Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Risen

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! I was so moved by the truth of this passage this morning.

Luke 24 The Resurrection

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8Then they remembered his words.

Why do you look for the living among the dead? The significance of Jesus dying on Passover was our theme this morning at church. That He died on Passover because he came not just to forgive our sins but to set us free from oppression and slavery. "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." Acts 10:38

People were in a foreign land
They were enslaved
They were oppressed
Passover provides a liberation paradigm
God (through Moses) did many signs and wonders
Provides a worldview that we are being set free
The image of a captive people being set free – not just a sinful people being forgiven
Freedom from oppression – and an oppressor
Passover was also the first month of the year
They ate the lamb
They took care of the poorer families
He brought us out to bring us in

What did death at Passover do?
- Passover involved the death of a lamb; the Paschal Lamb (spotless lamb – a year old)
- it involved the smearing of a lamb’s blood with the hyssop branch on the door; the blood protected from God’s judgment and liberated Israel following that protection.
- Jesus was creating a story of deliverance by the timing of his own death
- Jesus was claiming that his followers were protecting themselves from the judgment of God by partaking of His blood and body
- It was a revolution against the oppressive, violent, and power-mongering leaders of Israel and Rome who right now were oppressing God’s good people.
- No destructive plague would touch the Israelites because of the blood Ex12:13
- He will not permit the destroyer to enter the houses of the Israelites Ex12:23
- They plundered the Egyptians Ex12:36
- Jesus chooses the images of divine protection and liberation and new kingdom
- He offers himself—in death—to absorb the judgment of God on behalf of his followers so he can save his people from their sins.
- Jesus’ act at the Last Supper declares that his death is atoning,
- that his blood is like the Passover blood,
- that his death will save his followers from their sins,
- and that his death will create the new covenant community around him.
- He is the Passover lamb

It is the image that He proclaims at the beginning of His ministry as he quotes from Isaiah 61

The Year of the LORD's Favor

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

He uses Passover as the time of His death to proclaim to us freedom from oppression - final victory over death and hell. He is Risen indeed!

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