Fred R. Coulter—March 31, 2012

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to the Sabbath before Passover. This year Passover is on a Friday, and this year you can get a real good instruction by looking at the time-sequence that Jesus could not have been crucified on a Friday. There is absolutely no way that there would be three days and three nights for Him to be in the grave.

This is why it is only when the Passover is in the middle of the week.

  • Isn’t that interesting, because that’s the fourth day of the week?
  • Isn’t it interesting that on the fourth day of creation God set the sun, moon and earth in their proper adjusted form for the appointed times, which relate to the Holy Days?
  • Isn’t it interesting that from the time Jesus was put into the tomb until He ascended to the Father was again four days?

You go back to when the Passover lamb was selected on the tenth day of the first month you have four days. Four is intricately involved in the Passover. The truth is, God’s plan is so great and so marvelous and so fantastic that His death was planned from the foundation of the world, as we find in Rev. 13:8. Isn’t that something? God already made provision for the redemption of mankind before He created Adam and Eve!

Now we find that it’s very, very interesting that in God creating Adam and Eve, they were made a little lower than God, were made in the image of God and the main reasons for that:

  • so we can enter into the Family of God when the plan of salvation is complete
  • so that Jesus could become a man

It’s quite a thing that happened there! We’ve gone over about the sin of Adam and Eve many, many times, but let’s look and see the very first prophecy that God would have to die, because the Passover really is the day that God, manifested in the flesh, died ‘for the sin of the world.’ It is the one major sin, the sin of Adam, which came to be in all human beings—which is called by Paul in Rom. 7 ‘the law of sin and death’ in us.

God put that there after Adam and Eve had sinned and it’s passed on to all human beings as part of their very nature. Someone is going to say, ‘Well, that’s not fair for God to do that.’ We do not realize how great the sin of Adam and Eve really was. However, since God has given free moral agency, and since man is now with a sinful nature, God had to determine what He was going to do. Already preplanned from the foundation of the world.

Let’s come here to Genesis 3 and let’s see the very first prophecy concerning the coming Messiah. Let’s see their excuses when God caught them. Adam and Eve hid themselves and they were afraid of God. God knew where they were, but He wanted to find out if they would come to Him.

When they finally came to Him, Genesis 3:11: “And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?’” Here again we find the very simple thing that God always desires of everyone: Obey My voice! Those three simple words define the entirety of the Bible and man’s relationship to Him.

Verse 12: “And the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’” Adam was responsible to not let her touch the tree or pick the fruit. He was right with her when she picked it. Now, like everything else, all those who never want to accept responsibility for what they do, they blame someone else. So, Adam said, ‘Look, God, it’s Your fault! You gave me this woman and she gave me the fruit and I ate it. It’s her fault, not my fault.’ Who is to be the head of the family? The husband!

Verse 13: “And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” ‘It’s not my fault! It’s the serpent’s fault.’ We need to understand this: Whenever there is free moral agency, we have choices! When we make the choice and we make the decision, we own it and we are responsible before God!

Since the case being that human beings are weak in the flesh, God has made provision, v 14: “And the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman… [there’s also a type of the Church being the woman] …and between your seed and her Seed…’” (vs 14-15)—the One Who became Jesus Christ, and the One Who became Jesus Christ was the second one in the Family of Elohim.

We’ll see what Jesus had to do to become a human being. We’ll also understand something very important here, Jesus Christ inspired all the prophecies concerning what would happen to Him when He became ‘the Lamb of God slain for the sin of the world.’ It was quite a thing that took place. We’re going to see that there is also another way of defining this. We’ll get to that when the time comes.

“‘…He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel’” (v 15). This means that Christ is going to put an end to all the works of Satan the devil. Remember, he sinned right after the creation of the earth. When the earth was created all the ‘sons of God’—being the angels—‘sang for joy’ and rejoiced when God laid the foundation of the world.

There are indications in the Bible that the angels inhabited the earth before their rebellion, and then their rebellion caused God to destroy everything that was on the earth under the jurisdiction of the one who became Satan and the third of the angels that fell. We don’t have all the details of it, but we know in Rev. 12 it says that ‘that old serpent who is Satan the devil’ in the war that was in heaven took a ‘third of the stars’—the angels—with him and they became the demons. God knew what was going o happen. God understood it.

Now the judgment continues, v 16: “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children. Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ And to Adam He said, ‘Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife… [instead of Me (God)] …and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it!”—the ground is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life’” (vs 16-17).

Is that not true? Take a look around the world and see what a horrible and terrible place that it really, really is. Outside of a few countries that God has blessed for the sake of Abraham and for the preaching of the Gospel—and even there more sin, more wretchedness is growing and multiplying every year—look at the rest of the world.

