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Seventh Period

SEVENTH PERIOD.

FROM JESUS' ENTOMBMENT UNTIL HIS RESURRECTION.
THE CONCLUDING SABBATH OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
HISTORY.

§ 9 8. The Sabbath of the Creator and the Sabbath of
the Eedeemer.

THIS seventh period is a space of one day and a portion of two others. But as Moses (Ps. xc. 4) says, a thousand years in the sight of God are as a day, so Peter (2 Pet. iii. 8) with equal propriety says, " One day is with the Lord as a thousand years" —these three scant days outweigh centuries. They form the transition from the Old Testament history to the New, as the Sabbath of creation is the transition from the creation of the world to the subsequent history of that world. All the Gospels agree that it was a Friday (paraskeue) on which the Saviour was crucified. On a Friday the Eedeemer ended His sufferings, and here as there followed upon this Friday a Sabbath, which there was the dividing wall between the creation of the world and the world's history; here it is the dividing wall between conflict and victory, suffering and reward of suffering, attainment of salva

THE SIGN OF THE PROPHET JONAH. 195

tion and its consummation. Until then there stood side by side the old covenant which was still in force, and the new covenant which was in process of formation.

§ 99. The Sign of the Prophet Jonah.

As God proved through Jonah that His intention in the call of a prophet could not be nullified by anything, so He will prove it through Jesus. The One who was supposed to be dead will appear to the terror of this generation, which demands a sign. But the significance of the sign, Matt. xii. 3.9 sq., extends farther. As Jonah, so Jesus who has passed through a three days' grave turns to the heathen: Jonah, since in the midst of the Old Covenant he accomplishes a more New Testament than an Old Testament mission; Jesus, since as the Eisen One He begins the new covenant, of which He Himself is the bond, by sending His disciples to every creature under heaven. The entire significance of the sign is concentrated in the fact, that the salvation of the world, which breaks through the previous national barriers, goes forth from the death which Jesus suffers at the hands of the Jews.

Eemark.—The Book of Jonah is like a dove sent out from Israel, which brings the heathen the olive branch of peace. It is a self-justification of the God of Israel, against the mistake that He is the exclusive, national God of the Jews. That which is typical in the conduct and suffering of Jonah consists in the fact that it is Jewish narrowness which renders him disobedient to God's command. It is likewise Jewish narrowness which commits the judicial murder on the Saviour of the world. Judaism condemned itself in putting the Holy One of God to death. Dead through Judaism to Judaism, that is, removed beyond the national barriers, the Eisen One turns to the heathen, until the recognition scene between Joseph and his brethren shall be typically repeated between Jesus and the people of Israel.1

§ 100. The Mysterious Word concerning the Eebuilding of the Temple.

"Destroy the temple," said Jesus, "and in three days I will raise it up" (John ii. 19). "He spake," as the evangelist adds, " of the temple of His body." But in what connection does the temple of His body stand with the temple whose cleansing he had just accomplished? His body was the destruction of this ATTAINMENT OF PROPHETICAL PROGRESS TO REST. 197

1 The following beautiful comparison is given in Baumgarten's TJieohqischer Commentar zum Pentateuch, Kiel 1843, pp. 345, 346: "As Joseph betrayed [by his brethren] first became a ruler in Egypt, and as such saved the Egyptians from destruction, while his father supposed he was dead and his brethren went about under the curse of their guilt, so too Christ crucified first becomes a king of the heathen, while His brethren wander disheartened under the curse of His blood, which cries to heaven. But when the fulness of the heathen shall have been brought into the kingdom of salvation, then in the deepest privacy, without the presence of a stranger, He will make Himself known to His brethren, and then all Egypt shall know that the Lord of Egypt is the son and brother of Israel."

stone temple, and His resurrection was the raising up of a new spiritual temple, whose fundamental and efficacious beginning is the Eisen One Himself, for "the Church is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. i. 23). The enigmatical word of Jesus hints at the fulfilment of Zech. vi. 12 sq., and at the same time of Hos. vi. 2. As He went forth from the grave the temple arose, whose foundation and corner-stone is Himself. His "quickening" was at the same time the quickening (compare Eph. ii. 5; Col. ii. 13) of His Church, which is a regenerated congregation from Israel and all nations. F. C. Baur1 (b. 1792, d. 1860) says: the temple made with hands (Mark xiv. 58) is the real temple; the three days refer to the resurrection, and the expression " not made with hands" refers to the resurrection and the new spiritual religion. But we say that it refers to the Eisen One and the Church, which, according to 1 Cor. vi. 19, 2 Cor. vi. 16, is His body, and the temple of the Holy Spirit.

§ 101. The Attainment of the Prophetical Progress to Rest.

The Sabbath when Jesus was in His grave is the transition from an old Israel to a new, from the congregation of the law to the congregation of the new birth; it is the conclusion of the Old Testament his

1 Kritische Untersuchungen iiber die Kanonischen Evangelien, Tubingen 1847, p. 141.

Remark 3.—The reasons why Jesus submits to the baptism of John are the following:—

(1) The Sinless One submits to the baptism of repentance,—

(a) Because He is not only apparently, but also really, born a member of the people for whom the baptism of John is ordained as a means of sanctifying initiation into the kingdom of heaven.

