Book: The Appointed Times of Jesus the Messiah
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The Pivotal Role of Passover in the
Plan of God—The Day Jesus the Christ Died

After the creation of the world, God planned a momentous event: At “the appointed time,” a member of the very God Family would divest Himself of His glory and manifest Himself as a human being—the Messiah of God. After completing His ministry, God’s Anointed One would voluntarily lay down His life at “the appointed time”—to die “the death” by crucifixion for the sins of man (Rom. 5:6). That Being was the One Who became Jesus Christ, “the Lamb [of God], slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

Indeed, the greatest event since the creation of the world was the death of Jesus Christ. As God manifested in the flesh (I Tim. 3:16), He chose to give His life as the supreme sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. John the Baptist understood this when he said of Jesus: “Behold the [Passover] Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

“The appointed time” of His death—the Passover day—was a pivotal benchmark in the plan of God. In fact, God the Father had planned every key element of Jesus’ life and messianic role in such a manner that they parallel the biblical festival seasons—or God’s “appointed times.” As this chapter will show, the Spring festival of the Passover—the appointed day of Jesus’ death—pictures the divine deliverance of mankind from the grip of certain eternal death. That specific “appointed time” was the Passover day, Nisan 14, according to God’s sacred Calculated Hebrew Calendar (CHC), or April 5, 30 AD, according to the Julian Roman Calendar. This vital “appointed time” had been predetermined “from the foundation of the world.”

Mankind Becomes Captive to Sin and Death

When and how did sin enter the world? Why was it imperative for Jesus Christ to lay down His life for the sins of mankind? How can His one sacrifice purge all sin?

The sin of Adam and Eve was not the first transgression against God. The original sin was committed by Lucifer and the angels who followed him. Lucifer (Latin, “Light Bringer” or “Shining Star”) was the first created being to commit sin—therefore he is the author of sin. He boasted that he would become like the Most High and sit on God’s throne (Isa. 14:14-15; Ezek. 28:12-18). One third of the angels followed him in his rebellion (Rev. 12:3-4). At that time, Lucifer became Satan the devil, the adversary of God, and the rebelling angels who followed him became demons— or devils.

When Satan and the demons attempted to seize the throne of God, they were cast back down to the earth (Luke 10:18). That war left the earth in ruin and parts of the heavens in shambles. Everything that Lucifer and his angels had established on earth before the rebellion was destroyed, and the earth was covered with a flood (Gen. 1:2). Then the Creator God, the One Who became Jesus Christ, recreated the surface of the earth and filled it with life.

On the sixth day of creation, God made man in His own image and likeness, male and female (Gen. 1:26-27). God gave Adam and Eve free moral agency. He set before them the way of eternal life, as symbolized by the “tree of life.” He also set before them the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” which represented the way that seemed right to them, under the sway of Satan the devil. But God commanded them not to eat of the fruit of that tree, and warned them that if they ate of it they would surely die.

Under the influence of Satan the devil, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God by eating the fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” As I Timothy 2:14 shows, Adam was not deceived, whereas Eve “came to be in transgression by being deceived.” Paul describes the tragic consequences: “Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way, death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Thus, every man and woman has inherited a carnal, sinful nature. The result is that nearly all of humanity has followed the dictates of human nature under Satan’s sway, cut off from God. Although God set limits on Satan, He has not yet removed him and his evil influence. However, in a future “appointed time,” God will bring all mankind out from subjection to sin and Satan. Through His plan of redemption, initiated by His Son’s perfect sacrifice, God has made it possible for all mankind to be delivered from sin and the penalty of death (I John 2:1-2).

God as Lawgiver and Creator decreed that the wages of sin for all human beings is death (Rom. 6:23). Sin is the transgression of God’s holy, spiritual laws and commandments (I John 3:4). All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God, so all face death unless they accept the way of salvation that God has provided (Rom. 3:23). The ultimate death that is decreed for sin is the second death in the lake of fire. From that death there is no resurrection (Rev. 20:13-15; 21:8).

