All Posts Tagged: blood

The Lamb of God – Part 4

 

 

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron:
“This month will be the very first month of the year for you.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth day of this month each man must take a lamb for his family.
 Your lamb must be a one-year-old male that has no defects.
Take care of it until the fourteenth day of this month.
Then at dusk, all the assembled people of Israel must slaughter their animals.
They must take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames
of the houses where they will eat the animals.

On that same night I will go throughout Egypt and kill every firstborn male,
I will severely punish all the gods of Egypt, because I am the Lord.

But the blood on your houses will be a sign for your protection.
When I see the blood, I will pass over you.
Nothing will touch or destroy you when I strike Egypt.

 

For 430 years (Exodus 12:40)  Israel groaned (Exodus 1:14) under cruel Egyptian bondage. God heard their cries for help (Exodus 2:23-25) and devised a plan of deliverance. (Exodus 3:7-8)

 

The first step was to choose a leader. Moses was the man. (Exodus 3:10)

 

 

 

 

The second element: Moses would confront Pharaoh with ten plagues of ravishing destruction, the tenth of which was the final blow: at midnight every first born human and animal would be eliminated. (Exodus 11:4-6)

 

 

 

The third component involved the community of Israel. They were instructed to slaughter a lamb without defects. The blood that flowed (cf. The Lamb of God – Part 2) should be applied to the door frame of each Israeli residence.

 

The result? Because of the blood applied, the people would be ransomed and redeemed … set free from the bondage of destruction and death. They would journey to a new life. God would protect them. Nothing would be able to touch them.

Centuries later, that which was pointed to in the original Passover became reality in the Lamb of God. As the Jewish people were slaughtering symbols in the Temple at Jerusalem, the Reality was being crucified (slaughtered) outside the city on a Cross. As the blood flowed, you were being rescued from bondage to the penalty and power of sin. (1 Peter 1:18-19) There the gates of a New Life were unlocked for you. There also, a divine protection policy was purchased such that nothing can touch you other than that which will promote the Creator’s original design for your life.I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8:38-39)

There is but one, crucial ingredient! Just as the Jews had to apply the blood of the slaughtered lamb to the entrance of their homes, you must also apply the blood of the Lamb of God to the entrance of your heart; no payment required, just faith. Have you accepted the Gift?

 

 

The Medicine of Life – The Grace Of Jesus

 

We are saved by grace through faith—a gift from God.Ephesians 2:8

God is love.” (1 John 4:16)  Humans were designed to love and be loved! Jesus confirmed this: “Love God … and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40) 

Observe both Europe and the Middle East today! Obviously, humankind is NOT loving! The Manual renders this diagnosis: “Everyone sins! Everyone falls short of God’s glorious design! (Romans  3:23)

The virus of sin has caused a major malfunction in the human spirit so that we “fall short” of loving God, others and self. We’re dis-eased and the disease is deadly! “We were dead because of our sins….” (Ephesians 2:5) We exist but are unable to fulfill our destiny! 

“How helpful it is to see sin, like addictive behavior, as a dis-ease, a very destructive dis-ease instead of merely something that was culpable, punishable, or “made God unhappy,” If sin indeed made God unhappy, it is  because God desires nothing more than our happiness. and wills the healing of our dis-ease.” (Breathing Under Water, p xv, Richard Rohr)Though our prognosis is extremely bleak, we’re not hopeless! Father has a medicine to cure our dis-ease

Blood is red in appearance; yet it contains white blood cells. When your body is under a viral assault, white blood cells attack the virus. However, in gaining victory they die. Healing is won via death! 

 

 

Father’s medicine is called GRACE: God’s Restoration At Christ Expense! “We are saved (the meaning of this word is “made whole”) by grace….” The old hymn calls it “amazing.” Why? Whereas grace is extremely costly (“You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19), yet, it’s “a gift from God

How does one obtain the Medicine Of Life? Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.” (Mark 2:17)

Have you been to the Doctor yet? 

 

Snapshots of the Cross in the Old Testament—the curtain

Whereas the whole earth was given to humankind to inhabit and rule (Genesis 1:28), the Garden of Eden was specifically designed as a Meeting Place for God and man. “The truth is clearly set forth that Life comes from God, that for man Life consists in nearness to God and that it is the central concern of God’s fellowship with man to impart Life” (Geerhardus Vos).

