hyssop-pic-2It is Holy Week; and many eloquent writers have penned beautiful prose concerning the beauty of what we remember this week.  Here are my humble musings, what my heart is breathing as we approach Good Friday.  Not only is this holy week for the body of Christ, it is also Passover week for Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, it began Monday at sundown.  I love when Passover falls at the same time as Easter; the two are more connected than appears on the surface (I will elaborate on this in a moment).  Let us begin at Good Friday.

Good Friday is a solemn day ~ or should be in proper reflection.  Before Jesus made His way to the cross, He had a battle to overcome in the Garden of Gethsemane.  This is where Jesus had an intense spiritual battle with the devil and through His struggle remained obedient to God and submitted Himself to the will of the Father.  He agonized as He pondered what was to come and prayed for the cup to pass.  Through His love for us, He remained obedient; He saw beyond the cross to those that He loved and desired to redeem.  He chose to obey the will of the Father, and to endure His impending suffering.  Jesus chose the way of obedience, and the Lord sent an angel to minister to Him.And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.”  Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.  Jesus received His strength from the Lord.  When the Lord sent the angel unto Him, the Father strengthened Him and enabled Him to remain obedient until death. Luke 22: 41-43 NASB

Jesus suffered immensely on our behalf, and it is important to remember that He not only died for us, but He also died in our place and on our behalf.  The brutality that Jesus experienced absorbed God’s wrath, and reconciled us to the Father.  He exhibited the grace and mercy of God on behalf of sinners, and conquered death.  He was the last and perfect sin offering.

“This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the Lord.  It is most holy.” Leviticus 6:25 NASB
Christ ~ the holiness of God, beautifully prophesied in the Old Testament, just as the high priest was adorned with the words holiness unto the Lord, Christ was holiness in the deepest and fullest sense of the word.  The Old Testament tells the story that Jesus completes in the New Testament.   We would not have the New Testament without the Old.

Leviticus chapter four details the requirements for the sin offering, I encourage you to read it; it is too lengthy for the space here.  Here is a brief summary:

The sacrifice for the sin offering offered at the Tabernacle had to be a firstborn male, without spot or blemish.  The sacrifice was required to be inspected by the priests to ensure the sacrifice satisfied God’s requirements.  In the New Testament Jesus fulfilled this requirement, as He, upon inspection seven times, was found to be without fault.

1. Pilate, John 19:4 ~ Pilate came out again and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” NASB

2. Herod, Luke 23: 14-15 ~ (Pilate)  said to them, You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him. No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him. NASB

3. The High Priest, John 18 says after Annas sent Jesus to Caiphas; he could find no fault with Jesus.

4. Caiphas: Could not get the witnesses to agree on any wrongdoing by Jesus.

5. Judas, Matt 27:4 ~ I have sinned in that I have betrayed innocent blood.

6. The Centurion, Matt 27: 54 ~ Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” NASB

7. The thief on the cross, Luke 23:40-41 ~ But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” NASB

Jesus is not only our sin offering, He is also our Passover Lamb.  It is no accident that Christ was crucified on Passover.  He was not only crucified on the day, but also at the same hour.

“With this many lambs, it was necessary for the Jews to prepare them for sacrifice at nine o’clock in the morning… they then killed them at three o’clock that afternoon so that the Passover could be completed before six o’clock, which would begin a new day.”[1]

As Israel was slaughtering the lambs with knives, spikes were driven into the flesh of our Lord; fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy… He was wounded for our transgressions…

“Then at three o’clock as the people were praising God and slaughtering the lambs, Jesus died.  Mark was careful to note the time and wrote that it was the ninth hour (three o’clock Jewish time) when Jesus breathed His last breath (see Mark 15:33-37).”[2]

On Passover, the Israelites were to take a bunch of hyssop, a lowly shrub rampant in Israel, just as humanity is rampant; and apply the blood of the lamb in a triune fashion on the lintel of the doorway and on each side post.  Now as Christ hanged on the cross dead, His blood is applied to humanity, and the destroyer has to pass over at the presence of the Blood.

The only way to the Father is to believe that Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead for our sin; to attempt any other passage way is to negate the cross.  In the Tabernacle there was only one door.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 14:6 NASB

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…  And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1: 1-5, 14 NASB

Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.  For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 1 John 5:5-8 NASB

And for this cause  He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament.  They which are called might receive the promises of eternal inheritance.  Hebrews 9: 15

Dear Jesus, thank You for being the perfect sacrifice for sin.  Thank You for loving the world so much that You died to redeem it.  Father, I thank You for the many that You used to bring forth the birth of Your Son.  I honor them today for obedience to You.  I acknowledge Jesus Christ as my only mediator and propitiation for my sin and I give You all the glory, honor, and praise.  Jesus, You are our Paschal Lamb, and we apply Your blood over the doorpost and lintels of our homes; hyssop in hand reminding us of our humanity and sin that runs rampant in the earth.  Thank You for Your shed blood that marks us for You and sends the destroyer on his way.  In Your precious Name, Amen.

Set your eyes on the Paschal Lamb!

 

[1] Booker, Richard, Celebrating Jesus In The Biblical Feasts (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2009), 42-43.

[2] Ibid.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Catherine Hackman March 28, 2013 at 11:59 am

I learned a lot that I didn’t know. I never thought about how many times Jesus was declared sinless and without fault by others in these last hours.

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