Saturday, April 7, 2012

Christ Our Passover

“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” (1 Co 5:7 ESV)

At the beginning of John’s Gospel, John the Baptist makes a stunning announcement:  “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:36 ESV).  

To those who heard the announcement, these words held a special meaning.  During the Passover (or Pesach), a lamb without spot or blemish was sacrificed and the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels so that the angel of death would “pass over” the Jewish households and all of the first borns would live.

Just as God accepted the sacrifice of the Israelites who sprinkled the blood of the lamb on their doorposts, God sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  

Why did Jesus Christ have to die?  

According to Hebrews 9:22, without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission of sin.  Romans 5:9 and Ephesians 1:7 say that we are redeemed and justified by the blood of Messiah.

Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and died on the Roman cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who would put their faith in Him.  

God has imputed His perfect righteousness to all believers and has imputed our sin to Christ: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  (II Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

Not only that, He rose again from the dead to demonstrate His dominion over death and to assure us that we will also triumph over death:  “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”  (1 Corinthians 15:22–26 ESV)

This should be enough to cause us to rejoice!  For Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!

"But courage, believer! your body shall rise again. Laid in the earth it may be, but kept in the earth it cannot be. The voice of nature bids you die, but the voice of the Omnipotent bids you live again."  C. H. Spurgeon

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