Understanding the Cross


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I am going to post a few pages from a book by Rob Bell and Don Golden titled, ‘Jesus Wants to Save Christians.’ It has helped me understand the meaning of the cross in a different way.

"…A meal unlike any other.

And central to this Passover meal is the command never to forget it. They are told to set aside the date and make it the beginning of their calendar, because time will now be marked by this event.

“When your children ask you,… then tell them, ‘It is Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”

A lamb sacrificed for the people becomes the flash point for God’s revolution. Blood on the doorposts of the house of Israel.

This event took on significance later, as the exiles in Babylon made connections between their situation and their ancestors’ slavery in Egypt. As the prophets painted bigger and wider pictures of what the new exodus would look like, they realized that all of creation was in a sort of exile and for all of creation to leave exile and come home it would take more than the blood of an innocent lamb.

Sin would have to be dealt with in an entirely new way.

The prophets described a suffering servant, a firstborn child among God’s firstborn nation who would take upon himself the burden not only of Israel’s exile, but of the exile of all of humanity.

Isaiah said that a first born son of Israel would emerge and he would be despised and rejected, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. The suffering he would endure would be such that people would hide their faces from him; he would take the pain and suffering of others upon himself. he would not look like the powerful rulers of empire, but would be considered punished by God, stricken and afflicted.

The prophet Isaiah promised that someday, suffering and exiled Israel would produce a suffering servant who would not be spared. This sacrificial lamb would be a man, a firstborn son, and he would take the path not of violence and coercion, but of sacrifice.

Just before the birth of Jesus, Joseph returned to Bethlehem, “the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David,” where Mary “gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”

Jesus the lamb,

but a different kind of lamb.

A son of David,

but a different kind.

God’s firstborn.

(cont…)

(backstory - “A son of David, but a different kind.” - Jesus was referred to by people as “son of David,” when people did this they were asking Him if He was the Messiah who was expected to come. Another son of David was Solomon. Solomon build his empire on the backs of slaves (something God told Israel not to do) which led to Israel’s exile in Babylon - Solomon was an oppressor. Jesus was a son of David, “but a different kind,” a liberator.)


#2

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