Friday, November 27
By means of him we have the release by ransom through the blood of that one.
Memorializing the Jewish Passover was part of the Mosaic Law, and we are not under the Law. Instead, we hold dear another event, the death of God’s Son. Still, there are features of the Passover observance that was instituted back in Egypt that have meaning for us. The lamb’s blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintel was a means to preserve life. Today, we do not offer animal sacrifices to God. But there is a better sacrifice that can preserve life permanently. The apostle Paul wrote about “the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens.” The means of preserving the lives of those anointed Christians is “the blood of sprinkling,” Jesus’ blood. Christians who hope to live forever on earth depend on that same blood for preservation. They should regularly remind themselves of the assurance found in the words of today’s text.
When the angel of Death went through the land of Egypt killing all the firstborn of man and beast, the houses of the families that had the blood of the lamb splashed on the doorpost were passed over. And later that night they were released from bondage to their Egyptian masters.
As Christians we understand the symbolism regarding the blood of the lamb. The lamb represents Christ and he was slaughtered just like a sacrificial lamb. And his blood was poured out.
While we have figuratively splashed the blood of the lamb on our doorposts, having faith in Christ and acting upon that faith, obviously the angel of Death has not been dispatched; nor have we experienced the ultimate release from sin and death that the ransom has provided.
Even those who were called and faithful unto death still sleep in death and do not receive the promise of life in themselves “until he comes.”
In his first letter to the Corinthians, in the 11th chapter Paul repeated the instructions that Jesus gave his disciples about the significance of the bread and wine in remembrance of him, and then Paul added: “For whenever you eat this loaf and drink this cup, you keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he comes.”
“Until he comes” is a very important phrase. According to the inspired apostle the coming of Christ will bring an end, not only to the observance of the remembrance of him, but also even the proclamation of the death of the Lord. In other words, the coming of Christ will bring the Christian era to a conclusion.
Now as regards his coming, consider the words of Christ in the 12th chapter of Luke. After encouraging his little flock Jesus went on to say to them: “Be dressed and ready and have your lamps burning, and you should be like men waiting for their master to return from the marriage, so when he comes and knocks, they may at once open to him. Happy are those slaves whom the master on coming finds watching! Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them. And if he comes in the second watch, even if in the third, and finds them ready, happy are they! But know this, if the householder had known at what hour the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into.You also, keep ready, because at an hour that you do not think likely, the Son of man is coming.”
In that short span of verse Jesus used the terms “come” and “coming” six times. Clearly, Jesus is speaking about his second coming. And just as on the Passover night when Jesus instituted the remembrance of his death, when he girded himself with a towel just like a slave and he washed the feet of his apostles that were reclining at the table, Christ informs us that at his coming he will similarly minister to those slaves of his whom he finds “dressed and ready” and “waiting for their master to return.”
What is the significance of Jesus ministering to his expectant slaves? Jesus used the expression that he would “make them recline at the table and will come alongside and minister to them.”
Bible students well know that the Greek word “parosuia” is drawn from two words that mean “being alongside.” The Watchtower, though, has convinced Jehovah’s Witnesses that the presence of Christ began in 1914.
Still, Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide continue to celebrate the memorial of Christ year-after-year. But if Christ had really come alongside his slaves back in 1914 the observance of the remembrance of him would have ceased. Obviously, Jesus only wishes to be remembered in his absence. When he comes and is present alongside us the remembrance of him will no longer be necessary.
It is worth noting that when John first beheld the glorified Christ in the initial vision of Revelation, he fell down as a dead man. Christ then came alongside him and touched him, reassuring him — basically, ministering to him.