John 2:13 ESV
“The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.”
Slaves in Egypt
What is “The Passover”? Well, it began with the Israelites being slaves in Egypt and God sending Moses to deliver his people out of slavery in Egypt. The Pharaoh of Egypt, though, would not let the people go, even after God had sent numerous plagues to convince him to let the people go.
So, the Lord sent one final plague. One night, as God had said he would do, He went out at midnight in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt was struck dead. And after that, Pharaoh let the people go.
But before this was to happen, God commanded the children of Israel that on the 10th day of that month they were to take a lamb for each household, without blemish, and on the 14th day of the month they were to all kill their lambs at twilight (See: Exodus 11-12).
Then they were to take some of the blood and put in on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they ate the lambs. “It is the Lord’s Passover.” For, the Lord was going to pass through the land of Egypt that night, and he did, and he struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt.
For the Israelites, the blood on their doorposts was to be a sign. When God saw the blood, he passed over them, and no plague befell them to destroy them when God struck the land of Egypt. And they were to remember that day every year as a memorial of what God did in passing over them.
For us who are believers in Jesus Christ, this symbolizes our Lamb who was sacrificed on that cross for the remission of our sins, once for all. The blood of Jesus, which was shed for us, bought us back for God so that we could be forgiven our sins and so we could now honor God with our lives.
But the slaves in Egypt weren’t just passed over. They were delivered from their slavery in Egypt. And when we believe in Jesus with genuine God-persuaded faith, we are delivered from our slavery, which is slavery to sin, so that we will now be slaves to God and of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).
And our Jerusalem, our holy city where the temple of God dwells is the Kingdom of God, and we are part of that kingdom. We are his body, his temple. The holy of holies is within us. The true church, the body of Christ, is the holy city where God now dwells. We are his holy nation.
So, for us, the celebration of our Passover is a celebration of Jesus’ blood which was shed for us on that cross so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin, and so we could be slaves of God and of his righteousness, so that when the day of judgment comes, we will be passed over, too.
And the time of our Lord’s return is also at hand when he will judge everyone according to what they did (according to their works, their deeds). And if we have died (and are dying) with Christ in death to sin, and if we are living to Christ and to his righteousness, we will also be passed over.
Nonetheless, if we have not followed our Lord’s commands, and we have not died with him to sin, and if we are not living in obedience to his commands and to his righteousness, but if we have continued living in sinful addiction in direct disobedience to the Lord, we will not be passed over. We will die.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
John 2:14-17 ESV
“In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’”
Today we are the temple of God. Collectively we are called the church, the body of Christ, in whom God dwells by his Spirit. We are his holy people, his holy nation, if we have died with him to sin and if we are living to him and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 2 Jn 2:3-6).
But this is not to say that God’s people cannot wander off from him for a time or fall short of full obedience to him in some respects, and need correction and divine discipline, and need to repent and to be revived and to have renewed obedience to Him. For, that is what Revelation 2-3 is mostly all about.
For this is where a lot of the church is right now, although not everything called “church” is the body of Christ, and not everyone professing faith in Jesus Christ is truly a follower of Christ and is part of his body.
But many Christians have fallen into error and into man-made religion, and they are not following the Lord in full obedience and in surrender to him, because they have bought into the lies of a false gospel and a false church which is a marketplace, marketed to the world like any other business.
And this is not God’s will and design for our lives. Our hearts, his temple, is to be a place of worship of God and of prayer and of obedience to his will for our lives. But so many who profess faith in Jesus Christ have joined themselves to the world and have turned their gatherings, instead, into businesses to entertain and to draw in the people of the world.
Thus, our Lord is speaking to his church today, and he is reminding us of our calling and of what his church is to be about. And he is calling many to repent and to return to him in full devotion, and to have zeal for the house of the Lord, his body (the people of God), that we would be his holy people, living lives which are separate from the world and unto God in full surrender.
Oh, How I Love Jesus
By Frederick Whitfield, 1855
There is a Name I love to hear,
I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in my ear,
The sweetest Name on earth.
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!
It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.
It tells me what my Father hath
In store for every day,
And though I tread a darksome path,
Yields sunshine all the way.
It tells of One whose loving heart
Can feel my deepest woe;
Who in each sorrow bears a part
That none can bear below.
It bids my trembling heart rejoice;
It dries each rising tear;
It tells me, in a “still small voice,”
To trust and never fear.
Jesus, the Name I love so well,
The Name I love to hear:
No saint on earth its worth can tell,
No heart conceive how dear.
This Name shall shed its fragrance still
Along this thorny road,
Shall sweetly smooth the rugged hill
That leads me up to God.
And there with all the blood-bought throng,
From sin and sorrow free,
I’ll sing the new eternal song
Of Jesus’ love for me.
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