The riddle

  Posted by Bob Jones on Friday, July 3 8:24 am

Jesus told the disciples on the road to Emmaus that all the scriptures spoke of him.

We should be particularly mindful of:

Eze 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle , and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
Da 8:23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences , shall stand up.

Jesus not only told the parable, but spoke a riddle in the parable. You have been discussing the parable. Let me share on the riddle. The riddles always speak of Christ. So we start with Christ as we parse the parable.

In every other parable of Luke, the rich man is Christ. We should not expect it to be different here. Christ is portrayed in the language of the riddles as prophet, priest, king and judge. In this riddle he is the judge since he wears purple. Yes. Kings wear purple also. But they wore it because Kings were judges as well.

After the judges, Samuel judged Israel, then he made his sons judges, bu they were evil. So the people asked Samuel to give them a king to judge them:

1 Sam 8:5 And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

Gold is the color of the king, but he wore purple as judge. So the rich man is Christ as judge.

Fine linen represents burial clothes. Christ as judge died and was wrapped in fine linen. Before we go on, some will stop me and say that Jesus was not a judge. But John says his life was the light of the world, and that the light was condemnation. His perfect life condemns us and puts us to shame because he resisted sin when tempted in every way as we are. In the riddles, the judge must die to signify that judgment ends. In the same way, the prophet dies to signify that prophecies have all been fulfilled.

Now the name Lazarus means "whom God helps" and he also represents Christ but in the role of Priest.
Lazarus has the Hebrew equivalent name of Eleazer, who was the high priest. The narrative of the other Lazarus is a picture of the death of Christ and he is represented as a sick priest who then dies and rose again. This Lazarus is also sick. So we ask the riddle: In what way is Christ a sick priest? The answer is that while Jesus was alive he was an ineffectual priest because he was from the wrong tribe to be a priest. To be high priest, he had to die and be raised from the dead like the other Lazarus.

Jesus had 'emptied himself' of deity, and we call this kenosis. He partook of only a small portion of the bread compared to what he experience prior to the kenosis.

The dogs are the gentiles, and there is some word-play taking place that resolves to: they were separated by gleaning his wound. Christ's harvest began when living water poured from his pierced side, and the harvest included the gentiles which were gleaned.

When Lazarus dies he becomes fully the High Priest. As the rich man is tormented in death he typifies Jesus and cries out "Why have you forsaken me?" He receives no relief. This is the cry of the judge. There was no evil in Christ's judgment, why then did he have to die? So that judgment would end.

It is Christ as High Priest that sits at the right hand of God.

5 is the number of man in the riddles, 10 the number of the dual-natured man. So Christ as judge pleads and says he has brothers of flesh only who are likewise doomed and pleads that the Priest return to tell them. If Christ as priest had remained on earth, he would not be making intercession in heaven. Therefore Lazarus is not sent back.

Moses and the prophets are a sufficient testimony to show men that they are lost. And Christ in heaven is a sufficient priest to save them.

So we see a changing role for Christ as judge to Christ as Priest. Judgments cease. Judgment and grace cannot be mixed, so Lazarus cannot visit the rich man.

Pr 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

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