This weekend as we celebrate Easter let’s put into perspective that God came down to earth in the form of man – Jesus. He came to this world not to condemn us but to save us. God’s ultimate sacrifice for us – His creation.
Let me paint a scene. The city of Jerusalem was over crowded with visitors and travelers as they had arrived to celebrate Passover.
Passover in Jewish tradition is a celebration & remembrance of the plague of death that “passed over” specific homes in Egypt. This event occurred during the time Gods people were enslaved by Pharaoh. God told Moses that a plague of death was going to descend upon Egypt. In order to escape this plague a perfect spotless lamb had to be sacrificed and its blood had to be wiped over the header of their front door as a symbol of protection from the plague. Any home in Egypt that did not have this “Mark of the Lamb” over their door the plague of death entered and immediately killed every first born. Even Pharaoh’s own son. You can find this biblical history in Exodus 12.
The day before Jesus death He was betrayed by a close friend, falsely accused by the leaders of the Jews, brutally beaten by Roman authority, and offered up to die the most humiliating & torturous death of that day. A death that was normally saved for the most horrific criminals – Crucifixion that is, death on a cross.
The cross had been widely used through history because it made a statement to the public. Rulers and Leaders would use death by crucifixion as a way to control the people under their authority. Crucifixion always took place on top of a hill or mountain so all could witness the agonizing and torturous death of a man on a cross. In Jesus case, He died on a hill called Calvary.
The Cross up to that point was a true symbol of horrific punishment. People looked upon the cross with trembling fear. A Man sentenced to die on a cross suffered publicly for days. A slow and humiliating death.
Jesus resurrection – our victory over sin and death became known at dawn, three days later. The consequences of our sin in the eyes of God had “Passed Over” us through Jesus our “Mark of the Lamb.” Jesus is Gods way of reconciling His creation to Himself.
John 3:16-17 (NKJ) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
The cross too was redeemed. No longer symbolizing a horrific death and public humiliation. It also is stained by the “Mark of the Lamb” and forever will be a symbol of hope, forgiveness, new life through Jesus Christ & eternal life.