Friday, July 3, 2009

Take It

Exodus 20:1-17; Mark 14:22-26 / 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

I. Jesus Observed the Passover with His Disciples

A. Jesus was eager to celebrate the Passover with His disciples before His crucifixion. “And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:” (Luke 22:15)

B. Jesus knew precisely how the hours ahead of Him would develop, but He faced the horror willingly, knowing that the sacrifice would fulfill the promise God made in the Garden of Eden. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

C. The Passover dates from the period when Israel was liberated from slavery in Egypt; the blood of a sacrificial lamb was applied to the lintel and doorposts of each Hebrew home so that the Angel of Death would not strike the inhabitants. “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)

D. Jesus came to be the ultimate Passover lamb for the redemption of humanity. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

E. The message of substitutionary atonement reverberates across Scripture; Jesus came to fulfill the message to Abraham, the Father of the Faithful. “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.” (Genesis 22:7-8)

II. The Story Is Not Entirely Finished

A. Jesus explained the elements of the celebration and ordered His people to observe the festival; instead of ending, Passover blossomed. “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.” (Mark 14:22)

B. The form of the Passover service changed and grew over time, but the message of the blood only became more personal; Jesus is the believer’s Passover sacrifice. “And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” (Mark 14:23-24) “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

C. The Passover story began in Egypt, but it continued into the Wilderness and passed on into the Promised Land; the New Testament Passover will continue into the end-time Kingdom. “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” (Mark 14:25) “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

III. The Believers Sang and Went Out into the Night

A. The Passover service ends with the haunting message of Psalm 118 which is also the psalm sung at the end of the pilgrimage as people entered Jerusalem for the Passover celebration; God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. (Psalm 118:27) “And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26)

B. In the garden on the Mount of Olives, Jesus prayed for the people who had just shared the Passover—and for us. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” (John 17:1-4)

C. Christians believe unto salvation and eventually all people will know; every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)

D. Though not everyone will believe, believers will not be disappointed. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)

E. Set your heart on His glorious appearing when we will dine with the Master. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” (Titus 2:13)

F. Do as He told you; take it—do so with full confidence. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)

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