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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Last Supper and Passover

It was on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover Lamb that Jesus' disciples asked Him where they should go to make preparations to eat the Passover meal with Him. Jesus had to do all that the Law required in order to fulfill it. As Jesus was walking the earth, He was fulfilling scripture.

The original Passover meal is described in Exodus 12. It was a yearly feast to commemorate the greatest earthly deliverance of God's people from bondage and slavery. This act of God toward the Israelites showed God's love and compassion for the suffering. God made a way where there seemed to be no way. This "natural" act of God on earth for the Israelites was a picture of the greatest spiritual act of deliverance from spiritual bondage and death through His Son Jesus for the whole world. God parted the Red Sea so His people could cross over to the other side on solid ground (a firm foundation) setting them free from physical slavery and bondage. This act of God was confined to the Israelites and any Egyptians who chose to go with them. This earthly deliverance of both Jew and Gentile from slavery and bondage was a picture of the Red Sea of Christ's blood that set the whole world free from the bondage of sin and spiritual death. Jesus who is Eternal and spiritual always takes the "natural" into the "spiritual." God illustrated in the Older Testament in the natural what He would do through His Son in the supernatural. Because Jesus was the only One to come to earth from heaven and is Eternal, He is the only One who can make anyone Eternal. The Israelite saints could not enter the Eternal, heavenly Promised Land until Jesus became the sacrificial Passover Lamb and shed His sinless blood so He could return to His Father in the Heavenly Promised Land. The blood of lambs, bulls and goats could not give eternal life. Passover became Eternal in Christ! Jesus is also the Unleavened Bread as the incorruptible Word of God without sin. In the Older Testament, it was "natural" bread made without yeast. In the New Testament, it became "living, spiritual" bread in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the perfect paschal lamb slain before the foundation of the world as the once-for-all sacrifice for sin. The Godhead who knows the end from the beginning had the plan of redemption in place before the heavens and earth were created. Jesus gave up His spirit on the cross at the exact same time that the passover lamb was being slain in the Temple. Jesus is the final sacrifice. Jesus fulfilled all of God's instruction regarding the Passover Meal on earth. Jesus told His disciples in Luke 22:15-16, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the Kingdom of God." Its complete fulfillment will be in the Heavenly Kingdom of God. Again Jesus did in the "natural" what He would do in the "supernatural." In Exodus 22:16, their is a bride-price to be paid.  Jesus paid the bride-price for all.

 
Jesus told His 12 disciples that He is the initiator of a New Covenant sealed in His Body and Blood. The older covenants could not make anything eternal. The requirements of the Law were given by God as a temporary means of atonement until the once-for-all atonement through the body and blood of Jesus. Followers of Jesus are no longer under the older sacrificial system but under the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus' sinless flesh and blood for atonement and eternal life. Nothing can become eternal except through the blood and body of Jesus. Those who accept His shed blood as a means of atonement are His Body. There is no other way to the Father except through His Son.

 
In Revelation 21:12, there is a wall with twelve gates with the twelve tribes of Israel written on them around the throne of God and the Lamb. Each gate was made of a single pearl. This is the pearl of great price that Jesus spoke of in His parable on the pearl of great price in Matthew 13:45-46. This pearl of great price is the Body of Christ which was birthed through the Jews on earth and through Jesus' suffering on the cross. A "natural" pearl is made by a piece of sand which causes the oyster much suffering and irritation. The oyster would secrete a white substance around the piece of sand to relieve the irritation and suffering caused by the sand. This white substance would eventually form a beautiful and glorious pearl. The formation of the pearl would be done gradually over time. The formation of the pearl was also done secretly and mysteriously hidden inside the mollusk. It was through Christ's suffering that a thing of beauty was produced -- His Body. Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit will hide their truth in His Body until she becomes a thing of beauty--His Bride. As a grain of sand becomes covered with a beauty it did not have imputed from the mollusk, Jesus came to suffer and die to impute His righteousness, glory and beauty onto those who love and follow Him. His pearl of great price--His Bride--is precious and valuable to Him. The Godhead will shape and form Christ's Body into a precious white pearl of great beauty and value. His Bride will also suffer for the cause of His Kingdom.

Jesus who suffered to birth His Body is shaping and forming His beautiful and glorious Bride --His pearl of great price shaped and formed through suffering. In the New Testament, this pearl is His Body, but in Revelation, she is His spiritual Bride made in His image and likeness and joined with the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit as one. The pearl is the only way into the presence of God indicated in the gates of one single pearl. That single pearl is the Body of Christ shaped and formed into a beautiful and glorious Bride for Jesus. All--including the Jews--must enter through this pearl of great price--the unified Body of Christ--into the presence of God in the New Jerusalem, the Bride of Christ.

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