Jesus created the spheres and circles of the universe and set them spinning. From the macro-cosmos of Jupiter its 53 named moons, the Sloan Great wall of galaxies, and the colossal star UY Scuti, to the micro-cosmos of uranium 235, protons, and quarks—all things visible and invisible—all were made through Jesus.
Further, Jesus is no deistic spinner of the watches He has made. He is no grand designer of perpetual motion machines. The universe was not an epic pitch of the omnipotent one, wherein he wound up and let go. Jesus not only creates, he sustains. By His word creation is—always, at all points of its is-dom. It came into being by His word and is sustained in being by His word (Hebrews 1:3). You walk around on, breath in, and are made of nuclear energy. Micro-cosmos, capable of undoing you a million times over, are not simply held together by His hand, they are by His hand. They don’t have an independent existence. Jesus doesn’t simply do maintenance on the stars. He does stars at every point of their existence.
Jesus doesn’t complete the watch to set it in motion independently of Him. He motions it at all times. Man makes a generator because he is limited. He can’t produce electricity. Man isn’t more intelligent than God because he can make a hands off machine. God is unlimited in wisdom and power, such that, nothing works without Him; including you and your generator. God never has too many irons in the fire.
But what are all these ticks and tocks ticking and tocking towards? Has an alarm been set? Is a consummatory suppertime comming? Yes; one day this old creation will grow up, mature, and be born anew—a new creation, and then, the marriage supper of the Lamb. The cosmos isn’t an experiment. Men toy with magic and science and find power that undoes them. Jesus created and sustains that He might be preeminent in the redemption of all things by the blood of the cross. The Word delivers no impromptu speech. Every word—creating words, sustaining words, redeeming words—every word is scripted, with the basic plot outlined in the Scriptures.
When you’re going on vacation the final bits of packing might seem haphazard and chaotic, but two things could be happening.
1. Things really are a mess. You’ve run through the house last minute gathering up tidbits you either forgot to pack or now think you might need and just throw them in.
2. There has been a strategic ordering and packing up of things and you’ve simply come to remaining smaller items that could only be packed last and for which there was no room in any other bag.
God didn’t pack the tabernacle instructions like you might pack for vacation. Everything has been highly organized. Chapter 25 concerned the furniture of the tabernacle, chapter 26 the tent itself, chapter 27 the courtyard, chapter 28 the priest’s garments, and chapter 29 the priest’s consecration. Now it’s time to pack some remaining items. Remember that the chapter divisions are inserted by man. These chapter divisions have been very good in seeing some natural divisions, but we must remember that they’re divisions within a section all concerning the tabernacle. The smaller items that make up chapter 30 don’t cohere together the way the items in chapter 28 do, but they do cohere with chapter 29 the way that chapter 25 does.
How do these all things go together? The way everything in chapters 25–31 go together. All these chapters are about the tabernacle. All these chapters are packed into the same place, or rather, are about the same place.
Even if a neighbor looked in on a crazily packed family car and asked what all that randomness was about, they could reply, “Vacation.” It’s not unrelated randomness. It is all about vacation.
This chapter is neither unrelated or random. All concerns the tabernacle.
When Israel would sojourn through the wilderness, all of these things wold be packed together and carried by the Levites. All of these things relate to the tent. The tabernacle is diverse, but not because it speaks of a great many different things, but of the great depth and diversity of a single thing, Christ and His redemption—that thing which binds not only the tabernacle together, but everything together. All concerns the tabernacle, and the tabernacle concerns all. Jesus’ redemption is so big that it not only unites all the tabernacle, it also is uniting all creation as a tabernacle.
Organized chaos, symphonic cacophony, constructive destruction: that is what the wonders of judgment that befall Egypt are. Creation is unraveling for the purpose of new creation. Judgment is falling for salvation.
If you’re a buck private on the front line, things might seem chaotic, but for the general who can see the whole war, there’s order to the madness. When Joshua attacked Ai the second time he divided his forces, sending a division behind the city to ambush it. Once Joshua came against the city with the remaining troops, Israel fled as in the previous battle, pretending defeat. The men of Ai thought this was a good kind of chaos and pursued. The Israelite ambushers then set fire to Ai. Now the men of Ai were in chaos. Organized chaos. Israel’s pretend chaos was the plan. Ai’s genuine chaos was the plan.
We know the story. We know the strategy. We know that from the chaos of the cross new creation burst forth. Every millimeter of chaos is ordered. Not one particle of violence falls to the ground unintended. Something beyond laser-guided accuracy sends forth every bolt of lightning. Earthquakes rattles this earth with a precision that would make a brain surgeon envious. Our God is so big, He is Lord over the smallest details. The chaos stirs up a lot of dust, but not one mote floats through the air unguided.
Skyscraper implosions are amazing. Organized chaos, for the purpose of rebuilding. God implodes stars, and with atomic accuracy for purposes beyond us. But His greatest marvel is redemption. From the chaos of the judgment of the plagues come redemption and new creation. From the chaos of the judgment of the cross come redemption and new creation.