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Christ Does His Part - Now You Need to Do Yours!

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Christ Does His Part - Now You Need To Do Yours!

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Christ Does His Part - Now You Need to Do Yours!

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The proper response to the deliverance made possible through Christ is obedience and effort to overcome sin. The back-to-back biblical festivals of Passover and Unleavened Bread picture the effort God is expecting us to make after He has redeemed us from the penalty of sin.

Transcript

Your Part in God's Master Plan of Spiritual Creation

The biblical festival of Unleavened bread follows immediately after the biblical festival of Passover. There is no separation between the two. The nanosecond the Passover ends at sundown the first day of unleavened bread begins. Perhaps this is to tell us how closely inter-related the spiritual meaning of both festivals are.

Step 1: Jesus' sacrifice makes possible forgiveness of sin and provides atonement for it. He who was God and was with God came in the flesh to do for us what we could not ever do for our self.

Step 2: After Passover, comes the festival of unleavened Bread which tells us about:

  1. First, the contribution we must make towards God's great purpose for us
  2. AND it points to the help God extends to us through the living risen Christ

My purpose today is to explore both of these aspects of the festival: 

Part 1: We Must Forsake Sin

We are saved by the gracious favor and goodwill of God... But since we are saved does that man we can sit back and relax? Worse yet, that we can disregard the moral instruction found in God's law? No! Romans 3:31 Romans 3:31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yes, we establish the law.
American King James Version×

This is picture in the first unleavened bread festival: Israel was lead out of the fiery furnace that was Egypt. YHWH led them out of bondage with miraculous displays of His might and power.

Under the new covenant we are redeemed from bondage through Christ. Yet, though we are redeemed we are still warned "come out of her my people... do not share in their sins... so you escape their punishment. We is still spiritual growth and development to be done!

The nature of what God expects from those who are redeemed begins with the commandments.  Consider these statements made as part of Moses’ preamble to the second reading of the commandments Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Deuteronomy 4:1-2 [1] Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives you. [2] You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
American King James Version×
, 20
, 44. 

The Proper Response to God’s Deliverance is Obedience

To keep us mindful of our necessary follow-up to our personal forgiveness and redemption embedded in Passover. God has given us the festival of Unleavened Bread. Each depicts a separate and unique step in God’s plan but there is no pause or break between the two. 

Prominently built into the 7 days of Unleavened Bread is a powerful and clear symbol of sin... the common household ingredient LEAVEN. We are commanded to put it our of our homes and not put it into our mouths for the entire 7 days of the festival. It is a reminder that after deliverance we are to be actively engaged in putting sin out of our life… and putting Christ into our life.

 

To observe the Passover and neglect the day of unleavened bread [as some do]... is comparable to accepting Christ's sacrifice and then neglecting to exert any effort in overcoming sin.

Galatians 2:17 Galatians 2:17But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
American King James Version×
 Jesus did not do what He did so we wouldn't have to address sin in our lives! He did it to provide forgiveness and atonement for the times when we fail.

1 Corinthians 5:7b-8 the encouragement and peace we receive at Passover is meant to be followed up on... we follow it up with the de-leavening our lives.

Leviticus 23:5-6 Leviticus 23:5-6 [5] In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD's passover. [6] And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread.
American King James Version×
 they flow together

I have stressed the meaning of the days of unleavened bread as "the part we must play in God's plan of spiritual creation"... Does that mean Christ has no further part to play after His atoning death? No! Christ is very involved in the days of Unleavened Bread.

Part 2: The Life & Work of The Resurrected Christ

Jesus was put to death...

  1. After He had spent 3 days and 3 nights in the grave, He was resurrected
  2. After He was resurrected, He ascended to the throne of Father to present Himself before the Father.

This all happened during the days of unleavened bread!

Built into the days of Unleavened Bread is the message that Christ is not dead... He is alive... and He is actively working on your behalf... as your high priest... to help you put the leaven of sin out of your life.

His assistance is essential to your spiritual development… Essential to moving you towards your own resurrection from physical death... a resurrection to spirit born glory... Like Jesus who has gone ahead of us.

Romans 5:10 Romans 5:10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
American King James Version×
 his death is not about saving you... His death reconciles you with God.

  1. Because of His death you are no longer cut-off from God because of your sin.
  2. Through acceptance of Jesus' death you are brought into contact with God the Father [the supreme life of the universe who holds the power to grant you the gift of eternal life].

Romans 6:3-4 Romans 6:3-4 [3] Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
American King James Version×
 Christ is not a dead savior. He is very much alive ... and  you will be too.

Baptism

A very important feature of your baptism is that you come up out of the water! You do not stay down under the water and drown.... you rise up out of that watery grave. 1 Peter 3:21-22 1 Peter 3:21-22 [21] The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: [22] Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.
American King James Version×
.

1 Corinthians 15:17 1 Corinthians 15:17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins.
American King James Version×
 to observe the Passover but not follow up with  the days of Unleavened Bread would be like being immersed in the water and never coming up... drowning in your sins... dead in your sins. But you do come up out of the water... you are raised from a grave [a watery grave].