  • They need salvation!
  • They need the return of Jesus Christ!
  • They need the Kingdom of God!

That’s why God has called us, and this is why the Passover is so important. The Passover, as we’re going to see, is the very fulcrum, the very beginning of exactly what God wants to do with us in our relationship with God.

Then He continued here in v 18: “It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and thus you shall eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (vs 18-19). That’s the judgment that is on all human beings.

We find in Rom. 5 that because of the sin of one man—the transgression—sin entered into the world; that is into the human realm. By sin came death! And death passed into all mankind, so we all have the ‘law of sin and death’ in us. That’s why we need the redemption through Jesus Christ.

  • That is the only redemption!
  • That is the only forgiveness!
  • There is none other!

You have all of these ‘religions’ in the world trying to make man better. You have all the secular things in the world trying to make man better. You have man out doing things, even fantastic things:

  • trying to extend his life
  • trying to find immortality
  • trying to find the perfect way to live
  • trying to find the perfect government

But like Solomon said, it’s like ‘chasing after wind.’ Or like a rainbow, you can never get to the end of the rainbow, though you see it. That’s just the way that life is.

So, they were removed from the Garden and you know the story that took place. You know what happened with Cain and Abel, and you know what happened with the offspring there and the necessity of the Flood (Gen. 6), because man became so evil. As we covered in Transhumanism there was great reason for God doing it. Isn’t it something that the potential for mankind is so fantastic—that we become the sons and daughters of God—and yet, on the other hand, so destructive in following Satan the devil, that mankind came to the point that he was so sinful and transgressing everything that God had to destroy all life from off the face of the earth with the Flood!

After the Flood men began again, and you know what happened. They started following Nimrod and his ilk and they re-established the way of Cain on this side of the Flood. They again tried to do the things of going to heaven. God had to say that ‘nothing they imagined to do will be restrained from them,’ so God came down and confounded the languages of man. The world became so wrapped up in sin and idolatry and Satan-worship! This year we had a good example of that during the Superbowl. Nothing but paganism! Nothing but Babylonianism! Nothing but worshipping the goddess! And in this case played out by a woman called Madonna! Yet, the world accepts it: ‘Oh, this is wonderful, this is great!’

What God has to do in instances like that—because the world is so evil, and mankind, by choice, has rejected God and has chosen to worship Satan the devil and go Satan’s way and live in sin—it comes down to one man. That one man on this side of the Food was Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham. The Bible is the account of how God is going to solve the problem of human sin and redeem mankind.

Abraham was one man. He was told to get out of his country. And as we read this, I want you to understand how very similar this is to the requirements of the New Testament, that if you’re going to follow Christ you’ve got to love God more than your father, mother, brother, sister, lands, children and yes, your own life, and you have to pick up your cross and follow Christ.

Genesis 12:1: “And the LORD said to Abram, ‘Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house into a land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed’” (vs 1-3). What a tremendous promise!

What do we see? God reveals this to Abram; then He reveals more to Abram,then He reveals more to Abram. In this case when He changed his name to Abraham. That’s tremendous! It’s through the seed of Abraham that the blessings that there are in the world exist.

Genesis 15—here we find the second prophecy concerning the Passover, concerning the death of God in the flesh. This was a special irrevocable covenant to Abraham. God made this covenant with him; God took the pledge of death. And God has fulfilled that promise! Not all the promises have been completely fulfilled, because from Abraham and through his seed comes down not only to our day, but into the Millennium and from the Millennium on into the new heavens and the new earth, as the spiritual Family of God grows great. See how God has done this. We live in the end-times so we’re able to see a lot of these things and understand that weren’t understood before. We have the whole Bible so we can know and understand the plan of God, so we can know what to do—what God desires us to do—and to preach the Gospel and to serve the Church.

God promised that He would make Abraham a great nation, but He hadn’t given him any children. The law would be that if one of your servants, that you selected, could be in place of the lack of your own children and be the heir. Abram asked God that, because he hadn’t received the promise of anyone born from him. God told him, ‘No, he’s not going to be your heir, but one out of your own loins shall be your heir.’

Now God did a tremendous thing, and this is still awe inspiring to men when they look out and see the universe. Do you know that they’re still discovering suns and galaxies and things in the universe that they didn’t even realize were out there. God is so great and so fantastic and so loving, good, kind and powerful. He wants us to be redeemed from sin, so He has to provide the way. The plan of God is going to be fulfilled.

Genesis 15:5: “And He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your seed be.’” You can’t count the stars; there’s no way! Even today they’re still finding stars out there that they didn’t even know existed. This was an impossible task.

This is a type that in order to become a son of God it’s an impossible task for us to do on our own. We can only do it with God’s help, with God’s Spirit, with God’s Word.