(&) He can submit to it, because although He is without sin, yet He is not without a human nature, which is affected by the consequences of sin; in brief, because He has entered into a solidarity with sinful man.

(2) The King of the heavenly kingdom submits to the baptism which constitutes a claim to that kingdom, in so far as the initiation for the coming kingdom of heaven can be at the same time an initiation for its coming King, who, like the kingdom of heaven itself, ascends from humility to glory.

§ 93. The Victor over the Tempter.

The Messiah's consecration is followed by a test, and this test takes on such a form that the relation of the history of Jesus becomes evident not only to the history of Israel, but also to that of mankind. Israel, the people of salvation, God's first-born, was tried forty years in the wilderness, but yielded time after time to its lusts, and proved itself, with a few exceptions, to be incompetent for its calling. The first human pair THE LEGISLATOR 187

were tried in Paradise, where the divine love surrounded them with a thousand evidences of its reality. Yet they fell from the relation in which the Creator had placed them to Himself, instead of ratifying it by an actual recognition. But Jesus, the Man of Salvation, God's only-begotten Son, the second Adam, overcomes all the attacks of the evil one, which after forty days of spiritual conflict reached their climax, and proves Himself to be the One who is to accomplish Israel's redemptive calling, and to restore in a transcendent way that which was lost through Adam.

Eemark.—Forty is the number indicating continuance under similar conditions between polar extremes, —the number of the time of waiting, of the crisis, of the way to the goal. The following are examples:—Forty days Goliath stands over against the camp of Israel challenging them, until the son of Jesse comes (1 Sam. xvii. 16). Forty days Moses lingers upon Mount Sinai, neither eating nor drinking, until he receives the tables of the covenant (Ex. xxiv. 18, xxxiv. 28). According to the same principle, forty days also pass between the resurrection and ascension. This rhythmical return of forty days really seems to be, as John Peter Lange (b. 1802) has remarked, a secret law of historical life.

§ 94. The Legislator.

Jesus appeared as a prophet like Moses, preaching on the mountain the programme of the kingdom, and giving a better Tora instead of the Sinaitic. As the Book of the Covenant (Ex. xx.-xxiii.) is the fundamental compendium of the Sinaitic Tora, so the Sermon on the Mount is the fundamental compendium of the Zionitic Tora (Isa. xlii . 4, compare ii. 3). The good and holy essence of the Old Testament law, on account of the unbroken natural character of Israel, had to be fixed in stone letters; and since it could only appear at first as a sanctifj'ing order of life of a single people, it enters into national barriers. The preacher on the mount shatters both these phenomenal forms,—the literal and the national,-:—and releases its good and holy substance, that is, the spirit of the law. With the words, " But I say unto you," He sets His legislative will against not only the Pharisaic ordinances, but also against the Old Testament appointments of the law; for God, who gave a law on Sinai to Israel, is in Him, and does not now give a law from the cloud in the midst of thunder and lightning, but through man's mouth for man.

Eemark.—The Sermon on the Mount begins with ten benedictions, which correspond to the ten fundamental words of the Old Testament Tora, for the word fiaicdpioi, "blessed," is repeated nine times (Matt. v. 3-11), and the tenth time (ver. 12) it is transformed into the sonorous finale, ^alpere Kol ayaXkiacrOe, "Bejoice and be exceeding glad." The four first makdrioi relate to the condition and disposition of the citizens of the kingdom: poverty, sorrow, meekness, aspiration; the three following relate to their chief virtues: mercy, purity of heart, peaceableness; and THE WORKER OF MIRACLES. 189

the three last to their lot in this world: ignominy, persecution, calumny. The Sermon on the Mount contains in an elementary manner all the essential parts of the New Testament doctrine of the person of the Eedeemer, His work, and the way of salvation. The relation in which they stand forth and recede is conditioned through the law of progress, under which not only Jesus' work, but also His person was placed.

§ 9 5. The Worker of Miracles.

But Jesus prepares the coming kingdom of heaven not only by preaching, but also by working; and as His word, so also His miracles are anticipatory representations of the new order of things. Sin brought death, and has therewith subjugated man to disease, which is ever a tendency to death. It has made him as one in bondage, subject to the dominion of evil. It has estranged him from the natural world, and this from him. What is now the object of the appearance and the goal of Christ's work? To overcome sin, death, and the devil, and to liberate man from spiritual and bodily evil; to make the one in bondage free, and the servant a master. Everywhere the miracle appears as the necessary supplement of the proclamation; the word indicates the way of salvation, the miracle manifests the bringer of salvation, and actually shows what faith has to expect from Him.

Eemark.—It is an error when Hegel indicates this as the chief standpoint of reason, that the spiritual cannot become externally accredited but only through and in itself. The same view is also found in Chrysostom.1 But the miracle not only serves for the confirmation of a truth which is external to it; it is not only a means, it is itself an end. Miracles prove that Jesus is what He is. They are preludes of His work in its completion.

