties is very steep. A foe opposes every step. But a staff and a sword are provided for him in the name of his guiding and protecting Lord. 'I AM THAT I AM.' On this he can lean the whole burden of his cares, and fears, and pains. By this he can scatter kings as dust. This support is still the same, ever mighty, ever near. The feeblest pilgrim may grasp it by the hand of faith. And whoever grasps it is 'as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides forever.'
'I AM THAT I AM.' Such is the voice from the burning bush. The Speaker, then, is hidden in no mask of mystery. It is the Angel of the everlasting Covenant. It is the great Redeemer. He would establish His people on the firm rock of comfort. Therefore with trumpet-tongue He thus assures them that all the majesty, all the supremacy, all the glory of absolute and essential Deity, are His inherent right. O my soul, into what a speck must poor man dwindle before such greatness! The limits of the mind cannot scan it. The arms of the heart cannot embrace it. Words are mere skeletons before it. Intellect would desire to fly on eagle's wing around the ever-widening circle. But vain is the effort. Its height is on heaven's summit. What mortal arm can reach it? It is as space which has no bounds. What human line can measure it? Our mortal eyes cannot pierce unlimited expanse. Our scales cannot weigh the mountains. Our vessels cannot measure the ocean's depths. So our faculties are too short to probe the immensities of God. To grasp divine essence requires divine largeness. 'I AM THAT I AM' alone can read the volume of that title.
Shall we then repine? What! repine because our God is so great? Where is the subject who frets because he cannot count his prince's treasures? Let us rather bow our heads in pious adoration. Let us rather give thanks that a mine is open in which the very dust is gold! Let us rather humble ourselves, that we are so slow and careless to gather up the manna of rich truth which falls at the tent-door. Let us rather pray the Spirit to illumine more clearly the written page. Let us rather long for the day when every cloud which veils our God shall brighten into perfect light; and when His people 'shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is.' Come then, and with such loving teachableness let us take our seat beside this sea of truth, and strive with reverence to touch the spray which sparkles on the shore.
'I AM THAT I AM.' Here the first sound is eternity. Jesus, as God, here puts on eternity as His robe. He knows no past. He knows no future. He lives unmoved in one unmoving present. He stretches through all the ages which are gone and which are yet to come. His only bounds are immeasurable boundlessness. Before time was born, He is 'I AM THAT I AM.' When time shall have expired, He still is 'I AM THAT I AM.' If there had been the moment when His being dawned, His name would be, 'I am what I was not.' If there could be a moment when His being must have end, His name would be, 'I am what I shall not be.' But He is, 'I AM THAT I AM.' Thus He treads first and last beneath His feet. He sits on the unbroken circumference of existence, as He who ever was, and ever is, and ever shall be. Let thought fly back, until in weariness it faint; let it look onward until all vision fail; it ever finds Him the same 'I AM.'
Reader! look down now from this astounding glory and fix your eye on Bethlehem's manger. A lowly Babe lies in the lowly cradle of a lowly town, the offspring of a lowly mother. Look again. That child is the eternal 'I AM.' He whose Deity never had birth, is born 'the woman's Seed.' He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within Infant's age, and Infant's form. He, who never began to be, as God, here begins to be, as man. And can it be, that the great 'I AM THAT I AM' shrinks into our flesh, and is little upon our earth, as one newborn of yesterday? It is so! The Lord promised it. Prophets foretold it. Types prefigured it. An angel announces it. Heaven rings with rapture at it. Faith sees it. The redeemed rejoice in it.
But why is this wonder of wonders? Why is eternity's Lord a Child of time? He thus stoops, that He may save poor wretched sinners such as we are. Could He not do so by His will or by His word? Ah! no. He willed, and all things were. He speaks, and all obey. But he must die, as man, that a lost soul may live. To rescue from one stain of sin, the Eternal must take the sinner's place, and bear sin's curse and pay sin's debt, and suffer sin's penalty, and wash out sin's filth, and atone for sin's malignity. 'I AM THAT I AM' alone could do this. 'I AM THAT I AM' alone has done it.
