Sunday, April 5, 2015

Death Of Christ explained by Christ

Passover explanation of the death of Christ.

          On the night the Lord Jesus was betrayed, He was deliberate in partaking of the Passover meal. He sent two disciples to prepare, and when the evening came, He said to them “ with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I say unto you, I will not eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
        This most significant statement throws heavenly light on the moment, the hour, the days and the whole of time! Here is a prophetic statement explaining what was about to happen with its connection to history past and history future.

       In brief – ‘His suffering was that of the Passover lamb to effect redemption. The once slain lamb would be pre-eminent in the kingdom of God forever.

       You have noticed that I am going deeper than recounting the story of the unjust trials, the pain of crucifixion etc. Before any of that happened the Lord Jesus pointed His followers to the deeper meaning. Let me pursue the Passover story a little. From the beginning of human history, lambs were offered in sacrifice to God. Abraham made an outstanding statement to Isaac his son – “my son God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” .  Could it be that this is what the Lord Jesus was referring to when He said “Abraham rejoiced to see My day. He saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).

       The Passover was put in place by God as a means to protect the Israelites from the righteous judgements of God.   True, the gods of Egypt deserved judgement , but how interesting that the Israelites with all their privilege, were not exempt from the judgement of God ( ‘for all have sinned both Jew and Gentile’ ) Only by the death of the lamb ( Exodus 12) , the blood applied to the doorway, was there safety from the judgement of God. Please note that this Passover did set them free from the slavery in Egypt, but of greater importance was the blood of the lamb for the eye of God. So it is when we discern the meaning of the cross, it matters most who God saw ( Jesus, as a lamb without blemish or spot) and what God saw (the precious blood of Christ 1 Peter 1 ).
So putting together the teaching of the Lord about the Passover and the detail of the original purpose, we see the deeper meaning of the sufferings of Christ. Paul put it quite bluntly “Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us”  (1 Corinthians 5:7 )  The apostle Peter brings all this together so well in 1 Peter 1:14-21. I would like to explain Peter’s reference to the Passover by paraphrasing it to give an expanded historical setting and present day relevance.

     1 Peter 1:14
Previously we lived according to our passions and feelings which were misguided because of our ignorance of God’s ways. But now that we have repented and turned to God , we ought to live as those obeying God. We must remember that God remains holy and although He shows us mercy and grace through love, the objective is to make us like Himself – holy. We are privileged to call God our Father, but we do well to remember that God’s judgements still hold us accountable for our actions. The wonderful truth is that although we became debtors to God because of  our failure and offensive to God because of our sin, breaking God’s law incurring a curse, God provided a lamb for redemption, for a ransom. God did not pay our debt with silver or gold, but by the precious blood of a lamb, the Lamb of God ( as identified by John the Baptist ),  who was without blemish in His person and character, and without spot  even though He lived in a very spotty, defiling  world.  This was something God planned before He made the world and was expressed in symbol at the Jewish festival of Passover , but in reality the true Lamb of God has now been made known in Jesus Christ.
It is now our responsibility and opportunity to know God, not through the rituals of law, but through Jesus Christ our Lord. God has verified His acceptance of the Lamb along with the promise of eternal life by raising Jesus from the dead – risen to die no more, risen to sit at the right hand of God in the glory of an all powerful intercessor.
Indeed this should create real faith in God that effects real change in our lives and give real hope for eternity. This good news , this word from God, when received, brings about new birth  and new life.
                            End of paraphrase

Reflect for a moment on the firstborn son in Egypt
– without a lamb  - death
-      By the death of the lamb – alive, indeed alive to God, for God said of the redeemed firstborn  “ it is mine”
So it is that Jesus, once crucified has in resurrection become “the firstborn among many brethren” ( Romans 8:29 )

Is it any wonder that He shall be known eternally as ‘ the Lamb that was slain’.  

We are so blessed to be among those who are redeemed to God by His blood ( Revelation 5 ).

As the Lord Jesus said the Passover would be fulfilled, so it has been fulfilled.

Maybe I need to clarify the meaning of 'redemption', 'blood of the lamb' , 'firstborn' 'sacrifice'
                    yes maybe next time

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