Part one of the Back to the Heart of the Faith series.
How awesome, incredible, unsearchable is the wisdom of God, for He, knowing the great need of His creation, established the plan – a mystery of old, which was hidden from before the creation of the world! Christ Jesus, the Lord and incarnate Son, was offered as that sweet smelling sacrifice on which the sins of the world would be placed and through whom mankind could be redeemed from the stench of sin and its rightful condemnation. This redemption was expected, though, unknown and, save God Himself, no one knew or could. Nevertheless, before Jesus was given to the world as means to reconcile the fallen creation with the holy Creator, the Most High sprinkled symbols that would speak of this Cornerstone until His incarnation.
Looking back, we assuredly must find a sense of awe in seeing what was so mysterious and certainly fascinating before the arrival of the Messiah as the people looked to the promise. From the fall of man, the allusion to the victory of Christ over the cursed serpent is easy to see (Ge 3:15). That which enticed man to sin and threw into question the truthfulness of God would strike at the heel of Eve’s offspring and he would crush the serpent’s head. Jesus Himself is the victor over sin, their consequences, as well as the one who entices and we are victors through Him.
Later, the Lord commanded Abraham to take his son, the child of promise, and sacrifice the boy on Mt. Moriah. Whatever struggles Abraham had aside, he brought the boy to the mountain and prepared to sacrifice him in faith, but he was stopped by the angel of the LORD, who called out to him, “Do not lay a hand on the boy…” and, just as Abraham faithfully spoke, the LORD would provide the lamb. On this mountain, of which it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided” (Ge 22:8-14), the LORD did indeed provide the Lamb, triumphantly entering Jerusalem (Mt. 21:1-11): the city upon Moriah itself. It was this city, in which Jesus was being led like a “lamb to the slaughter” (Is. 53:7).
Abraham had passed, both Isaac and Jacob were gone, and Egypt had forgotten what Joseph did for the Egyptians after having been sold into slavery. The Israelites, now in Egypt, were dealt with harshly as slaves forced into labor for their masters. Their cries were heard by the eternal “I AM”, who sent the man, Moses, to them as a leader. Moses reached out to Pharaoh, whose heart had been hardened, and plagues were sent to afflict Egypt, yet, Pharaoh continued to deal harshly with the Israelites in their bondage. The LORD commanded Moses and Aaron to instruct the Israelites to take a lamb and slaughter it “at twilight”, dipping hyssop into the blood and placing it atop and along the sides of the doorframe of their respective homes (Ex. 1-12). Who among them saw the drops that fell from atop the frame and the blood along the sides to what would have certainly collected along the ground and recognized the cross which had served as the final sacrifice for all time? Who among them could have seen the symbol of the Son, nails driven through His hands and a crown of thorns around His head?
Christ Jesus was that provided Lamb, whose sacrifice was a mystery shown through types throughout time and He conquered death and sin, striking the very head of that deceiving serpent itself. Jesus is that Passover Lamb, protecting all those who would come to Him from the approaching judgment of God. Though a mystery and profound one at that, God had shown what was to come even if man saw through dim eyes. It was Jesus who was to die and victory would come for all who would come to Him with broken and contrite hearts. How amazing and limitless indeed is the richness of the wisdom of the Lord!