Jesus with Long Hair


or New Covenant Stunt Double

Doug Wilson wrote something recently to correct our misunderstanding of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness:

When our Lord was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, He answered with Scripture, as we all know. Three times He was tested, and each time He replied in the words of Deuteronomy. But this is sometimes misunderstood. We tend to think that Jesus was quoting Scripture at the devil, as though the devil ought to start obeying it. But this was not His intent. When the Lord cited the words of Moses, each time it was because He would have been disobeying the text of Scripture if He had followed the suggestion of the tempter.

And this, in its turn, shows us the Lord’s attitude toward Scripture—what He believed the authority of Scripture to be, with regard to Him. We know that Jesus was obedient to the will of God (as seen in His prayer at Gethsemane), but we sometimes miss the fact that Jesus obeyed the Bible. In the wilderness, Jesus was not relying on a hidden, mysterious hot line to the Father that only He had. No, He bowed His head and His heart and refused to do what was wrong, as wrong was determined and settled by the sacred text.

If this is what He did, what should we do? In a moment we will be confessing our sins, and we will also be keying off the words of Deuteronomy. As a people who have neglected to do what God required of us, we acknowledge that righteousness belongs to the Lord, while shame of face belongs to us. And this is entirely determined by our relationship to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Jesus Under The Word,

As Peter Leithart has discussed, Jesus is Israel.[1] The process is as it was in Joshua 7 concerning Achan. The cloud of nations is whittled down to one nation. The nation is whittled down to a tribe. The tribe is whittled down to one Man. And what does that one man do? He becomes a body-double for everyone else. In particular, in the wilderness, He is Israel. Like Achan, He suffers for the defeat of the whole nation, and takes His entire family with Him to the grave. Like Achan, His death results in a track-jump concerning the Messianic line [2]. But unlike Achan, He brings them back from the grave, too, and incorporates them into the new Messianic line.

Relating the wilderness situation to Eden, it is the Law of the ascended, invisible Moses in the place of Adam here, not Jesus. Eve was faced with two “Lampstands” – a false one (Satan) and a true one that sinfully remained silent (Adam). In one of those weird Old Testament Nazirite-type gender bendings [3], Jesus is in the place of Israel, the bride. Here, she is filled with the Law of Moses. Jesus is not only reversing Adam’s silence but also undertaking this test as Greater Eve, Israel. It is holy war. A Nazirite’s hair is the glory of the bride “filled” with Law at Pentecost — Adam and Eve united against the lie. As both Adam and Eve, Jesus in the wilderness puts the spear through the false union of the couple in the tent. He puts Adam, and Adam’s race, to death by proxy.

For a New Covenant to be made, the Covenant head goes through a “liturgical” death and resurrection as head, and the people of God goes through a historical death and resurrection as body. Among many others, we see this in Moses’ personal exodus, in that of King Manasseh, and of course in that of Christ.

This practice was prefigured in the Tabernacle. We see bridegroom and bride in both beams of the cruciform house. The bull on the altar (Moses) dies under the Law from the lion throne (Ark). The Man on the table (Christ) dies under the Law at Pentecost (Lampstand). In each case, the bridegroom steps in to die for the bride. And of course, as a complete Tabernacle man, the entire structure bears Greater Eve as gems on His bosom (the Altar of Incense). In this, the New Covenant church is now the stunt double for the nations of the world as the pattern is postmillennially reversed, or “un-whittled.” Achan’s death brought victory to the whole of Israel.

[1] Peter J. Leithart, Jesus As Israel: The Typological Structure of Matthew’s Gospel [PDF].
[2] From Doug Wilson, The Whore Becomes A Virgin Bride: “Rahab did not just marry into Israel. She married into the line of Phares, which had become the royal line because of the apostasy ofAchanAchan was not just a pillaging foot soldier in the back ranks of Israel. He was a royal prince, and because of his sin, that royal line came to an end. The scarlet cord of election was transferred—from Zerah’s wrist to a prostitute’s window. This is so that we might never forget that everything God gives us is always all of grace, nothing but grace, grace to the uttermost.” (Emphasis added)
[3] See Power on Her Head.

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