Anglican Morning Devotion, 16 April 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
Even in death, our Lord was obedient to the Law. He rested on the Sabbath in the Tomb and arose immediately following the Sabbath. In so doing, the Lord Jesus Christ became OUR Sabbath rest. The old law of the first Testament ended with one word – CURSE – because the Law contained in the Old Testament is a curse to all who depend upon its keeping for salvation. In fact, no man can keep the Law of God with perfect obedience. It was given as a teacher to us to know that we could not earn salvation on our merits. God is a just God who will not condone sin in His presence. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) So what resort does the sinner have? He deserves the fires of Hell, yet God has made a way of return to Himself. Let us read the verse following the one just quoted: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:24-25)
So, in coming to the Throne of Grace by faith, are we made sinless? No, but we have an ‘imputed’ righteousness of Christ upon which to call for we have entered into Christ as Noah and his family entered into the Ark during the days of the Deluge. When God looks upon our tarnished souls, He looks through the blood of His only Begotten Son who knew no sin. He kept the Law perfectly and was without any blemish of sin. He even saved us under the terms of the Law that He satisfied by paying our own penalty!
The Roman seal by which the Tomb was made secure that Pontius Pilate authorized represented the world power of Rome to ensure that the tomb remained inviolate – but that was not enough. The world could not overcome Christ who was the Creator thereof. When Mary Magdalene and the other women came to the Garden Tomb while it was yet dark, the Stone had already been rolled away. They found the Tomb empty. Well, it was, after all, a BORROWED Tomb. No man had ever been laid therein. Because our Lord’s Tomb was borrowed, we, too, are made possessors of a borrowed Tomb. We follow Christ in the death of the cross for we die daily to self. We bury our old selves in the sinner’s death and experience newness of life in our new birth in Him. So we bear our crosses, we die to self, we bury the old man, and are raised anew in Christ. We shall also arise from our borrowed tombs, as He did, on the Last Day.
You see, just as the disciples followed Christ everywhere in His ministry, we must do the same; but we are enabled to go a step further in our burial to self and new birth in Him. The disciples did not have the ‘inside’ information that we have been given following His death. They, too, did not comprehend the truth of what He had taught them concerning His resurrection. So their discipleship temporarily ended at Calvary. They hid in the hedges and watched from afar as He suffered and died. In truth, Christ MUST have suffered alone and deserted in order to pay the full penalty for our sins.
Our Lord gave up the spirit at the very moment of sacrifice of the Passover lambs in the Temple of Jerusalem. (3 P.M.) The Temple Veil of the Holy of Holies was ripped from top to bottom signifying salvation comes from God and is not initiated by man. No longer do we need a worldly High Priest to intercede with the Father on our behalf for we have the one and only High Priest which is Christ who, seated by the Father, is our only intercessor and true Bishop of our souls. It was Christ who was prefigured by the innocent creature slain in Eden to cover the nakedness (sin) of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). He is prefigured in the ram whose horns were caught in the thorns at Mt. Moreh who died in the stead of Isaac; and He was prefigured by the first Passover Lamb whose blood was smeared on the doorposts and lintels of Goshen to ward off the Angel of Death that night of horror in Egypt.
Well, the seven-day Sabbath of old time is ended and we have a new Sabbath – one of seven days instead on one in seven. Christ became our Passover as well as our Sabbath for He works in us and gives us rest from our labors.