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Christ our Passover Lamb

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A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. A little sin affects the whole person and the whole church.

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Christ our Passover Lamb (2) Christ our Passover Lamb (2) Pastor Grant van Boeschoten / General   Why is it “Good” Friday, when we are remembering the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? • My aim to answer that question by the end of this message. • I want to start in an unlikely place, with a Jewish Proverb. A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough • Yeast is a very powerful ingredient. • If you bake bread without yeast, it will not rise. • Mix in just a small amount of yeast, and it works its way through the whole lump of dough. Everything is affected. • Yeast was often thought of as being a metaphor for sin. • The proverb is about sin, and its effect on a person and a community. • A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. A little sin affects the whole of a person. A little sin affects the whole of a community. • Our culture minimizes the pervasive power of sin. Maybe we would do well to remember the proverb, “A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough” Our main text for this message is 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. In the first 5 verses of this chapter, Paul highlights a very serious sin that is being permitted by the church in the coastal city of Corinth. He is warning them that by allowing that sin to go unchecked, it will have a powerful impact in that church, a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 1 Corinthians 5:6 NIV Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Here is my understanding of what Paul is saying... • What are you all so happy about? You are so proud of all of your great teaching, and ministries and good works, but don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. • Or I might say it this way, “unless you take care of this issue, all of your work is going to count for nothing. This sin will become your reputation, this sin will drag you down. This is true for communities and churches, and this is also true for individual people like me and you. When sin is minimized, and swept under the rug, we are allowing pervasive and powerful force to affect everything that we are. So what are we to do? What was the church in Corinth to do? 1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV 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. When this letter to the corinthian church was read out to them, there minds would have immediately thought about two different Jewish feasts that always happen together. Timing of The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. They happen together because they celebrate events that happened together. • The Passover Feast is the first night of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. • God rescued the Israelites from Egypt and then they left in such a hurry that they had no leaven, or yeast for their bread, and so they ate unleavened bread (which became the week long festival of unleavened bread). 1. The Passover is a meal that takes place on the 14th day of the first month. 2. The Festival of Unleavened Bread runs from the 14th day of the first month through the 21st day. 3. You can see that the Passover Feast is on the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Both events strictly prohibit the use of leaven, or more broadly speaking, yeast. The Feasts were commanded and created by God as a memorial to his act of Salvation, commemorating when God saved the nation of Israel from the slavery and oppression of the Egyptians. The First Passover The second book in your Bible is called Exodus, and it details the nation of Israel’s exit from Egypt. • They had come to Egypt as a father and his 12 sons and their families to escape a famine. 400 years later they had become a nation of slaves, under the cruel hand of Pharaoh. The people cried out for help, God heard their cries and raised up a leader named Moses. • When Moses and his brother Aaron spoke to the Pharaoh of Egypt, he refused to let the people go. In response to Pharaohs determination to defy God, God brought a series of 10 plagues against Egypt. • Each of those plagues was an opportunity for Pharaoh to Submit to God, and let God’s people go. The first 9 times Pharaoh refused. This is when God gave Moses the instructions for the first Passover meal and also the instructions for the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Exodus 12:21–23 NIV Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. The Lamb that was sacrificed was called by each family, “The Passover Lamb” God did exactly what he said he would. The Israelites followed these instructions, and when the 10th plague came, the angel of death passed over the homes with the passover lambs blood on the door frame. Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and ordered them to take all of the people of Israel and get out of Egypt. It was a surreal night. There was huge sadness in the land, not an Egyptian home was without a death. The Egyptians gave gold and silver to the Israelites as they left, and the Israelites left in a hurry. It was a night where God was once again shown to be above every other god, ruler or kingdom. There is nothing that He cannot do. Passover and The Festival of Unleavened Bread was a annual reminder that God had saved them from Egypt. Deuteronomy 16:2–3 NIV Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name. Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. The Bible is a Literary Masterpiece, the very Word of God. God wrote the Bible, it is beyond genius in its construction. The way that themes and topics are introduced, developed and brought to fullness throughout the story of the Bible. Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread are two amazing examples of this. Unleavened bread signifies a bread that is without sin. The passover lamb represents a pure and spotless animal that would be slaughtered, so that God would see the blood of that animal on the doorframe, and passover the homes of those who were under the blood. God introduces these themes in Exodus, 1400 years before Christ would come, and fulfill the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread When you read through the Old Testament, every once in a while, the theme is brought again, developed again. We read of times of obedience and disobedience. We read of how the Kingdom rises and then is divided. The nation is born and then exiled and then returned. Through it the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread grow and develop. We see in the New Testament that all along they would point directly to Jesus Christ. The Last Supper On the night before Jesus was crucified, he took part in a passover meal with his disciples. It is sometimes referred to as the Last Supper. During that supper, Jesus instituted a new feast that was to take place. Where the passover and the festival of unleavened bread were to signify God’s saving power from slavery, this new feast would become an ongoing feast to remember the ultimate display of God’s power on the earth in his most amazing display of love resulting in a freedom from the slavery of sin. Listen to Jesus words to his disciples, and keep in mind the symbolism of the unleavened bread of the blood of the passover lamb. Mark 14:22–24 NIV While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. The disciples did not fully understand the significance that night. What was happening, was that Jesus was identifying his blood with that of the Passover Lamb. Jesus was identifying his body with the unleavened bread that sustained the people as they escaped from slavery. They didn’t know that hours later, Jesus, their Lord and the Son of God, would be arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion the next morning. They didn’t know that inside of 24 hours, he would be dead. And they didn’t know that on the the third day, he would be resurrected. 30 years later, The Church in Corinth, that Paul was writing this letter to, was very aware of the significance of body and blood of Jesus Christ. • They are living out the truths that he taught, and being a part of the Kingdom of God. • They are living in freedom, they don’t have to bear the weight of sin. • They celebrate The Lord’s Supper, or communion, or a regular basis. But, they were still tolerating sin in their church. When Jesus, the Passover Lamb, had died to cleanse them from sin. They were supposed to be sustained by the unleavened bread that he had made possible. 1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV 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. Paul says, why are you tolerating sin. Why are you allowing for it, excusing it, overlooking it. Don’t you know that because of Christ our Passover Lamb, we are now a Holy People. We are able to live without sin. When Paul writes these words to the Church in Corinth, he knows that they understand that the Passover Lamb cannot be sacrificed until the leaven is cleaned from every home, and from the temple. And once that Lamb has been sacrificed, it is signifies that the leaven, the sin, has been dealt with. If we have the evidence that we can live free of the weight of sin, then why tolerate it. If the Passover Lamb has already been sacrificed, then why add sin, or leaven, back into the mix? Christ our Passover Lamb On the 14th day of the 1st month, when the passover lamb was to be slaughtered after the cleansing of the temple from all leaven, that is the day that Jesus, our Passover Lamb, was crucified. Why is it called “Good Friday” Its called “Good” Friday because Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed. On the night 3400 years ago that the Israelites slaughtered a lamb, putting the blood on the door frame, the angel of death passed over them. 1400 years after the first passover, on the 14th day of the 1st month, Christ was sacrificed & he replaced that lamb. As the passover lamb was sacrificed in the Temple, the true Passover Lamb was being sacrificed on the cross. His blood was poured out for all who would make him Lord of their life. Our sin makes us deserving of God’s wrath. The earnings of sin are death. But Christ, our passover Lamb has been sacrificed. And when you make Christ the Lord of your Life, God sees his blood over your life, and he passes over you the judgement that you deserve. Isaiah 53:10–11 NLT But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. We’ve all sinned. Without Christ, we are all guilty. We all need to go to God to be forgiven. Its called Good Friday because its the day that represents the best news that I’ve ever come across in my entire life. Without Good Friday, I would be lost in my sin. Without this day, I would have no hope. Its called Good Friday because I can be forgiven. God won’t require my blood for my sins. Instead, he has sacrificed his own son, and I can be made clean. Its Good Friday because Jesus Death on the Cross made a way for you and me to be counted us holy, pure and without sin. We could never do it on our own. But Christ has done it for us. Like in the festival of unleavened bread, he started from scratch with us. Its a whole new lump of dough if you will extend the metaphor with me. For he makes us a new creation, he makes us to be without sin. 1 Corinthians 5:8 HCSB Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast or with the yeast of malice and evil but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was just pointing the way to Jesus, who has forever dealt with sin. How do we celebrate now? We celebrate by living lives that are pure and holy. And when we find ourselves in sin, we confess our sins and believe that God forgives us. Malice and evil have no part in the church, and no place in our lives. Instead, we are a people found under the blood of Christ who are known for our sincerity and truth. For Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed, and we are living as the holy and righteous children of God. A little yeast leavens the whole lump of dough. Don’t let sin into your life. Don’t give it a place. Deal with it today, for Christ our Passover Lamb has made us a Holy and a Set Apart people for his Glory. Page 10. Exported from Logos Bible Software, 2:48 PM March 29, 2018.
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