Merge Recap 3/24

Easter2013

Since we will not be having Merge this coming Sunday night because of Easter, I wanted to use our time together last night to take a special look at Easter and some of the historical implications that Jesus death and resurrection accomplished.

Last night was part discussion time and part teaching time. We started the evening by talking about the sacrificial system that God set up in the Old Testament. We talked at length about how animal sacrifice is something that is completely foreign to us, but during the OT times it was something that was very common. We also talked about the fact that God took this familiar thing and turned it into something that was a shadow of something great that was going to come.

We looked at Leviticus 4:27-31, which gives instructions about how the sin offering was to be presented and carried out.

We discussed that the sacrifice took the penalty for the sin. We have talked several times this semester that God is so good and holy and our sin is so bad that the only payment for sin is death. But God in his love, grace and mercy provides a substitute in our place to die for our sins. First in the form of animal sacrifices and then in Jesus’ death.

One thing I wanted to be clear was that the sacrificial system was never designed to be the final solution for our sin. We illustrated it this way, under the sacrificial system we were still stained by our sin. Despite the animal dying for our sin we were still stained by the sin. But Jesus comes and dies in our place and He bleaches the stain away. We are no longer marred by the stain, we are made clean. Just like bleach on a white shirt, it brings the true whiteness out.

Jesus gets rid of our sin and makes it like it was never there. 

I thought it was very important that we looked at the crucifixion account and gravity that our God, died in our place. Not a lamb or some other animal, but God Himself took our punishment for sin. Mark 15:16-39

Jesus is the once and for all sacrifice. He’s the perfect, spotless lamb who paid for our sins. Under the sacrificial system bulls or goats had to be sacrificed once a year, but because Jesus is perfect, His death is perfect and covers ALL sin-past, present, and future!!

And luckily the story doesn’t end with His death. He rose from death beating death and shares that victory with us. That’s what we celebrate when we celebrate Easter. The fact the the tomb in empty!! That our God not only died for us but rose as well.

I’ve been challenging our students to ask God to reveal something new to them about Easter. Many of them and ever yourself may have grown up in church and have had about the good news of Easter, but I challenge to you ask God to show you something new. To make this Easter like nothing before it. And that we will celebrate His resurrection like never before.

He has Risen, He has Risen INDEED!!!

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