When reading the Old Testament, I often think about what is said in Luke 24:27, “Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” To me, that is just so cool! It lets me know for sure that while the Old Testament does indeed have its own contextual significance; it’s still all about Jesus.
Alright, with that in mind, I was reading in II Kings 4: 8-37 the other day (the story of the Shunammite woman and her son) and I wondered if perhaps this was one of the passages Jesus used as an example of OT scriptures that spoke of him. I won’t take up the space to put the whole passage down; take a moment and read it yourself. I’ll wait…… Ready?
After the Shunamite’s son grows up a bit, one day he apparently has heat stroke which results in his death later that afternoon. The woman saddles up and makes a bee-line for Elisha the prophet. She tells him what has happened, and then Elisha sends his servant to go and lay his staff on the boy, presumably to restore him to life. Well, you read it; nothing happened. So, Elisha goes himself, and this is the cool part, the Bible says, “He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands.” Elisha repeats this and the child comes to life.
When I think of Elisha sending his servant on ahead with his staff; I think of how God sent Moses (remember he had a famous staff as well) and all the prophets to Israel, but they were not able to bring eternal life. The law and the prophets could not remove sin. No, Elisha, whose name means “God is salvation” (go figure), had to go to the dead boy himself just like Jesus came Himself. Like Elisha, Jesus “stretched himself out,” he put his mouth on our mouth, his eyes on our eyes, and his hands on our hands. He became man, bore our sin, and brought us to life!! Hallelujah!!
Here it is, short & sweet: Jesus is life eternal. It was always the Father’s intention to send the Son, and even in the OT, he was talking about it. Although it has its place, a miraculous staff just isn’t enough. Come and experience the life-giving Son!