Saturday, March 28, 2015

Our Passover Lamb

And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. “And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”    Luke 19:29-38  NKJV

Something I noticed rather early on in my life as a believer was the fact that a good many teachers of the Word concentrate solely on the New Testament and seem to avoid attempting to teach from the Old Testament.  When I thought about that, it seemed strange to me considering virtually all of the stories I learned in Sunday School came from the Old Testament!  Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph and his coat of many colors, Moses and the Exodus, David and Goliath, and so many others I can recall were what became what I could call the equivalent of Bible 101 in my personal growth as a believer.

Something I came to appreciate even more, however, was the fact that there was much more to discover there than just the stories themselves.  As I began to look closer, it was amazing to find that there were many examples of the stories I knew actually being a prophetic picture of events to come.  Now the formal name for this is called typology, and if you are interested there are many resources to help you do that, and since you are reading this, it follows you have a computer so just search typology and see what you can find.  As for now, I simply want to share one example which, considering the proximity to Easter, seems rather appropriate.

When you begin to study the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, it soon becomes clear that although there were times when the people attempted to promote Him as King, He avoided it. A good example is right after the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.    John 6:14-15  NKJV

Yet there did come a day when He did choose to present Himself as King, and we find it revealed in the passage from Luke, which occurred on the tenth of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish religious calendar which was also the beginning of what we now call the Passion Week.  It follows that if Jesus arranged it, there must have been a reason for it, so if we look a little closer we discover that indeed there was.   Jesus was in fact following a script laid out in the Old Testament that we find in the book of Exodus where the first Passover was ordained and observed by the children of Israel while in bondage in Egypt.

Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.    Exodus 12:1-7  NKJV

In hindsight, we see that while presenting Himself as Israel’s King, He also was presenting Himself as our Passover Lamb on the tenth of Nisan with the foreknowledge that the Jews would reject Him, and then crucify Him on the cross.  As I read this passage from Exodus with the Passion Week in mind, it becomes so very obvious what Jesus was doing for us, the Church, in regards to fulfilling the Law as He said that He did.  Because we choose to believe in His sacrifice and atonement for our sins, He becomes our Passover Lamb and it is His blood which saves us from an eternity separate from Him.  

A few days after His presentation, Jesus celebrated the Passover dinner with His disciples.  If you read the account in Matthew, you will find something Jesus said which seems to be prophetic to the Church as well.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”       Matthew 26:26-29  NKJV

According to the Mishnah, a collection of Jewish oral laws and traditions, Jesus is waiting for the marriage feast before He drinks from this cup.  (Mishnah, Pesahim 7:13)  Since we know that the marriage feast takes place after the rapture, is it possible that Jesus’ statement is actually His way of telling us that we will drink this cup with Him on a future Feast of Passover?  Could this be a clue to the season of the rapture of the Church that we are so eagerly looking forward to?

If you have never made the decision to accept the sacrifice Jesus made for you by dying on the cross for your sins, there is no better time than right now to do so.  Simply pray to the Father and ask Him to forgive you for your sins and tell Him you believe that Jesus died for you.  Accept the gift of salvation He has offered you and you too will drink of this cup of along with Jesus on that future day when He will invite all of His believers to join Him.  Jesus Christ is the Passover lamb who died for us, delivering us from our sin to spend eternity with Him.

Keep watching.