"Love! Do you know the meaning of the word?" 'How should I not?' said the Lady, 'I am in love...in Love Himself.'
~C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Undoing of the Curse: Jezebel and Eutychus

The Recapitulation theory of the Atonement states that Christ's death undoes all of what we got wrong. This view sees many New Testament figures and events as being the anti-type of their Old Testament counterparts. Hence, Christ gives the law again on a mountain; the New Moses. The miracle of all hearing the gospel in their own language at Pentecost is the undoing of the curse placed on the people of the world at the Tower of Babel in Genesis. Many, many other examples could be cited.

A thought came to my mind Tuesday night though of what might potentially be another example. Many know the story of the evil queen Jezebel. The wife of King Ahab, Jezebel was a hateful, adulterous woman. She murdered Naboth, was an idolater, and was responsible for the slaying of many of the Lord's prophets. ( I Kings 18:3 ) As a punishment for her sins, several eunuchs toss Jezebel out of a window later in II Kings, and she is trampled underfoot by a horse and was nearly completely devoured by dogs. Death by window.

Wouldn't you know it, there is a case in the New Testament of a man falling out of a window and dying. At this point I should inform you, my readers, that I originally had intended this to be a somewhat funny post...one that played off my friend Father Peter's idea that a "little bit of levity, leaveneth the entire lump." But as I thought about it there may be something much more significant at play. In Acts 20:9 it is recorded that a man named Eutychus fell out of a window three stories high while listening to Saint Paul preach. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

In other words, we have in the story of Jezebel a woman who would not listen to the prophets of the Lord who were calling her to repentance. In fact, she aggressively sought to snuff them out. While Eutychus was not as malicious, he too did not find the Word of the Lord or the prophet of the Lord stimulating enough to listen.

But here is the twist. Whereas Jezebel was left for animal food, Eutychus was raised from the dead by Paul in the ensuing verses. It is important not to violate a text of Scripture by seeing things that are not there. But it really is a wonderful picture of the powerful grace of Christ, poured out in the New Testament, to restore one who failed to hear his prophet. Perhaps, than, the story of Eutychus stands to us as one of the great "undoings" of the curse in the Old Testament.

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