After Adam and Eve sinned, God pronounced His judgment upon them. Within His sentence, we find the first prophecy of the death of the Messiah: “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent, Satan the devil] and the woman [a type of Israel, and later, the Church of God], and between your seed [the followers of Satan] and her Seed [Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah]; He will bruise your head [Satan], and you [Satan], shall bruise His heel [the crucifixion of Christ]” (Gen. 3:15).

This prophecy was spoken by the Lord God Himself, the One Who would become Jesus Christ. As the God of the Old Testament, He prophesied of His own death to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve and all their descendants to come. This prophecy was spoken more than 4,000 years before His beating, scourging and crucifixion on the Passover day. According to the CHC, that “appointed” day was Nisan 14, 30 AD (or April 5 on the Julian Roman Calendar).

The Promised Seed of the Covenant With Abraham

The promise of a Seed who would conquer sin and banish Satan was confirmed by the covenant that God made with Abraham. The words of the covenant were a prophecy of His own future birth as the fleshly Seed of Abraham. Let us examine the account in the book of Genesis: “And behold, the Word of the LORD came to him [Abraham], saying, ‘This man [his steward, Eliezer] shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir’ ” (Gen. 15:4).

The birth of Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, was only the beginning of the fulfillment of this promise to Abraham. The promise was not only for Isaac, but also for his future descendant, the coming Messiah. The birth of Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the promise, the Seed to whom the promises were given: “Now to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, ‘and to your seeds,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘and to your Seed,’ which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). Christ is the promised Seed and true Heir of the promises God made to Abraham.

The account in Genesis 15 reveals that evening had already come when God began to give the promises to Abraham. On that night, God took Abraham outside and showed him the stars of heaven. Then He gave Abraham another promise: “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’ ” (Gen. 15:5). The New Testament shows that these words of God do not refer to Abraham’s physical descendants through Isaac and Jacob, but to those who would become the children of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote: “Because of this, you should understand that those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham…. Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:7, 26-29).

The true children of Abraham are not counted by physical lineage. They are a spiritual nation, composed of individuals of every race and bloodline who follow in the faith of Abraham (Gal. 3:8, 14). At the return of Christ, they will be resurrected to eternal life as glorified spirit beings and will shine as the stars forever (Dan. 12:3; Matt. 13:43; I Cor. 15:40-44).

Next, God promised to give to Abraham and his physical seed the land of the Canaanites: “And He said unto him, ‘I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it’ ” (Gen. 15:7). This promise was for his physical descendants, the children of Israel. Numerous generations would pass before the promised Seed, Jesus Christ, would come to prepare a spiritual people for a spiritual kingdom—the sons of God in the Kingdom of God. Abraham received the promises with complete faith that God would fulfill them: “And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness” (verse 6).

The Covenant Confirmed by a Maledictory Oath

When God established His covenant with Abraham, He confirmed it with a maledictory oath, which was a pledge and prophecy of His own future death. On the morning after giving Abraham the promises, God spoke to him and instructed him to prepare a special sacrifice to seal the covenant: “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. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away” (verses 9-11). The bloody carcasses of the sacrificial animals were laid on the ground to represent the symbolic death of the one who would confirm the covenant. By passing between the parts, God would pledge His own life to fulfill the covenant. By the time Abraham had finished preparing the covenant sacrifice, it was late in the day:

“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” (verse 12). While Abraham lay sleeping, God appeared to him in a vision and promised that his physical descendants would inherit the land. However, this would not happen until they had lived in another land for four generations: “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 [their captors] and they shall afflict [your seed]) four hundred years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance. And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full’ ” (verses 13-16).

After prophesying these events, God bound Himself to fulfill His promises by passing between the sacrificial animals to seal the covenant: “And it came to pass—when the sun went down [beginning the next day], and it was dark—behold, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram…” (verses 17-18).