What self-denial, what self-abasement, what self-emptying is here! Surely, royalty in rags, angels in cells, is no descent compared to Deity in flesh! But mighty love moves Jesus to despise all shame, and to lie low in misery's lowest mire. Through ages past His 'delights were with the sons of men.' Eternity to come is but a void, unless his people share His glory. Therefore He humbles Himself to earth, that specks of earth may rise to heaven's immortality. Believer, you rejoice in prospect of thus living with Him forever. But why is there full rapture in the thought? Do not you feel that the crowning ecstasy is in this? Eternity will afford you time to gaze with steady look on a Savior's glories, to sing with unwearied hymn a Savior's praise, to bless with perpetual blessing a Savior's name, and to learn with ever-expanding knowledge a Savior's worth!
There is another note in this loud chorus of truth, which is especial sweetness to the believer's ear. It tells melodiously that Jesus cannot change. He is as constant as He is great. As surely as He ever lives, so surely He ever lives the same. He is an infinity of never-varying oneness. He sits on the calm throne of eternal serenity. Change is the defect of things below—for things below are all defective. Immutability reigns above—for immutability is perfection's essence. Our brightest morn often ends in storm. Summer's radiance gives place to winter's gloom. The smiling flower soon lies withered. The babbling brook is soon a parched-up channel. The friend who smiled, smiles no more friendly welcomes. Bereavement weeps where once the family beamed with domestic joy. Gardens wither into deserts. Babylons crumble into unsightly ruins. On all things a sad inscription writes 'fleeting—transient—vanishing.' Time flaps a ceaseless wing, and from the wings decay and death drop down. 'I AM THAT I AM' sits high above all this. He is 'the same yesterday, and today, and forever.'
The unchangeableness of Jesus is the unchangeableness of His attributes. Each shines brightly in this bright mirror. But a rapid glance at His love and power must suffice. His love is in perpetual bloom. It is always in summertime. The roots are deeply buried in Himself; therefore the branches cannot fade. Believer, drink hourly of this cup of joy. Do not allow Satan to infuse a poisonous doubt. Christ loved you fully when, in the councils of eternity, He received you into His heart. He loved you truly when, in the fullness of time, He took upon Himself your curse, and drained your hell-deep dues. He loved you tenderly when He showed you, by the Spirit, His hands and His feet, and whispered to you that you were His. He loves you faithfully while He ceases not to intercede in your behalf, and to scatter blessings on your person and your soul. He will love you intensely in heaven when you are manifested as His precious purchase and crowned as His bride!
To each enquiry—has He loved? does He love? and will He love?—the one reply is, 'I AM THAT I AM.' Do not raise the objection, if He thus loves, why am I thus? why is my path so rugged, and my heart like flint? You will soon know that your bitterest trials and your sorest pains are sure tokens of His love. The father corrects because he loves. In attentive care the physician deeply probes the wounds. Thus Jesus makes earth hard, that you may long for heaven's holy rest. He shows you your self-vileness that you may prize His cleansing blood. He allows you to stumble that you may cleave more closely to His side. He makes the world a blank that you may seek all comfort in Himself. If He seems to change, it is that you may change. He hides His face, that you may look for Him. He is silent, that you may cry more loudly. His desertion prevents your desertion. He saves from real hell, by casting into seeming hell. But love fails not. All His dealings are its everflowing, overflowing tide. On each the eye of faith can read, 'I AM THAT I AM.'
Power goes hand in hand with love. They co-exist and co-endure. It was a mighty voice which said, 'Be'—and all things were. It was a mighty hand which framed this so wondrous universe. It is a mighty arm which turns the wheel of providence. This power still is, and ever will be, what it always has been. No age enfeebles, and no use exhausts it. This is the Church's rock. The Bible, blazing with its exploits, encourages the 'worm Jacob' to 'be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.' He can still bid the seas of difficulty to recede. He can cause hurricanes and tempests to cease. He can make straight, the crooked paths of evil. He can level the mountains of high-towering corruption. He can stop the lion-mouth of persecution. He can quench the scorching flames of every lust. In the face of all Goliaths, He cheers His followers to victory, under the banner of 'I AM THAT I AM.'
