Seven Feasts of Israel – Passover (Part 1)
Giles at Blessington, Ireland
was the Passover instituted? When was it inaugurated? I was asking
myself that question; and of course, one starts with thinking about
the children of Israel coming out of Egypt after their captivity
for 400 years. We think of the killing of the lamb and the painting
of the blood on the doorposts and the lintel and the angel of death
passing over; that is where the word “Passover” comes from.
little more thought and one would say there was a sacrifice before
that, because Abraham took Isaac up to Mt. Moriah and God provided
the ram that was caught by its horns in the thicket and that was
what was slain.
you think a little more and you can go back further than that and
say that the Passover was instituted in the garden, where Adam and
Eve were; they broke the commandment of the Lord and at the end
of that time in the garden, you see that God made coverings of animal
skins so there clearly was a sacrifice there; an animal doesn’t
give up its skin without there being a shedding of blood.
gone back from 1500 B.C. to 2000 B.C. to 4000 B.C., one still has
to go back further than that. The earliest mention of Passover is
found in the book of Revelation chapter 13. The context is not really
significant to what I am saying so we will just read verse 8.
13:8 ‘And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose
names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from
the foundation of the world .’
significant thing about the death of Jesus was not the death
of Jesus. There were probably people yesterday and will be
today, who died horribly painful deaths after torture, and if you
were to compare them with the death of Jesus, you would say they
were as bad. It wasn’t actually the way in which He died.
the history of Israel at the time of the rebellion against the Roman
authority in the year 70 A.D., they said there were thousands of
people who were crucified; crosses just lining the streets. It wasn’t
particularly the torture, or the pain, or the method of sacrifice;
it wasn’t unusual in that respect. In the context of human history,
of course it was incredibly painful; it was incredibly horrible,
but it’s not unusual; it’s not unique in any way in the context
of the suffering itself. Despite the fact that Hollywood tried to
paint it in a recent film as being particularly severe, it really
wasn’t unique on account of that.
thing that makes the death of Jesus unique is, firstly, the fact
that it was the Lamb who died. The Lamb is not a title that Jesus
took upon Himself, but it was one that God gave Him. He was the
Lamb of God. In other words, the significance was not how
He died, but who died.
significance is also the affect of the death, because there’s
been no other death of any man, at any time, that’s had the affect
that Jesus’ death has had.
it is not how , but who and what the consequences
we consider the Passover, this is to do with Jesus. There was nobody
else who could make a Passover happen as far as our lives are concerned.
Nobody else could give us a Passover. Nobody else could cause us
to be transferred out of death into life, other than Jesus Himself.
“ who” of Passover is what makes Passover a Passover. It’s
all about Him and His work. He took the blame; we are considered
never having done the wrong for which He took the blame. We are
not guilty; we do not even have the charge on our charge sheet anymore
because He took it.
took the wrath of God—the wrath of God was shown towards Him—and
He took that and we get blessed. He takes the bad and we get the
good. He was cut off and we get accepted. He was rejected and we
get welcomed. He went into death and we come into life. He gets
no mercy and we get mercy. He emptied Himself and we are filled.
the opposites of what happened to Him, come to us because of what
He did. He took all that we deserved; all that was rightly
coming to us at the hand of God because of our rebellion and the
rebellion of the human race. He takes all of that and we get everything
that was His before the sacrifice. There’s an exchange of places.
His life ends and our life begins.
one else but Jesus could do that for us because no one else but
Jesus was in a place where there was an effective exchange that
could be done.
Brother Alan had died for me, we would have swapped like for like
because he doesn’t have anything that can benefit me; this means
nothing against Alan! Or, if I had died for Alan, I couldn’t benefit
him because we’d just be exchanging like for like. There would be
no purpose in the exchange in terms of the benefit.
it was Jesus, and because He was innocent and perfect, because He
was in a place of being God’s favorite son—His only beloved Son,
because of that perfection that was on Him, He had something to
give. He had a life to share; He had a relationship which He was
in, which I wasn’t in and you weren’t in—the human race wasn’t in—which
we could pick up, if He would take the position we were in. It was
an exchange. It wasn’t an exchange that we could require. We had
no bargaining chips; we had no ground to stand on; it was an exchange
of mercy and grace. It was because of Jesus; it is the Lamb who
has accomplished this for us.
