Friday Morning Manna July 19, 2019
The Saving Flesh and Blood of the Passover Lamb
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying . . .Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying . . every man shall take for himself a lamb, a lamb for a household . . . without blemish, a male of the first year.”Exodus 12: 1, 2, 3, 5
The Passover feast was instituted on the last night of Israel’s bondage, immediately before the tenth plague was poured out whereupon at midnight all the first-born of the Egyptians, both man and beast were slain by the Lord’s angel of death that passed over the whole land. It was God’s final judgment upon atheistic Egypt headed by the blasphemous pharaoh at that time (probably Amenhotep II). The tenth plague was the last straw, forcing that pharaoh to release God’s people from bondage, setting off the Exodus movement—the type of the Advent Movement of the New Testament.
However, being numbered among the chosen alone was insufficient. Only the Hebrew families whose fathers as heads of household strictly complied with God’s command to gather their families within their own dwellings, carefully followed the specifications on the type of lamb to be slain, how, and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts, were shielded from the tenth plague. If any father, even with the best intentions or intellectual arguments decided not to comply in any detail, his household would have been filled with bitter weeping and wailing before daybreak. Thank God we have no record in the Bible that this happened among the Hebrews.
I honestly fear for any father in spiritual Israel today who presumptuously ignores or even openly disobeys God’s law for whatever reason, and by his example, (mis) leads his family to do the same. The time of the antitypical passing over of the “angel” described in Ezekiel 9 as “the man clothed with linen with an inkhorn in his side,” is rapidly approaching. He will search the professed Christian churches of the world. Only those that have the antitypical equivalent blood sprinkled upon the doorposts—“the marking on the forehead of those who sigh and cry for all the abominations that are being done in their midst” —will be spared from the seven last plagues of Revelation. Fathers, are you preparing yourself and your households for this coming fearful last-day event? If not, when will you start? Please don’t wait till it’s too late.
The Passover was the opening feast of the yearly round of ancient Israel’s religious services. It was the first of the three annual feasts (Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Tabernacles) of the Mosaic dispensation at which all menfolk of Israel were commanded to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem. The observance of the first Passover therefore marked the birth of the Hebrew nation. They departed from Egypt as an independent, sovereign nation under God.
Gradually, over the centuries since then, just like any other religious activity, the attention began focusing on the festivities of the feast itself and the self-pleasing improvisations that inevitably follows when form trumps substance—rather than towards the sacrifice of the Passover lamb itself and the invaluable spiritual lessons surrounding it. May this be never said of those who, while knowing when and why the shift took place from the Passover to the Lord’s Supper, and faithfully observe the latter yet doze off into auto-pilot ceremonial stupor where the spiritual meaning disappears into the background. Motion does not necessarily mean there is life. It may be caused by a machinery—a life-like yet lifeless mannequin, not a living soul.
“The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointing back to the deliverance from Egypt, but forward to the greater deliverance which Christ was to accomplish in freeing His people from the bondage of sin. The sacrificial lamb represents the “Lamb of God,’ in whom is our only hope of salvation. Says the apostle Paul, ‘Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.’ 1 Cor. 5:7. It was not enough that the lamb be slain; its blood must be sprinkled upon the door-posts; so the merits of Christ’s blood must be applied to the soul. We must believe not only that He died for the world, but that He died for us individually. We must appropriate to ourselves the virtue of the atoning sacrifice. . . . .
“The lamb was to prepared whole, not a bone of it being broken; so not a bone was to be broken of the Lamb of God, who was to die for us. Exo. 12: 46; John 19: 36. [The “unbroken” Lamb was to die for the “broken,” lost sheep!]
“The flesh was to be eaten. It was not enough even that we believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sin; we must by faith be constantly receiving spiritual strength and nourishment from Him through His word. Said Christ, ‘Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.’ And to explain His meaning He said, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.’ John 6: 53, 54, 63.
