The Word for today:
The things He did for love… (He didn’t have to do it.)
Exodus 21:1-6 depicts the ardent love behind salvation. Legally, the servant could go free, but…
If the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. (Exodus 21:5-6).
If a man became a slave to another man (usually because of indebtedness), at the end of a certain period of time he could go free. Suppose during that period he met another slave, a woman, they fell in love and married and had children. When it was time for the man to go free, he could leave, but his wife and children could not go with him because she was a slave. What could this man do? He could decide that because he loved his master and his wife he would not leave.
Jesus Christ was in no sense actualized or even defined by dying for your sins and saving your life. He could have walked away at any time and been no less the eternal Son of God, eternally adored by myriad hosts of angels, each in rapt awe proclaiming, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
But driven by love for the bride, He shed heaven’s glory to live a life of deprivation and then die on a cross. So too our relationship with Him and service in His name should be propelled by love, not obligation. Our obedience and service derives from the heart — a “want to” and not a “have to.”
Why would the Old Testament piercing take place at a doorpost?
Because it would bring to mind the posts which the children of Israel had recently marked at the top, bottom, and sides—in the shape of a cross—with the blood of the Passover Lamb.
Moreover, it is a preview of the day when the Servant would be nailed to the cross:
He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5/NIV)
Just have to ask: The Servant had his ear pierced. Did Jesus, then, wear an earring? (1)
The more one studies the Bible, the more one realizes how relentlessly Christ-centered it is. The Old Testament pictures aren’t just suggestive of Jesus, but they are Jesus, in a timeless sense that is so certain it is more than real.
And so while I do not “know” if Jesus wore an earring, of course he did! — it says so right in Exodus 21.
(1) The slave who was pierced often marked his choice by wearing an earring.