Part IV: So Loving My Neighbor Isn’t Part of the Gospel?

16 Jun

I find it interesting that when the writers of scripture and the Spirit of God are involved in describing Jesus they have a lot of material to choose from. The have images, metaphors, stories that they can draw upon and with all the linguistic tools of man and God they describe Jesus in this way: sinless, died in the prime of life, none of his bones broken in his death, died at twilight, enters the temple on the 10th of Abib (lamb selection day).

To anyone who is familiar with the Jewish tradition these are all descriptions of the sacrificial lamb of Exodus chapter 12. This would possibly bring thoughts to your mind such as: last time a lamb appeared on the scene that fit this description it meant that there was a people being set free. If Jesus is the new lamb…then there is a new Exodus occurring, there is a new Egypt, a new Pharaoh and a brand new kind of slavery.

That slavery would be called sin. I know that for many, sin, conjures up images of an angry old man standing on a soapbox with a bullhorn shouting “NO.” Someone who is trying to limit our will. But if sin is anything like the biblical description of slavery. Then sin is anything that slows down our pursuit of freedom. It is anything that slows us down from becoming everything that God has called us to be. It is anything that turns us into a product, as the Israelites were valued for the bricks they created.

Is Jesus is the new lamb then the church is in the ultimate pursuit of freedom in its many forms. The church recognizes that there is a Darfur in our hearts: a place of extreme brokeness in need of healing. However, there is also a Darfur, a geographical region in which terrible things are occurring and as followers of Jesus we can be passionate about both things.

There is a desk in England. On this desk communion is served every Sunday. Communion is a meal that symbolizes the broken body of Christ and his spilled blood for our sins, the things that have disconnected us from God. This desk was the desk that William Wilberforce used to write the anti-slavery act in England to abolish slavery. I would submit that it is a beautiful thing when communion, a meal that shows our reconciliation with God, can be served on a desk like this.

So while the freedom that Jesus offers may be much more that just a physical deliverance of oppression, if it is rooted in the exodus story of slaves and masters and bricks and lambs, it doesn’t mean anything less.

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3 Responses to “Part IV: So Loving My Neighbor Isn’t Part of the Gospel?”

  1. JC June 17, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Rob, I am a little confused on one thing. What is the old Lamb? Now I understand that an old lamb was a sacriface that had to be presented at different kinds of offerings, but you make it more like one event, one lamb. Other than that I agree, we are exodussing <– sp? Sin and arriving at freedom.

  2. Rob June 18, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    Hey Colt. Thanks for making your mark on my blog. I was referring to the passover lamb of Exodus chapter 12. I had described it in earlier posts but did not make that clear in this one…my bad.

    So while lambs were used for several different offerings in the Hebrew scriptures I was commenting that Jesus matched the description of that specific passover lamb that marked the Israelites freedom from Egypt.

  3. JC June 18, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Right… I should probably read part I II before commenting on III.

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