The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 122 of 217
Index | Zoom
Occasional Meditations.
The Suretyship of Christ (Gen. 43: 1-10 and 44: 18-34).
pp. 180 - 182
The historic incident contained in these verses is full of teaching, both regarding
Christ, the Christian, and the final restoration of Israel. The special thought to be
impressed, however, is: The Suretyship of Christ.
"I will be surety" (Gen. 43: 9).--The word surety, in Hebrew, comes from a word
which means "to mix", and is once translated "woof", i.e., the threads which run across
the "warp" in weaving. Thus the idea of a surety is one who so identifies himself with
the one at fault as to be treated in his stead. Substitution is hereby emphasized (See
Heb. 2: 14-18, 4: 15, 16; II Cor. 5: 21).
"Of my hand shalt thou require him" (Gen. 43: 9).--Compare Gen. 31: 36;
II Sam. 4: 11.  The word involves payment exacted in full, and vengeance falling if
". . . . . let me bear the blame for ever" (Gen. 43: 9).--The word "blame" is rendered
"sin" 165 times in O.T. Hence Judah's words may be rendered "let me bear sin for ever".
Herein we see the responsibilities of Suretyship. If our Beloved Lord had failed, He
would be still bearing sin, but He was raised from the dead "because of our justification"
(Rom. 4: 25); hence every claim is met, all liability discharged, and the penalty endured.
This is still more forcibly brought out in Gen. 44: 32-34.  The erring sinful man
Judah understood the solemnity of Suretyship. In verse 33 the precious word "instead"
occurs.  Christ dying "instead" of "me" means irreversible salvation.  Poor Judah
contemplated remaining a bondman, but Christ could not be holden by the grave, seeing
that He had a personal righteousness which the imputation of sin could not obliterate;
consequently He was raised from the dead and became the first-fruits of His people.
"How shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me?" (Gen. 44: 34).--Let
us spend a few moments in meditation upon this verse. What unfathomable depths of
Divine consolation are here for every redeemed child of God. This is a question which,
in essence, our Beloved Lord might also have asked. Praise His name for the words
spoken immediately after His resurrection in John 20: 17: "Go to My brethren, and say
unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father." Hence all was accomplished; the
great atonement was made, and He ascended to present it once and for ever in the
Heavenly Holiest of All.
"With me" said Judah: And so also the Saviour, and because He lives, we shall live
also. If we died with Him, we shall also live together with Him--and even now we have
been raised together with Him, and made to sit together with Him in heavenly places.