Verse 6: “And he believed in the LORD…. [He believed what the LORD said to him.] …And He accounted it to him for righteousness.” There are other things that we must do, and the things that we do then perfects the righteousness of our faith and belief. If you believe and have no works, you have no faith, because faith requires works.

Abraham wanted to know how he was going to receive this, and v 9: “And He said to him, ‘Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle, and laid each piece opposite the other; but he did not divide the birds” (vs 9-10). This was in the day portion. He had taken him out at night and then in the day portion of what later became the Passover Day he had Abraham perform what is called a maledictory sacrifice and oath, because he was to make a covenant.

Let me explain about a covenant: A covenant is not of any force. If the covenant maker does not bring a sacrifice where there is shed blood, and the sacrifice of a special kind where the animals are cut down the middle and laid on each side with a path down between them, then the one who makes the covenant—in this case God—must walk the covenant walk. And with that covenant walk he declares ‘I will fulfill this covenant. And if I do not I shall likewise die.’

Let’s see what happened. He did that, Abram laid them out there; v 11: “And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And it came to pass, as the sun was going down, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!” (vs 11-12). We can understand from the New Testament looking back that this was a symbolic type of death that Abraham experienced in this dream, which symbolized the death of Jesus Christ. Of course, with the death of Jesus Christ many things were accomplished.

Verse 13: “And He said to Abram, ‘You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, (and shall serve them and afflict them) four hundred years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance’” (vs 13-14).

Now after the sun had gone down then here’s what happened; a spectacular thing occurred for God to guarantee that He would fulfill this covenant. Verse 17: “And it came to pass—when the sun went down and it was dark—behold, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between those pieces.” What happened? They were probably all consumed! What does that mean? That God’s Word, that He would fulfill this pledge, this covenant, this irrevocable covenant to Abraham completely! Those animals were completely consumed. Then He promised to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

Now let’s see where God went one step further with this. All of this has to do with the coming Passover. Here we find, in this case, that God said to Abraham, Genesis 22:2 “…‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you.’” Abraham obeyed! He didn’t argue and fight with God! He obeyed and took Isaac his son who, at that time, was around 15-years-old (as best we’re able to figure); a couple of other young men went with him (which is interesting, too) and they took the wood and pot of coal and went three day’s journey over to the mountains of Moriah.

Then it came time for the sacrifice of Isaac. At this time Abraham was old. At this time Isaac was 15-years old, so here we have a type of God the Father and a type of the Son of the Father Who would be Jesus Christ, though He would be much older when the crucifixion took place.

They left the two men with the donkeys and they went up on the mountain. Abraham put the wood on Isaac’s back and he carried it up. Isaac said, ‘I see the wood and I see the coals of fire, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice.’ Abraham said, ‘My son, the Lord will provide.’ He didn’t know how. He didn’t know the way. But he also knew, as we find in Heb. 11, that he was willing to do this because he trusted God so much that he realized and was convinced and had full faith in the fact that if Isaac died God would raise him from the dead. You know the story. Abraham made the altar, bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar with the wood that he had put down and was ready to take the knife and cut his son’s throat. As he was reaching down for the knife the angel of Lord said, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ Let’s see what happened:

Verse 11: “And the angel of the LORD called to him from the heavens and said, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’…. [I guess so!] …And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me’” (vs 11-12).

Look at all the time that took place in Abraham’s life. From 75 to 115-years-old what do we have? Forty years! Forty is the number of trial and he passed this trial and test. What happened? Verse 13: “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked. And, behold, behind him a ram was entangled in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide; so that it is said until this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it will be provided’” (vs 13-14).

Notice what happened here, because everything else in the Bible is contingent upon these next few verses. Many people don’t understand that. In the Old Testament we have the fore-type, and we have those things that relate to us once we have the understanding of the rest of the Bible looking back at it. We have understanding that was not understood by Abraham. They have evidence of what God has done that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never really saw fulfilled. As a matter of fact, Abraham himself never inherited the land that God promised to give him. He was only a sojourner in it.

Notice what God did, v 15: “And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, ‘By Myself have I sworn’…” (vs 15-16). Let’s stop and think about this for a minute. Men swear by something greater than themselves to guarantee that their word is true. God’s Word is always true, because God cannot and will not lie! God doesn’t need to swear, here He did. He did it show that now the covenant that He made with Abraham in Gen. 15—and that goes back to Gen. 3:15 of the coming Messiah—that now the promises given to Abraham—physically for the physical Israel and spiritually for the spiritual seed of the Church—would be irrevocable. No other conditions. Abraham met all the conditions.

