Page images
PDF
EPUB

а

tory, and their then present condition, and they surely expected a very different answer from our Lord-one, indeed, by which they could accuse Him to their Roman masters; and one which they did not fail to repeat (Luke xxiii. 2), though knowing its falsity:

We get here a divine principle that in a general way, that which is due to those in authority does not clash with that which is due to God. We

say in a general way, for cases may occur when it is a question of obeying God or man (Acts v. 29), and then the choice is clear, though it lead to martyrdom.

Verses 23-33. Another temptation follows. The Sadducoes, with a like purpose, bring a wily question. The gist of it is given in their saying, that " there is no resurrection.” Seven brethren had one wife in succession. In the resurrection, whose wife should she be?

Our Lord first charges them with ignorance of the scripture and of the power of God. In the resurrection there is no marriage—in this respect the raised ones are to be like the angels. God had been declared in their scriptures that He was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; He was not the God of the dead, but of the living. The multitude were astonished at our Lord's doctrine; alas, for the Sadducees! nothing is said of them.

As this was a question of resurrection, a careless reader might conclude that if Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob were alive, the resurrection of the Old Testament saints had taken place. But nothing is said of their bodies. It was a fact that these patriarchs were alive; and that is all that is asserted. We get an illustration in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. (Luke xvi.) The beggar died, and was carried into Abraham's bosom; the rich man died, and was buried. But in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments. There both are represented as alive in Hades, as soon as they died. These are truths of vital importance now that the eternity of punishment is being so much denied. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive, but not yet raised as to their bodies.

Verses 34–40. A lawyer is now the spokesman, and he asked, which was the great commandment of the law. Our Lord gave an epitome of the whole law in two commandments. It was to love God with all the heart, all the soul, and all the mind; this was the first and great commandment.

The second was to love our neighbours as ourselves. All the law and the prophets hung upon these two commandments.

It is to be remarked that it says not only that all the law hung upon these two, but also all the prophets. Their testimony, when not foretelling future events, was invariably to bring the people back to God, and then claiming righteous dealings with their brethren.

Nothing is here said of the result of this reply of our Lord's. In Mark xii. we find that the scribe made an intelligent reply, and our Lord declared that he was not far from the kingdom of God.

The lawyers were those who studied the law of Moses and instructed the people. He is called a scribe in Mark.

Verses 41-46. Our Lord then asked the Pharisees a question. Christ was David's Son, and yet he called Him Lord. Now could He be both ? This was altogether beyond them. In their questions they addressed Him as Master, or Teacher: they had not risen above that. Their own scrip

ture should have taught them that David called Christ by the title of Lord, though He was also his Son. Through God's mercy we can answer the question. He was both the root and offspring of David. He descended from David as a man; but as God He was David's Lord.

At the close we have this testimony, that from that day they durst ask Him no more questions. He had completely silenced all their cavilling. There was that divine wisdom among them that none could gainsay, still they would not bow to it.

HINTS ON THE TABERNACLE AND ITS

SACRIFICES.

THE CURTAINS AND THE COVERINGS.

[ocr errors]

The first covering for the tabernacle was of “finetwined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet with cherubims of cunning work. The length of

” each curtain was to be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth four cubits; and ten of such curtains would make a length of forty cubits, by twenty-eight wide. This allowed ten cubits to go across the tabernacle, and nine to hang down on each side.

This would leave one cubit of the gold-covered boards to be seen at each side.

The fine-twined linen is a type of purity. Blue is heavenly; purple is royalty ; scarlet, human glory; cherubims of cunning work, divine graces. All these are to be found in perfection in Christ. This curtain shut in the tabernacle. At the sides were to be seen the gold-covered boards, and at the roof the beautiful curtain of cunning work.

Over this were curtains of goats' hair.

This was

larger than the above curtain. It extended to forty-four cubits in length, thirty in breadth. Part of it was to be doubled " in the forefront of the tabernacle.” It allowed ten for the back, thirty for the length, and four for overlapping in the front.

There is difference of judgment as to whether this curtain was laid flat on to the linen one, or whether it was treated more as a tent-covering, and was raised on tent poles above the tabernacle. In favour of this latter view we read that this covering is for the tent upon the tabernacle—a different word is used for 6 tent” and “tabernacle”

-but on the other hand, nothing is said of any tent poles to raise it above the tabernacle.

Hair points to the dress of the prophet (2 Kings i. 1; Matt. iii. 4), and is typical of complete separation.

Over this was another covering of rams' skins dyed red-Christ's perfect devotedness to God.

And last of all was a covering of badgers' skins -vigilant holiness that repelled every form of evil.

Thus was the tabernacle preserved from all external influences surrounding it.

At the door of the tabernacle, upon five pillars, hung a curtain of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen, wrought with needlework. This bid, from the view of any who came to the brazen altar, the contents of the tabernacle and the priests who might be officiating there.

The interior of the tabernacle was also divided by the veil, hung upon four pillars, separating it into the holy place, and the holy of holies. This veil was of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and finetwined linen of cunning work, with cherubims shall it be made." It is called a veil because it hid the most holy place from even the eyes of the priests. From the New Testament (Heb. x. 20), we know that it was typical of the flesh of Christ. This is the veil that was rent from top to bottom at the crucifixion of our Lord, teaching us that the way into the holiest is now made manifest. It is called in Hebrews ix. 3, the second veil, alluding no doubt to the curtains at the door of the tabernacle as the first veil. In the Old Testament we read but of one veil.

The court boundary was also made of curtains, hung upon pillars. They were to be of fine-twined linen. The curtains that formed the door were to be of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen wrought with needlework.

Thus were the intelligent Jews taught that the presence of God in their midst was marked with absolute purity, combined with that which was heavenly, and royal, and glorious. The tabernacle itself was all glorious within, and the outside shewed that which repelled everything that tended to defile in this sin-stricken world of ours.

The teacher can work out the lesson to any needed extent by shewing how our Lord answered to the tabernacle and its coverings in every particular. He was God manifest in the flesh.

OUTLINE OF A LESSON. DEAR MR. EDITOR,

Believing you are only too glad for us to make use of our magazine, I take the liberty of sending an outline of a lesson with illustrations. Subject, Luke xix. 1-9-The man who was desirous to see Jesus.

Introduction.-No doubt all on board the illfated “Eurydice”—which was capsized in a snow

« PreviousContinue »