Thursday, 31 December 2009

3. resetting all the dials

Now here's an appropriate theme for a New Year's Day!

Just two verses before the first reference to ancient Israel being a 'church' we have a fascinating declaration; "This month [shall be] unto you the beginning of months: it [shall be] the first month of the year to you." Exodus 12:2. God was resetting all the dials. This event would mark a brand new start which would culminate in new community.

Up until this time God's dealings had been with individuals but he was now going to create a 'covenant community' and it was to be marked by a change in the calendar. It would take a series of events to bring a 'new' covenant into existence. God's judgments would be visited on the enemy and a lamb would die and the individuals of Israel would have to pass under its blood to reach the safety of their homes. The families within their blood-stained homes were to eat the roast flesh of the lamb and later come to a mount that burned with fire. Heb 12:18-21. This was ancient Israel's Passover lamb, later a lamb would be provided for all nations who would be not ancient Israel's passover but 'Christ, our passover...' 1Cor 5:7.

The sacred archive is laying down a pattern for us that we are expected to recognise in its greater fulfilment; Israel's passover was not only an event and a commemoration, it was a prophecy... Luke 22:15,16. In time the 'new' covenant that Moses brought into being became an 'old covenant' and passed away. In its place would come a genuine 'new covenant' by a greater mediator; a better covenant based on better promises. Heb 8:6.

Passover and Sinai established the basis for a 'church of Israel'; a covenant community set apart from all other communities. Calvary and Pentecost established the basis for another 'church, the 'church of Christ'; a covenant community also set apart from all other communities.

To understand the true nature of 'church' we must not separate Passover and Sinai... nor Calvary and Pentecost.

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