August 07, 2008

Age of Consent

Age of Consent

Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar Genesis 22:9

Bound – According to Jewish tradition, Isaac was a young man of marriageable age (approximately 36) when his father Abraham took him to be sacrificed. Erase the idea of Isaac as the innocent and helpless child. At age thirty-six, Isaac could have easily overpowered his one-hundred year-old father. He did not do so. He consented to be bound. He obeyed in spite of the fact that his death was clearly imminent. In this story we have a foreshadowing of the great sacrifice of Yeshua who also consented to the will of His Father and was bound to the cross for our sins.

But there is even more here than this great foretelling of God’s ultimate gift. You see, the word for bound is akod. It describes wrapping in order to secure. The Jewish rabbinical scholar Rashi says that this word refers to the ring-like marks that are left behind as an indication of the binding. In other words, even after the ropes have been removed, the signs of akod still remain. The forensic evidence of submission leaves its impression.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Yeshua retained the marks of His submission even in His resurrected body? Why was that necessary? If the resurrected body is the perfectly redeemed expression of the true nature of the human being, why weren’t those terrible reminders of the agony of the cross removed? Why wasn’t the body of the resurrected Messiah perfectly new? The answer, of course, is that these marks of akod are the eternal badges of His fulfilled mission. When you and I see Him, we will see the marks. They are reminders that He had to be bound in order for us to be freed.

Now this raises a question for us. What are your akod marks? What have you allowed the Father to bind so that you could be obedient to Him? I suspect that we each have these identifying badges of consent. They are uniquely ours. There is something that God pressed us about, some element of our human will that had to respond, “Not my will but yours be done.” My guess is that this act of obedience left a scar. Do not expect that scar to go away. It is the eternal reminder that you belong to the ones who consented to be sacrificed. This is not a scar that you got on the way to conversion. Those painful reminders of past sins will be washed into the forgiving sea. These new markings are the evidence of your post-conversion obedience. They will not be washed away.

That does not mean that they were not painful. It just means that they were worth it.

A follower of Yeshua who does not bear any marks of akod is either too weak to allow God’s gracious suffering or too foolish to see what suffering really is all about.

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