Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Next Sunday will be Easter Sunday. In between, we have what is known as Passion Week. While we have been dealing with overcoming fear and messages connected to COVID-19 for the past month, this week I feel led to shift our focus to Jesus, what He did for us on Calvary’s cross, and His subsequent resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is the singular event that separates Christianity from every other world religion. Let’s look at Jesus’ Road to the Resurrection.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
1. Jesus redeemed us by offering His life for ours.
(Eph 1:5-7 The Passion Translation)
For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure! Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading riches of his grace.
Do you understand the importance of the Blood of Jesus and the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross? We were all born captive. We were born as slaves to the power of sin and the fear of death. We were born this way because of Adam. We could not get out of the situation ourselves. We needed someone to redeem us. It was like we were being held captive and we needed someone to pay our ransom. We were born bound and we needed someone to pay the debt to secure our freedom. The major problem with our situation is that our captor was not willing to accept money. The only suitable payment for our life would be another life. Someone would actually have to trade their life for ours before we could escape the clutches of sin. Our text speaks of redemption by the Blood of Jesus.
2. Jesus became an equivalent ransom for us.
Webster defines redemption as the repurchase of captured goods or prisoners; the act of procuring the deliverance of persons or things from the possession and power of captors by the payment of an equivalent ransom. The keywords are “equivalent ransom.”
In Acts 20:28 Luke tells us that Jesus purchased (redeemed) us with His own blood. In the Old Testament, the blood of animals could only serve as a temporary ‘covering’ for sin, because the blood of animals was not an equivalent ransom for the sin of man. The only proper payment for the deliverance of a human from the power of sin would have to be the blood of another human. Not just any human, but a perfect human, the perfect sacrifice, the Son of God! God offered His own Son as the payment for Adam’s sin.
Jesus came to get us out of everything Adam got us into. He did it by purchasing our redemption with His untainted blood.
Jesus paid the ultimate price so we could live the ultimate life! That’s what Easter Sunday is all about!
3. The ransom is paid!
a) Because of Adam, sin and death were introduced into the world. All humans are born in sin and are subject to death because of one man. But the good news is that another man came. His name is Jesus. Jesus came to redeem us from sin and to deliver us from the fear and power of death. We have redemption by His Blood!
b) In the Old Testament, innocent animals died for sinful men. But the blood of goats, bullocks, and turtledoves could only serve as a temporary solution to a permanent problem (Heb 9:12).
c) God sent His own Son (the Last Adam) to die in our place, paying an equivalent ransom and delivering us from the power of sin, the sting of death, and the bondage of satan (Gal 3:13, 1 Jn 1:7, Rev 5:9).
d) The Ransom is paid, the captor has been defeated and the captured have been released – Hallelujah!
e) The same resurrection power that delivered you from the grip of sin and the fear of death will deliver you from COVID-19!
4. Jesus took us from Covering to Cleansing!
a) If you read Exodus 30 you will see how an animal was killed (or sacrificed) every year for the “Atonement” of sin. The “Day of Atonement” (or Yom Kippur) was the day set apart every year when the High Priest would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The word atonement means ‘to cover’. It is further explained in Leviticus 23:26-32. I will summarize it by simply saying that the blood of the animal was offered as a “covering” for sin. The blood of the animal could never really eradicate the sin problem created by Adam, but it served as a temporary fix until the ultimate sacrifice would be offered – Jesus Himself.
The Hebrew writer explained it this way: “For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He did not go into the earthly place of worship, for that was merely a copy of the real Temple in heaven. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the earthly high priest who enters the Most Holy Place year after year to offer the blood of an animal. If that had been necessary, he would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But no! He came once for all time, at the end of the age, to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us.” (Heb 9:24-26 NLT).
b) Because of Adam’s disobedience, sin and death were introduced into the world. Jesus came to deal with both. The blood of the PASSOVER lamb (sacrifice) was a symbol of God’s deliverance from death. A lamb was killed every year as a covering for protection from the power of death. The blood of the Atonement lamb (sacrifice) was a symbol of God’s deliverance from sins. Every year the blood of an innocent lamb was shed for the sins of the guilty man. This was a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Jesus was both the PASSOVER lamb and the Atonement lamb. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Jesus) ended the need for any further animal sacrifices. Jesus delivered us from both sin and death in one fell swoop.
c) he Father used the Blood of Jesus to cleanse us from sin and deliver us from death once and for all. Jesus took us from temporary solutions to a permanent one. He was the ultimate sacrifice. In Jesus, we graduate from temporary to permanent, from ritual to relationship, from depiction to definite, and from covering to cleansing!
In closing, I will mention the power in the Blood of Jesus. During the PASSOVER, the nation of Israel was instructed to place the blood of a lamb over the doorposts of their homes. When the death angel came, if he saw the home was covered by the blood, he PASSED OVER the home, hence the name. Since Jesus was both the Atonement Lamb and the PASSOVER Lamb for us, I want to remind you that you are covered by the blood of Jesus! COVID-19 is a terrible disease. It has swept across the planet like the death angel swept across Egypt during the Exodus. But just like the Israelites’ confidence was in the blood of a lamb, your confidence must be in the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Himself! Plead the blood of Jesus over your home and your family in this season! There is POWER in the Blood of Jesus!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, thank You for loving me enough to send Your own Son to die in my place. The blood of goats, bullocks, and turtledoves could never serve as an equivalent payment for the sin of man. Adam got us into a mess. Jesus came to get me out of everything Adam got me into. Jesus paid a price I could not pay for a debt He did not owe. Jesus willingly took on my sin and offered me His righteousness, so that I could take on His righteousness and lay down my sin. I am covered by the Blood of Jesus. I am filled with the Holy Spirit. I am called according to Your purpose. I am FREE by Your grace! I no longer live in sin. I do not live under the bondage of the fear of death. I plead the Blood of Jesus over me, my family, and my home. COVID-19 has no power over us. We are covered by the Blood! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!