Passover is significant because of who died and it’s also
significant because of the effect . If you think about the
effect of Passover—the effect of salvation—it’s clearly talked about
in this verse; this ‘Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world’.
We know very well that Jesus was killed approximately 2,000 years
ago. In the realm of time, He died historically 2,000 years ago,
but the scriptures here say that He was ‘slain from the foundation’—that
is the very, very beginning; the first moment there was any matter—the
Lamb was considered by God to have been slain.
have a situation here where Adam was made and created out of dust;
he was fashioned and formed in the realm of the earth and in the
realm of time. He was formed within space and time on this planet
and at a particular moment. The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was
in space and time as well, but it was also outside of space and
time. There is a difference between the problem and the solution.
cause of our problem was limited to a specific time and to the confines
of a moment in history. The problem was created when Adam sinned
in a moment in history, but the answer was one that God had already
outside of history—outside of the planet and outside of time.
is it significant? Well, it’s significant because when God made
Adam, He made him with a purpose and with a calling on his life
that Adam had never entered into. He put inside the garden at the
very beginning two trees and Adam never ate of one of them. God
put more than two trees there, actually, but He put two which were
given names; one was the Tree of Life and one was the Tree of Knowledge
of Good and Evil.
said, “Look, Adam, there’s the Tree of Life in the midst of the
garden.” By the time the woman was being tempted, she had already,
in her muddled, confused and lustful thinking, put another tree
in the middle of the garden and said that the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil was in the midst of the garden. That wasn’t how
God made it.
said, “Look, this is the center of your life. The Tree of Life is
the central focus. This is where you really ought to be eating.”
He didn’t give them any more instruction than by clearly saying,
“This is the tree that’s the center.” There was an implied invitation
to eat of the tree that God said was the most important but they
did not ever eat of it. When they had taken of the Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil, God did an act of mercy to them and He said, “In
case they take of the Tree of Life and live forever in the state
that they are now in, I’m going to put them out of the garden and
put a barrier between them and the Tree of Life,” because it would
have been a terrible curse to live forever without remedy in the
state that they were now in.
there was a calling on Adam’s life from the very beginning to eat
of the Tree of Life and live forever! He hadn’t entered into that
calling, but God always had in His heart that He would find from
amongst mankind those who would live with Him forever! It was never
God’s permanent, eternal plan to have people like us—mankind—living
outside of relationship with Him. He wanted eternally for us to
be joined to Him. He planted a Tree of Life that, if a man eats
of it, he lives forever! He put it in the middle of the garden!
It’s just that Adam thought there was some better agenda than God’s
agenda, so he took the other fruit, which he thought would make
himself to be wise, he became a fool’. God said—praise God that
God said, “I don’t want him to live forever in that state, so He
removed him from the Tree of Life and said, “There’s only one way
we’re going to become, once again, beings with a calling to eternity
and with a hope that stretches outside the confines of the geography
of the planet at the very biggest, or maybe the moon as well—there’s
been a few guys who got that far, but the confines of our very,
very limited experience—if we’re going to go outside of that and
stop being earthy and start to be heavenly; if we’re going to go
outside the confines of just human experience and start to relate
to an eternal God, we need a sacrifice that stretches beyond just
the area where the problem occurred. We need to be reinstated in
a condition where we can reach into the eternal because we’ll never
know God outside of the eternal. God is an eternal being. He’s going
to live eternally. We need eternal life if we’re going to be the
creatures that know and relate to God.
Jesus had just come and in a moment in history had done something
which took the penalty of our sin, but it was no more than an event
in history that happened 2,000 years ago when He died as an innocent
man to compensate for Adam sinning 6,000 years ago—then it wouldn’t
give us what we need. We needed something that reopened heaven for
us; that put back eternity as a possibility to us, so God ordained
that the sacrifice of Jesus would be one that had an effect in the
heavenly realm, as well as the earthly realm. A sacrifice that had
an effect eternally as well as for time. The offering is so much
greater than the sin. It stretches back into heavenly realms and
it stretches forward into heavenly realms; it’s an eternal sacrifice.
look at some verses in Hebrews. I want to bring this out. I’m really
just thinking about the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
here and we’re going to be moving forward little by little up to
the Feast of Passover itself.
8:1 ‘Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We
have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne
of the Majesty in the heavens;’
Savior—our High Priest—is in the heavens. It’s clear, there’s a
dimension to Him and His high priestly work that isn’t just confined
to the earth; the sin was committed in the earth—it was in a moment
in history, but the High Priest is in the heavens.
8:2-5 ‘A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle,
which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high priest is ordained
to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that
this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he
should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer
gifts according to the law: Who serve unto the example and shadow
of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about
to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things
according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.’
Moses was building his tabernacle, he received the plan because
God took him up in the mountain and showed him something heavenly.
Moses took that and made something natural—something material—out
said what Moses saw was actually the heavenly thing and he had to
make a picture of it. He was commanded to be very, very careful
about the picture he made, which we call Moses’ tabernacle. Everything
in it pictures something invisible. In Moses’ tabernacle, we see
that the very first piece of furniture we come to is the brazen
altar; the altar where the animals were slain and the blood was
shed, but the Moses tabernacle’s brazen altar is not the real brazen
altar; it’s only the image of the brazen altar. It’s a small replica
of a real thing.
real thing is what Jesus did for us, but it’s clear from this passage,
that what Jesus did for us didn’t have an effect on earth; it had
an effect in the heavenlies. He died on earth in a moment in history.
He died on a mountain outside of Jerusalem on an ordinary wooden
cross; killed and nailed there after the accusations of men—he was
nailed there by men, but actually, it was a heavenly thing;
it was in a different dimension altogether, because the altar was
actually erected in the heavenlies.
happened on earth really happened; it really happened in earth and
space and time, but actually it was outside of space and time in
its effect, because its effect for us is outside of space and time.
Our problem is within space and time, but God wants us to be lifted
out of this dimension into His presence—into eternal life—to be
able to live in another realm in another way than the way that any
man outside of Christ has ever experienced.
refused it; no man, until Christ, had an opportunity for it. Jesus
came along and didn’t just compensate for what Adam did, but once
again re-established the Tree of Life—planted it again—and God says
again through Jesus, “If any man will eat My flesh and drink My
blood, he will live forever.”
Tree of Life is re-planted—the flesh and blood of Jesus that was
sacrificed for us gives us the possibility of a totally new realm
in the heavens.
Corinthians 5:1 ‘ For we know that if our earthly house of this
tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not
made with hands, eternal in the heavens.’
couldn’t have a building, eternal in the heavens, if we hadn’t had
a sacrifice, eternal in the heavens, to provide it for us. Our Lord
Jesus in the real Passover that happened—not the type in
Israel’s history but in the real sacrifice—He provided for
us something that is beyond the mind to comprehend. It’s incredible
in its dimension. He’s given us a salvation that is eternal in the
heavens. God has got for us a body that goes with it.
9:11-12 ‘But Christ being come an high priest of good things to
come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands,
that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats
and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy
place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’
took an eternal life—One who was going to live forever—who
came and gave eternal life so that we could have eternal redemption.
The price that He paid, lasts eternally.
the picture, in Revelation, of the Lamb that has been slain, you
will remember that He still has the marks on Him. A Lamb ‘as it
had been slain;’ this is eternal redemption that God has bought
ever so important that we, as Christians, have an eternal eye on
things. I see how essential it is for someone who is dying, but
I also see how essential it is for me! You say it’s easier to think
to the next life when you are pushing 60 than when you are pushing
20. It takes no time at all—well, it takes 40 years to go from pushing
20 to pushing 60, but that’s no time at all! Sooner or later, we’re
going to need to know that we have a redemption that is eternal
in the heavens because there will come a moment for everyone of
us where this life will stop. None of us knows when our life will
end! We’re in that condition where it’s so good that we have a Savior
who has purchased something for us that is eternal in the
heavens—that’s an eternal redemption for us! The blood of
bulls and goats, which are part of the Feast of Passover in type,
could never have done that for us. Jesus has opened the door to
an incredible new life!
