the perfect sacrifice
Jesus is the Ceremony in which we meet God. His Body is The Intercession for in Him God pleads with Himself for man
So far we’ve been talking about what it meant that Jesus became perfect. We have talked about His Nature as both fully God and fully man. We talked about how His Work was His Person in the sense that He had to have a perfect relationship with God and a perfect relationship with human beings as well. A perfect relationship with God means that He walked before God performing all the works God was performing. He did only what He saw His Father doing
In the last the most recent article, we talked about the Passover and the sacrifice of the lamb. Particularly we emphasized the period of time that occurred before the sacrifice. You see it wasn’t just enough to take a lamb and kill it and put the blood on the door. They had to do it in the way that God told them to do it. This period of time can generally be defined in the word ceremony. Now some ceremonies can be simple like that of Exodus 12 or can be elaborate like that of
Another way to think about the significance of the ceremony is the the analogy of the wedding. Many will say that the most significant part of the wedding is the vow and the kiss. But we should remember that the vow and the kiss are always swallowed up in a ceremony. Depending on the culture, wedding ceremonies can be elaborate and long or brief and small but there is always a ceremony. So also many will say the most important part of a sacrifice is the actual sacrifice but it should not be forgotten that God has clothed the act of sacrifice in a ceremony that has to occur both before and after the sacrifice. The aim of a wedding is the unite the groom and the bride. So also, the point of the sacrifice is to unite two groups: God and the people. In order for the union to occur, God and the people must, like a bride and bridegroom, approach each other in the decorated space and the orchestrated time known as a ceremony.
Now we will begin with a statement that may be difficult to understand but will be explained shortly. Jesus is the Ceremony in which we meet God. Now this may sound odd. How can a person be an event?! Well, let us remember what Jesus said in
God - The Lamb - The People
In many ways, showing how Jesus is our place and occasion for meeting God has been the whole point of learning how Jesus was made perfect. As we said the Perfection of Jesus encompassed many things and among them was His Perfect relationship with God and His Perfect relationship with us, human beings. Jesus is the ultimate mediator, broker, intercessor. Because He knows God and God approves of Him
But that previous paragraph was so dry. Let me tell you a story you have often heard before. Once upon a time there was a young prince who lived well in the palace of his father the king. Now the king was wise and kind and as the prince grew up, he came to possess a good heart just like his father. One day, as the prince was walking through the city surrounded by his personal guard, he saw a girl about his age standing on the corner. Her clothes were old and ragged and she stood there begging for coin or bread. He turned to one of his soldiers and asked, “Who is that girl?”. The soldier did not know. After all, there were many such beggars in the streets. The prince was lost in the depths of thought though his feet continued to move along the road to his father’s house.
When he arrived home, he said to his father the king, “I have met a woman and she is lovely. I want to marry her.”The king was delighted and excited and said to him, “Tell me all about her.”“Well father,” the son said, “her clothes are the latest fashion among her people. She is an entrepreneur and works hard to find wealth wherever possible.”The king perceived that she was a beggar and said to his son, “Son, I see that you see more in this woman than is actually there. She is a beggar and does not know the ways of the Palace. You cannot marry her…”“But father,” the prince interrupted, “I may be seeing into her what she isn’t right now but I know in my heart that she can be more than what she is now.”“Well son, if you would let me finish,” said the king, “I was going to say you cannot marry her unless you teach her the ways of the kingdom.”
And so the prince walked away thinking and planning what he would do. He knew that he couldn’t just show up and meet her in his fancy clothes and riding a horse. She would be too overwhelmed and would do whatever he said but she would never have the heart that he and his father possessed. He had no choice. He had to leave the palace, leave the clothes and leave the soldiers. He had to dress like her, smell like her and talk like her so that he could get to know her and she could get to know him. Yet through his actions, he let her know that he was the prince. And when she asked where he was from and why he had a strange accent, he would tell her that he was the prince and his father was the king. She might then call him crazy, or she might call him a liar but maybe, out of curiosity, she would stay. And he hoped, that in time, she would come to believe him and eventually recognized him as lord. All the while, he would hope and pray that as they got to know each other, she would acquire his heart. For only after she knew the ways of the kingdom, could he take her to meet his father. And exactly as he had thought, the prince did.
Many, many, many years later, the prince returned to the kingdom with the woman by his side. They both wore tattered clothes and their faces were covered in dirt. The prince had acquired old scars and the woman had newer ones but the king immediately recognized his son and embraced him. The son, momentarily escaping the embrace, took the hands of the woman beside him and turning to his father, he said him, “Father, if you will receive us, this is my bride. I have come to know her and she has come to know me. She has my heart even as I have your own.” The father, without hesitation, embraced the woman and said to her, “Welcome home my daughter. Since my son left so many years ago, I filled every second with a longing to meet you.”
As the story above shows, the ceremony was more than just the fanfare and food surrounding the later wedding. The ceremony began when the prince went out to make the woman his bride by entering into a relationship with her. He had to do it this way so that he could eventually take her to meet his father. This story in many ways reflects the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The cross, the sacrifice of Jesus, is a meeting place for God and the people. The cross would not be the cross if Jesus didn’t actually bring anybody to the cross. And how could He have brought people without first knowing them? Therefore, He had to form relationships with the people around Him.
Yet, He couldn’t just do it the way He wanted. He had to do it the way God wanted. Otherwise, He would have exchanged the good Heart of the Father for the corrupt heart of the people. Had He become corrupted, then the Father would not have recognized Him when He returned to the Kingdom and again, the people could not have been introduced to the Father. So again we say, the Work of Jesus was His Person. He was Perfect in relationship to us and Perfect in His Walk with the Father. Only those who know and relate to Jesus, can meet the Father.