Every year around this time people are thinking about gardening. Some people think about Passover. Many more think about Easter, colored eggs, and bunny rabbits. Others think about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ our Savior.
When I was a child, Easter was a big deal. I did not know anything about Jesus. It was a time of wishing and believing in an Easter bunny who would hide baskets full of candy and eggs around the house. I would wake up extra early and try to find my basket. My parents would buy all kinds of little toys to find around the house. We would all gather at Grandpa and Grandma’s house for a big celebration and dinner. All the little girls would be dressed in their Easter dresses and bonnets. Egg hunts and games all around us, it was a magical time as I remember. So much fun, but so void of truth. A child can enjoy mythical wonders and never understand the reality of what happened 2000 years ago.
That is such with all good things. They look so real but they are just a picture in a fairytale book. I want something real. Pictures in God’s word that point me to things that last forever.
Here is the passage in the bible that talks about the Passover…
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
It wasn’t until recent years that I have really been exposed to the Passover. I was reading in the bible each day to my children about the whole story surrounding the Passover in Exodus. A picture of what was to come. The Isrealites were enslaved, just as we were enslaved to sin. It did not take a revolution for them to break free just like it does not take cleaning up our lives to set us free. These slaves were given some pretty outlandish instructions one cold, dark evening. After they had seen Moses plead for their freedom and each time the Pharaoh would say “No”, God would unleash a plague that would put the pressure on. Imagine frogs by the millions, or flies and sores from head to toe. Grievous plagues. The one that caught my attention more than any other was the final plague. The death plague of the firstborn in Egypt.Moses warned all who would listen. They were instructed to kill a perfect, spotless, white lamb.
A lamb was to die in place of their firstborn child. The blood was to be collected and painted on the doorpost of their dwelling place. When the wrath of God in the form of death came to consume, it passed over the dwellings that were covered in that blood. Simple. Easy to do.I am sure there were some of God’s own people that just could not believe and did not trust that the blood was sufficient and they found out what all of the Egyptian families found out-that the wrath of God visited their homes that cold, dark evening and stole the life from their first born. The blood was a covering and protection. It took faith to believe that by spreading the blood they were saving themselves from death.
Christ was the spotless lamb of God. He died in our place. His blood was meant to cover our sins and make us free. Just like the wrath of God passing over those homes that were covered in the blood, one day His wrath will pass over all who trust in the sufficiency of Christ’s blood to cover us. That blood is real and it is effectual to cover all sin. So many people can not trust in something so simple as believing in God’s plan. His ways are not our ways, so when he instructs us to simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we shall be saved, we think it is not enough.
As humans, we make things into our own understanding. We try to fit the solution into a box and define it. It can not be that simple. We must add something to it to make it better, to make it ours. It is not just the simple child like belief that Christ’s blood was enough. We can not understand that we are partakers in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. We just can not believe our sins are dealt with. It is an ongoing waxing and waining of believing and confessing our sins, doubting and trusting, wondering if we did enough, challenging our hearts to meet our own standard, but it is void of a sufficient rest.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.” John 1:29-30
“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:2-3
God made a plan in his commandments to offer a way to please Him. All who can keep the commandments fully can be saved. The only trouble is, no one could. He sent His only son who was able to live perfectly, the perfect lamb of God. Until Christ, the people had to sacrifice an animal, shed it’s blood to pay for their sins. It was acceptable. After Christ died in our place, instead of a sacrifice and substitution that would last a few sins, He paid once for all. And it was acceptable and sufficient to God. Why do we not think it is sufficient? Because we do not trust in God’s idea. It is His idea. It may not make sense and it may be against what we think is sufficient, but it is there for the believing.
Death, Burial, and Resurrection…
I chose to believe and trust in the finished work of the cross. I no longer labor to win a spot in heaven. I rest in God’s idea and His perfect solution to my problems of sin. Because I am in Christ, and His spirit lives within me, I have access to God. I actually have more access to God than even King David. He had to go to the Holy of Holies and behind the veil to commune with God. I just have God with me every second of the day. It is real to me. Not a fairytale picture book. I know that because I have that blood applied to my account, when the wrath of God passes over mankind, I will be safe. He will not see me as a rotten sinner deserving of hell for all the many, many mistakes and failures I have in my past. He will see that blood which was applied. He will see me for something I am not, a sinless daughter of God. Christ died and I died with him. Christ was buried as my sins and life was buried with him. He was resurrected and I was made new. I am a new creature in Christ. I trust in that. I wholeheartedly believe in it. I am alive in Christ. I am ALIVE! It is such a wonderful, powerful, victorious life when you are living in the newness of life. And this kind of simple faith is counted as righteous according to God’s word…
“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Romans 4 1-7