9:13-14 ‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of
an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of
the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’
far as I know, this is the only time in the Bible where the Holy
Spirit is called the “eternal Spirit”. He’s normally called the
“Holy Spirit”; this is an unusual name for Him. Clearly, the writer
is trying to get across to us that this is an eternal work
that is being done; it was the eternal Spirit that did this.
Our problem was that we were going to die! In fact, we had died
and God didn’t just want to restore us into what Adam had, He wanted
to restore us and go beyond and bring us into life eternal.
took the eternal Spirit working through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The eternal Spirit took an innocent man—an innocent man cannot see
corruption—and took Him into death so that we could have the exchange
that I was talking about earlier, and we could receive the eternal
Spirit and live forever. It’s an incredible thing that Jesus has
done for us. If the price that Jesus paid was only a price on earth
and not a price in heaven, it would only have bought us forgiveness
on earth, but not eternal life.
was slain from the foundation of the world—right outside of time.
God doesn’t see the death of Jesus as being confined to the limited
experience that we have or just to the limit of the problem of the
situation that Adam got us into; it extends the hope into us, now
having the tree of life there by faith for us to eat and so we can
have the life in us which Adam refused.
turn to Genesis chapter 3. God is addressing the woman and Adam
and the serpent following their eating of the forbidden fruit.
3:20 ‘Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother
of all living.’ (which
is clearly the Church)
3:21 ‘Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats
of skins, and clothed them.’
we have what I was referring to, the first sacrifice of animals
in consequence of sin. Let’s read on.
3:22 ‘And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of
us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand,
and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:’
(The thought isn’t
written, but you know that God is saying, “We don’t want this to
3:23-24 ‘Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of
Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out
the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims,
and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the
tree of life.’
not to keep it (the way of the tree of life) clear, but to keep
it clean. It doesn’t mean that you can’t walk on it; it just means
you’re only going to walk on it under certain circumstances.
we have God sacrificing animals to give a covering to Adam and Eve
because their own works were not going to do it. How do we know
what actually happened with this covering? Clearly, it wasn’t sufficient
to restore them and give them life in the garden of Eden. Although
God killed the animals and covered them with the animal skins, yet
He didn’t let them continue to live in the garden.
saying that this sacrifice, which brings eternal redemption for
us, which is such a wonderful sacrifice, opens up a new dimension
for us in an heavenly and eternal aspect. But it’s clear here, too,
that the moment of the sacrifice and the moment of the Passover
for Israel and for you and for me, does not complete the work! Had
it completed the work, when the skins were clothed on Adam and Eve,
they would have been allowed to stay in the garden, but they weren’t
allowed to stay in the garden; they were evicted from the garden
despite the sacrifice.
God saying? It’s clear, first of all, that the consequence of sin
is separation from God. The “death” was the separation from God;
He said, “In the day that you eat of it, ye shall surely die.” The
death was the separation from God.
yet, we read in the next chapter about a man called Abel. Abel was
one who walked by faith; he had a hearing relationship with God.
God instructed him how to bring a sacrifice. He obeyed and he brought
the lamb as a sacrifice. Abel had a relationship with God!
the end of this first millennial day, there was a man called Enoch.
‘Enoch walked with God and was not for God took him.’ He was resurrected!
