I’m sure many of you are making plans to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in just a few days. We are having a whole house full of people over to enjoy a meal on Sunday. We have a white plastic cross in our yard that people passing by our house will see as plain white until Resurrection Sunday when we will turn it around to reveal the message “He is risen! And it is finished.” I’m giving a presentation for the community Good Friday service in our town on the physical suffering of Jesus on the cross.
Our family is reading passages this week from the Bible describing the events leading to the crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. We began in the Old Testament with the institution of the Passover. When I asked our daughter what the Passover was about, she replied, “The blood of the lamb was put on the door because the lamb took the place of the people.” Well said! The Lord “passed over” the homes that had blood from the lamb and the firstborn males of the Israelite families were spared (Exodus 12). The lambs took their place.
This background is very important to understand what Christ did for us on the cross. He was the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb of God, whose death would not just serve to cover our sins (like the animal sacrifices did in the Old Testament) but rather to take away our sins. Jesus is the ultimate, final Passover Lamb! Not because of anything we do but rather because of what Christ did, we can receive forgiveness of sins and spend eternity with God.
One of my favorite verses relating to the Resurrection is the tearing in two of the veil in the temple (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). This veil separated the Holy of Holies, God’s earthly dwelling place, from the rest of the temple, where men dwelt. Once a year the high priest would go beyond the veil and enter into God’s presence to make atonement for the sins of the people (including himself). This separation between God and man ended when Jesus, being without sin (Hebrews 4:15) and thus the perfect sacrifice, died on the cross. And now we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). How amazing that we can approach the Creator God of the universe!
I’ve really come to love the song “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns. It humbles me and reminds me that the gospel is truly about what Christ did.
Who Am I
By: Casting Crowns
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever-wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are
He is risen and it is finished!