Four days earlier, they had chosen their very best male lamb in its first year, in obedience to Moses’ command. They had brought it into their house, an unusual practice for farmers in a time before the advent of pets. They cared for it, pitied it, petted it. An emotional bond was formed. An affection for it grew in their hearts.
Not only was this male lamb the strongest, the healthiest, the most beautiful… not only was it worth the most money… not only was it the future of the flock, the one that would have increased the value of the herd… but it was also the one they had an affection for. It was the one they valued the most, the one that would cost the most. This would affect their hearts the most. The affection they had for the lamb, validated the sacrifice.
So how does this apply to the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for the sins of the whole world? Is it possible that there could be an affection that would have the same, or greater effect on the hearts for whom He was sacrificed?
…and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
Since you have purified your souls in obedience to the truth for a sincere love of the brothers and sisters, fervently love one another from the heart.
1 Pet 1:8, 22
The fervent, affectionate love we have for our brothers and sisters is the kind of love we have for our Saviour. If we do not have this kind of undying, affectionate love for one another, we do not have it for the Lamb either.
If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
1 Jn 4:20
The effect of placing your hands on the sacrifice in reality; confessing, forsaking, being forgiven and cleansed, is that you will have an affectionate love for the brothers and sisters who have done the same. For the sacrifice to have this effect, however, you must take hold of it, taking identity with it.
In order to take hold of the sacrifice that was meant for you, you have to leave behind everything else as the gospel declares. (Matt 16:241, Mk 8:34-352 Lk 9:233, 14:25-334) Any other affection, love, or desire will keep you from completely identifying with the sacrifice. He stood in your place. A life for a life. The sacrifice is you.
If you don’t see it like that, you don’t yet have a sacrifice for your sins. You must take complete and total identity with the sacrifice, becoming a partaker of it. The ones offering the lamb would then eat it, becoming partakers of the sacrifice and of the altar. (1 Cor 10:18 5)
The altar was twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The Commonwealth of Israel is what one becomes a partaker or member of by leaving everything else behind, taking total identity with, and being baptized into, the death – the sacrifice – of Yahshua6 the Messiah.
…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
The effect of Yahshua’s love for us, in laying down his life for us, is that it is producing a people who no longer live for themselves, but lay down their lives for one another every day with an affectionate love.
This demonstrates that such people are partakers in the alter and have a sacrifice for their sins. They have an affectionate love for their Passover Lamb.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
…and He died for all, so that those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose on their behalf.
2 Cor 5:15
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters.
1 Jn 3:16
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