“…‘By Myself have I sworn… [you can’t have greater than that; no assurance greater than that] …says the LORD, ‘because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’” (vs 15-18). Far different from Adam! There’s the key! If you want any measurement on how you’re doing, ask yourself:

  • Are you obeying the voice of God?
  • How are you doing?
  • Are you striving?
  • Are you growing?
  • Are you overcoming?
  • Are you believing?
  • Are you doing the things that God desires?

Everyone wants the blessings that come from God, but only those who respond to God and obey His voice are the ones who are going to receive the blessings and the inheritance. There it was, irrevocable.

Then we come down to the time of the children of Israel coming out of the land of Egypt. Here in Exodus 12 is the first Passover of the children of Israel. So, you had Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the 12 sons of Jacob, and they all came down into Egypt, multiplied and became a great nation there. Now came time to fulfill the promise that God gave to Abraham, that He would take them out of Egypt and bring them to the ‘promised land’ that He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After all the plagues and all of the miracles and forcing the Egyptians. Pharaoh was a type of Satan the devil and Satan doesn’t want to let his captives go. But God intervened to release them, just like it is today. Satan doesn’t want to let us go, but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—and His shed blood—Satan MUST let us go! God is redeeming us, just like here. He redeemed and spared the firstborn of the children of Israel.

We’ve got the book: The Christian Passover. It’s a big, thick book and every page in that book is necessary because, as we know, the Passover is so important. That’s the central focus of our beginning relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ—and Satan knows it! This is why there are so many perverted methods of taking what is the Passover—Communion or Eucharist. All these things are to confuse! All these things are to draw away from what God wants you to do!

Here in Exodus 12 God instructed them on the 10th day of the 1st month they were to take a lamb, set it aside, and then as the 14th day came—again #4—they were to take the lamb and between the two evenings—after sunset and before dark they were go ahead and sacrifice that lamb, take some of the blood of it and they were to take the blood and sprinkle it on the upper doorpost and the two side-lintels or the two sideposts of the door and when God saw the blood at midnight on the Passover night He would pass over and spare the firstborn of the children of Israel and their firstborn flocks and animals. But He would destroy and exterminate the firstborn of the Egyptians and their animals. This was a terrible night for the Egyptians. It is called the Passover of the Lord!

Exodus 12:11: “…It is the LORD’S Passover.” So, God killed the firstborn in the land of Egypt. He told the children of Israel to stay in their houses until sunrise. So, at sunrise on the day portion of the Passover, they came and assembled in Rameses for the exodus, which was to begin. They had everything all prepared. As they assembled at Rameses they finished spoiling the Egyptians taking gold and silver and raiment and things like this, because that would be needed for what God wanted them to do.

We find something very interesting here, which shows how God fulfilled what He said to the very day in His covenant with Abraham. Let’s pick it up in v 40: “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years, and it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day, all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt” (vs 40-41). Just as God had promised.

Since that is such a fantastic day, this is why we have the sequence of the days that we observe. The Passover is observed the night before. Then the next night is a ‘night to be much observed’ for taking the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; so they were starting to go out of the land of Egypt.

Verse 42: “It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations.” Then we have seven days of Unleavened Bread. There are many symbolic things concerning unleavened bread:

  • leaven is a type of sin
  • leaven is a type of vanity

This is during the Days of Unleavened Bread. When it’s not the Days of Unleavened Bread those things are not sin. But God chose leaven to show us how that literally sin is everywhere, and the only way we’re going to get rid of sin and overcome sin is to actively put it out of our lives and to follow God’s way and believe what He says. There is a twofold thing that we do with the Feast of Unleavened Bread’

  • We are to put out sin
  • We are to put in the righteousness of Christ—living God’s way through God’s Spirit

All of those things we’ll come to here in just a bit, but what I want you to do is see the overview of how the Passover was developed. It was determined by God before the foundation of the world that this would happen and that Jesus prophesied everything that would take place when He was the true spiritual Passover Lamb of God.

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Let’s continue on with the Passover of Christ and what he did. We’re going to see some things now concerning it. We’ll just summarize several things so we can get a overview of it. We know that the children of Israel, after they wandered in the desert for 40 years, got into the ‘promised land.’ We know that their times of faithfulness were very few in-between. However, whenever they returned to God we find that it was the Passover that was the central thing that brought them back to God.

We know the history of it. We know what happened to Israel, carried off into captivity—the northern ten tribes. Then we know what happened to Judah, they were carried off into Babylon and then after 70 years some of the Jews came back so that there would be a way and to prepare—through the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel 9—for the coming of the Messiah.

