The number 2 has been on my heart this month, and I have been surprised by the wonderful things the Lord is teaching me about this very symbolic number. I wrote on an earlier blog about the most significant meaning, which is “BLESSING.” A great example is when Jesus fed the masses, he first blessed the food and then he broke it into pieces to feed them. As he did at the Lord’s Supper. Breaking the bread would be of course into two pieces, thus making two pieces to feed two persons, and each time breaking it in two again and again, thus giving us the multiplicity of blessing. It is meant to be a blessing that, like all of God’s gifts, should grow and continue to bless. But this example also gives us a ground-work for the second meaning of the number “2”. Many of the numbers have double or intertwined meanings. “5” for instance means either gift of God, or grace and they are intertwined. Grace is a Gift of God, etc.
But the number “2” was initially understood by Hebrews to mean divided, broken, split, separated or changed. From the oldest scriptures, allusions were made to separation from God being the difference between Heaven and Earth, or “in the world” as opposed to “in the temple”. And that separation has a symbolic “place”. It is the Mount of Olives, east of the city of Jerusalem. There is a brook called Kidron which flows between the temple site in Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives where Jesus often went in the evenings after preaching in the city during the day. From day to night, from West to East, from work to rest, from seeking religion to seeking God in prayer, and many, many more examples of allegories can be extrapolated from the image of Jesus moving between the two.
But, the one the early Christians could relate to most was that King David made that same trek from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives when being pursued by his Son Absolom for possession of the crown. There are numerous examples, but this one bears such a striking comparison to what Jesus did, and we know that Jesus himself was saying, “I am the king who walks from the temple to a place of rejection, but I will someday return to be your king.” It is one of the reasons they captured him in the early morning hours at the foot of the mountain, because they thought it would destroy the symbolism to stop him before he went back into the city. All Hebrews knew that David returned to Jerusalem as King. When Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, he was making a definite reference to him being the fulfillment of that as prophecy, something expected of their future Messiah. The Jewish leaders were not about to allow Jesus to become the people’s King. It would mean that they would be in definite danger of Roman retaliation. They did not understand that Jesus was the Spiritual King of their people, and that He would come only as physical King when the whole world was able to benefit. They were not expecting God to be their Messiah, they were expecting another man. Yet when God came as man, they rejected him.
What has all of that to do with the number 2. Well, in the time of Jesus, the way to cross over the Brook Kidron was by a road that topped an arched bridge…How many arches? Want to guess? >2 of course. It was a beautiful modern stone structure, a grand part of the marvel of the city of Jerusalem in the day. The mountain ridge itself is a picture type of the number 3, referencing it as a place where all the persons of the trinity were symbolized. But, it is prophesied that the ridge will someday be spilt by an earthquake into how many pieces? > 2. These underlying twos refer to the fact that when Jesus passed back over the bridge for the last time on earth, it was to heal our separation from God and bring to us a blessing of freedom from the legalisms of human religion.
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives almost daily and to the garden called Gethsemane at the foot of the mountain to spend time in prayer with God the Father and for rest, often. He genuinely wanted us to look back at the frequency with which He went to this place and wonder why. This place provided a picture type of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus had not yet revealed to the believers. Gethsemane means “place of the olive press” or simply “olive press.” At the olive press the oil of olives was pressed for sale. Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, so he was going to the place where oil might be obtained, symbolizing a purchase price must be paid to receive the Holy Spirit . The olives must be sacrificed to obtain the oils; Jesus to obtain the Spirit.
The trek over from the place of religion - the temple, to a place of choice - a garden, symbolizes crossing the gap between God and man. He wanted us to see the place as a type of rebirth, as going from being merely a companion to God, to becoming one with God through the Spirit, by taking him inside, allowing Him to indwell, as with the ingesting of the oil. But also to see the Spirit pictured in all the other uses of oil. As a light if burned, as warmth, as the base for healing ointments, and oh so many other references. He wanted us to see that we would no longer be separated from God, but that He wished to become our daily and constant companion by indwelling us. Choosing to walk to this garden of symbols was an invitation for us to make a daily decision to "walk the walk."
Now the Garden of Gethsemane was not at the summit of the mount, but at the base of the ridge, near the Brook Kidron, where there was water. Another illusion to the Holy Spirit- water is a symbol of receiving the Holy Spirit and his power to divide between good and evil. It was a symbol of how easy it was to become one with God. By simply walking over they were already in the place where the oil dwelled. No climbing the mountain to get there. No hiding away as King David had to save yourself. No work, for that was all done for the day. Only resting in the place where the Spirit dwells.
Now, how many picture types of the Spirit does that make? “2” Yet the greatest of all the typology here is the pairing: between 1) the elements of separation, division, and the eventual brokenness of Christ’s physical body (beginning with his capture in the Garden of Gethsemane) and 2) the element of blessing that will come from all of this symbolism and fulfillment of the prophecies.
There is hope in this pairing. It is the promise that out of brokenness, division, the separation of death, etc., there will come blessing if Jesus is our King. Jesus will come again, and scripture says he will come first to the Mount of Olives, where those buried on that hillside are said to be the first to be resurrected, but when he returns as King He will cross back over the Brook Kidron into Jerusalem as our Lord and earthly King. Just as he returned every morning from the Mount of Olives to teach and minister to his followers during his walk as Jesus of Nazareth, He will come again to minister to us and it will begin when he touches the Mount of Olives and crosses the Brook Kidron entering the city once more. Until then - separation. Separation before blessing. Two elements to a Bible truth that go hand in hand. Never under estimate the power of a number in the Bible. Believe it or not, I have only touched on the twos that are symbolically significant to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. Or to the principle of Twos. And all of them tell the story of this principle – the one Jesus demonstrated every time he broke bread. Brokenness leads to blessing, separation to reunion, crossing over from religion leads to communion with a real God. There are always two sides to every story, and this is the greatest story of all. Jesus was saying, although I leave you in body, I come to you in a way that they cannot kill, able to provide you with even greater blessing – by the indwelling of the Spirit.
My brother-in-law crossed the Brook Kidron this week, from earth to Heaven, to be where Jesus is with the Father, in that Beautiful Garden of Heaven….leaving us broken and separated from him. The same is true of all our loved ones who have gone before us to the Heavenly Garden Of Gethsemane, to be with Jesus and in the Father’s presence by the power of the Holy Spirit. One day all who have gone over will return, bringing to this earth a blessing like we have never known. Whether I am still here on this earth or have gone over too by the time it happens, I can be certain of one thing. All of the principles of God, made clear by the emphasis on the number "two" give assurance to my heart that God will honor his promises. This Blessing is something I can count on, place Hope in, and believe with all my heart.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20
Lord, Christy, Lori and I are gathered in your name, with one heart - to serve you. We wish to minister truth, freedom, joy and encouragement to those who have been led into a fearful religious world. We want to emmulate what you would have said if you were here saying it. Help open the eyes of our readers to see that every part of your Word has significance and power to show your love and grace. Even the numbers are full of meaning. And every symbolic or prophetic meaning is meant to edify us. I rejoice in the Principle of Twos, and thank you that my favorite "two" is me and You. AMEN
Please, readers add your own scriptural reference to the number two, express how it shows the Brokenness/Separation to Hope/Blessing principle. What are your favorite pairings. Can you think of twos that just jump right to blessing from the pairing? Leave us a message.