Reader! these thoughts scarcely touch the boundary line of the shadow of this glorious name. But surely they show the blessedness of those who, guided by the Spirit, repose beneath the wings of Jesus. 'The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.' 'I AM THAT I AM' must perish or must change, before their names can be cast from His heart. Some greater power must arise, before they can be plucked from His tight-grasping hand. The bare idea is folly. Happy flock! 'I AM THAT I AM' loves them, and they are loved—calls them, and they follow Him—sanctifies them, and they are sanctified—blesses them, and they are blessed—gives them life, and they live—gives them glory, and they are glorified.
But perhaps it is your wretched case to live unsprinkled by His saving blood. Will you die thus? What! thus appear before His great white throne? His truth condemns you—and it cannot change. His wrath burns hotly against you—and it cannot relent. His power has commission to destroy you—and it cannot be withstood. 'I AM THAT I AM' becomes an idle fable, if truth and wrath and power war not eternally with sin. And can they war and not prevail?
Believer, the eternity and unchangeableness of 'I AM THAT I AM' makes heaven to be heaven forever. Sinner, the eternity and unchangeableness of 'I AM THAT I AM' makes hell to be hell forever.
"It is the Lord's Passover." Exodus 12:11
These words send us back to the last night of Israel's bondage in the land of Egypt. The captives had suffered much and long. The iron furnace had been heated by unpitying hate and by unsparing hands. But God, in His high council, had decreed that a morn of deliverance should dawn. The appointed hour came. No power can now detain. Mad opposition becomes weak. The chosen people must go free.
Believer, stay your soul on the rock of the promises. They are as immovable as He who speaks them. At the set moment you shall march in triumph to your Canaan.
Let us, in thought, intermingle in the solemn scene. It was a night black in dismays, terrible in judgments, wild in affrights, keen in anguish. Throughout the whole of Egypt's empire every house was woe, every face was horror, every heart was misery. Death forced all doors. Each eldest child was a lifeless corpse. There was no exception. The monarch and the slave alike bewailed, in bitter cry, their first-born's sudden and untimely slaughter.
It was a night memorable, also, in sweet displays of tender love. Israel's favored sons were all assembled. But neither death nor fear was in their dwellings. They were equipped for departure from all cruelties and pains. They were feasting at a heaven-appointed table. They were rejoicing in a Gospel ordinance. They were partaking of a slain lamb. This exhibited, in loudly-speaking rites, all the certainties and all the mercies of spiritual redemption. They realized present escape. They looked forward to future safety. They had much in hand. They had more in view.
Reader! let us with joy join these joyous companies. And may the Christ-revealing Spirit show Christ to us, as the substance and truth and glory of the spread feast! God Himself selects the offering. His voice says, 'They shall take to them every man A LAMB.' Thus Jesus is appointed by heavenly wisdom to be the one redeeming sacrifice. An elected Savior is the strong foundation of salvation's pyramid. Blessed provision of our blessing God! Where could we turn, if bidden to find a guilt-removing victim? But grace meets every need. Hearken to the sure tidings, 'Behold my servant, whom I uphold—my elect, in whom my soul delights.'
Reader! God's only begotten Son is God's only appointed Redeemer. He only is called to bear His people's sins. For He alone can sustain such load. He alone is sent to make atonement. For He alone has worthy blood to shed. He alone is commissioned to bring in reconciliation. For He alone can covenant with God. Obey God—present Jesus in the arms of faith. Then your crimson stain is whiter than snow. Your soul is saved. Reject Him, and there remains no more sacrifice for sins.
