"Jesus Is Our Passover Lamb"
Greetings Destiny Church and blessings to you. We miss meeting together with you, and think of you often. I pray that you are all keeping healthy and safe, and that you are fellowshipping with the Lord and with one another.
As I have been serving as a hospital chaplain during this trying season, I have encountered so many anxious people—anxious patients, anxious nurses and doctors, and, yes, even chaplains. I have had my own moments where I had to grab my prayer journal, go sit with the Lord, and seek His peace through His Word and prayer.
As I was walking into the hospital yesterday, someone has written with colored chalk on the sidewalk encouraging messages to the hospital staff about the life-changing ministry they are providing. I had to look up in order to keep from crying because it was so touching I began to get choked up.
I saw a nurse who was sitting by herself in silence, and the stress was evident on her face. She is working on one of the Coronavirus Units. I talked with her and asked her what she does to help her come to a place of peace. She said, “Well, a while ago I went outside to get some fresh air, and I just cried.” I encouraged her to let the tears flow when she needs to, as that is a release. And then, with permission, I prayed with this nurse and invited the Prince of Peace to come and release His peace and protection upon her.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the crucifixion of Christ as we are in the Easter Season. I read from 1 Corinthians 5:6 which says: “…For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.”
I’ve been meditating on that passage: Jesus is our Passover Lamb.
Think about the story of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. On the night that the Lord was sending out the destroyer to strike down the firstborn in the land of Egypt, the Israelites escaped the wrath of God by applying the blood of the Passover Lamb to the lintel and the two doorposts of their home. Any home that had the blood applied to the door frame was passed over by the destroyer.
The Bible says that “…the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Because of the purifying, cleansing, power of the blood of Christ, the wrath of God passes over us, and we come under the protection of our Heavenly Father. That doesn’t mean we won’t have hardships and trials. Remember, Jesus was hung on a cross. But, it does mean that we will never be alone, no matter what we face. And, it means that we are assured a place in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom for eternity. Listen to the account of one of the first people to receive the forgiveness that comes from applying the blood of Christ to their life:
Luke 23:33-43: 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Already, before Jesus had even breathed His last breath, the blood of Jesus was doing it’s cleansing work. All it took was for the thief on the cross to acknowledge His own sins, and to call out to Jesus those nine life changing words: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ”
Jesus didn’t start lecturing him about all of his sins that had led to him being put on the cross as a thief. Jesus didn’t dangle them in front of him in shame. Jesus listened to the repentant heart of this thief and in compassionate love Jesus applied His Passover blood to this thief so that the wrath of God would pass over him and he would have a place in His Father’s Kingdom. 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
This past week, I spoke with at least two people who have family members who have died of the Coronavirus. I’m not in any way suggesting these people died because of their sins. I don’t think this plague is working like that. But, one thing that I hope is happening in this world is that people are taking an inventory of their lives, looking around them at what is important, searching their souls, realizing the brevity and uncertainty of life, and calling out to Jesus in repentance and trust. The blood of Jesus must be applied to all of our lives, if we would choose to have a place in Heaven with Jesus.
I know most if not all of you are likely believers in Christ. But, I want to urge, if in your soul searching you discover that you have never invited Christ into your heart, that you have not turned your life over to Him, or that you have not been living for Him, apply the blood of Jesus to your life by calling out to Him in prayer. It doesn’t take a lot of words. It only took the thief nine words to transform his life, and change his eternal destiny. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. ” Invite Jesus into your life. Surrender to him.
After the resurrection of Jesus, on the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter told the crowd of people who had participated in crucifying Jesus how they could apply the blood of Christ to their lives:
Acts 2:38 states: 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Father, we pray, in Jesus’ Name, that You would awaken the hearts and minds of the people of this world to realize the wonderful love You have shown to us in sending Your Son to die for us. We pray for awaking and revival. We pray that people will be turning to you in faith and repentance. We pray this virus will be obliterated, and that people will pour into Your church with a new zeal for You—eyes fixed upon Jesus. Oh Lord, these are scary times we are living in. But, Jesus is the Prince of peace. Release Your peace and grant Your protection. Provide wisdom and guidance to the leaders of our nation and of Your church. Come, and reveal Yourself to the people of this world. We pray all of this, with love and faith, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.