What God did was really a tremendous thing, because this was prepared from the foundation of the world. Also, let’s see what God had to do. What is it that Jesus had to do to become that sacrifice? You know that in the New Testament everyone loves to read the Scripture in John 3:16. The world has an understanding that it took of the death of Jesus Christ, but they don’t really comprehend what it is that Jesus did in order to become that sacrifice. Very few understand that Jesus Himself, before He became a human being, prophesied exactly what would happen to Him. He knew how absolutely the worse thing that could happen to any man happened to Jesus Christ.

Everyone loves this verse, because they want the love of God. But the truth is you don’t receive the love of God until you are in covenant with Him. God loves the world, yes. He sends them rain and food, yes. But those things have nothing to do with eternal salvation. You must enter into a covenant relationship with God, depicted by the Passover and to take the Passover in the way that God has said in order to be in that covenant of eternal life. We’re going to see that’s because of what God did in order to become a human being.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life…. [notice the may—that means there are conditions; that’s built right into the Greek] … For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him’” (vs 16-17).

Yes, that is true! But what did God do? Where it says that “…He gave His only begotten Son…”—what did that involve? How was God able to do this? Many times we look at our circumstances and we think: Boy! God has called us to some pretty tough stuff! I wonder if God really knows what I’m going through? Yes, He does! He knows every hair on your head. He knows your thoughts. God knows!

Very few have asked the question: What did God go through? How did He anticipate going through what He was to experience? Well, at the set time, Jesus was to be born; all of these are the appointed times of God. Let’s come to Philippians, the second chapter, and let’s see what God had to do. This is why He ‘made man in His image, after His likeness,’ so that we can become after the God-kind. However, in order for us to become after the God-kind, God had to become human. And because God is the One Who gave the judgment that the law of sin and death would be in all human beings, He had to die! He had to give His life as a human being! There could be no law; there could be no other sacrifice of anything other than God Himself. That’s why there are two in Elohim: one Who became the Father, the other Who became the Son.

At the set time to fulfill John 3:16 here is what Jesus had to do. This is the kind of mind, from being converted, we are to grow into. This is a tremendous thing when you understand it: That we come to have the same mind in the flesh with God’s Spirit that Jesus had when He was in the flesh with God’s Spirit. We can’t develop the mind of Christ that He has now as a spirit being until the resurrection.

Philippians 2:5: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (vs 5-6). What did God do? Know that God in His full spiritual strength no one can look upon Him and live and exist! He had to give how much of Himself to become God manifested in the flesh? It tells us right here:

Verse 7: “But emptied Himself…” Divested Himself of His glory and of His power to become a pinpoint of life, to be impregnated in the womb of the virgin Mary and to be born as a human infant. Think on that! Why did He do this? So no one could say to God, ‘God, You know that You’ve been up in heaven all this time and we’re down here on this earth and we’re subject to Satan the devil and you really don’t understand what it’s like to be born as a human being.’

NO! God had to experience everything that it was to be human, then to die the most horrendous ignominious death of any human being

  • to submit Himself to the cruelties of man
  • to submit Himself for the penalty of sin

Yes, and even to

  • let Satan, as it was prophesied to ‘bruise His heel’ (Gen. 3:15)

In the sacrifice He gave, He overcame all that Satan the devil has done or can do to human beings. He overcame all human nature. He divested Himself!

“…and was made in the likeness of men…” (v 7). Not some half-man/half-God; He was in the likeness—‘homoiomate’—the very same likeness of men, and He took upon Himself the law of sin and death and He had to live a life without ever sinning and activating that law of sin and death within Him (Rom. 8). Therefore, when He died there could be no greater sacrifice than what He did.

“…and took the form of a servant….” (v 7). No great mucky-muck. It even says that He wasn’t something that we could look upon and desire Him. It says in Isa. 53 that He was despised! He was rejected! He was crushed! And Jesus was the One Who gave that prophecy to Isaiah. He took upon Himself our sins!

“…and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (vs 8-11). That’s a summary of the whole result of what Jesus did in becoming a man.

We also know that it says in Isa. 50:6 that He gave His back to the smiters and spitting and shame and those that tear off the hair; there’s the beard. It says in Isa. 52 that His visage was so marred, more than the sons of men! It says in Psa. 22 that even David was given the words of what Christ would think and do on the cross.

  • Jesus knew all of this!
  • He understood what He had to do!
  • He always kept His mind on God the Father!
  • He always kept His mind on the Kingdom of God!
  • He always kept His mind on doing the things that were necessary to redeem mankind and to be that complete sacrifice for the sins of the world!

When Jesus began preaching the Gospel He said to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand! And believe the Gospel!

This is the teaching of Jesus Christ. Now let’s come to the book of John and let’s see what Jesus said, because He was dedicated. We know that He started His ministry beginning with the 40-day temptation by Satan the devil. We also know that He came suddenly to the temple, as prophesied in Mal. 3. He drove out all of those who were selling and buying in the temple and said, ‘Get these things out of here and don’t make My Father’s house a house of merchandise.’