“Jesus accepted His Father’s law, wrought out its principles in His life, manifested its spirit, and showed its beneficent power in the heart. Says John, ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.’ John 1: 14. The followers of Christ must be partakers of His experience. They must receive and assimilate the word of God so that it shall become a motive power of life and action. By the power of Christ they must be changed into His likeness, and reflect the divine attributes. They must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, or there is no life in them. The spirit and work of Christ must become the spirit and work of His disciples.” – Patriarchs & Prophets, pp. 277, 278.
NOTES: As “the Father sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8: 3), so will all followers of Christ, still in sinful flesh, condemn, not condone sin in their flesh. This can only be accomplished by daily surrendering self to Christ and submitting willingly to the sanctification wrought by the Holy Spirit. They will be changed into the likeness of Christ’s character that was perfected in “the body that was made for Him.” They will become living reflections of the God-man. It is the power of Christ that was manifested and demonstrated in His visible His human nature that changes sinful human beings into His moral likeness, not His physical features. As the moon possesses no light of its own but merely reflects the light of the sun, lighting up the night as “lesser lights” to Christ, the “greater Light,” so will all who faithfully “eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ” experience and manifest the beneficent power of the law upon their hearts, the law being an agency in their conversion (Ps. 19: 7). They become “the light of the world.” Matt. 5:14-16.
The “Word made flesh” had to be the only one and first and last of its kind, for: firstly, of whom can it be likewise said of any man, beginning with Adam, that he, too, was made flesh from an original state of that Being called “The Word who, in the beginning, was with God, and was God.” (John 1: 1)? The factual truth is, beginning with the first Adam, all men were “made from dust”— the basic material element of man’s flesh nature. Thus, one the first three curses resulting from Adam and Eve’s sin was, their bodies and all mankind “returns to the dust of the ground” at death while his breath of life returns to the Life giver– the Creator Christ Jesus! Gen. 3: 19; Eccl. 3: 20; 12: 7; Ps. 103: 14; 104: 29.
But such returning to the dust can never be said of the “Word made flesh.” Why? (a) When He incarnated it was not from the dust of the ground but by the Holy Spirit “overshadowing ” the virgin Mary. Nine months after, the “promised Seed” (Gen. 3: 19) emerged from her womb “in the body that was prepared for Him.” Thus began His life on earth starting as the helpless Babe of Bethlehem, then the holy Child who becomes the Carpenter of Nazareth—undoubtedly the Son of man—till He was baptized and anointed at the Jordan as the promised Messiah. As Paul says, “When the fullness of time had come [not a second later or earlier], God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Gal. 4: 7) (b) He died as a Man who was “subject to all our temptations, yet without sin; as a Man He was subject to death, yet not mortal—not because of the inherent immortality of His divinity but on account of not having committed sin in His humanity. He had and felt the passions of our fallen sinful nature but not the pollutions of it for not once did He yield, not even in thought to any of Satan’s temptations by fully relying, in His vulnerable human nature, upon the divine power of the Father.
His death in His human nature had to be the only one of its kind for it alone had the substitutionary-efficacy and surety-power to pay the ransom price for the redemption of fallen mankind; it alone satisfied the demands of His law that had been transgressed, Him both the Offeror and sacrifice. His body, that “was prepared for Him” did not return to the dust of the ground while buried in Joseph’s tomb. Why? His dead human body never experienced the morally and physically corroding power of sin—transgression of the moral and natural laws of God—thus never “saw “or “tasted” the corruption of decomposition that inevitably and irreversibly follows the death of all sinful mortals. This aspect of death is illustrated by the death of Lazarus, where his corpse, according to his own sister Martha, was already stinking having been in the grave for four days.
Hence all the pitiful, desperate human efforts–starting with the atheistic dynasties of the Egyptian pharaohs to preserve their bodiesthrough all kinds of embalming techniques, down to the latest, being cryogenics, still vainly awaiting the dawn their own version of the resurrection.
