Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Blown Wide Open

(contiuing to blog through my script from Sunday on Exodus 12:1-29, you can read the other parts here and here, or listen to it here)
1 Corinthians 5:7 tells us ‘for Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed.’ Christ is our Passover lamb, Christ is the ultimate Passover lamb.

So when we see that Christ is described as our Passover lamb, we suddenly see how relevant this passage is to us. We can see that as the firstborn would look on the carcass of the lamb which had pride of place on the dinner table he would look at it and think ‘that lamb died instead of me’. He is a substitute who has made it possible for the firstborn to live. And we can look to the cross, to Jesus dying there and say ‘He died instead of me, He is my substitute’. We can see that as the Israelites needed to react with faith and trust in the blood of the lamb, we need to react with faith, and trust in the blood of Jesus. We can see that what saved the Israelites was totally outside of them. The red blood was outside on a dark night. No one’s going to see it except God. And it’d be no good the people inside the houses trying to be a bit better than usual. What difference is that going to make? Charles Spurgeon, the 19th century Baptist preacher says ‘it is blood, blood, blood, blood that saves us’. Nothing more than the blood of Christ is necessary.

Remember verse 29? at midnight the Lord struck down the firstborn of all in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well’ .
In the darkness of Egypt God strikes down all the Egyptian first born.
In the darkness at Calvary God strikes down His first born bearing the weight of His wrath at our sin. So God saved Israel from Himself, from His own just wrath, by the blood that only he sees, so that they might worship Him. They are saved by God for God. And it’s exactly the same for us. God sends His Son and he dies in our place. If you are a Christian here today then the blood of Christ is painted over you. When God comes again in the great and terrible day of His wrath the blood will be what he sees of us. And that will be enough. Saved from God, saved by God, saved for God. Our Gospel is about God’s action that we benefit from, we, like Israel are saved to come to God.

But you might be sitting there thinking ‘let me just behave a little bit better in 2008, then God will accept me’ No! If you’ve come here this morning thinking that being a Christian is about doing good things in order to have a nice life…there is some very good news for you. What’s going on inside the house isn’t the issue. God is looking for the blood outside. If there’s blood, then you’re saved, and all that’s left is to worship and enjoy Him…because that is what he’s saved you for. You do nothing, the blood does everything. If quiet times, or evangelism or service or going to the gym or reducing your carbon footprint could do it, would God have sent His Son to die in agony on the cross? No! It’s about the blood. It’s all about the blood. We can not stand in Christ’s presence unless we are sheltered by His blood. So often i find myself head down in the dirt trying to work myself up to God. So often i find myself despairing of ever being able to be good enough. If only i'd turn round and see behind me and man dying on a cross, achieving far more in His death than i ever will in my life.
As the songwriters Steve and Vikki Cook remind us:

Sinners find eternal joy
In the triumph of Your wounds
By our Savior’s crimson flow
Holy wrath has been removed
And Your saints below
Join with your saints above
Rejoicing in the Risen Lamb

No comments: