Letters to the Family of God
by Joe Franzone | March 10, 2022 | Pastor's Blog
March 10, 2022
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household…The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs, and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some are left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
During Advent as a church, we take a slow full walk toward the birth of our Savior, King, and Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, trying to capture the fullness of the Incarnation. I thank God for this. To be reminded, rehearse, and learn together, perhaps for the first time for some, is a gracious way to grow as one headed in the same direction towards the same person.
Peter, as an Apostle, understood this as a duty in his ministry writing; I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body (2 Peter 1:12).
Good Friday and Easter are about five weeks away. Let's do the same thing in these letter(s). Perhaps this will help us as we have been thinking about evangelism, since every evangelist must know the evangel (The Gospel).
The above account of the Passover is Israel’s beginning exit out of Egypt and slavery. Passover is a crucial, central story of the Old Testament. It is there to speak overwhelming goodness and grace to God’s people, a picture pointing towards what God in the Gospel would accomplish.
First, it reveals that unless God intervenes and covers us, we are in the same state as everyone else: rebels and rivals of God, under His judgment and condemnation. We came into this world this way, and it is always part of our identity as human beings. Without God acting for us, we cannot walk in humility and righteousness before Him or others.
Second, it brings to brilliant light that the primary thing God wants from us is our trust. He wants us to trust that He is merciful, trust He will deal with our sin Himself, trust that God’s judgment passed over God’s people by the means God provided. Therefore, He cares for us. He wants us to trust He will save and not condemn us.
So, God works in us in our acts of obedience that will display a day-by-day bent that we trust Him. Whether it was putting lamb's blood on their doorposts and eating the Passover meal, exactly in the way God said to, as was the case for the Israelites. Or remembering the death of Jesus on the cross, which saved us as we celebrate in Communion, as is the case for the Christian. In each, there is a trust in God that is humble and willing to extend the same to others in His name is the natural response.
Finally, can we see the Gospel is not a narrow set of teachings about Jesus and His death and resurrection that, rightly believed, roll people into the kingdom? But after that, the real discipleship and personal transformation. Loved ones this is nothing even near the dominant New Testament emphasis that understands “the Gospel” to be the massive event that holds the Bible together.
Only the Gospel takes Christians from death and sin and alienation from God all the way through conversion and discipleship, past death, to resurrection bodies, and the new heaven and the new earth enjoying Him and His people forever.
All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well,
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
This comes to you with all my love in the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you as the week comes to a close.