The Apple Of God's Eye

March 25, 2010

The True Meaning Of The Passover

The Passover is perhaps the most important occasion of the year for true Christians, and this is why there is a dire need to understand its true meaning. If our observance of that memorial is off, it can affect the entire holy day season and the entire year.

Many assume that this first service of the Holy Day season (one of the most powerfully symbolic ceremonies in all of God’s plan), represents the forgiveness of our sins, washing our slate clean. But is this really what Passover is all about?  Do we go to the Passover to have our sins forgiven? No we don’t, as the Passover is a MEMORIAL of the crucifixion of Christ. All of our attention should be on the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for us and who paid the penalty for our sins (John 1:29). We have to get our minds on our own difficulties, inadequacies, sins and limitations and focus on the price that was paid for those sins. If we do that right, we will realize how vile those sins are, that they costs the life of our Creator.

The symbol of the broken unleavened bread during Passover (I Cor. 11:23-24) reveals that Christ’s  body was broken for us so that we can be healed and raised to eternal life, as well as having our physical bodies healed in this degenerate world. He would take those physical penalties Himself so that we can have life more abundantly. So He gave His body to be broken and smashed. We have to focus on what the Lamb went through, so that we can be healed.

All in this world have earned only the death penalty. As Christians, we cannot bring these sins into the family of God. He cannot have the dross of bad character – self-will, impatience, self-trust – in His family. Christ made it possible to put those evils to death, so that we can live. If we break the law, we can have the opportunity to repent. So Christ died for us.

We need faith in the symbols of the Passover so that we can understand what the Lamb went through. As often as we take the Passover (with the right attitude), we focus on the sacrifice of Christ (I Cor. 11:26-27). This requires a serious self examination for faults and sins, as it has eternal consequences (verse 28).

And so it is a serious matter to understand that we make sure our sins are forgiven before we take the Passover. That is our preparation. Again, we don’t go to the Passover to have our sins forgiven, we go there to remember what it took to pay for those sins. We have to get our minds on the trials of Christ and what He went through.

How do we examine ourselves?

Christ gives us a standard to measure ourselves against. Rom. 2:4 says the goodness of God leads us to repentance. When we evaluate ourselves with the goodness of God, rather than against other people, we see how evil we really are and have a more realistic grasp of where we are spiritually. Repentance is towards God, not ourselves.

Christ sweat blood to avoid sin. This is a stark reminder which helps us to see we need His mind in us. We don’t stand a chance to approach the perfection of character God seeks in us, except by Christ dwelling in us. He overcame the world (John 16:33), so we need to focus on the Lamb to be strengthened. He is our Pioneer and He will help us to do what is required. We are to be of good cheer as we realize this and follow in His steps.

Even more important, Christ did not trust Himself. Had a strong sense of His own limitations (John 5:19). And in verse 30, He hears and judges, He does not seek His own will, but that of God. His perspective was from ultimate glory to a limited body bound by time and space, and anchored by gravity, physical sustenance, etc. He knew in this state, he had to be imbued with power from the Father. He knew He was worthless then, showing a penetrating grasp of reality. Every miracle Christ performed was through faith, by the Father in Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is all too easy for us to trust ourselves. But Christ, as God in the flesh, never allowed Himself to do that.

Christ also never spoke of Himself (John 12:49). Everything that came out of His mouth first came from the Father. This is the ultimate submission. With that superb mindset, He showed that He would not trust Himself (John 14:10), but completely trusted the Father for all. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and utterly humble. True, converted Christians need to ask God to give them the same perspective.

True Christians have the same opportunity to abide in Christ as He abode in the Father (John 15:5), and be filled with fruit. Without Christ we can do nothing. We have to believe that deeply because if we forget, we rely on ourselves or other men. God says if we do this we are curse. Contrarily, those who walk by faith are like living water (verse 7) and fruit will never stop being produced as we continually gaze into the face of Christ in our daily walk.

How many people know their hearts are incurably sick? (verse 9). The greatest need for us is to allow us to understand our own sickness and help us to heal it. That healing is a miracle, same as removing a cancer from our flesh (verse 14).  This is a fundamental lesson about the human mind. If we truly understand, we won’t let a day pass without intense Bible Study and repentant prayer to God.

Only God can heal the mind. He is a fountain of healing , live giving waters. We have to drink all we can from that fountain and receive that healing. If sin trips us up (and it can do that all to easily (Heb. 12:1), we should set aside anything that will slow us down spiritually, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (verse 2). Look what He went through and how He persevered.

Christ the  fighter

Christ fought mightily to remain sinless. He resisted unto blood, conquering every single moment (Heb. 12:4). We have not yet striven that hard, but we should not give up. Our example is Christ, who cried out in prayer with tears (Heb. 5:7). He knew God was the only one who could save Him from death and knew the limitations of His flesh.

The constant Christian struggle is against sin. Character is developed and grows over time with use. Our nature in us exerts a heavy pull against that character development though, which makes our life somewhat like a heavy workout – much work and exertion. Hebrews 5:8 shows that even Christ grew by experiencing the challenges that come naturally though life in the flesh. But He, unlike us, was tempted and WITHOUT sin (Heb. 4:15).

But what about sin we can’t overcome? Are we striving enough, as with intense exercise, which should produce intense results? Athletes exercise self-control over their bodies to achieve a physical medal (I Cor. 9), but we go after the imperishable crown. That means training our body to do what it should, not what it wants to do.

Yes, it’s hard to resist the pulls of the flesh, and except for Christ, no one has done it. Left to ourselves, we serve the law of sin, but with the mind of God, we serve the law of God (Rom. 8:25). Our consistent effort, through the help of Christ in us, means we suffer with Him, though we be glorified together (Rom. 8:16, I Pet. 2:21). If we endure and resist by by focusing on the Lamb through intense spiritual conditioning, the reward could not be more exiting.

The Lamb of God died (guiltless – I Pet. 2:22) so we could be without fault before the presence of God. He was brought as a Lamb to the slaughter. He surrendered Himself to the father and bare our sins in His own body (Isaiah 53). This makes it extremely important that true Christians deleaven their lives in the context of the Lamb of God.

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