Seeing Jesus in Every Page: The Sin Offering

“History is His-story.”

Over time in my walk with the Lord Jesus, I’ve come to realize that when He said, “the scriptures speak of me”, He meant it in more ways than we have previously anticipated.

Very often we read the treasured scriptures as we would a magazine or a news paper, skimming through and reading our own premonitions into it. . . we easily lose touch with the message hidden within.

Today let me take you along the path of two brothers, Jacob and Esau. Within the famous story of this set of twins is embedded a typology of Jesus – the One who every scripture speaks of.

When both were born, one held on to the foot of the other pulling it, a literal image of a figure of speech; “pulling someone’s legs”. That is ‘trickery’. And so he was named Jacob, a name which actually means ‘deceiver’.

His elder brother Esau on the other hand was born hairy and looked very red. Due to his complexion, in later generations, his descendants were called Edom, a name which means Red!

Esau was so hairy that when Jacob decided to mask himself as Esau to deceive his father, he had to put on goat’s skin to replicate the hairy effect that Esau’s body had. Pretty hard to wrap that around one’s head isn’t it?

Esau and Jacob
Esau and Jacob

A defining moment in their story came one fateful afternoon. Esau the hunter had come back from hunting and was weary to the point of death. He met Jacob with his famous pot of pottage and began to salivate. He asked Jacob to give him some food, but the trick master had something else up his sleeves. He said “on one condition.”

Esau scoffed, “name your price, surely the greatest hunter in the east can afford any price you name.”

Jacob’s price was immaterial, he asked for the birthright. One would have thought that Esau would be appalled by his brother’s request but no, he wasn’t, and on the contrary he was relieved.

“What is the birthright to me? Can’t you see I’m about to die of hunger? Give me the damned pottage and take the birthright if that would solve your problem.”

When the time came for the birthright to be handed over to Esau by their father Isaac, Jacob had to act fast to take what he had purchased for a pot of pottage.

This is the part that interests me in their story; the message within.

Jacob was a type of the world, descendants of Adam and thus a sinner from birth. That’s why from birth he was named Jacob the deceiver.

On the other hand, his brother was a type of Jesus, the Saviour of the world. He was the first born just like Jesus the first begotten of the Father.

He was as hairy as a goat, and goats were used then as sin offerings.

He was named Red, a colour symbolic of sacrifice – the very thing our Sin Offering – Jesus came to do for us.

Esau was meant to sacrifice his birthright for Jacob just as Christ gave up His for the world. He did it so that the sons of men could become sons of God but Esau gave his so that he could satisfy his appetite for a moment. Esau’s sin was not in the giving away of the birthright but for what he gave it away for – a common pot of pottage (well, to a ‘dying man’ (pun intended) there is no ordinary pot of pottage). Christ Jesus gave up His for our sins to be removed.

Today my charge to you is to see Jesus in every page of your life as well as in every page of the Bible, not just in the popular experiences we have but also in the red situations we face. He is there to save and to deliver and He is only a prayer away.

Adams Allison.