After the sun had gone down, God passed between the parts; He walked a death walk, pledging His future death. Apparently, the smoking furnace wholly consumed the sacrificial animals. That is how God ratified His unilateral covenant with Abraham.

The full account in Genesis 15 reveals that the making of the covenant took place during two consecutive days. When God first spoke to Abraham, it was night because the stars could be seen (verse 5). In the morning, God gave Abraham instructions for preparing the covenant sacrifice. Abraham prepared the sacrifice that same day. We know that he completed the preparations while the sun was still high because the birds of prey were flying about and attempting to land on the sacrifice (verse 11). The next verse records the end of the day: “And it came to pass, as the sun was going down, that a deep sleep fell upon Abram ” (verse 12). After the sun had gone down, God appeared to Abraham and ratified the covenant (verse 18).

There is great significance in the fact that the covenant was established over a two-day period, with the promises being given on the first night and the covenant being ratified on the second night. The timing of these events has an exact parallel in the chronology of the Passover and the beginning of the Exodus, which were the first acts in the fulfillment of God’s promises for the physical seed—the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, the 12 tribes of the children of Israel.

Israel’s First Passover and the Exodus from Egypt

As Exodus 12 records, the children of Israel kept the Passover on the 14th day of the first month, or Abib (this month was later known as Nisan). The Passover lamb, a type of the coming Messiah, was killed immediately after sunset at the beginning of the 14th. The people took some of the blood and put it on the side posts and lintel of the doors of their houses so that God would pass over their houses and spare their firstborn. Then they roasted the lamb with fire and ate it with bitter herbs.

At midnight on the 14th, God executed His final judgment on the Egyptians and their gods by killing all the firstborn of men and beasts. When God saw the blood of the Passover lambs on the houses of the children of Israel, He passed over them, sparing their firstborn.

Then, as the day portion of Nisan 14 began at sunrise, the children of Israel left their houses to assemble at Rameses for the Exodus. As they journeyed to Rameses, they completely spoiled the Egyptians, fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would depart from the land of their servitude with great substance. God commanded the children of Israel to observe this day, the 14th day of the first month, as the feast of the Passover for all generations to come, in commemoration of His final judgment against the Egyptians and their gods and His sparing of the firstborn of Israel (Ex. 12:3-14, 21-28; Lev. 23:5).

After the children of Israel had assembled in Rameses, the Exodus from Egypt began. The people departed from Rameses as the 14th day was ending at sunset and the 15th day was beginning. The timing of this event fulfilled another promise that God had made to Abraham: “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. It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt…” (Ex. 12:40- 42).

The phrase “the selfsame day” (KJV) refers to a specific day exactly four hundred and thirty years before the Exodus. What day was this? The Scriptures reveal that it was the “selfsame day” that God established His covenant with Abraham. On that day, God promised that He would bring his descendants out of bondage with great substance. On that “selfsame day,” the 15th day of the first month, God fulfilled His promise. Therefore, God established the 15th day of the first month as a holy day to commemorate the beginning of the Exodus (Ex. 12:37-42; 13:3-10; Lev. 23:6-8).

The Foundation of the Christian Passover
in the Covenant with Abraham

Four hundred and thirty years after establishing His covenant with Abraham, God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. After bringing them out, He established a covenant with them—which we now call the Old Covenant. In his epistle to the Galatians, the apostle Paul confirms that the Old Covenant was established four hundred and thirty years after God’s covenant with Abraham: “Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ [Abraham’s true Heir] cannot be annulled by the law [the physical requirements of the Old Covenant], which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect” (Gal. 3:17).

The Old Covenant with the children of Israel did not fulfill God’s promise to Abraham of a multitude of spiritual seed that would shine as the stars forever. This promise did not begin to be fulfilled until the coming of the New Covenant, the covenant of everlasting life, which was established nearly 2,000 years later by Christ. As God manifested in the flesh, Jesus Christ, the promised Seed of Abraham, instituted the New Covenant on the Passover night, the 14th day of the first month (CHC). The Passover that initiated the New Covenant was not a supper of lamb and bitter herbs, as was the Passover of the children of Israel under the Old Covenant. When Jesus instituted the new Christian Passover, He changed the symbols of the Passover to be symbols of His own body and blood, which He sacrificed as the true Passover Lamb of God to ratify the New Covenant. Although He changed the symbols, He did not change the day, or the time of day, on which the Passover was to be observed.

