Part three of the Back to the Heart of the Faith series.
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” – Exodus 12:12-13
How amazing is the wisdom of the Lord, indeed! He, against whom all have sinned, not only brought into the world a Redeemer, whose origins are from before creation itself (John 1:1-3), but gave us images and types which pointed to the final act of redemption. Of these types, perhaps none are as direct as that of the lambs’ blood dabbed atop and along the sides of the doorways of each respective home. Upon the cross – yes, the Lamb –, adorned with a crown of thorns, which certainly would have pierced His brow and the nails through His hands and feet gave humanity cover against the judgment and wrath to come. Not unlike the Israelites in a hardened and hostile land, God’s wrath will pass over all those on whom the blood of His Lamb rests and, not unlike the command of the Israelites to remember this event (Ex 12:14-20), those covered with His blood also offer their worship and remembrance for this act of grace and mercy. In a like manner, those who have been washed clean eat the bread [His body broken] and drink of the cup [the new covenant in His blood] in remembrance of Him until He drinks it anew with all who have partaken (Mt 26:17-30; 1Co 11:23-26).
Jesus drew reference, at the table, to the end, which could be adequate to say the restoration or fulfillment of our essential hope in the promises He made; this was possible through no other means, but by faith in Him (Jn 3:16-17). It was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, which paved the way for all mankind to have possibility of reconciliation with the Father, for, just as He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6; Rm 5:9-11). He came into the world to save the world through Him, that no one who believed in Him would perish, but would be given the right to become children of God, not born out of physical descent, but by God’s will leading to eternal life (Jn 1:12-13).
By reconciliation, though, it is meant that Jesus suffered what He did not deserve to give everyone who would partake what they did not deserve, so that they would have means by which they could have a relationship with the Father. To be fair, going further, it truly does mean that He suffered such a price for even those who would despise and reject Him still, yet they refuse the cross and the gift that they cannot understand. Jesus, who deserved no harm, was killed for a people who deserved nothing short of the fullness of God’s wrath and this was God’s great pleasure! Drawing back from the Israelites, God’s love and compassion for His creation provided the Lamb through which a fallen people can find both safety from the wrath to come and a pathway for the lost to find reconciliation with the Creator of heaven and earth. That day, the sun darkened and the temple’s curtain tore in two, while Jesus, nailed to the planks of the cross, said, “It is finished” and gave His spirit to His Father’s hands (Lk 23:44-46; Jn 19:30). The price was paid once and for all and all who come are freely given way to drink the gift of the water of life (Rev. 22:17). Yes, the final Paschal lamb had been sacrificed; indeed, the very Lamb of God Himself (1Co 5:7). Amen.