Prototype – the original or model on which something is based or formed.

Many of my readers are aware of the sewing initiative Marie-José (MJ), my wife of almost thirty-four years, started in Zambia seven years ago called Chitenge Creations. It has resulted in numbers of Zambian women who have started their own sewing enterprises either out of their home or in the marketplace.IMG_7725

Today, Chitenge Creations has a school operating out of Cornerstone Assembly here in South Africa. As I write this blog, MJ finds herself at the school, overseeing her teachers and the fifteen students who are involved in three levels of sewing classes.

Yesterday, I watch as MJ turned our dining room table into a Chitenge Creations laboratory in which the newest prototype was created – oven mitts. This week, some of the students will begin to use that prototype as a model and turn it into a final product that will find its way to Canada upon our return at the end of April.

IMG_7732As I proudly watched MJ’s creative gifting’s at work in the Chintange Creations laboratory, I could not help but think of another prototype – the sacrificial goats and calves of the Old Testament. Year after year, the priests would go into the man made tabernacle and sacrifice these animals on behalf of the sins of the people of Israel. The sacrifice not only reminded Israel of their sins, but also of the fact that it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins permanently.

In the book of Hebrews, chapter 10, Jesus said: “I have come to do your will O God.” At that moment, the Old Testament prototype became a New Testament promise of something better, something perfect, something permanent.

Dr. Peter Watt, in his book “God In Control”, talks about those who think that God had a “plan B” if “plan A” failed, and that the New Testament is “plan B” which became necessary because of the failure of “plan A”, namely the Old Testament. Dr. Watt goes on to say: “It was always God’s eternal purpose to gather together everything in Christ and that Christ would be Head over all things to the Church. Jesus is no afterthought, and neither is his redeeming work! He is the Lamb slain from the foundations of the world (Revelation 13:8).”

The sacrificial animals of the Old Testament were the prototypes that prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ. They were a good thing, but not the final product.

“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made…He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption…For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance – now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” (Hebrews 10:11- 15)

Who would ever think that a prototype of oven mitts, could remind us of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God? Thanks MJ for providing such a picture in your Chitenge Creations laboratory.

Until next time….

Don (new website coming soon)

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