‘From the beginning, God declares the end.’ In the first day, we
have a wonderful picture—it ends with resurrection! A man like Enoch!
is a situation where Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, covered
with skins, and yes, they died because that’s clearly separation
from God, but there’s another picture that is working along with
this; sacrifice does, in fact, enable a relationship! Although the
thing wasn’t concluded and the choices were still left open to Adam
and Eve as to how they walked, yet a relationship with God, because
of the sacrifice, was clearly possible! Abel had it and Enoch had
you understand what I’m saying? The sacrifice rejoined them into
the possibility—it gave them the possibility—of a hearing relationship
with God and a walk with God. It opened the door to something that
Adam, by his actions, lost. God immediately said, “But there is
a sacrifice and if you live in the benefit of that sacrifice, I
still will receive you.”
they are going to go back into the eternal fullness of what the
garden of Eden is and the life of the heavenlies forever—the eternal
blessing that the garden of Eden speaks about—if they are going
to go back into that, they are going to have to walk past the flaming
sword! But they are not going to walk past the flaming sword apart—outside
of—a hearing relationship with God! God put the sacrifice on them
and said, “Now, because of the sacrifice—not because I can see you,
but because I can see the blood that was shed—the covering of the
blood, we can have a hearing relationship again and I will direct
your steps.” Sure! Past the sword and past the fire! He doesn’t
expect us to find our way back into the garden of Eden outside of
a relationship with Him. In fact, it would be impossible to do!
had killed the sacrifice for Adam and Eve when they sinned. How
was it found as soon as they sinned? The Lamb was slain from the
foundation of the earth! There was already a sacrifice that could
cover them. If they were willing to pay the price and walk in the
future in the will of God, instead of the way they had walked in
their own will, He would take them through the sword—which is His
word and obedience to His word—and the fire, which is the tests
and trial of our faith and the suffering that we go through when
we say, “No!” to our own lusts and we say instead, “Yes, Lord, I’ll
go Your way!” If we go God’s way, we can get back in the garden
look at this scripture:
66:16 ‘For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all
flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.’
are the instruments God put at the entrance of the garden to be
the instruments of our perfection. He was saying that there were
going to be some things that He would have in His hand to deal with
us to get us into the state of perfection—the fire and the sword—
by the fire and the sword, God pleads with His people.
inviting us back into the heavenlies, but He’s saying there is a
price to pay. He’s also saying, “It’s worth it! It’s worth it! It’s
going to hurt, but it’s worth it!” He says that there is no other
way because you must be perfect to be there.
the fire and the sword, the Lord pleads with all flesh.’
That is why the flaming sword is there.
sacrifice of Jesus saves us from the consequences of Adam’s sin,
as we can see here; there’s a covering put on us by the sacrifice
of Jesus, but we still have to go through the process of
our own personal obedience—to go past the flaming sword to get back
into the garden.
chapter 22 is the story of Abraham offering Isaac. If I were to
ask you from your knowledge of this story, “What are the significant
things in this story that are to do with the sacrifice that God
provided to deal with our problem—our sin? You would look through
the story and say that it doesn’t say anything about justification;
it doesn’t say anything about cleansing; it doesn’t say anything
about healing or pardon; it doesn’t say anything about redemption
or washing; none of that seems to be in the story.
the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, God is now
revealing to us, through the things that happened here, more aspects
of the death of Jesus—the death of the Lamb. He’s shown us in Genesis
chapter 3 that the effect of the Lamb is that we get a covering.
That means we can continue in relationship with God but the effect
is not to plant us back in the garden.
would you say in this story, in Genesis chapter 22, are the additional
aspects—the new revelation that God is giving us concerning the
Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world?
think there are two significant things from this story. All those
things, which I just mentioned, do not seem to be there: nothing
about washing, nothing about redemption or justification.
The first thing we see here is
the sacrifice involves the only son of the Father and that he
The second significance is the
sacrifice is a substitution.
are two independent truths, but both are important to the understanding
of the ‘Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’.
just take one or two little points out of this scripture:
22:1-8 ‘And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt
(or prove) Abraham,
and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And
he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest,
and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a
burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee
of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass,
and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave
(or split, divided)
the wood for
the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which
God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes,
and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men,
Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and
worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the
burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the
this is the garden imagery again—the fire) in
his hand, and a knife (the
flaming sword is still there) ;
and they went both of them together. 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.’
make a big thing about “God will provide Himself a lamb”, but that’s
just the English; really, it’s just saying God Himself will provide
a lamb. Although it makes a nice thing to say that He is providing
Himself as the Lamb, that’s not really what this is saying;
it’s just that the English can read either way.
know how the Lord stopped Abraham from killing his son and there
was a substitution.