Then we also know that He chose the disciples. But let’s come to John 4:34, because we need to look at the work that Jesus was going to do. We will see there are three major phases:

1.       the ministry that He was given to do

2.       the day of the crucifixion

3.       the completion of God’s plan (Rev. 20:6)—It is done!

John 4:34: “Jesus said to them, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work.’” It was the work of God the Father through Him. He did as the Father taught Him. He did as the Father commanded Him. He said that ‘the words I speak to you, these are the words of the Father.’ It was the Father, through Christ, Who was redeeming the whole creation to Himself.

He said in another place, because He understood what it was going to be like, Luke 12:50. Let’s add something into the crucifixion of Christ that perhaps you haven’t thought of before or looked at it this way. But this is how Jesus looked at it. I want you to think on this because this is going to help us understand what Jesus went through.

Luke 12:50: “For I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how burdened I am until it be accomplished!” What was that baptism? He had already been baptized in water by John the Baptist. This baptism was the work of the crucifixion! Let’s see what that was like here. He also said this in Matt. 20, because the mother of John and James wanted her two sons to be right there on the right hand and left hand of Jesus. When He said, ‘No, it’s not Mine to give’ He told them:

Matthew 20:22: “…‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ And He said to them, ‘You shall indeed drink of My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at My right hand and at My left hand is not Mine to give, but shall be given to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father’” (vs 22-23).

James did suffer a beheading. That was a terrible ordeal! John was thrown into a boiling caldron of oil, but God spared him and he wasn’t hurt at all. He was taken out of the boiling oil and then afterward that’s when he received the book of Revelation.

I want to focus in on this baptism of Jesus. I want to focus in on what that meant. I want to focus in on what Jesus said. His ministry was completed before He was arrested. Let’s come to John 17:4—in His final prayer to the Father, Jesus said: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do.’” He finished preaching. He finished everything necessary to lay the foundation for the New Testament Church, with the 12 apostles, with the 120 that would be there after He was resurrected from the dead.

Verse 5: “And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed.” Jesus was looking forward to that, because He understood what it was going to be. He understood what He was going to go through. He understood the violent and fearful death that He was going to go through, and that was the crucifixion.

His baptism then was to be baptized, not in a tub of blood, but in His own blood to shed His own blood and go through everything that He did:

  • the trial
  • the beating
  • the scourging
  • the mocking

—so that, brethren, we can be saved and have our sins forgiven.

Now let’s come to the book of Hebrews and let’s see this; let’s see what Jesus went through. This is quite something for us to understand. Jesus had to do it first; yes, indeed! We are called to walk in His footsteps. Notice what God has done, how great this was, this baptism unto death, that He was burdened, that He was so fearful of not being able to finish it. He knew that everything in God’s plan hinged upon this day, the Passover Day, that He died the death to save the world.

Hebrews 1:1: “God, Who spoke to the fathers at different times in the past and in many ways by the prophets, has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; Who, being the brightness of His glory and the exact image of His person… [He divested Himself of all of that to become a human being] …and upholding all things by the word of His own power…” (vs 1-3). Jesus said that ‘all authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Me.’ He upholds the universe by the ‘word of His power.’

“…when He had by Himself…” (v 3). That’s why He had to be alone on the cross. That’s why He prophesied the words and later spoke them: ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani! Jesus would experience everything that any human being and the depravation of their life would experience so that His sacrifice—His alone—could pay for the sins of the world.

“…that’s why purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (v 3). He had to do it by Himself!

Hebrews 2 talks about Jesus. It talks about the goal of human beings. This becomes very important for us to understand, brethren. Hebrews 2:5: “For it is not to the angels that He has placed in subjection the world that is to come, of which we are speaking.” NO! The sons of God! The daughters of God! Those who will enter into Kingdom of God in the first resurrection, as we know. But none of that could be possible without what Jesus did to give His life, to become a human being, to take upon Him the law of sin and death and never yield once to any temptation. To be sinless, that perfect sacrifice.

Verse 6: “But in a certain place one fully testified, saying, ‘What is man, that You are mindful of him, or the son of man, that You visit him? You did make him a little lower than the angels…’” (vs 6-7). The Hebrew says ‘a little lower than God.’ The Greek Septuagint says ‘angels’ and this is what it’s quoted from, so therefore, it says ‘angels’ here. Human beings have been made lower than the angels, too. Christ was made lower than the angels for the suffering of death.