The New Covenant Christian Passover, as instituted by Jesus, is to be observed on the night of Nisan 14. The new ceremony consists of three parts: 1) foot washing (John 13:2-17); 2) partaking of the broken unleavened bread, symbolizing Jesus’ broken body (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; I Cor. 11:23-24); and 3) partaking of the wine, symbolizing the blood of Jesus shed for the remission of sins so that all who accept His sacrifice may enter the New Covenant (Matt. 26:27-29; Mark 14:23-25; Luke 22:17- 20; I Cor. 11:25-26).

Why Did God Have to Die?

As we have learned, God ratified His promises to Abraham with a maledictory oath. By passing between the parts of the covenant sacrifice, He pledged that He would give His own life to fulfill the promises. The bloody slaughter of these sacrificial animals symbolized the brutal suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which occurred in 30 AD on the Passover day. The deep sleep and horror of great darkness that Abraham experienced was symbolic of Christ’s death at the 9th hour (approximately 3 PM) on the Passover day and His subsequent burial in the tomb as Nisan 14 was ending at sunset. Thus, 2,000 years later, on the very same day that God ratified His covenant with Abraham, His lifeless body was in the tomb. He had carried out His pledge that He would die in order to fulfill the promises—precisely at “the appointed time.”

Before we can appreciate the death of God manifested in the flesh, we need to understand a fundamental truth about God. The Scriptures reveal that the Godhead is composed of more than one divine Being. In the first chapter of Genesis, the Hebrew name Elohim is used to describe God. In the Hebrew language, the suffix im added to a word makes it plural. Thus, Elohim is a plural noun, meaning that there is more than one Being in the Godhead. When God created Adam and Eve, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26).

John begins his Gospel by revealing this fundamental truth:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men…. He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, but the world did not know Him…. And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled [temporarily dwelt] among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 10, 14).

Jesus Himself testified that He was with the Father in glory before the world existed. In His final prayer to God the Father before He was arrested, tried and crucified, He said, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed” (John 17:4-5).

The Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament consistently reveal that from the beginning there were two Beings Who existed together as God, or Elohim. The one of Elohim Who created all things was the one Who became Jesus Christ, the Messiah and the Savior of the world. The other one of Elohim became the Father. We find a prophecy of this in the book of Psalms: “I [the one of Elohim Who became the Son, Jesus Christ] will declare the decree of the LORD. He [the one of Elohim Who became the Father] has said to Me, ‘You are My Son; this day I have begotten You [the day He was begotten in the womb of the virgin Mary]” (Psa. 2:7).

The one of Elohim Who became Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had to divest himself of His power and glory as God. He had to become a pinpoint of life in order to be begotten by the Father in the womb of the virgin Mary. Paul reveals how this was accomplished: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; Who, although He existed [Greek, huparchoon, to exist or pre-exist] in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself [of His power and glory], and was made in the likeness [Greek, homoioma, the same existence] of men, and took the form of a servant [Greek, doulos, a slave]; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:5-8).

These inspired words of Paul confirm that before Jesus became human He was, in fact, Jehovah Elohim, the Lord God of the Old Testament. Existing as God, He was composed of ever-living Spirit. In this existence, it was impossible for Him to die. The only way for God to die was to become fully human—to be “manifested in the flesh.” The God Who had created man in His image and likeness took on the same flesh and nature as man in order to redeem man from sin.

Jesus Christ voluntarily became a man in order to give His life as an offering for the sin of the world. The Father gave Him authority to lay down His life and to receive it back, as Jesus Himself testified: “Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd. On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father” (John 10:15-18).