22:13-14 ‘And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold
behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went
and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the
stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah
jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall
be seen (or the
margin says, “it shall be provided”) .’
read all that because I want to tie three references together in
that passage. Mt. Moriah comes from a Hebrew word. The “ah” at the
end is the name of God “Yah” and the part in front of it, “mori”
means “seen” or “provided”. The word is normally translated “seen”,
but it’s also translated to mean “provided”. It very obviously has
to mean “provided” on this occasion because the word “seen” doesn’t
Mount Moriah is the mountain where the sacrifice was offered. The
mountain’s name means “provided by God”. The same word comes up
in verse 8 when it says, “My son, God will provide …” “Mori”
is in that word. It comes up again in verse 14: “in the mount of
the Lord it shall be seen” and that doesn’t make an awful lot of
sense. If you use the word “provided”, which is a perfectly legitimate
translation of the word, it becomes “in the mount of the Lord it
shall be provided.” Right there at that moment the Lord had provided
the ram caught in the thicket which was a substitution for Isaac.
we have three references there: the name of the place and the two
references in the story to this Hebrew word “provide”. The mountain
where this happened was Mt. Moriah, the place of God’s provision;
“provided by God”.
Chronicles 3:1 ‘Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord
at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David
his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor
of Ornan the Jebusite.’
had purchased this land because that was the place where the plague
stopped. I don’t want to go into those subsequent stories except
to point out that this is the place where the temple was built.
This is the very same place, Mt. Moriah.
temple, of course, is the house of God and the house of God is us.
This is a picture of us! The foundation of the church is the provision
of God. It’s built on a mountain whose name means “God has provided”!
reason we come together, the reason we have fellowship, the reason
we are saved, the reason we are called out, the foundation of all
these things is entirely the provision that God has made. This structure
of the church, which is not a human structure—this organism—is only
in place because of what Jesus did; otherwise, we would be a club
and we might as well meet at the bar or the golf club to have fellowship
in a different way. But we are having fellowship in the Lord Jesus
Christ because the foundation—the common ground—that brings us together
is something that God has provided for us; the new life in the Lord
Jesus Christ—the sacrifice that is described in this story. That
is what joins us together! We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one hope of His calling, one Spirit; the common link is what God
has done for us!
and I met with people a week ago and they sat down to sing and they
stood up to pray. When they prayed, everybody shouted out together.
There were many other differences between them and us. The ladies
had their heads covered and the ladies sat on one side and the men
sat on the other side. It was different! But in another way, we
knew perfectly well that we were amongst people who had been built
on the same foundation! We weren’t going in there and trying to
teach the truths of the Lord to people who were only interested
in other matters. We were built on common ground! The church is
built on one place only and that is on what God has done!
is represented here by Mt. Moriah. It’s also built on a special
sacrifice, we see in this story; it’s built on a sacrifice by the
Father of His Son. God says twice in this chapter to Abraham, “Isaac,
the son whom you love.” The reason that God brings this out is clearly
Him saying to us, “The sacrifice of Jesus was not pain-free for
Me. This really was at a cost!”
giving of Jesus for our salvation cost the Father something. Although
it was the will of the Lord to bruise Him and He put Him to grief,
the Father’s heart was not gladdened when He had to turn His back
on His only begotten Son whom He loved and bring darkness over the
face of the earth and cut Him off and see Him be made sin for us.
That did not bring any pleasure to the Father. In fact, I think
it’s very, very clear that Jesus was greatly loved of His Father.
Wouldn’t He be? In all things He had done, He pleased the Father.
