In our family, we keep Shabbat. This just means that we observe the Sabbath, as the 4th commandment teaches, as a day to avoid chores and work and instead we spend time with each other, with friends and most importantly, with God. It is a day for relationship. This provides the perfect opportunity for me to sit down and do an in depth Bible study with the kids every Saturday morning, and we've come to cherish this time together.
Our last study was in Genesis, but we ended up learning something so much more amazing than simply the creation story (which is awesome in itself) that I just have to share it! When we typically think of Christ's sacrifice, we think of His death on the cross. But, until now, I never really realized that it was much more than just that Passover day.
It began that we were studying how Adam and Eve, before their fall into sin, were in perfect communion with God. They didn't need clothing because because they were "clothed" in righteousness...they were sin free. This "clothing" may have been very much like the "Shekinah," the fire/light in the cloud that was the presence of God Himself, that led the Israelites in the wilderness. The light shining from within them must have been so glorious and overcoming that they had no need of clothing to cover their flesh. They lost that pure, white, bright light of righteousness the moment they disobeyed God's instructions (sin), thus exposing their nakedness. As punishment for their sin, Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden, that beautiful and sustaining environment that God had created just for them to dwell in. They were thrown out of their perfect dwelling, and an angel bearing swords was placed at the gate to prevent their re-entry into the garden. They were separated from that unity with their Creator. Since He is our source of life, our separation from Him brings slow death.
This whole time, the Messiah was dwelling as God in the heavenlies. When He came to Earth as the Messiah, He had to take on the flesh of sinful man, that dirty flesh void of God's "Shekinah" glory, so that He could walk as we walk. He gave up His rightful place as the Right Hand of God. He allowed Himself to be separated, just as we are separated in our sinful, agonizing state. He was cast out of the garden just as we were. The moment He allowed Himself to be conceived into that human state, He was separated. His own slow death began. He experienced that fullness of separation for the 30 odd years that He walked among us, experiencing the pain that we all know so well, right alongside of us. As if that separation wasn't enough, He had to die a bloody death to fulfill the promise of a Sacrifice in our stead. But finally free from His fleshly "veil," He was freed from that separation and resurrected to His rightful place once again! This gives a whole new meaning to his last words in Mark 15:34, "'Elohi! Elohi! L'mah sh'vaktani?' (which means, 'My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?')" His death began at the moment of his conception.
His living was the sacrifice. This tears at my heart in the deepest of ways and it brings me to my knees.
And it makes me wonder if my living is the sacrifice it needs to be?