Mel Wild is senior pastor at Cornerstone Church and as director of Radiant School of Ministry, both based in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin USA. We’re introducing him to readers at C201 today for the first time and I was thrilled to find an article which would be a such a good fit for Good Friday.
As always, click the title below to read at his blog, In My Father’s House.
How is Christ is Lamb of God? Is the emphasis on appeasement, like with the animal sacrifices in the Mosaic Law, or is it about deliverance?
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Jewish Passover, but we’re going to look at the first Passover and see how that might answer the question for us.
First, here’s how Paul made the connection between Christ and the Passover:
7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (1 Cor.5:7 *)
This passage also brings up another question: in what way does it mean that Christ was sacrificed? I’ll address that question next time.
In my series, “Jesus Christ: Savior of the world,” I made the point that the Cross of Christ delivered us from Satan’s societal construct in alienation from God called “this world.” From what we learned from the series, let’s take a fresh look at how Christ fulfilled the Passover.
What are we being saved from?
We see the Passover instituted in Exodus 12, but the promise is made earlier. I want you to notice the nature of this promise. I’ve highlighted the salient points for our discussion:
5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exod. 6:5-7 *)
Looking at this passage, which the New Testament says Christ fulfills as a type for our salvation, is there any mention of God needing to be paid in order to forgive us? (I’ll come back to this in part two.)
What is the context here? “I will bring you out from under the burdens”…”I will rescue you from their bondage…”
Is this not talking about deliverance from bondage? In Israel’s case, from the Egyptians? In our case, from “Egypt” as a biblical archetype for “this world?”
Let me ask you another question while we’re here. What is the difference between being forgiven and being saved from your sins?
21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt.1:21 *)
Forgiveness speaks of forbearance. The criminal is pardoned. But to be freed from your sins is much more than this!
Israel being delivered from their slavery in Egypt is the best way to see this. But, with us, it’s a slavery of another kind.
First, we see Moses as a type of Israel’s Messiah to come:
So the Lord said to Moses: “See, I have made you as God to Pharaoh…5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” (Exod.7:1, 5 *)
Notice that it says that God will bring Israel out from among them. It speaks of removal from what’s keeping them in slavery. For us, “Pharaoh” represents the “god of this age” (2 Cor.4:4), and “Egypt” represents the societal structure in alienation from God that he controls called “this world.” The New Testament writers understood that Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment.
37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ (Acts 7:37 *)
So, Jesus, as a type of Moses, came to free us from our slavery to this world system:
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-38 *)
4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Gal.1:4 *)
He didn’t come just to forgive us (although we are forgiven), or even to take us out of the physical world. He came to free us from Satan’s construct in this world that has enslaved us. I go into this in much greater detail in my post, “The sin of the world.”
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Col.1:13 *)
We will look at how we might understand Jesus as our ransom and how He purchased our freedom as the Passover Lamb when I conclude tomorrow.
* Unless otherwise noted, New King James Bible translation. All emphasis added.