He Could Have Gone Un-Pierced

Exodus 21:5

‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free.

As simple as the story of Jesus dying on the cross for the world’s sins is, sometimes the heart can question this truth of extravagant love for us, often at times when we may feel far from God.  Recently as I was choosing which earrings to wear for a friend’s wedding (our beloved Kirby and Rachel Chua’s), I was reminded of a time I felt this doubt come to mind. Trying to grasp this infinite love displayed by Jesus on the cross, a thought came, ‘God didn’t really lose Jesus, as He was going to get Him back in Heaven ‘anyway’…’ The thought brought me instant despair at the irreverence of such a question but my mind could not seem to get past it at the time.

Troubled by the question and by the guilt I felt in insulting the One I truly love, I called to speak to a pastor at the church I was attending at the time. If I remember anything from the conversation I had with the pastor that day it was this: ‘That is true Mel, but you are forgetting one thing, Jesus did nothave to go through all that suffering for us. He took on all possible ridicule, shame, beatings, betrayal and finally death; He didn’t have to, but He did.

Exodus 21:1-2

‘Now these are the judgements 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 the master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and 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.

This passage above from Exodus 21 outlines the laws God gave Moses concerning servants, following the Ten commandments and the Law of the Altar in Exodus 20. If the Israelites bought a Hebrew servant he was commanded by Law to serve his master for a minimum of six years. There were four conditions outlined:

1. If the servant was alone at the start of his service, he would leave alone after the six years;

2. If he was married, he would leave with his wife;

3. If the master gave a wife to the servant and bore children, the servant would leave alone…

4. BUT if the servantBY LAWsimply stated that he LOVED his wife that his master gave him and loved his children – He would SERVE FOREVER and NOT LEAVE.

Then as a sign of this ETERNAL COMMITMENT of SERVICE out of LOVE, the servant’s ear was to be pierced using a nail (awl) against a doorpost.  Oh man, I hope you are beginning to seeing what I see!

Leviticus 14: 12-14

And the priest shall take one male lamb and offer it as a trespass…then he shall kill the lamb in the place where he kills the sin offering and the burnt offering, in a holy place; for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is thetrespass offering.  It is most holy.

The priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it on the tip of the RIGHT EAR of him who is to be cleansed.

Psalm 40:6

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears you have pierced (opened).

Hebrews 10:5

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,

But a body you have [pierced] prepared for Me.

The piercing of an ear according to the Law was symbolic of the entire body being pierced. When a leper was to be pronounced CLEAN the priest put blood on his right ear, symbolising his ENTIRE body was cleansed by the blood.  The Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament and the Psalmist David, both through the Holy Spirit use the same picture of an ear being opened or pierced representative of the piercing of the entire body. (Psalms 40:6, Hebrews 10:5)

The Holy Spirit through Paul explains that all these laws are not meant for us to keep today; they are simply pictures or shadows that point to the beautiful person of Jesus Christ. (Colossians 2: 16-17, Galatians 3:24) How beautiful this is! The One who knew no sin, did no sin; the One whom death could not touch – chose to stay with you and me FOREVER, wanting to serve us forever all out of LOVE! (2 Corinthians 5:21, John 10:18)

Jesus Christ came from His Father (His master) whom He loves to serve mankind. He was given the church (His bride, His wife) whom He loves, and was given children (each one of us) whom He loves all the same! (John 14:31, Ephesians 5:22-32, Romans 8:16)

Putting on long earrings for a wedding, recalling the gentle reminder of a pastor of the heart out of which Jesus died for you and I – a heart of ‘did not have to, but a want to, a purely self-less sacrificial love’ – my heart found peace afresh.

Being unsubject to any death, Jesus could have gone back to Heaven at any point in His ministry, but He didn’t. He stayed, He endured, He loved, He served, He healed, He did no wrong and He laid down His life; He did not leave Unpierced. Why? He states plainly,

‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free.’




‘Step Into Jesus Supply Daily’, Joseph Prince, 2011.