Exodus 32 is in many ways one of the lowest points of the Old Testament. Merely days after Israel has been wonderfully rescued from slavery in Egypt they break commandments, forget Moses, and fall down to worship an idol. Whether they thought the Golden Calf was YHWH, or whether it was to replace Him i'm not sure, but it's still awful. As i was reading it this morning, i spotted something that i'm not sure i've ever seen before, so this post comes with an **original though warning** but i thought it was an interesting road to Jesus from right at the end of the chapter.
Exodus 32:35 says 'the LORD sent a plague on Israel, because they made a calf, the one that Aaron made.' When we first read that it doesn't make much sense, it seems like poor English. Who made the calf, Aaron or the people. We read at the start of the chapter that at the people's request Aaron made the calf from all the gold that Israel had plundered from Egypt...So why are the people going to suffer for what Aaron had done? Surely Aaron should be struck with sword and then plague, not the people themselves? Aaron should have known better, why should the people suffer.
Are they suffering under their, albeit temporary, federal head? Jesus is the Moses we wait for at the end of the Pentateuch, just as Moses is the only one who can represent Israel before Pharaoh and YHWH, so Jesus is the only one who can represent His people in front of the Father. But right here, Aaron has responsibility for these people. Just as Adam was our head, just as Jesus is our head, so for this short time, Aaron is the head. Aaron the brother of Moses, Aaron the Levite. he should be a safe pair of hands.
The head sins, and the people are punished. Moses, the real head intercedes for them, and they are rescued. Jesus is punished so that we will not be. So who is our head to be? Jesus, who lead His people away from sin into freedom, or one, who leads His people into sin away from freedom? Aaron is not an Adamic figure throughout Exodus, he is the father of the priesthood in many ways, but right here he sins and leads his people astray, into judgement.
So who is our head to be, the freedom bringing sin killer, or the judgement bringing sin committer, here Aaron, always Adam...
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