Deuteronomy 21 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“If anyone is found guilty of an offense deserving the death penalty and is executed, and you hang his body on a tree, you are not to leave his corpse on a tree overnight but are to bury him that day, for anyone hung on a tree is under G_d’s curse. You must not defile the land the L_rd your G_d is giving you as an inheritance.” Deut 21: 22-23
Deuteronomy, chapter 21, covers 5 somewhat obscure Messianic themes: Forgiveness of innocent bloodshed, Fair treatment of captured women, the right of the firstborn between two wives (one loved & one hated), the purging (stoning) of an unrepentant rebellious son, and the display of executed people. Let’s review how Yeshua relates to each of those 5 themes…
Yeshua’s first statement from the Roman cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He was declaring to G_d that Israel’s hands were not directly involved in His murder. In fact, it was the Romans who crucified Yeshua. Yeshua was absolving Israel, corporately, of their collective responsibility in His death.
When you consider the “cross” as the great victory of spiritual warfare, all those from among the nations who have been redeemed, are spoils of war. The greater Messianic Community (aka: The Church) is called the “bride of Messiah”, and the fair treatment of Gentile believers is acknowledged here.
Often in Scripture, both Israel and the greater Messianic Community are referred to as a “young virgin”, or a “bride”. G_d neither condones or practices divorce. With the consideration of the “Mesianic Community as bride” mentality, provision must be made for G_d’s favor towards each “bride’s” offspring, with respect to blessing and rights of first birth. Hence, G_d’s covenant is extended to every new believer, regardless of their being Jewish or Gentile.
Yeshua was considered to be a rebellious son, by the Sanhedrin. In contrast, the religious leaders compelled the crowd to urge Pilate to release Barabas, who was an actual rebel. Instead of purging Israel of evil, they preferred to retain evil and dispense with righteousness.
While the “cross” remains the worldwide symbol of “Christianity”, the “tree” is actually more thematically appropriate as the Hebrew Biblical image of cursed suffering. There is a curse against anyone hung on a tree; and against the land if that person was to remain on the tree, overnight. Consider this Sripture:
“There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of G_d. He approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. It was preparation day and the Sabbath was about to begin.” Luke 23: 50-54
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, July 3, 2014