I think sons, for the most part, are loved anyway just because of
the relationship; the “filio” relationship means that there is something
special. But just imagine a son, if there could be such a one, who
only ever did the things that pleased the Father! There could be
such a one; Jesus was that one.
somebody pulls somebody out of the pit, they bring them up to the
place where they are. Jesus isn’t going to be the only one, when
the matter is finished, who only does the things that please the
Father, because there are going to be other people who are established
in that same way.
was the One whom God loved. This was the sacrifice. God was saying
through Abraham and Isaac that the sacrifice was actually not going
to be an animal, it was going to be a son; His own son whom He loved.
the end of the story, we see a new thing come in. We see Abraham
actually takes his own son up there and is about to kill him and
at the last minute, the angel of the Lord speaks to him and says,
“Abraham! Abraham!” I don’t know how much urgency was in that cry
because I think that knife was pretty soon coming down. Abraham
said for the second time, “Here I am.” And the Lord said, “Lay not
thy hand upon the lad.” Because there in the thicket—in the wood—the
thicket is a coppice, it’s a place where there are trees—there was
something amongst the trees there that had been caught by its horns,
which I think means it was under authority. Amongst the lives of
men, there was a provision that was made.
mentioned in something that I was teaching awhile back that I think
the ram represents the soul. It’s not a complete understanding of
the sacrifice of Jesus to see Him as just offering His body; He
gave His soul as a sacrifice for sin. The problem was not
Adam’s body; the problem was his soul. It had to be a sacrifice
of “like for like” for legal judicial reasons. ‘The soul that sinneth
shall surely die.’ So there had to be a soul that was offered
in its place and the ram represents the soul.
on in this series, I want to show how extensive and how far-reaching
the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is. John says He didn’t die for our
sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Although it’s
clear that the sacrifice is available in such a wide extent—for
the sins of the whole world—yet, it’s clear too that the benefit
is only for those who come on Mt. Moriah; that’s where the sacrifice
is. The sacrifice, in a way, doesn’t go to the people, the people
have to go to the sacrifice.
you remember the story of when Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness? They had to go and look at it before they were healed
of the snakebites. The brazen serpent wasn’t carried around tent
to tent, they had to go out; therefore, it’s by faith. We have to
move by faith into Him; it’s not automatic that the blessing of
the sacrifice comes to us.
is a conundrum; human sacrifice is forbidden by God. God does not
like human sacrifice; He is against it. Here is God commanding Abraham
to commit a human sacrifice of his own son. God at times says, “You
have given your children to Molech,” and He’s condemning His people
because they have gone into human sacrifice. Why is this human sacrifice
alright and other human sacrifice isn’t?
was the purpose of Jesus’ death? Was it to take life or to give
life? It was to give life. There’s no other human sacrifice that
would have had the purpose of giving life . Every
other human sacrifice is taking life ; it may be
for example to appease a god who actually doesn’t exist. Jesus’
death is quite distinct from every other death because Jesus’ death
was a life-giving death. No other death could be
5:18-19 ‘Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all
men to condemnation; (That’s
clearly Adam. Adam’s offence brought judgment on all men to condemnation.)
even so by the
righteousness of one (Jesus)
the free gift
came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s
disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one
shall many be made righteous.’
have a unique death in the Lord Jesus Christ; it accomplished something
that no other death could do. It was a life-giving death! It brought
justification described in verse 18 as ‘justification of life’!
was unique! We’ve experienced it! We got a new life because Jesus
died! Can you think of any other death that has ever accomplished
that? This was a life- giving death; this wasn’t a life-
taking death, it was a life- giving death!
human sacrifice was unique. I’m still thinking of this human sacrifice.
Let me ask you, when Jesus died, was He innocent or was He guilty?
At the moment He died, He was guilty because He was guilty with
our guilt. He had committed every sin that man ever did.
He didn’t die for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole
world. So when He died on the cross, He didn’t die as an innocent
man, He died as a guilty man.
God say that there are some sins that are punishable by death? Yes.
If you read the law of Moses you will see there are sins that are
punishable by death; adultery, murderer, being rude to your dad—I
have to get that one in! (laughter) You can read it.
