© Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary
3 Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household.
13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast. Exodus 12:3, 13, 14 esv
Besides being a memorial day or a day of remembrance (as Matthew Henry called it) that first Passover was also prophetic of our deliverance from the bondage of sin and wickedness.
The lamb, of course, is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ. It must be without blemish. Our Lord Jesus was perfect in every way – even declared innocent by Pontus Pilate at His trial. (John 18:38) And one of the thieves crucified next to Him declared Him innocent as well. (Luke 23:41)
In His perfection He obeyed God’s laws and festivals – including the memorial of the Passover.
In the homework, we looked at the Gospels to see how Jesus celebrated the Passover, which was His last supper with His disciples. There are some significant things within that last supper that point to our eternity with Him.
The blessing of having four Gospels is that what may have been overlooked in one narrative, has been brought to light in another – and through this we can bring the event to its fullest revelation.
Multiple accounts of the same event, such as we’ve found in the Kings, Chronicles, and the Prophets, is a beautiful mystery in our Scriptures, and one that I enjoy immensely.
After the Passover supper, 36 …Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:36-38 esv
That terminology is not unique to Matthew’s account. Mark makes a similar report: “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” Mark 14:34 esv
So after the Passover supper, after Jesus has basically foretold them that a new Passover remembrance is about to be instituted, Jesus asks them to watch with Him.
Go back to the account of the first Passover in Exodus 12:
40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts [the NIV will say divisions, the NKJV will say armies, but the word translated from the Hebrew is hosts] of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations. Exodus 12:40-42 esv
…all the hosts of the Lord…
hosts = Transliteration: ṣābāʾ
—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
It comes from tseba’ah, tseb-aw-aw’, which means: a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially organized for war (an army).
—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
The Commander of the Lord’s Army, who is Christ Himself, was watching with His heavenly host to bring the Israelites out of slavery and bondage.
But now, cloaked in flesh, Jesus watches. And He asks the disciples to watch with Him. This will be an entirely different Passover – this is one of those things we see happen in the Old Testament, and Jesus takes it into the New Testament and turns it completely upside down. He knows that He is nearly ready to bring humanity out of the slavery and bondage to sin, but unlike the Old Testament account of the Passover, wherein God took the firstborn of the wicked (i.e. Pharaoh’s house, etc), mankind itself (the wicked) will take the Firstborn of God. And the event will overcome the devil and death itself!
And as we begin to look a little closer into that event, I want you to be aware of one thing in the last supper account of Luke that Jesus says that’s not recorded in the other Gospels, and I need to put this in your mind before we go any further:
18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Luke 22:18 esv
That statement made by Jesus is unique to Luke’s account. The other accounts talk about new wine, and a new feast, so it really got me to thinking and praying about it – especially as I recalled a portion of the Gospel of John. Turn with me to John 19.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30 esv
Jesus received the sour wine…
This is the second time that Jesus was offered the sour wine. The first time (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23) He refused it.
This is not the new wine that we studied in the homework, and that He spoke of not drinking until He was drinking it new in the Kingdom of God.
This was a fermented wine, mixed with spices and myrrh, and it was used to alleviate the suffering of the crucified. Jesus refused it the first time because He hadn’t accomplished everything yet.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Proverbs 31:4-7 esv
Jesus Christ is a King, and He refused the wine so that He would experience fully how humanity was suffering under the affliction and misery of sin.
And then, at the very end of His suffering, Matthew, Mark and John all report that Jesus finally receives the wine…but He said that He wouldn’t drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.
I want to suggest here that the Kingdom of God came right there at the cross, at that very moment. It certainly didn’t look like a King ascending the Throne in the eyes of the earthly realm, but I can assure you that it appeared immeasurably different in the Divine Realm.
Look with me into the Throne Room in Revelation:
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God… Revelation 5:1-9a esv
The word translated ransomed in the ESV, is better translated purchased in the 1984 NIV.
And that’s what it looked like that day in heaven when Christ took His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. And He was the only one who could do it. He declared Himself a victor when He said, It is finished. His first act as King was to purchase us with His blood.