§ 96. The Mediator.

It is a necessity for one who loves a man with his entire soul to direct all the power of his activity for his good; and when he can promote this good through the acceptance of hardship, of suffering, nay, when through his death he can preserve the life of such a friend, love makes this suffering a rapture for him. Thus Jesus loved not this or that man more than another— He loved man. He saw man under the bondage of evil, fettered by sin, under the ban of death; and since He knew that He was free from sin, He determined to put Himself at the head of sinful humanity as its representative before God, to take all the guilt and its consequences upon His heart and conscience; and that thereby man might become free from wrath and hell, He determined to plunge into the abyss of both, that

1 Opera, Benedictine edition, vol. v. p. 271 : rous raxfripous taytipn

idU Tuv <ripaffVMvv o piv yap u$9l*\o$ xai (pidXoorotpoS auliv Oir.irirai TftJV orrifj.iiov.

fiaxapioi yap el ftfi l^ovris xxi xiffriuo-avris. "He was awakening the most fleshly by means of the miraculous, for the noble and the philosopher do not need signs; for blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."

THE MEDIATOR. 191

it might be shut. The history of the world knows no friend of man like Him. Even if Jews and heathen had not murdered Him by joining hands, His compassionate, ardent love for man would have consumed Him like a burning fever. The thought of offering Himself to God, that man might again become an object of God's favour, ruled His entire inward and outward life; and His unique origin from God was not detrimental to the reality of the passion, but rather intensified its anguish; for the more tender the body is, the greater is its susceptibility to pain, and the more the soul thirsts for love, the more deeply it feels its rejection by God and men. The fact that in Gethsemane grief and trembling seized upon Him, and momentarily dimmed His consciousness concerning the necessity of His dying, can only be explained by supposing that He looked down into the very depths of His impending death as the decree of God's wrath. He was not afraid of death in itself, but of the death in which the sins of man and the furious assault of Satan would do their utmost to destroy Him, and in which He would feel the entire weight of God's wrath, which He sought to propitiate; in a word, He was afraid of the bruise which He was to receive from -the serpent in His heel. As He cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" He came, in being thus forsaken by God, to taste the curse which would have fallen upon us, if in the midst of this utmost strain upon the trinitarian relation He had not held fast the divine love and won us back.

tory. This history presented itself to us as a typical progress, independent of conscious human volition, and accompanied by the revelation in words, whose contents and measure is determined in a pedagogical way according to the comprehension and need of the recipient. This twofold process has now found its conclusion; prophecy has reached its goal in Him who is the fulfilment of the prophecy of Malachi concerning the angel of the covenant back to the protevangelium. The parallel converging series of prophecies, announcing the parousia of Jehovah and the parousia of the second David, have been united in the person of the God-man Christ. The Servant of Jehovah has now offered Himself, and the depth of His humiliation has become the beginning of His exaltation. The root of Jesse will now soon stand as a banner for the nations. The Son of Abraham has become a curse in order to become a blessing to all the families of the earth. The Son of the woman has endured the bruise in the heel from the serpent; but He sank to conquer, and rose from the dead that He might share God's throne, until all His enemies should be made His footstool.

§ 102. The Attainment of the Typical Progress to Best.

The murder by Cain is accomplished, and the blood of the second Abel cries. The second Noah has entered into the ark of the grave, and will soon send forth a dove, which shall announce that a new world

ATTAINMENT OF TYPICAL PROGRESS TO REST. 199

has arisen from the waters. Isaac has left the sacrificial wood, Golgotha has become another Moriah. Jacob-Israel has ceased to wrestle, and has won the blessing. Judah has come to Shiloh, the place of rest. David has patiently endured, and will soon reign as Solomon, and minister like Melchizedek. Elisha, "the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof," is buried, but in his bones the powers of life are active. Thus all the types as well as prophecies of the Old Testament now celebrate in Him their Sabbath. The Servant of Jehovah, torn by anguish and judgment, has entered into peace, and rests in his narrow chamber. The Good Shepherd has made the grave His bed, after His unthankful people had pierced Him; but it is really the sword of Jehovah which has smitten Him. The sword of Jehovah has smitten Him, but love has guided the sword of wrath; for this death is designed to be our life, these wounds are to be the fountains of our salvation. The seed-corn of Paradise now lies in the stillness of the earth. He rests in God's love, and His repose in death is life. The race of the flood, the spirits in prison, see the Living One, and in His hand the keys of hell and death. But the congregation below, which is to be, waits for the sign of Jonah. It prays with Habakkuk (iii. 2), "Eevive Thy work in the midst of the years;" and hopes with Hosea (vi. 2), "On the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live before Him." The resurrection is the fiat lux (let there be light) of a new spiritual creation. The Sunday of the resurrection is the daybreak of the New Testament history. For since now the new man, the second Adam, has come, the re-establishment of a new humanity begins. The redemption is completed, and the gathering and perfection of the redeemed now begins.