Jesus Christ came to do the will of the Father and to give His life as the sacrifice for sin. In his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul quotes the words of the prophecy of Psalm 40:6-8: “For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me [Christ’s human body of flesh]. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, “Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the scroll of the book) to do Your will, O God” ’ ” (Heb. 10:5-7).

It was the purpose of the two God Beings Who were Elohim that one of them would be made fully human in order to die, so that through His sacrifice all mankind might be granted grace unto salvation. Paul makes this absolutely clear: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death, in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste [partake of] death for everyone; 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” (Heb. 2:9-10).

The Scriptures reveal that Jesus Christ was a mortal human being. He was not an angelic being that appeared to be a man. Nor was He a spirit being (the Christ) inhabiting a physical, human body (Jesus the man). Paul states very clearly that He shared the same flesh and blood as all human beings:

Therefore, since the children are partakers of flesh and blood, in like manner 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; and that He might deliver those who were subject to bondage all through their lives by their fear of death.

“For surely, He is not taking upon Himself to help the angels; but He is taking upon Himself to help the [spiritual—Gal. 3:29] seed of Abraham. For this reason, it was obligatory for Him to be made like His brethren in everything [sharing the same flesh and nature], 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” (Heb. 2:14-18).

What a magnificent expression of God’s love! The Creator of all mankind temporarily gave up His eternal existence as God and lowered Himself to the level of mortal man, with human nature, so that He could suffer and die for every human being at “the appointed time.” By the grace and love of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, He willingly took upon Himself the death penalty that He had pronounced upon Adam and Eve and their descendants.

Jesus voluntarily chose to lay down His life to reconcile mankind to God so that all who accept His sacrifice may have the opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life. Jesus endured all His suffering in the flesh so that He might become the Author of eternal salvation, “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. Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience from the things that He suffered; and having been perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (Heb. 5:7-9).

The death of the Creator God, manifested in the flesh, was the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of human sin. No other sacrifice could bring forgiveness of sin to mankind. All the animal sacrifices and the shedding of their blood could never bring full spiritual forgiveness for human sin before God. Paul makes this truth clear: “For the law, having only a shadow of the good things that are coming and not the image of those things, with the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, is never able to make perfect those who come to worship. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? For once those who worship had been purified, they would no longer be conscious of sin. On the contrary, in offering these sacrifices year by year, there is a remembrance of sins; because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:1-4).

Only God Can Save Mankind

No other fleshly human being could have sacrificed his life to redeem mankind. Even if it were possible for a man to live perfectly in the letter of the law and never sin, his perfect human life, if sacrificed for sin, would not be sufficient to redeem even one human life. Redemption from sin and death requires greater obedience than the letter of the law. This is the whole lesson of Job’s trials and suffering. Although he was blameless in the letter of the law, His own righteousness could not save him:

“And the LORD answered Job and said, ‘Shall he who contends with the Almighty instruct Him? He who reproves God, let him answer it.’

“And Job answered the LORD and said, ‘Behold, I am vile [all human beings have a sinful nature, regardless of perfect behavior in the letter of the law]! What shall I answer You? I will lay my hand on my mouth. Once I have spoken; but I will not answer; yea, twice, but I will proceed no further.’ And the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, ‘Gird up your loins now like a man. I will demand you, and you declare unto Me. Will you even annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me so that you may be righteous?

“ ‘And have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Deck yourself now with majesty and excellency, and array yourself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of your wrath; and behold everyone who is proud, and abase him. Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in darkness. Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you’ ” (Job 40:1-14).

As God told Job, it is impossible for any man to save himself from sin—much less all of humanity.

On the other hand, is it possible for angels to save man from sin? God created angels to be ministering spirits. Angels are in a completely different category than human beings or God. While God created them out of spirit, they do not have the potential to enter into the God Family, as do humans, who will be transformed into immortal spirit beings at the first resurrection. Neither are the angels like the One of Elohim Who became the Son, as Paul wrote:

“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, and upholding all things by the word of His own power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them.

