How a Violent Death Brought Us a Covenant of Peace
Every week in synagogues all over the world a section of Scripture called a Parsha is read, so that during a year's time the entire Torah is read. This week we read Parsha Pinchas (Phinehas). This reading begins with the events of Numbers 25 where Israel has fallen into idolatry and sexual immorality to such a degree that these sins were being openly flaunted not only in front of Moses and Aaron, but also in front of the Tabernacle of G-D’s presence. Phinehas becomes zealous for G-D and takes a spear and drives it through a man and a woman, which kills them and brings an end to the plague that had taken the lives of 24,000 Israelites.
As a result of Phinehas’ zealousness, G-D establishes a covenant of Shalom and a covenant of everlasting priesthood with Phinehas and his descendents. As I read these words again this year, it once again made me wonder how the result of such a violent act could be the establishment of an eternal priesthood. Phinehas’ actions would hardly be defined as peaceful.
The more I thought about the words of Numbers 25:12-13: 12 So now say: See, I am making with him a covenant of shalom! 13 It will be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood — because he was zealous for his God and atoned for Bnei-Yisrael.” the more I saw the beauty of the prophetic foreshadowing of Yeshua (Jesus) in this text.
Just think about it:
In the time of Phinehas, Israel was in the midst of idolatry and immorality was in the presence of the Tabernacle. In the time of Yeshua, Israel was also involved in idolatry and immorality was in the presence of the Temple.
In the time of Phinehas, a man was killed because of sin and a spear was driven through him. The result of his death was the end of the plague from G-D’s fierce anger against Israel. In the time of Yeshua, a man was killed because of sin (not his own, but substitutionary for those who were sinners) and a spear was driven through him. The result of His death was the end of the plague from G-D’s fierce anger against Israel.
Phinehas’ actions of zealousness for G-D and His Word resulted in a change of Priesthood and a New Covenant of Peace. Yeshua’s actions of zealousness for G-D and His Word resulted in a change of Priesthood and a New Covenant of Peace.
I will never again read Numbers 25 again without seeing Yeshua and the truth that it was through Yeshua’s death, which was an extremely violent act, that the true and perfect eternal covenant of peace was brought forth.