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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Two Good Fridays



Exodus 12:3  "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household."

Exodus 12:11 "Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover."

Mark 14:16-17 "The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 When it was evening He came with the twelve."

Introduction:
Even though Good Friday was not too long ago, can we ever spend too much time meditating on Jesus' death, burial and resurrection? Today's post is all about showing some remarkable parallels between the Passover in Exodus 12:1-15:1 and the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in Mark 14-16. Everything in the Passover served to foreshadow what would be the ultimate reality of Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Perhaps the most amazing detail of all is that even the sequence and timing of the Passover parallel identically with the three days between Christ's death and resurrection. For sake of space, I will list out in short order three headings that together both passages so as to aid the reader in seeing what I am calling "The first and greatest Good Friday".

Exodus from bondage was achieved on a Friday.
Passover itself was instituted in the Jewish Month of Abib 14 (our April 14). Being that the Jewish Calendar follows a Lunar cycle, each year will witness Passover starting in either March or April. The 14th of Abib represents Thursday Evening. As the Jews would had prepared the lamb as prescribed by Moses (Exodus 14:1-27) before Sundown on Thursday, Jesus disciples woulld had done the same. Mark 14:12 records - "The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. 17 When it was evening He came with the twelve." 

Back in Exodus 12, we see the children of Israel coming out of Egypt and in Exodus 12:51 the text states:  "And on that same day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts." That night represented a transition from Thursday to Friday, meaning then that the Exodus from bondage occured on a Friday some 1450 or so years before Jesus' crucifixion. 

Jesus celebrated this final Passover with his disciples, was betrayed by Judas, and by Friday morning, the 15th of Abib, would had been condemned and crucified before three o'clock. God had the cross in mind when He had instituted the Passover. The Exodus from bondage and all of its provisions was secured by Jesus onn Calvary's cross on Friday, but now notice a second parallel....

Expectation of waiting for deliverance to place on Saturday
For those familar with the Exodus narrative, Exodus 13-14 is all about God sending the people the long way around and to the banks of the Red Sea. Pharoah's heart is so hardened against God that he decides to purse the people he had let go. The chase is on and the people panic, with Moses wondering what God is going to do. In Exodus 14:13-14 God tells Moses - But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.14 The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” 

The disciples went into hiding following Christ's crucifixion. Much like their ancient forbears, the disciples were hiding. Even though expectation and waiting hung in the air, the disciples as a group were not looking for a Risen Savior. Rather they were wondering how to move on with their lives. We of course can see with hindset that even though nothing was going on above ground, Jesus was nonetheless busy. According to 1 Peter 3:18-19 Jesus descended into Hell to proclaim to the demonic realm His victory over the gates of Hell. Then in Hebrews 9:14-15 tells us that perhaps in this same timmeframe, Jesus presented His once and for sacrifice to the Father. Both of these events occured on their respective Saturdays. In affect, Jesus was expectantly waiting until the time He would raise from the dead the next day, which is us to our third parallel between the Exodus and Jesus death, burial and resurrection...

Evidence of victory on Sunday
Back in the Exodus account as one reads down to the end of Exodus 14, the Pharoah and his armies are seen pursuing the Israelites. As Saturday night would had given into Sunday morning, the Hebrews get to see evidence of their victory on Sunday. Exodus 14:24 records - "At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion." It was on that early Sunday morning that God gave evidence to His saving power. 

On another Sunday morning, the most important one, some women were approaching Christ's tomb. Mark 16:2-6 records - "Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.6 And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him." That term "first day of the week" signified Sunday. Thus in exact keeping with God's prescribed timetable, Jesus raised from the dead on the same day and time that the Hebrews saw their enemies defeated some 1450 years or so prior - thus giving evidence for what He had achieved on Friday - an Exodus from bondage for all who believe on His death, burial and resurrection by grace alone through faith alone. This quite literally makes the Exodus event the first Good Friday and Jesus' events beginning on the Best Good Friday.