“‘…You did crown him with glory and honor, and You did set him over the works of Your hands; You did put all things in subjection under his feet.’….” (vs 7-8). Look, we have dominion over the whole earth and everything that is here. How much better would the world be even just in the ‘letter of the law’ if people would do what God has said that they need to do. It would be totally different than what it is today. I know! I go through times when my heart goes out in great compassion and sorrow to see the things that go on in this world. To see the killing, the bludgeoning and all of the so-called ‘natural’ disasters in the world, and to know that what is ahead is even worse.

Jesus knew all of this! He prophesied all of this! We have the whole Bible today to tell us all these things—right? We need to ask ourselves, because to ‘much is given, much is required’: Since we have all of these things what must we need to be doing? How must we need to be doing it with all our might, with zeal, with faith and with understanding! Yes, indeed!

“…For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that was not subjected to him. But now… [at this present time; before the return of Christ] …we do not yet see all things subjected to him” (v 8)—because we’re not ready! We have to become spirit beings in order for that to occur. And in order for that to occur, Jesus had to come and with the baptism of the crucifixion and the shedding of His blood, literally baptized in His blood as it just poured out upon Him, down His chest, down His back and down His legs and the spear thrust in His side by the soldier to get rid of the very last drop of blood that Jesus had to be shed on this earth!

Verse 9: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death… [of God manifested in the flesh] …in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone.” Think of that! That’s why Jesus did it. But it was something that He had to go through, a baptism of blood unto death!

Notice how God views this, and only the blood of Jesus Christ can redeem all the blood and killing and bludgeoning and shedding of human blood on this earth that men have done.

Delores and I were talking here a while back, and we were looking at some of the things that they’re putting on television about what’s going to happen in the book of Revelation and some of those were pretty accurate. We were thinking: my, they just don’t have any understanding—do they? They can understand the flow of some things, but they don’t put everything together. They really do not understand how absolutely fantastic, how absolutely so God-given is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the shedding of His blood! His blood—because He is the blood avengeris the only thing that can avenge all the killing and suffering and human blood that has been shed from the blood of Abel to the last human being that sheds their blood.

Verse 10: “Because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings”—the suffering of the baptism of blood by crucifixion and scourging. You think on that! That’s what Jesus Christ has done. Oh, yes, the world says that Jesus ‘died for your sins’ and they don’t have clue!

Verse 11: “For both He Who is sanctifying and those who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” This is part of the joy that Jesus was looking to, and He despised the shame of the crucifixion; despised the things that were going to be brought against Him. He received the strength of God in that prayer in Gethsemane where He was praying and His sweat became great drops of blood falling to the ground, because He knew what He was going to go through.

Verse 12: “[He is] saying, ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the Church I will sing praise to You.’ And again, ‘I will be trusting in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me’” (vs 12-13). That’s at the resurrection. Think of this: We’re all on the Sea of Glass and there’s Jesus. We see God the Father and Jesus is standing right up front there before God the Father and He turns and says to the Father: ‘Behold, all the children You have given Me.’ They’re all the saints from Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, and all the saints down through time. And the last two who were martyred for Christ, the two witnesses. We’re all there to say, ‘Hallelujah, Amen!’

Notice what it says concerning the sacrifice of Christ and this baptism by a bloody death, v 14: “Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner… [in the same way; in exactly the same way] …He also took part in the same, in order that through death He might annul him who has the power of death—that is, the devil.” That goes right back to where we started in Gen. 3:15. Yes, all the works of the devil are going to be annulled. That’s how important the death and sacrifice of Christ really was.

Verse 15: “And that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death…. [in the bondage of sin; in the bondage of Satan the devil] …For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the seed of Abraham” (vs 15-16). And if you are Christ’s, ‘you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.’ It goes right back, again, to where we started. You see how all of this comes through the whole Bible. This is fantastic!

Verse 17: “For this reason, it was obligatory… [no other way around it. If God is just; if God is righteous; if God is fair—since He put this on human beings He took it upon Himself—think of that! That’s why He had to die such a brutal death!] …for Him to be made like His brethren in everything that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered, having been tempted in like manner, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (vs 17-18).

Did you know that through this God was perfected? What I mean by that, isn’t God perfect? Yes, He is, but He became more perfect! Let’s come to Hebrews 5:7, referring to Jesus again: “Who, in the days of His flesh, offered up both prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because He feared God.” Think about that! Think about the risk that God took in order to save all mankind and His creation.

Verse 8: “Although He was a Son, yetHe learned obedience from the things that He suffered.” This is why Jesus said that if you’re going to follow Him, you pick up your cross and follow Him. Whatever things you have to go through is only a minuscule, little thing compared to what Jesus went through, but you are part of what God is doing to be His sons and to be His daughters and to receive eternal life. It cannot happen without the Passover.

