When you want to get it right, it pays to do a trial run. Practice makes perfect. That’s why this post is exciting to me, and hopefully to you as well! Passover Sunday and Easter Sunday, my pastor was teaching on the timeline leading up to Jesus going to the cross. It was fascinating how every little detail tied together.
Bible scholars calculate that the exodus of the Israelites leaving Egypt was anywhere between 1513 B.C. and 1499 B.C. Add the 33 years of the ministry of Jesus onto that and we come up with 1546 to 1532 years. From the original Passover, the people had to pick an unblemished lamb to sacrifice. The lamb was chosen and then examined for 4 days to assure it was perfect. Another lamb was chosen to be brought to the Temple, where the priest sacrificed it for all the people. So this practice was practiced for over 1500 years.
The veil in the Temple that separates the Most Holy of Holy place, was not a flimsy, see-through bridal veil. It was 30 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet long. It was also a hand’s breadth thick, or approx. 4 inches.
On the 10th of Nisan, the month in the Jewish calendar, Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a donkey’s colt. That is the same day the Passover lambs were selected. For four days Jesus is examined and questioned, just as the lamb is being examined to make sure it is unblemished. On the 14th of Nisan, at 3 p.m. the Passover lamb is sacrificed, as the priest says the words, “It is finished.” At the exact same time, at 3 p.m., Jesus, on the cross said “It is finished” and gives His spirit to God.
When that happens the veil in the Temple is split in two, from top to bottom. God’s way of telling us that we now have free access to the Holy of Holies ourselves, thanks to Jesus!
A thought occurred to me, when the priest in the Temple said the words, sacrificed the lamb, and then the huge, thick curtain split behind him, he had to be startled. What was he thinking?
If it had been me, I would have been thinking, “How lucky am I? That I got to be the priest on duty on the day Jesus gave himself as the perfect sacrifice! We have been doing this for over 1500 years, and I get to be the one saying the words at the same time Jesus said them?”
I’m sure his next thought was, “Geez, now I’m unemployed, because the sacrifice of Jesus just made the true path to forgiveness and salvation, and I’m out of a job, but now I can direct people directly to Him instead.”
In the Bible the number 14 is the number of perfection. Jesus gave Himself to be a sacrifice on the 14th of Nisan. Showing that after 1500 hundred years of doing this sacrifice, practice makes perfect!
I find great hope in this. If God can work all of this exact, detailed plan together from the beginning of time, then He can work all things together for our good. (Rom. 8:28) It just shows me He has it all well in hand, and I have nothing to worry about.
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