Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades - Revelation 1:17-18

You may be asking yourself, "if this is the day that Jesus died for us, why is this day Good Friday?" In ancient times, good meant Holy. This is one of the Holiest days of the year, a continuation of Holy Thursday that does not end until we celebrate the Resurrection at Easter.

There are many prophecies and connections between the Old and New Testament regarding Jesus as the Perfect Sacrifice. Let's look at how these pieces of God's puzzle fit together.

The apostle John was given a great vision of the future and he wrote everything he saw in the Book of Revelation, the last part of the Bible. He is the one follower who calls Jesus the "Lamb of God" in his writings.

The Old Testament is all about the Creator's love for His chosen ones. Despite constant rebellion and complaining, God is always there for His people. Each time the Jews were enslaved, God stepped in. The most well-known intervention was the time that God asked Moses to lead His people out of Egypt.

Moses was given very specific instructions and failure to comply meant death. First, each family needed to use a special plant known as a hyssop to dip into the blood of the lamb and place it on the doorway. The lamb used in the sacrifice could not be damaged. If any bone was broken or the lamb was blemished in any way, the Jews needed to replace it. Anyone who did not eat the lamb would perish. This blood on the doorposts protected God's people.

God ordered His people to celebrate the "angel of death" passing over them until the end of time. Jesus was celebrating Passover at the Last Supper, which the Jews still celebrate once a year. This commemoration of their Exodus from slavery is known as the Seder. It involves drinking four cups of wine during the meal.

When Jesus was celebrating Passover at the Last Supper, he stopped after just three cups of wine. This is highly unusual since Jewish tradition is very strict. What Jesus was showing His followers was that He was inserting Himself into the Seder, that is, He was becoming the Lamb of God.

He told his followers that He would not drink again until He was in the Kingdom. It was not until the moment before His death on the cross that He asked for something to drink. The plant that was used to raise the wine to Jesus was the hyssop, the same plant that Moses was ordered to use in the first sacrificial meal. This was the fourth cup. The Last Supper was now complete.

When the Romans climbed up on the cross to break His legs, they found that Jesus was already dead. The prophecy stated that not one bone would be broken and this completed the Scripture. It is also important to note that the garment Jesus was wearing was special. This "chiton" was without seam, the same garment a High Priest would wear. It symbolizes that Jesus is both the High Priest and the Sacrificial Lamb.

After completing the Last Supper with the final drink of wine, Jesus bows His head and says, "teleioo", which means, "it is finished". He has done the will of His Father. He has conquered sin once and for all.

As Jesus was suffering on the Cross, He was thinking of you. Even though it would be two thousand years before you were born, He could see you. He loves you and wants to be in your life. This is the day we celebrate Good Friday. It is the day Jesus is looking for a new home, right in the center of your heart. Unlock the door and let Him in.

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