the rescue

04.18.2016

Tim Moreland-CCSM 2015Guest writing today on the Cross Church School of Ministry blog is Tim Moreland. Tim is serving with the Cross Church School of Ministry as a resident minister on the Missions Ministry track. Tim is from Wake Forrest, North Carolina.

They covered the doorposts in blood. It was the strangest thing they were ever asked to do. How could the blood of a lamb save them from death and free them from bondage? Yet they trusted in it. They trusted in their God.

“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” …So the people bowed down and worshiped. Then the Israelites went and did this; they did just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. Exodus 12:13, 27-28

The Passover was a one-time event more than 3,400 years ago, yet it is still celebrated every year. But, today’s celebrants don’t cover their doorposts in blood nor fear the Angel of Death. That victory has been won! Instead, faithful Jews nail a mezuzah to the doorpost. It is an attempt to honor the Shema – the commands of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words I am giving you today are to be in your heart. …Write them on the doorposts of your house.” Inside the mezuzah are the words of the Shema and Deuteronomy 11:13-21 on a scroll. The Passover is annually remembered through a meal, but the doorposts continually hold the word of God.

The Passover was the rescue of the Israelites from slavery, the beginning of a trip to the Promised Land. When they trusted in the blood of the lamb, the Israelites were miraculously rescued from death and slavery. Forty years later, the Israelites who were still alive had lived longer in the wilderness than in Egyptian bondage. Moses gave them the Law again; Deuteronomy means second law. Moses told them five times in Deuteronomy to “remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt.” Each of these reminders corresponded to commandments they were to keep.

For Christians, Jesus is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) and “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). The blood on the doorposts showed the Israelites the power of God to save. It was a shadow of the greater redemption; the blood of our Lamb spilled onto two wooden beams that would form a cross. 1 Peter 1:18-19 tells us “you were redeemedfrom your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.” We are rescued from our bondage to sin, and in newness of life, we are destined for “an eternal dwelling in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).

We remember our Passover Lamb and our redemption in the Lord’s Supper. We should remember that we were far from God before we were rescued from “an empty way of life.” How much greater is our salvation than the ancient Israelites; no longer are we in bondage to sin! This is good news – news to share! We no longer walk in emptiness. We have a mighty redeemer to follow. We are under his command.

Jesus was asked which commandment is greatest. He pointed us to the Shema; “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands” (Matthew 22:37-40).

These commandments should be on display in our actions in our churches, our homes and our lives. These commands should be written on our hearts, not hidden in a mezuzah. The Lamb who is mighty to save is worthy to be followed. Our destiny was death, judgment, and “a lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Now we are children of the living God. So love one another. Love your neighbor extravagantly. Love your God with all that is in you and all that you have.

There is no need to look for another sacrifice or fear death, because we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb! Forever trust in him. Our victory has been won!

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