That’s why He said at His last Passover, He took the bread and broke it to the disciples and said, ‘Take eat, this is My body, which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of Me.’ And He took the wine and He put it in a large cup and told them to all drink of it and He said, ‘This is the blood of the New Covenant, namely My blood, which is shed for the remission of sins of many.’ Unless we’re in that covenant with God, and unless we take the Passover the way God has shown, the way that Christ has instructed us, we won’t have any life in us.

“…He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected… [By living in the flesh, by resisting Satan the devil, by carrying human nature and never sinning—perfected, so God can become more perfect.] …He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (vs 8-9).

Hebrews 4:15—concerning Christ Who is our High Priest passed into the heavens: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (vs 15-16). Of course, that’s constantly:

  • We constantly need help!
  • We constantly need the Spirit of God!
  • We constantly need to be coming to God!

That’s why He says in the model prayer: daily forgive us our sins. That’s why we find that part of the real meaning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the washing of the water by the Word is perfecting us as well. If Jesus was perfected, we are to be perfected—yes, indeed!Jesus understood what He had to go through.

Let’s see what that did. This is why, if you have the Spirit of God: you have weaknesses and you have sin and you need to repent of those sins, and as they come up continue to repent of those sins, because it is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all sin. We need to realize that:

  • Christ is perfecting us!
  • Christ is leading us!

—everyone of us in our lives. That’s why it’s important that we have and maintain that personal relationship or fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Notice that

  • even though we’re weak in the flesh
  • even though we have those sins that come upon us
  • even though we have to have our mind cleansed with the washing of the water by the Word and bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

—what God did in sending Christ and how there is for us there is no condemnation as long as we remain in right standing with God.

Romans 8:1: “Consequently… [Paul is talking about the ‘law of sin and death’ and all the trouble he had overcoming it; likewise with us.] …there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit… [which we are; we are being led by the Spirit, we’re following the things of God, which have been given to us by His Spirit] …because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death” (vs 1-2). It’s given the way of deliverance, not totally removed it. The Spirit of Life is the operation of the Spirit of God in our mind:

  • to lead us
  • to teach us
  • to help us

so that we can grow and change and overcome.

Verse 3 becomes very profoundly important: “For what was impossible for the Law to do… [Because the Law cannot change within; the Law cannot forgive. Only the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.] …in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh… [and He condemned that sin in His own flesh through the one-day work, the most important work that Jesus had to do, the day of the Passover and His crucifixion] …in order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (vs 3-4)—so that we may be perfected!

Now let’s come to John 19:28—this was a separate work that Jesus had to finish, the baptism unto death in His own blood: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had now been finished, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst.’ Now a vessel full of vinegar was sitting there. And after filling a sponge with vinegar and putting it on a stick of hyssop, they put it up to His mouth. And so, when Jesus had received the vinegar…” (vs 28-30).

  • He knew when it was going to come
  • He understood that
  • He had given all the prophecies
  • He had suffered all the things:
    • the beating and scourging
    • the spitting
    • the pulling off of His beard
    • the ripping open of His back and chest so that on the cross He could look down and even see His own ribs

He was there and He knew that now it was finished.

“…He said, ‘It is finished.’…. [That’s the finished work of Christ! He had to complete His preaching and then He had to complete the crucifixion, and then He has to complete all of the rest of God’s plan. It all starts with the Passover, the baptism by blood unto death!] …And bowing His head, He yielded up His Spirit” (v 30).

So, that’s something to really look to and contemplate with the coming Passover; that we take the Passover with the

  • right heart
  • right mind
  • right attitude
  • loving God
  • repenting of our sins
  • trusting Him for forgiveness
  • yielding to Him

so that we receive the Spirit of God. With the Passover we take: the foot-washing renews our baptism, with the breaking and eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine we are maintaining that covenant unto eternal life through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!

Have a fine Passover! We’ll see you on the first Holy Day!


Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 3:11-19
  • Genesis 12:1-3
  • Genesis 15:5-6, 9-14, 17
  • Genesis 22:2, 11-18
  • Exodus 12:11, 40-42
  • John 3:16-17
  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • John 4:34
  • Luke 12:50
  • Matthew 20:22-23
  • John 17:4-5
  • Hebrews 1:1-3
  • Hebrews 2:5-18
  • Hebrews 5:7-9
  • Hebrews 4:15-16
  • Romans 8:1-4
  • John 19:28-30

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 13:8
  • Romans 7;
  • Revelation 12
  • Romans 5
  • Genesis 6
  • Hebrews 11
  • Isaiah 53; 50:6; 52
  • Psalm 22
  • Malachi 3
  • Revelation 20:6

Also referenced:

  • Sermon Series: Transhumanism
  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter

BOOKS