11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Yesterday I mentioned my ambition to read this chapter and consider whether it had more meaning than I had previously realized. And for the first time I noticed that these verses seem to be a symbolism for the gospel of Jesus Christ, something I had never seen before.
Recall these three passages:
Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Ephesians 4:22, 24 "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
In summary, the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that we are all unworthy on our own, and salvation can only come through Christ. And so we put off our old self and put on the new man, meaning we put on the image of Christ. And when we come to the final judgment we do not stand in our own place, but we are invited to stand in the place of Jesus, the only one who is worthy to receive God’s blessings.
Now, is this there not a shadow of this transpiring in the story of Jacob and Esau? Jacob cannot receive the blessing on his own, so he puts on the trappings of his elder brother. He becomes the man to whom his father can bestow the choicest blessings. And Rebekah even says that any curse that applies to her son will be removed from him and laid on her instead, which is also symbolic of our curse being laid upon Christ so that we may go free.
Granted, I am sure that in the final judgment Jesus will not be dressing us up to try and deceive our Heavenly Father. We will not be sneaking our way into heaven under false pretenses. Yet there definitely seems to be a parallel here, and Rebekah and Jacob were led into this symbolism not knowing the significance of it.