Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3
Thesis: The "standard of the year" gave the people of God the essential content of their expectation of redemption.
Introduction: In our last study we saw that Luke was fundamentally interested in revealing to us how the Child, Jesus, was being prepared by the grace of God as He who would undo what Adam did. Whereas Adam joined his wife in her sin, Jesus joined Himself to His bride's sin so that she might join Him in His righteousness. What Adam did in unbelieving rebellion, Jesus undid by believing submission. The paragraph before us is a key part of Luke's argument that Jesus is God's "second" Adam.
This morning we are going to focus our attention upon the "standard of the year" in its dominion over those who hope for the redemption of Jerusalem.
October 2, 2005
- I. The Focus Points of the Text.
- A. Previous focus points.
- 1. The focus of Anna's comments: the redemption of Jerusalem.
- a. Luke's specific terminology is both unique to him and rare outside of one reference in Hebrews 9:12.
- 1) He uses this specific form of "redemption" only twice (1:68 and this text before us in this study).
- 2) The only other New Testament reference with this specific form is Hebrews 9:12 where we are told that Jesus entered into the Holiest Place once with His own blood to cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God.
- b. The New Testament references (including Luke's) are references to a "developed doctrine".
- 1) The "initial" major presentation of the truth of the doctrine was Passover as it was instituted in Egypt.
- 2) The later developments included a major focus upon the Day of Atonement as the Day when the high priest would enter into the Presence of God to bring the blood of a bull (for himself) and the blood of a goat (for the people) to cleanse the nation from its sin.
- a) The use of a goat was highly significant in view of the symbolism of the "goat" as a representation of fallen man (Adam). [Note Hislop and Bullinger as they argue for a "fish goat" as ancient man's understanding of what it took to survive the flood.]
- i. Mark presented the offering of the Bull in his Gospel.
- ii. Luke presents the offering of the Goat in his Gospel.
- b) Exodus 12:5 ties Passover to the Day of Atonement in that the "lamb" could be either of the "sheep" or of the "goats".
- 2. The focus of Luke upon the grace that poured wisdom into the Child so that He was being made strong as He grew.
- B. The focus points of our text.
- 1. Fundamentally, the focus is upon the "standard of the year".
- a. According to Exodus 12:2, the calendar year for the nation of Israel was to be altered so that the nation would begin to mark time from the month in which they were delivered from Egypt by the exercise of the mighty power of God in judgment.
- b. Within that calendar year, there were three "holy convocations" to which the nation was summoned in Jerusalem: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
- 1) Passover was the "initiation of the year" and it was immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread (fifteenth day of first month).
- 2) Pentecost was fifty days from Passover (in the third month of the year).
- 3) Tabernacles was in the seventh month of the year, five days after the Day of Atonement (fifteenth day of the seventh month).
- 4) Nazareth was some 80 miles from Jerusalem and would have required a three-day walk/ride one-way to fulfill the "standard of the year".
- c. These three holy convocations are all directly related to the doctrine of God's Redeemer.
- 1) He was the Passover Lamb.
- 2) He sent the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost so that the message of His redemption could be powerfully proclaimed in the world.
- 3) He tabernacled among us as God in the flesh so that those who believed the message of redemption could behold the glory of God in Him.
- 2. Under that focus, there are two issues...
- a. The issue of Passover.
- 1) The New Testament focus upon Passover is established by 27 references, 20 of which are in what we call the "passion" narratives that tell us that Jesus was crucified at Passover as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.
- 2) Luke's only reference to Passover that is outside of the "passion" narrative is in the text before us.
- 3) There is no question that Luke wished for the "Child", Jesus, to be seen in the particular light of Passover under the thesis of the payment of the redemption price.
- b. The issue of the twelfth year.
- 1) The twelfth year was a year shy of the time when every male became a full-fledged member of the community as a "son of the commandment".
- 2) The number, twelve, was enormously significant throughout divine revelation to the nation.
- a) It was the number of months in the cycle of the year as the measure of one's life.
- b) It was the number of the tribes of the nation.
- c) It was the number of the disciples whom Jesus chose as His apostles who would, in the regeneration, sit upon thrones, governing the twelve tribes.
- d) It was the total of the number of the gates of the walls of the New Jerusalem, as well as the number of the foundation stones beneath those walls.
- 3) The primary significance of the number was that it was the number of a complete representation of something as it was a multiple of both three, with three being a presentation of a completeness, and four, with four being a multiple of two (contrast times contrast) so that it "represented" something in its entirety.
- 4) God's point in Jesus' activities as the "Child" of twelve cycles of life was that He had reached the wisdom required to deal with the anomalies of the contrasts through three complete cycles of those multiplied doubles: thus, the paragraph before us is a statement of two things...
- a) Jesus is "wise" enough to amaze the teachers of the nation.
- b) Jesus is completely dominated by His commitment to the things of His Father.
- II. The Focus Point for Us.
- A. Because all is hopeless without redemption, we are being given a peek into the provision of God of a Redeemer at the end of the first set of three by four cycles. In His actual lifetime on this earth, the Redeemer accomplished three sets of these three by four cycles -- living beyond His thirty-sixth year into His thirty-seventh (thirty-seven being a prime number of high significance -- Jesus' death as the Redeemer was the middle point of a double of 37 that was marked from His birth to the destruction of Jerusalem).
- 1. This peek provides a harbinger of the hope of redemption by "wisdom" and "commitment".
- 2. This peek focuses upon the specific "Child" Jesus.
- B. Redemption can only come through the faultless Passover Lamb Who was slain to keep the Judgment of Eternal Death from coming upon us.