Saturday, 23 October 2010

The lamb is prepared

Mark 14:1-11 (which I'll preach tomorrow, God-willing) is a very interesting passage in its structure:
  • In verses 1-2, Mark tells us that the Passover was near, and that the leaders of Israel were looking for a way to kill Jesus.
  • In verses 3-9, we are told how Jesus was anointed at Bethany, in preparation for his burial.
  • In verses 10-11, Judas goes to the leaders of Israel to betray Jesus to them.
The heart of the message of this portion is "hiding" in broad daylight. Jesus is the true Passover lamb who takes away the sin of the world. At that time of the Jewish calendar, the Passover lamb chosen by each family would be in each house, waiting to be slaughtered at the hour God had chosen (Exodus 12). Its doom was sealed, but for now it lived until the appointed moment. The chief priests and scribes were unaware that ultimately that was all pointing forward to this awesome, holy week. God, in his wisdom and power, had chosen this Passover for his Son to be offered up in the true, gospel Exodus. Whilst they prepared the lambs for the old Feast at home, they conspired together to prepare the lamb for the New Passover that was soon to fulfil the old shadow and make it pass away. As the path to the lamb's death was paved, so Jesus' body was anointed for its burial as the appointed means for his death as the great gospel Lamb fell into place under his Father's oversight.

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