The phrase It is finished, is actually one word in the Greek – and it’s really interesting. My Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary tells me that the word is teleō, which means:
finish, fulfill, accomplish or pay.
It’s spelled differently in my Fire Bible: tetelastai.
This word is used only two times in our New Testament – both times in the Gospel of John, and both times at the cross.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished…John 19:28 esv
He knew the Kingdom of God had come, He received the wine, and He paid for us with His blood.
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Matthew 27:51a esv
The separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was gone. It was flung open by the Great High Priest of Jesus Christ, Who opened it with the perfect blood of the Lamb who was slain… 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him… Colossians 1:20-22 esv
Above reproach – I like that! I am holy in His sight, and I can boldly approach the Most Holy Place.
And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:51b-54 esv
They were thinking, what have we done?! This was the Son of God, and now we’ve killed him!
Go back to Revelation with me:
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Revelation 12:7-11 esv
While the Earthly realm was standing there with Jesus’ dead Body, wondering what on earth they’d done, seeing certain defeat in His death, the Divine realm watched in awe as their King disarmed the powers and authorities, and made them a public spectacle by triumphing over them with His cross! Colossians 2:15 niv 1984
Satan and his minions were humiliated in their weakness and hideous wickedness. The King said It is finished, and it was.
It just does not get any better than that!
Especially if you know the rest of the story…
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. John 20:1-12 esv
Turn with me to Exodus 25
17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:17-22 esv
You know what happened on that mercy seat once a year? I’m glad you asked!
On the annual Day of Atonement, both the bull’s blood (that made atonement, or “sin covering,” for the high priest and his family) and the goat’s blood (that served as an offering for the sins of the entire nation) were sprinkled on the atonement cover, or mercy seat, as an offering to God. The earthly atonement cover was a type—a prophetic symbol—of the heavenly “throne of grace” which believers can now approach because of Christ’s shed blood in order to receive mercy and help for all their needs…
—Fire Bible © 2014 by Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC
And there Jesus had lain, with an angel at his feet, and an angel at his head, watching over Him until it was time for Him to rise from the dead. Our mercy seat, sprinkled with the blood of a King. He had told the people, early on in His ministry, that He’d come to fulfill the Law – and He did. That mercy seat in Exodus was not only patterned from what God had shown Moses on the mountain (Hebrews 8:5), but it was foretelling us of how the Law within its ark would be fulfilled.
Two angels, two heavenly witnesses, kneeling in awe and reverence over Jesus’ Body, watching Him ever so closely until it was time, and then the life came back into His Body, and walked out of the tomb. They got up off of their knees and had a seat, perhaps contemplating the enormity of what they’d witnessed, perhaps knowing that Mary was on her way to take a look at the place where her beloved Savior had lain, and…
13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” John 20:13-16a esv
A lot of people question why Mary didn’t recognize her Savior, and as my husband and I contemplated that we came to the conclusion that she was probably hysterical at the horrible circumstances of not being able to anoint Jesus’ Body. She was probably crying so hard that she couldn’t see through her tears and she didn’t recognize Him until she heard His voice.
Among many other truths, that spoke into my heart: Jesus can even reach a hysterical woman. I needed to know that.
We serve a risen King; a real King, on a real Throne, and He knows us by name. Not only that, but our Warrior Savior, as powerful, just and mighty as He is, is as well filled with tenderness and compassion when it comes to our needs. Mary needed to know where He was, and He made sure to reveal to her first (before all the other disciples, even His own mother) what had happened to Him.
Before He departed the earth, He said to His followers:
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. Luke 24:44-53 esv
And to this account, the apostle Luke adds something to his letter in Acts:
10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11 esv
This is far from over. He’s coming back for us! Let Him find us faithful and intentional as we seek out His glorious mysteries in the Scriptures that He so lovingly left behind.
That we would continually bring Him glory in all that we do, say, and teach as we wait for Him to return in the same way as he went into heaven.
© 2016, Ta`Mara Hanscom
Because of the Easter Holiday we won’t meet again until April 10, 2016.
Worksheet to prepare for class on April 10, 2016. # 10 Catalyst – Worksheet