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Posts Tagged ‘perfect sacrifice’

John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!””

Night of the Lepus” was a science fiction/horror film from 1972, starring Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, Paul Fix, and DeForest Kelley. In this film, the monstrous antagonist was kept secret in press releases and trailers. Finally, when the film debuted, the audiences saw that the monstrous creatures stalking the humans were…giant…bunny…rabbits. Yep, you read right. Giant bunnies that had become carnivorous were the monsters in this film. Now, you can make a lot of animals look vicious or creepy: spiders, snakes, bugs, wolves, bears, bats, etc….but bunny rabbits? Even as a child watching this film, my only thought was “they don’t look scary”…not even with ketchup on their mouths to be the effect of blood! Believe it or not, this was based on a novel, The Year of the Angry Rabbit , by Russell Braddon (I’m sure something got lost in translation from book to film). This movie went down in the annals of B-movies and camp. Who would believe a killer bunny? (more information can be read at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Lepus).

Our Savior has many titles, but one may strike non-Christians as odd. Jesus has been described as King, God, Lord, Savior, Shepherd, and Alpha and Omega. But do you realize one of His titles is…the Lamb of God? “A lamb?” you might ask. Yes, because besides all of His mighty titles, Jesus Christ came as a living sacrifice to pay our sin debt. In Bible times, sacrifices were made at the temple to pay for atonement from sins. Often, a spotless animal was the sacrifice, and in many of those cases, it was a lamb without blemish. A lamb, meek and mild. Our Savior is the Lamb of God; He willingly went to the cross to pay a debt we couldn’t pay…the only spotless, perfect sacrifice that could be made. The world might ask, “your Lord is a Lamb?” Yes…THE LAMB OF GOD. Unlike Hollywood movies, this is fact, not fiction.

Something to think about!

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Verses 9-10: “(Now this “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

I work in a building that is 2 ½ stories tall…in other words, the bottom-most floor is only half a floor and built into the side of a hill. Our front entrance is actually on the second floor. This can be confusing, especially to those visitors who don’t know which floor they’re on, since there are 3 floor buttons in the elevator. Funnier than that, is the time I entered the elevator on the first floor, and pressed ‘1’. Nothing happened; this device was supposed to ascend and take me to the floor with the front entrance on it! (forgetting, of course, that it was the 2nd floor I wanted). The elevator, had it had a voice, probably would’ve said, “I’ve done all I was supposed to do.” Finally it dawned on me which floor I really wanted…I pressed ‘2’, the doors closed, and the elevator ascended to the 2nd floor.

Little did I know what God had in store for me concerning today’s verse. I felt Him lead me to this verse, and the Holman commentary even had extra verbiage on the controversy some historians have had about what this verse means. I consulted with my pastor, Bro. Dexter James, who was very instrumental in discussing these verses; he had run into such discussion before regarding these verses and companion verses in 1 Peter 3:18-20. He loaned me his copy of A Pilgrim Priesthood – An Exposition of the Epistle of First Peter by Dr. Paige Patterson (publisher T. Nelson, 1982); within was a good dissertation on these theories and what could be interpreted (my wife and I had an intense Bible study that afternoon! :-)). There has been much discussion of just where Christ was after He died and before He arose on the third day. Without going into a lengthy disposition of theories (did He really descend into Hell, etc.), the bottom line is…He died. He said on the cross “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit (Luke 23:46)”; God had His spirit. His body lay in the grave, and on the third day, when the sacrifice was complete….when the plan was fulfilled, God raised Him, and He lived again, our Savior! For the sacrifice to be complete, a lamb couldn’t run away from the altar; it was killed, and laid on the altar. The fire destroyed it, and the smoke was a “sweet aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:13) (Some of the research on the ritual of the sacrifice I got from the following Society of Biblical Literature website article by William K. Gilders: http://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/TBv2i5_Gilders2.pdf .) Death was the act of destruction here, but once done, it was finished! Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, and no more did someone have to sacrifice animals for sin offerings…Jesus paid it all! He descended down to earth, became the perfect sacrifice; He was dead and when God raised Him after 3 days, He ascended back to Heaven. We only have to accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and believe that to be saved.

Again, the bottom line is, is that the verse is about Jesus. He came down and lived a perfect life as a human being like us, yet He did not sin. He died for us, and God raised Him back to life, alive! He did all He was supposed to do.

Now that is something to think about!

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