Monday, March 18, 2013

Jesus---The end of the Ten Plagues

Exodus 12:29 (NKJV) And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt...

The first Passover we read about in Exodus 12, was prophetic of the crucifixion. It contained several details that were fulfilled by the sacrifice of Jesus. One very interesting revelation hidden in the Gospels, is how the angel of death was released at midnight in the Garden of Gethsemane.

We read in Mark 14:13-26, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with the disciples before going to Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives to pray.

When Jesus began to pray, He sweat drops of blood because He was in agony (Lk. 22:44). He prayed three times (Mt. 26:44). We also know the prayer He prayed was about an hour long (Mt. 26:40), for a total of three hours.

The Bible tells us that while Jesus was in custody, a rooster crowed (Jn. 18:27). A rooster crows at the first sign of light, this would indicate the time to be about 6:00am. The Bible says in John 19:14, "Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour ..."* Then in verse 17 we read, "And He [Jesus], bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull." Then in Mark 15:25 the Bible says, "Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him."

So we know that a rooster crowed during His incarceration. We also know that He was hung on the cross about the third hour; using our current time system this is 9:00am (the Jewish day began at 6:00am). According to John 18:27, we also know that Jesus went to the cross about six hours after His arrest.

From all this we see Jesus shared the Passover meal with the disciples and went to Gethsemane to pray. At midnight, when He began to pray, the agony set in. This marked the beginning of freedom from bondage for the children of God.

In Exodus Chapters 7-12, we learn how God released ten plagues in Egypt to deliver Israel from slavery. The tenth and final plague was the death angel released at midnight, after God's children ate the Passover meal. When Jesus began to pray in the garden, it was just after midnight. The angel of death was released to kill the first-born. According to Colossians 1:15, Jesus is the firstborn over all creation. Jesus was in such agony because the death angel was released.

The Scripture says in Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." Then it says in Galatians 4:7 (NLT), "Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir." Jesus freed us from slavery as prophesied in the first Passover." The Scripture calls the ten commandments, the law of sin and death. In other words, the Ten Commandments were ten plagues that we could never contend with. We needed a Savior. The final plague was released on Jesus, that night in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This is important to understand. Our focus should no longer be on the law. Instead our focus needs to be on God. If I struggle with sin or addictive behavior, I connect with God. Through fellowship and communion, the power of God breaks bondages of sin in my life.

Be blessed!
*There is a little bit of confusion in the translation given to us for John 19:14. The verse says, "it was the preparation day of the Passover." It would be more appropriately translated into modern English as, "it was a preparation day during the Passover." Passover was a week long event also known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread". The day after the crucifixion was a Sabbath. The day before a Sabbath was considered to be a day to prepare. Since no work was to be performed on the Sabbath, necessary work was taken care of the day before. This preparation was for a weekly Sabbath that took place during a holy feast, this made it even more important.

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