4/15/17

No Bunnies Died for Me


It's almost Easter (or what I prefer to call "Resurrection Day").

And everywhere I look, I see bunnies. Chicks. Chocolate eggs and jelly beans. 

But so few lambs. 

I enter into the secularized fun of the season. Pinterest is full of ideas for a colorful holiday. I color eggs and create lovely spring bouquets and wreaths.

But once you know the real story, everything else misses the mark.

This special week is all about a perfect Lamb.

It's about Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36), the prophesied Savior, the ultimate and perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world.

The Old Testament prophesied the coming of this Messiah, the anointed One and our "guilt offering" (Isaiah 53:10). The perfect Savior would provide "atonement"--reconciliation between God and man (Romans 5:10-11; Hebrews 2:17; 1 Peter 2:24). He who knew no sin would "be sin" on our behalf to bring us to God (2 Corinthians 5:19, 21; Galatians 1:4).

I remember the first time I fully understood the significance of the Jewish Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:11-13) and the feast of the Passover. This Jewish celebration commemorated the Israelites' deliverance from bondage. The applying of the blood of the Passover lamb to the doorposts of the Israelites' houses, which was to protect them from destruction by the angel of death, was a meaningful picture of the coming Messiah's work as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7b).

Later, the Jewish priests sacrificed innocent lambs daily in the Temple in Jerusalem to cover the people's sins until the promised Lamb of God arrived on the scene (Exodus 29:38-42). That Lamb would be led to the slaughter to redeem or ransom His people (Isaiah 53:7; Jeremiah 11:19; 1 Timothy 2:6). In other words, the chosen Lamb would deliver His people from bondage to sin by paying the ultimate price, His own death for us.

When Jesus was ready to begin His ministry, John the Baptist declared Him the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). When our Lord died, His blood "covered" those for whom He died--all who believe (John 3:16-17; Romans 3:23-25a). There is no more "spiritual death" for those who trust in His once-and-for-all sacrifice (Hebrews 10:11-12).

I know this whole concept bothers some people.

As a child, I wanted nothing to do with this "bloody sacrifice." I thought God too cruel to demand it. I thought I should be able to somehow "earn" my way into acceptance with Him.

It took me many years to clearly see the ugliness of sin that separated me from a holy God (Romans 3:23; 6:23), that His perfect provision for my soul required a blood sacrifice (Leviticus 17:11). I had to understand the depths of my Father's love (1 John 4:10).

As the apostle Peter explained,
"...it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God" (1 Peter 1:18-21, NIV).
No bunnies died for me. Only the perfect Lamb.
No bunnies were buried in a borrowed tomb for three days, and then raised from the dead to release me from my darkness and bondage to sin. No bunnies ever gave me eternal life. Only Jesus did these things (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Only the perfect Lamb.

The Lamb who became my Good Shepherd (John 10:11).

He is our worthy Redeemer (Revelation 5:9), and I will thank and praise Him forever.

"Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us 
to share in the inheritance of the saints 
(God's people) in the Light. 
For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself 
from the dominion of darkness, 
and has transferred us 
to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 
in whom we have redemption 
[because of His sacrifice, resulting in]
the forgiveness of our sins
[and the cancellation of sins' penalty" 
(Colossians 1:12-14, Amplified).


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