The lamb must be a male of the earliest age—'Your lamb shall be a male of the first year.' These are signs of vigor in unbroken perfection. Truly He who is to save must be mighty in strength. For think what mighty hindrances oppose. Whose arm can hold back the descending arm of divine wrath? Whose shoulder can sustain the weight of countless sins? Whose force can close hell? Whose power can open heaven? Whose prowess can trample down satanic rage, satanic spirits, and satanic men? In none but Jesus can such sufficiency be found. In Him it abounds to the overflowing of almightiness. The Father's voice proclaims, 'I have laid help upon one that is mighty.' The pledge is given, 'He shall send them a Savior, and a great one.' The fulfillment is in Jesus, 'The great God and our Savior.' He is the Lamb in all the energy of perfect strength.
The Lamb must be without blemish—'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.' Jesus, while man below, was pure as God in heaven's brightness. Sin strove in vain to soil Him. Foul temptations thickly fell, but left Him spotless as the light of day. The Father's eye, which cannot look upon uncleanness, delighted in Him as the clear mirror of His own glory. In Him, human nature shone in the luster of divine holiness. In Him was sinlessness which could atone for sin. In Him was righteousness which satisfied the law.
The lamb must be 'set apart for four days.' Thus in heaven, through eternal days, Jehovah's eye inspected Jesus, as the fore-ordained expiation for the foreseen evil. Thus on earth, through the days preceding the cross, He was tested by every judge—and thus, universal consent crowned Him with the crown of untarnished blamelessness. Even Satan, speaking by blood-guilty lips, proclaimed that there was no fault in Him.
The lamb must be 'slain by the whole assembly of the congregation.' Not one voice was silent, when the dreadful cry went forth, 'Crucify Him, crucify Him.' Believer, not one sin of all your life was absent, when Jesus was dragged to the cross. All your transgressions strained the cords. They concurred to drive in the nails, and to make deep the wounds. Your iniquities brought in His death. His death brings in your life.
The 'blood must be sprinkled on the lintel, and on the doorposts of each dwelling.' The shed blood must be used. It must be openly exhibited as a distinguishing sign. If the destroyer finds the preserving mark, the foot of vengeance must pass over. If there be no shield of blood, the arrows of death must do their work.
Reader! the Gospel moves poor sinners to appropriating efforts. Christ is uplifted, that eyes may look to Him. He is an open refuge, that feet may fly to Him. His blood flowed, that it may be taken by the hand of faith. Do you live a blood-besprinkled life? Is your soul at all times fresh dripping from this stream? If so, you safely dwell beneath salvation's wings. Justice cannot drag you to execution. The curse cannot blight you. The law cannot condemn you. Vengeance cannot slay you. The blood upon you cries—Away! stand back! no foe can touch, where I protect. But are you thus marked as Christ's? If not, arise speedily and flee unto the wounded Lamb. The day is far spent: the night of ruin is at hand. The destroyer is at your heels. Each house unmarked was a house unspared. Each soul unwashed will be a soul undone. An applied remedy alone can heal.
Not one drop stained the floor. The blood of Jesus is the most precious thing in heaven and in earth. The Father honors it with all heaven's honors. The saints in light praise it with all heaven's praises. The saints on earth rejoice in it with all heart's rapture. Satan flees before it. Shall godless men treat it with rejecting scorn? Let them beware—on the heart it is a seal of life—beneath the feet it is the stamp of hell.
The flesh must be roasted with fire. We have here the keenest image of the keenest torture. The pain of pains is to be slowly devoured by the scorching flames. But this is a faint image of what Jesus verily endured. O my soul, deal closely with the sufferings of your suffering Lamb. Let the amazing facts be the very fibers of your constant thought. Daily visit the garden. Hourly study the cross. What is the sight, what are the sounds, which there confront you? The God-man Jesus lies crushed to the earth. He bends beneath a weight of woe. The saddest groans proclaim the writhings of a tortured soul. Each pore weeps blood. Agony could not more agonize. A piteous cry confesses that the black horrors of desertion blackened around Him. These marks of extremest anguish have clear meaning. The Passover Lamb is roasted with fire.
Believer, Jesus was tormented in your stead. All the wrath which all your sins deserved was outpoured on Him. The vengeance of God descended in all its fury on Him. The curse of the law exacted its utmost on Him. The flames of hell tightly grasped Him. He endured the very miseries which all His people must have endured if they had wailed forever in the lake of fire. Faith sees it and exclaims—I live, for Jesus died. I cannot suffer. Jesus has exhausted all. Wrath cannot touch me, because it has touched Him!
Each inhabitant of the house must feed upon the lamb. So every one who would be saved must verily partake of Christ. To hear of Him, to touch the emblems of His dying love, to know His merits, to commend His worth, will profit little. Faith takes Christ, Christ Himself, as its own. It makes Him the very juice and substance of the inner man. Jesus is the believer's never-ending banquet. He feasts on Christ now. He will feast with Christ forever.
A bone of the lamb may not be broken. Jesus indeed was harshly treated. But no wounds marred His bones. They weakened not the pillars of His strength. He lives all-vigorous in salvation's might. He stands the unbroken, the unblemished column of His people's hopes. The marvelous fulfillment, also, of this command, proves Jesus of Nazareth to be the true Passover of God. When the soldiers 'came to Jesus and saw that He was dead already, they broke not His legs.' The unwitting heathen unwittingly accomplished the Jewish type. Infidelity, what can you reply? Know, that as no ignorance is like yours, so no ruin will be like yours.
The lamb must be eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. These requirements shadow out the combined graces of penitence and sincerity. Reader, do you boast of hope in Christ? It only dwells in a heart ground to powder under a sense of sin. Tears are the magnifying medium through which the cross attracts. Faith has no root in rocky soil. It only blossoms in the moist garden of a weeping spirit. They come in sorrow's sackcloth who receive Christ's justifying robe.
Do you boast that Christ is your feast? Where is your unleavened bread? Sin loved, sin cherished, sin retained, turns heaven's food into hell's poison. A searching eye comes in to see the guests. Leaven in their hands, leaven in their mouths, leaven in their hearts, is a fatal mark. They must go away to the cell of hypocrites.
The lamb must be eaten 'in the attitude of haste, and with equipment for departure.' The loins must be girded. The feet must be shod. The hands must hold the staff. Here is the believer waiting for his summons, with wings expanded towards his far-off home. Earth's ties are all severed. Anchors are weighed. The eye is strained for the signal, 'Come up here!' Reader, are you thus ready? It is miserable to have ought to do, when doing-time is past. He is a foolish servant who has to seek the key when his Lord knocks. He is a poor advocate, who has to find a plea when he is called to plead. When death comes, have nothing to do, but just to die.
Believer, may you hear, in these poor lines, the Spirit calling you to this Gospel feast. It is His voice, 'Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.' I deeply feel that without His light, His grace, His power, we cannot see or know or love or serve or glorify our Lord. But may He be pleased to open our eyes, that we may behold the rich plenteousness of our paschal-feast! May He show us the glories of Jesus, as the Lamb slain! May He enable us to receive Him as our All! May He fill our hearts with the longing prayer, 'Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.'
"You must redeem every firstborn son." Exodus 13:13
If there is a theme which claims incessant thought, it is Redemption. Job's sweetest word is, 'I know that my Redeemer lives.' Heaven is a pyramid of redeemed souls. The melody of eternal harps is, 'You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.'
Reader! study, then, I beg you, Redemption more and more. Explore its need, its plan, its worth, its end. Without this knowledge your soul is dark, your heart is cold, faith has no sure resting-place, hope has no anchor, love has no kindling flame, service has no constraining motive. Except this stream flow in a deep channel, the Bible is the mocking course of a summer brook.
It is the Spirit's will that we should clearly see and tightly grasp this subject. He announces it in plainest terms. He embodies it in distinct images. He paints it in vivid types. He predicts it in prophetic song. He exhibits it in holy rites. Thus in the earliest pages of Israel's story an ordinance stands forward, which surely is designed to cast a flood of revealing rays on the main features of redeeming work.
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