Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Christ our Passover (Part 2)

So last time we looked in general terms at the Passover and what this meant for the people of God and how this is a fitting picture of our salvation and the beginning of a life and a journey with God. This time I would like to go back to this Passover night and look more at the detail and what we can learn from these things.

If we read Exodus 12 we read that a lamb was to be taken. Many of us will understand that this is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and our minds will go to scriptures such as John 1:29 "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world". Let's look at how this lamb would speak of the Lord Jesus.

We are told that the lamb must not have any blemish and this would speak to us of the sinless, spotless character of the Lord Jesus. 1Pet 1:19 and Heb 7:26 are just two scriptures that tell us of the sinlessness of Christ.

The lamb must be slain! When we gather to remember the Lord Jesus we "shew the Lord's death till he come" (1 Cor 11:26). The death of Christ is also at the centre of our Gospel message, without his death there is no salvation or good news! "But we preach Christ crucified" 1 Cor 1:23

But more than this, the blood of the lamb had to be applied to those doorposts and lintels, without the blood there would be no Passover and no deliverance! Remember God said "when I see the blood, I will pass over you", so we learn that the blood was effectual, it was the blood that saved! Of course this applies to our salvation also for the Word of God tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, and 1 Pet 1:19 says that we are redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ..."

The application of the blood externally made me think, there were aspects of the Passover that were internal and there were aspects that were external. The Passover feast for example, was inside the house and no meat was to be carried outside. It was also consumed and eaten, so truly internal in nature. The blood however was applied externally outside the house and I think there is a lesson here too regarding our salvation, as this is something that should effect us internally and externally! Salvation changes us internally as we are 'born again' we are a 'new creature' one that is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. We also take in the Word of God and meditate on it and appreciate Christ, these are all internal things! However our salvation also has outward aspects, such as a changed life visible to all those around, showing the fruits of the spirit, good works, and also public worship and contribution to the activities and gatherings of the local church. All these are external things, but very real things that apply to us today, so let us be encouraged and challenged as we read these things!

As we draw to a close, the Passover was something they would remember and that would have an impact on them for the rest of their lives (Ex 12:24). It would not be onerous, or some boring tradition but it would be a joy to them, to have cause to remember once again the greatness and goodness of their God in saving them! This should speak to us today! How much of our Christian lives do we find onerous or a bind? This should not be so! Let us once again remember the goodness of God and take joy and delight in the things of God.

Finally, if they were asked by their children what the Passover feast was all about, they should be able to both maintain and explain these things to them! I think the lesson is clear, when others ask us why we believe what we believe we should be able and ready to maintain and explain to them, if only in simple terms. 1 Peter 3:15 says that we should "always be ready to give an answer to every man that asks for the reason of the hope that is in you..." So let's be encouraged and be bold, and ensure we are equipped to maintain and explain to others!

I trust these couple of posts will have been interesting and beneficial to you. Yours in Christ, Mark

Monday, 27 January 2014

Christ our Passover (1 Cor 5:7) (Part 1)

Hello again fellow believers, and welcome to the new look Believers Blog site, now a Blogger site which I am finding easier to administer and post to, as well as being free! I hope you all continue to enjoy the site and find it helpful and profitable to read.

I thought I would share a few simple thoughts that occurred to me as I was reading the Passover account in Exodus 12 recently. I am sure that most of us would realise that the Passover is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation he has made for us, but there is so much bound up in this picture! Here are a few thoughts of mine...

In Exodus 12 we read God says; "this month shall be for you the beginning of months"... In effect this was to mark a new beginning for His people, the Passover marked the beginning of a new life for them! And so it is with our salvation, praise God it marks the beginning of a new life with Christ our Saviour. And of course the Passover marked the beginning of a journey with God, and so it is with our salvation! Let's think about that journey for a moment...

They had been saved out of Egypt, which in the Bible is generally a picture of the world and its attractions. This was the place where they were in slavery as well so this is an excellent little picture for the believer who is saved out of the world and from the penalty and power of sin. They were on their way to the Promised Land which is generally seen as a picture of the Christian's inheritance and the enjoyment of the blessings of God as a believer. Ephesians tells we are presently "blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places" but occasionally conflict and trouble can arise which can rob us of our enjoyment of spiritual things, such is pictured by the various conflicts the people of God experienced with the Philistines in the Lord and other such enemies.

I think that there is an application however, that we can view the Promised Land in a future sense as well for the believer. Remember that the Promised Land was the end goal for God's people on their journey with God, and in between Egypt and Canaan there were many years where they would experience times of testing and triumph, failure and victory, and they would experience the guidance, preservation and provision of God. How much God would have to teach them during that time and the works he would do through them, all before they reached their promised home. Sometimes we sing "heaven is our home" and how true this is, we are pilgrims and strangers down here (1 Pet 2:11), our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20)!

Next post we will look in a little bit more detail at this Passover night and see what more we can see of Christ there and how we can apply this to ourselves today practically in our Christian living.

Yours in Christ, Mark

1 Kings 19: Elijah and God

I was listening to a podcast the other day which was speaking about 1 Kings 19 and it reminded me of how very relevant this passage is to ou...