Some posit this quandary: Eve was not directly made from the dust of the ground, as Adam was but from a rib which is a bone, from Adam’s rib cage; so how could and why would her dead body also return to the dust of the ground—and not to bone? Except for the breath of life that comes from God, the body of Adam, containing the flesh, blood, bones of his skeletal system, were made/fashioned by the Creator from the dust of the ground, as clay in the hands of a master potter. Eve was then created/formed from a rib-bone from the rib-cage of Adam’s body that made from dust. Then, both sinned. These were what was common between the two distinctly separate sexes: male and female, only. Let all remember this fundamental truth.
Also, contrary to the assertion of a certain class of naysayers of the Bible that Jesus never actually died but only made an appearance of it—Christ’s death was real. So real or else the Bible would have recorded the depressing story that the Father did not accept the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, though He offered Him as His own one and only Lamb. John 3: 16. If such ideas were true, the Bible would have recorded that the Messiah’s life, works, and death failed to satisfy the just and righteous demands of God’s immutable law, which is eternal death to the transgressor/sinner. Therefore, He could not be the substitute and surety for all mankind who are under the condemnation of the second death, which is eternal death.
But the Bible testifies that Christ’s sacrifice was accepted by the Father, certified and signaled by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to act as His vicegerent and Successor on earth, as He, in His resurrected glorified human nature, entered into the holy places of the heavenly sanctuary, there to perform His work as High Priest, Intercessor, Mediator and Advocate, then Judge of all the earth. There He pleads the merits His blood, shed as the Passover Lamb for penitent sinners.
The “second death” (Rev.20: 14; 21: 8), the eternal reward of the persistently unrepentant, rebellious and at last, incorrigible sinner, is not the same as the “first death” which the apostle described: “Just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death passed (or “spread”) to all men, because all have sinned.” Rom. 5: 12. Immediately cut off from their free access to the tree of life in the midst of Eden, whose fruit God vested with properties to perpetuate life, Adam and Eve and all mankind thereafter became unconditionally mortal—subject to the first and second deaths until the announcement and introduction of the plan of redemption in Eden with its complete provisions embodied in the saving grace of God in Christ and the promise of the gift-reward of immortality and life eternal.
Having been “made in the likeness of sinful flesh” in “the body that was prepared for Him,” and then was “tempted in all points as all men are tempted, yet without sin,” the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, “our Passover” (1 Cor. 5: 7) covered both the first and second deaths. But the same cannot be said of any sacrificial death of any other human being, not even the faithful patriarchs Moses, Abraham, or Job—who all tasted death, nor Enoch and Elijah as types of the 144,000 of the last days, who never tasted the first death but instead were translated.
We have no choice over the first death. But on the second death, every sinner, through the plan of redemption, is given the power to choose the consequences of either eternal life or eternal death by what they do or do not do. So why choose to persistently do those things which the spirit and the letter of the immutable law of God clearly warns will result in the second death, when Christ in His adopted flesh-and-blood human nature, died that death, as the sinner’s sinless Substitute, providing the premiere “way of escape” (1 Cor. 10: 13)?
All who are “willing to be made willing” to do God’s will—shall, through Christ’s unchanged divine nature, combined with His perfected human nature—be fully empowered to “overcome even as He overcame” (Rev. 3: 21). But we must “strive to enter the narrow gate” (Matt. 7: 13, 14) while journeying through this antitypical wilderness of cursed earth towards the antitypical heavenly Canaan. It is during our wilderness life-journey that we are to climb Peter’s ladder of Christian progress (2 Pet. 1: 2-11) in the work of character perfection until “Christ’s image is perfectly reproduced” in us. This image is what was perfected and manifested in the incarnated nature Christ while on earth. Such work performed by law-keeping saints is never the pharisaical “righteousness by works” but is, in fact, the “righteousness by faith” which Christ perfected and demonstrated in His Human nature as our Example, personal Trainer, personal Savior. It is this that makes salvation individual, not corporate! (Continued next week)