The Creator’s plan was diverted. Disobedience produced disconnection. Fellowship was fractured. Consequently, “God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.”

tabernacleFortunately, the story didn’t end there. After God delivered His people from 430 years of Egyptian bondage He gave this order: “Let them make a Dwelling Place for Me, so I may live among them. Make the meeting tent like the plans I will show you.” The design called for three sections oriented to the east: the Courtyard, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, the latter two separated by an ornate curtain. “Make a curtain of blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. Have a design of angel-cherubim woven into it by a skilled craftsman” (Exodus 26:3-33).

Did you catch it? Just as at Eden angel-cherubim guarded the eastern entrance (the curtain) to the place of God’s Presence, the Holy of Holies. So, how would disconnected humankind be able to have face to face fellowship with God? How was God able to have a Dwelling Place in the midst of disobedient traitors? It seems as if God changed His standards!

arkOnce a year on the Day of Atonement (see last Lenten post) the High Priest entered God’s Dwelling Place with the blood of a slaughtered lamb. The High Priest walked around the throne (i.e. the Mercy Seat) of God’s Presence seven times, sprinkling blood on it as he moved. So, for a brief period the High Priest had fellowship with God because of the blood. God and sinful man were ONE through the blood. OOPS! Don’t forget this: The High Priest bore on his shoulders and over his heart the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. One might say that the entire nation was in long distance fellowship with God during that period.

Centuries later the real Lamb of God was dragged to Calvary to be slaughtered. As His blood oozed out, His life was depleted. Finally, Jesus said, “It is finished!” After that “the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom” (Matthew 27:50-52). Brothers and sisters, because of the blood of Jesus we can now confidently go into the Most Holy Place. Jesus has opened a new and living way for us to go through the curtain, His own body” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

The door is open! Just walk into Father’s Presence via the blood of the Lamb of God!

Snapshots of the Cross in the Old Testament—Jesus has you covered

Suddenly their eyes were opened to a reality previously unknown. They sensed their vulnerability and rushed to hide their naked bodies, stitching fig leaves into crude loincloths. (Genesis 3:7) 

God pieced together the skins of animals and made clothes for Adam and Eve to wear. (Genesis 3:21)

Adam and Eve sensed things were not right. They were dis-eased; but they didn’t have a clue about its deadly nature. So, they resorted to bandages, “fig leaves”, to hide their brokenness. However, the Great Physician, knowing theirs’ was a “sickness unto death” (Soren Kierkegaard), fabricated “skins of animals”. Fig leaves and animal skins—sounds mythological! What’s going on? What’s the difference?

It’s somewhat obscure: God slaughtered animals to acquire the skins. Apparently, the best therapy for the couple’s dis-ease required a bloody sacrifice. If that seems barbaric, consider this: we’re inundated with violence and blood via movies, video games, and television. Seemingly we have a rather large appetite for such.

Blood is called the liquid of life.” Oxygen fuels the operation of every organ in the body, especially the brain. Blood is the carrier of this indispensable chemical. Two of the four vital signs relate to blood transportation. So, modern medicine has validated the Creator’s assertion: “The life of the body is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11).

After the Jews were delivered from Egyptian bondage God wrote a prescription for right-ness: “I have given you the blood of sacrifice for making atonement for your lives through the life that is in it” (Leviticus 17:11). “I have given you….” The medication is a Gift. “I have given you the blood …” Remember: blood means life. So, God’s medicine is the Gift of Life.

I have given you the blood of sacrifice….” The Gift of Life is costly. No health insurance is able to cover the cost. “The blood of sacrifice” is “for making atonement for your lives.” A drug is given FOR a precise disorder. Ambien is prescribed for sleep. What’s “atonement”? The Hebrew word is extremely rich; but here’s the core meaning: to cover by payment. Here’s an example. You go to a concert with a friend, but realize that you’ve forgotten your wallet. Your friend pays for your ticket saying, “I’ve got you covered.” David expressed it this way: “Blessed is the one whose sins are covered” (Psalm 32:1). Isaiah beautifully describes the results: “Even though your sins are bright red, they will be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

So, for the second time in Genesis 3 the Good News is announced. Are you getting the message? The Creator’s heart of compassion is to HEAL not HURT! Through Jesus’ crucifixion Father’s prescription for life is available “free of charge.” At the Cross God has declared to humankind: “I have given you the blood of sacrifice for making atonement for your lives through the life that is in it.” Have you picked up your medication yet?