Raised to a New Life… of Overcoming Sin

Your Baptism is not a resurrection to eternal spirit born life... its very clearly a resurrection to flesh and blood existence. All people will go through the process:

Everyone will experience physical death in a state of sin. After which, they will be raised back to life in the flesh... granted access to God's spirit... given understanding... and judged based on what they do with this blessing.

  • For most this takes place at the "resurrection of the rest of the dead" [Revelation 20:5 Revelation 20:5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
    American King James Version×
    ,11-13]
  • For you who are called and chosen… this is happening now, it began with your baptism...
    • You died in the flesh in a state of sin… you entered a watery grave
    • You were raised to a new life… yet still flesh and blood
    • During this new life in the flesh you are to overcome sin

What matters is what you do once God's word is opened up to you. What matters is what you do once you have been given unrestricted access to God's holy spirit.

God expects you to exert personal effort in overcoming sin. This is the picture presented to us by the Days of Unleavened Bread. But you do not go through this alone... the resurrected Jesus Christ is with you. His resurrection is pictured by a special feature during the 7 day festival.

The Wave Sheaf Offering

Built into the Days of Unleavened Bread is a special ceremony we call the wave sheaf offering [Leviticus 23:9-14 Leviticus 23:9-14 [9] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [10] Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you be come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest: [11] And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. [12] And you shall offer that day when you wave the sheaf an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering to the LORD. [13] And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD for a sweet smell: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin. [14] And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering to your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
American King James Version×
]. A handful of barley [the first of the spring crops to ripen] it is cut and waved before God [presented to Him]. This presenting of the first of the first-fruits must happen before any further harvesting may occur.

And so it was that Christ was raised up on the day of the wave sheaf offering (the first day of the weekly cycle that occurs during the festival) and He presenting Himself before the Father. This happened at the same time as the wave sheaf offering ceremony was taking place in the temple.

John 20:17 John 20:17Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brothers, and say to them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
American King James Version×
 This had to happen before the next step in God's plan for harvesting many more children could move forward.

John 14:19-21 John 14:19-21 [19] Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. [20] At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. [21] He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
American King James Version×
; 16:7
 Jesus told the disciples that it was necessary that He go but that afterwards He would be with them. And so, He was put to death in the flesh, resurrected to spirit, and restored to the full glory He enjoyed before becoming flesh. In that glorified state He could then be with them and within them through the power of the holy spirit [something He could not do while he was still living within the limitations of the flesh].

The Ongoing Work of Jesus Christ

1 John 1:8 1 John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
American King James Version×
 notice that the apostle John says "we" when referring to the ongoing work of addressing sin in our lives. John is referring to sins that crop up AFTER baptism. This too is pictured in the very first festival of Unleavened Bread.

Israel began marching out of Egypt on the first day of the festival... and after a short while, again during those days, Pharaoh decided he was going to saddle up, chase after them and bring them back into bondage. So, built into the 7 day festival is a picture of sin wanting us back and chasing after us.

For now... Satan remains prince of the present age. He wants to bring you back into bondage. He is able to broadcast attitudes of disobedience and rebellion into society, and into the minds of human beings including yours. Sometimes he gets you and me slip up... we sin. 

At those times Christ is there to help Romans 8:33-34 Romans 8:33-34 [33] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifies. [34] Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
American King James Version×
, Hebrews 7:25-27 Hebrews 7:25-27 [25] Why he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. [26] For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; [27] Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
American King James Version×
; 4: 14-16
.

Matthew 6:12-13 Matthew 6:12-13 [12] And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [13] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
American King James Version×
 ... Jesus' model for prayer includes daily seeking of forgiveness and continuous confrontation with sin. Christ's work is not done... and neither is yours.

So, go before the Father in Jesus Christ's name. Seek grace, mercy, forgiveness. Ask for help in putting sin out [resisting], and in putting righteousness in [following the spirit of God in you]. You have Jesus permission to go straight to the Father seeking all these... and you have the living Christ at the Father's right hand advocating for you.

Christ Living In You

In addition to removal of leaven for 7 days, which is a picture of removing sin... we are to eat unleavened bread... "the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth"... this pictures Christ living in us Romans 8:9-14 Romans 8:9-14 [9] But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. [10] And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. [11] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. [12] Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. [13] For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. [14] For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
American King James Version×
, 2 Corinthians 10:
5.

Conclusion

You confident expectation of resurrection to glory... of being brought into the fullness of sonship in God's family is opened up to you through the death and life of Jesus Christ.

Before His death He said He had to leave... but He would return because there was more to do.

  • We can only fulfill the meaning of the days of unleavened bread by putting out sin.
  • We can only overcome sin because the living Christ is with us and within us.
  • We can only continue to receive forgiveness, mercy and grace through His intercession

The days of unleavened bread are a dramatic reminder of the role we must play in the work of spiritual creation God is doing in us. They are also a reminder that Christ [the first of the first-fruits] is alive, Has presented Himself before the Father, and is actively engaged in helping us along the way.