When Jesus’ Ear was Pierced
By Given O. Blakely
The ceremonies of the Law were a depiction of the coming Savior of the world. The Altar, sacrificial beasts, blood of sprinkling, High Priest, etc., were all introductions to Him. This is involved in Christ's statement to His critics, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me" (Jn. 5:39). It also is confirmed in the angel's word to John on the Isle of Patmos. "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). Speaking of the ceremonial Law, the Spirit witnessed in Hebrews, "There are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things . . . For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come . . . " (8:4-5; 10:1).
Paul, in Colossians, adds, "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ" (2:16-17). The Old Covenant was the projection of the great salvation that is in Christ Jesus. It introduced the nature and extent of that salvation in offices, ceremonies, and sacrifices.
The Exodus Twenty-One Text. Exodus 21:1-6 provides insight into the cost of our salvation. It provides precise language that will help to clarify the "mystery of godliness" (I Tim. 3:16-17). Notice the exactness of the statute concerning the Hebrew slave. "Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever." With regard to this passage of Scripture, consider the following points:
1. The time of service was limited. There came a time when the slave could go free (Exod. 21:2).
2. If he was single when he came in alone, he went out alone. If he had a wife when he came in, he took his wife with him (Exod. 21:3).
3. If, while a servant, his master gave him a wife, and the wife bore him children, they were to be left behind with the master. They could not be taken with the freed slave (Exod. 21:4).
4. Provision was made for the servant to refuse freedom in preference for remaining with his master and the wife and children that were given to him. The servant had to declare this preference, declaring he rejected freedom (Exod. 21:5).
5. The master then took the servant before the judges, stood him by a door post, and pierced his ear with an awl. By the piercing of the ear, the man was declared a servant forever (Exod. 21:6).
The Application to Christ. Here the entrance of Jesus into the world, a place of service, is pictured--His incarnation (Jn. 1:14; Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:4). He came in "by Himself," with no equal or companion. In the capacity of "the Man," God gave Him a wife and children, so to speak (John 6:37,39; 10:28-29; 17:2), and He "received us" (Rom 15:7). Believers are "the children" God gave Him (Heb. 2:13). When the time for His return came, He refused to be disassociated from those God had given Him. In His death He loudly declared that He loved the Father and us!
Other Mentionings of Christ’s Piercing. The piercing of His ear is mentioned in Psalm 40:5-6 and Isaiah 50:5-6. "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have PIERCED; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require." "The Lord GOD has OPENED (pierced) My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away. I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting." The incarnate Word chose to maintain His identity His "wife and children" throughout eternity.
Some Relevant Implications. The implications of this are staggering, and will probably be offensive to those with surface views of redemption. The Lord Jesus paid an enormous price to be joined to His people! His servitude forever is alluded to in First Corinthians 11:3 and 15:23-28. "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God . . .For He has put all things under His feet. But when He says "all things are put under Him, it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all." Let it be clear, that prior to entering the world, there was equality with the Father, not subjection to Him (Phil. 2:6-7).
Jesus is forever scarred, as it were, for our salvation (Rev. 5:6), known as "the Man Christ Jesus" (I Tim 2:5). Oh, the magnitude of the phrase, "He gave Himself!" Here is something for you to probe and appreciate! Give thanks for the glory and magnitude of your salvation! Give thanks!
In conclusion, let us pray, Father, my heart is too small to take in the enormity of the price paid for my salvation. In the words of the Psalmist "I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart." Give me the capacity to see more of Jesus than I have ever seen before. –Given O. Blakely