The Tuesday before Easter, I was able to start a new series on the Kingdom of Heaven. Understanding Christ’s sacrifice in the proper context gives us leave to explore our new existence as members of His kingdom.
As we look into the Old Testament, we get a deeper understanding for the life and death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord.
In Exodus 12 we see the Passover and what it represents. Just as Israel was saved by the blood of the passover lamb, so we are saved by the blood of Christ. When we allow ourselves to be marked by His blood, the wrath of God passes over us, and we are spared. Israel was called to remember this by eating bread with no yeast and bitter herbs (life with no sin and bitter reminders of captivity). Jesus added to this by taking the passover bread and claiming His body as the bread with no yeast (life with no sin). We are to break this and know that He is the perfect, sinless, spotless sacrifice, and He has freed us all from the captivity of our sins, if we would only follow Him to freedom.
To get a fuller idea of Christ’s sacrifice, we have to look at the Day of Atonement, also in the Old Testament (Leviticus). On this day each year, the High Priest would make a sacrifice to atone(make payment) for the sins of all of Israel. But before the Priest could go, he had to make a sacrifice for himself. If he entered the Most Holy Place without the blood of a young bull going before him to the altar, he would die. The bull had to be sacrificed and it’s blood offered to God before the priest could even enter in to God’s presence. Then he was free to offer the goat that had to be sacrificed for Israel’s sins. (There would be a second goat for Israel that would have all their sins confessed on it, and then released into the wilderness to carry the sins away from them.) In the same way, Christ’s blood paid for our passage to the very throneroom of God Almighty. Christ is both our Sacrifice and Priest (Hebrews 9). And even like the scapegoat, He carries our sin away from us, “as far as the east is from the west.”
For these things we can celebrate. Because although He died a gruesomer and terrible death, He rose from the grave! He conquered all sin and death; and paid the price “once for all” for our sins. So we don’t celebrate the pain of the cross, but the victory of the empty tomb, shouting out that our price has truly been paid!
For Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Be rad. Be unfallen.