Achan disobeyed and took the Babylonian treasure and hid it in his
tent, the Israelites stoned him and his family; it was God’s judgment.
wasn’t just human sacrifice, there was a penalty for sin that was
story of Abraham offering Isaac is, of course, only a picture and
God stopped it from being a total human sacrifice. In Abraham’s
own heart and mind however, he did offer him up and received him
back as a type of the resurrection; the book of Hebrews makes this
God did actually sacrifice His own Son who was human. The
reason He did was actually the judgment—it was the penalty—being
inflicted on Him that was ours! Although He was innocent in one
way, He was also guilty in another. He was innocent of ever having
committed any sin Himself; He was innocent in His own life, but
He was guilty because of us.
would never be able to face God as guilty because the wrath of God
is against all men for the sins they have committed. But, because
Jesus took the sin and became guilty, we then become innocent. This
is what the word “justified” means; it works neatly in English anyway,
“just as if I’d never sinned”. (This may not translate in other
languages very well!)
execution of the death penalty on a guilty man was not forbidden;
that’s not a forbidden thing.
sacrifice normally involves somebody else; it doesn’t involve your
own son. This is a very unusual human sacrifice as well. In this
case, God gave His own Son. The Bible actually says more than that.
It says that ‘God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.’
My life is in my son—in my children. Every parent has passed their
life onto their children. That’s even stronger in the Hebrew view
of things, where ‘Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid
tithes to Melchisedec’. The life is passed on all the time. Here
was God not only sacrificing His Son, but in a way sacrificing Himself!
So God was not doing this in a way such as, “there’s somebody over
there who doesn’t move Me and I’m not really emotionally involved
with; let’s kill them”—this was God giving Himself! This is a very
different form of human sacrifice, I expect, to the ones that heathen
was God actually giving of His own life. He cannot have fellowship
with another. The glory of the earthy and the glory of the heavenly
are of two different sorts. So God couldn’t join us together with
Himself unless He gave us His life! There had to be a joining
of the same life—two of the same kind. So He gives Himself to us
so that we can have His life!
do we get His life? He has to give it! How does
a person give their life? We know of the phrase, ‘He gave
His life’; we know what it means. So God gave His life in
the Lord Jesus Christ so that we could have His life—so
that we could have relationship with Him—which was in His heart
from the very beginning. The death of Jesus accomplished this.
whole theme of the death of Jesus and what He did on the cross is
just immense; it’s beyond our understanding what God did in restoring
sinners and bringing them into fellowship with Himself. Not only
restoring us, but opening up the eternity and the heavens and His
life to us.
wants His life in people so that He can have relationship with them.
Every seed brings forth after its kind. As every gardener knows,
you get what you plant. When Jesus died, He fell into the ground
and died like a seed and what came forth was actually more of the
same; not something different. Up until then, everything was different
from Him. When Jesus came on the earth, there was nobody like Him.
I’m not talking about facial features or miracle working and that
sort of thing. In fact, sometime they came to Jesus and said, “They
are doing miracles in Your name.” So there were other people who
were doing miracles at that time. There are other people in the
Bible who had done wonderful things, but there was nobody like Jesus
in the respect of the life that He was
living . He was living the life of God, not the
human life. He put Himself and hid Himself inside God and what Jesus
was able to say was, “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.”
He buried Himself in the earth and it brought forth after its kind—the
you have in you and what I have in me, because of the work of Jesus,
is not just an extra little religious compartment; we have the life
of God inside of us! Scripture says,
John 5:12 ‘He that hath the Son, has life…”
that is not our life, that is His life. The life is in the
Son! This is the eternal life of God and it was possible because
He, like the picture of the seed, came into an earthy body and died.
God said, “Now harvest time.” And this is the beginning of the harvest.
The harvest isn’t harvested, yet, but it is growing; the plants
are growing and I think we have first the blade and then the ear
and God is just waiting for there to be enough sunshine—and fire—until
He says, “It’s ripe,” and then He harvests it. What He harvests
is many sons, not just one son, but many sons in glory.