“…Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Corinthians 5:6-7)
At the core of the Christian faith is an ancient culture – Israel and the Hebrew people. Her prophets spoke of the coming Messiah – and in fact Jesus and the early Christian communities were mostly Jews. But in many ways our Christian faith today has been severed over the centuries from it’s Hebraic context in favor of a tangled mix of Greek Philosophies like Platonism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc. We are as entangled in these vines today as when they first began to grow. And the fruit of man’s carnal wisdom can never bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit of GOD.
Still, I am not an advocate for living under the Law of Moses nor calling Christians to eat Kosher and becoming orthodox Jews. But there is a Renaissance of revelation waiting for us to discover in the Jewish roots of our Christian faith. There is something about returning to an understanding about our spiritual foundation in the oracles given to Israel that I believe can lead to a deeper discipleship to Jesus, “the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world“.
This divergence from our roots is most clearly seen this time of year as we remember the final days of Jesus leading up to His crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus and His disciples engaged in the yearly Passover meal yet for many Christians we find no significance in Israel’s remembering of their deliverance from Egypt. But it is rich with symbolism of Jesus – our Passover Lamb, and our deliverance from Sin, Satan, and Death into a new life of GOD’s promises and provision. Contrast this to pagan goddesses, eggs and fertile bunnies.
One of my favorite meditations on the revelation of Jesus as the Passover Lamb for all nations is a little book simply called ‘The Passover‘ by Rick Joyner. Near the front of the book he reflects:
“It was the Passover sacrifice which delivered Israel from the power of Pharaoh so that her people would never again serve Egypt. It is the cross, of which the Passover was a prophetic type, that delivers us from the power of Satan and slavery to the corruption of the world. Realizing this, Satan rages against those who turn to the cross just as Pharaoh did against Israel when he saw that he was losing his power over them. Like the Passover did in type, the cross brings judgement upon the evil of the world, but delivers those who embrace it from the world.
Since Cain and Abel, the sacrifice has been the main point of conflict between the two seeds, which represent the two natures of man – carnal and spiritual. Satan is not threatened if we embrace the doctrines or the institution of Christianity; in fact he may well encourage it. He knows that the good of the Tree of Knowledge is just as deadly as the evil, and far more deceptive. Human goodness is an affront to the cross, and is used as a compensation for it. It deludes us into thinking that if we do more “good” than evil we will be acceptable to the Father, thereby placing us above the need for the sacrifice of His Son…The cross will always be the greatest threat to religious man, and religious man will always be the greatest enemy of the cross. It was not the demon possessed who persecuted Jesus; they bowed the knee and submitted to Him. It was the religious, moral and conservative citizens who crucified Jesus…” (p.7-8)
He goes on to say:
“True Christianity is not found in just getting our doctrines right, but in getting our relationship right, to Christ. We begin this relationship when we partake of the true Passover, the cross…” (p.9)
May we return to this revelation that if we are to truly be His students and followers we must know Him as our sacrificial Lamb.
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:6-10)
Latest posts by J. Fowler (see all)
- The Shared Table: Interview with Michael Frost - February 1, 2017
- Undermining the Present Order – a Call to Sacrificial Community - January 31, 2017
- The Cruciform Politics of Jesus - November 7, 2016