For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; this day have I begotten You’? And again, ‘I will be a Father to Him, and He will be a Son to Me’? And again, when He brought the Firstborn into the world, He said, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Now on one hand, of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire.’… But unto which of the angels did He ever say, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet’? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:1-7, 13-14).

Indeed, even if an angel could be sacrificed, it would not be possible for such a sacrifice to pay for the sins of all mankind. The only Being whose life could purchase redemption from sin for all humanity is the Creator God. If the One Who had created man died, complete and total payment for human sin could be made, and reconciliation with God would be possible for all humanity. God’s mercy could then be extended to all who repent and accept the death of Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh, as payment for their sins. This is why God had to die!

The One of Elohim Who created the heavens and the earth became Jesus Christ—God manifested in the flesh. He was divinely begotten by God the Father and the firstborn of the virgin Mary, His physical mother. He was the same as any ordinary human being, except that He had the Holy Spirit from conception. Only the death of God could reconcile man and God. Thus, Jesus had to be God in the flesh—human, as well as divine.

While He lived in the flesh, Jesus was subject to every type of temptation that a human being can experience, but He never yielded to a single temptation of the flesh or of Satan. Jesus never sinned. His obedience was perfect in the full spirit of the law. By living a sinless life, He alone was qualified to become not only the Savior and Redeemer of mankind, but also the High Priest and Mediator between God and man: “Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. 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” (Heb. 4:14-16).

Jesus’ life in the flesh was able to purchase redemption from sin for all humanity because:

1) He was the Creator of all human beings.

2) He was divinely begotten by God the Father.

3) He was God manifested in the flesh.

4) He was the only human to live His entire life according to the will of God.

5) He was the only human never to sin.

6) He was the only human never to yield to a single temptation of the flesh or of Satan the devil.

7) He was the only human not to come under the death penalty for sin.

Only the precious blood of the Lamb of God could atone for all human sin. The death of God in the flesh was complete and perfect as a sacrifice and an atonement because His life in the flesh encompassed the full scope of human experience. On the human level, He suffered every type of temptation possible. He suffered the vilest of human indignities and excruciating tortures, enduring a violent beating, scourging, and crucifixion, and the shame of public death. He suffered rejection by His own people and injustice at the hands of religious and civil authorities. He was the victim of political expediency and religious hypocrisy. He overcame all, gaining total victory over Satan the devil and the pulls of the flesh through His perfect love and obedience to God the Father. The sacrifice of His perfect life opened the way for all mankind to receive salvation through faith: “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. For God sent not His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17).

God the Father accepted the death of Christ once for all time as full payment for human sin. But before Jesus’ sacrifice can be applied to an individual, he or she must first repent of sin, accept Jesus as personal Savior and be baptized by full immersion in water. At baptism, he or she is conjoined into Christ’s death by symbolic burial in a watery grave. Each one who is raised out of that baptismal burial is to walk in newness of life, learning to love God the Father and Jesus Christ with all the heart and to keep their commandments in the full spirit of the law. This is the way of life that Jesus established for those who enter the New Covenant through faith in His sacrifice for sin.

All who enter the New Covenant are commanded to observe the Passover year by year as a renewal of the covenant of everlasting life. By partaking of the Passover as Jesus taught, they acknowledge that they have accepted the body and blood of Christ as full payment for their sins and have dedicated their lives to live by Him (John 6:57). When they partake of the broken unleavened bread, they acknowledge that they are healed of their diseases by the broken body of Christ—“by Whose stripes you were healed” (I Pet. 2:24). When they partake of the wine, they acknowledge that they trust in His shed blood “for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28).

All true Christians have been bought with a great price. They belong to Jesus Christ, Who paid with His own blood to release them from the power of Satan and the bondage of sin, and to reconcile them to God the Father. “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7). This is the meaning of the “appointed time” Jesus the Messiah died for the sins of the world.