I love patterns that show up in the bible…patterns can confirm things you thought you noticed. When it comes along twice, I really start paying attention. God paints pictures through the Old Testament bible stories. As we study them, we can see spiritual lessons emerge.
For example, in the Old Testament, a lamb was slaughtered each year for the sins of the people. The lamb was killed mercifully, by slitting its throat. The lamb’s blood was shed for the sins of all the people one time during the year, but the lamb’s death was not fully able to take away those sins; it could only cover them. Other animals were also used as sin offerings during the year for personal sin. But on the Day of Atonement that happened once a year, a lamb was used to make atonement for the nation. This lamb foreshadowed the real Lamb who was coming.
Hebrews 10:1-4 “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshippers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
Jesus endured much more than a quick merciful death like the Old Testament lamb received. Jesus CHOSE to endure torture before His death. He was beaten and whipped until the skin on his back was broken open. The Passion of the Christ movie graphically brought this aspect out. The cruelty was more than I could even watch. This torture, this whipping, was for the healing of our bodies. In the picture of the actual lamb being slain for our sins, a somewhat more merciful death was seen, although Isaiah speaks of a man whose “visage was marred more than any man.” (Is. 52.14) He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. Our God went through much more to purchase our salvation to the very fullest. He gave it all. These are things to ponder…
Jesus’s death fulfilled what that allegorical symbolic lamb did. His sacrifice, though, completely removed sins, past, present, and future. His sacrifice cleansed the conscience of mankind.
The thing that impacted me from the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” was how determined Jesus was to make it to the cross. That was the main picture I walked away with. The flogging and cruel beating was so horrific, it seemed like He could not make it there, as He fell and seemed unable to continue…but He did make it there. I think He knew He had to. Without the cross, the salvation of men could not happen….He knows we are but dust. The book of Hebrews says, “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.” I believe the joy was knowing His created human beings would be saved from eternal damnation and spend eternity with Him.
Scripture says that by rising from the dead, Jesus made an open show of the devil. Colossians 2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
The devil illegally killed an innocent man. That is why Jesus could not be held in death. He was condemned by men, but loved by God. He had no sin and was innocent. Killing him was illegal. But He took our place, our punishment, by His own choice. It truly is a remarkable story of love…how God sent a baby to earth to be the salvation of man, to live as a man, and grow up among men. He was sent from God to tell mankind He was the savior, with signs and wonders accompanying (the same signs that His church is supposed to be displaying, by the way!) He took on the sins of men so that men might become the actual righteousness of God. It was a great exchange.
Receive His love today! It is real and it is amazing.