ArticlesPoetry Apr 11, 2016 The Perfect Sacrifice
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Creator and author, thinkheaven.com

Je­sus is the Cer­e­mo­ny in which we meet God. His Body is The In­ter­ces­sion for in Him God pleads with Him­self for man

So Far

So far we’ve been talk­ing about what it meant that Je­sus be­came per­fect. We have talked about His Na­ture as both ful­ly God and ful­ly man. We talked about how His Work was His Per­son in the sense that He had to have a per­fect re­la­tion­ship with God and a per­fect re­la­tion­ship with hu­man be­ings as well. A per­fect re­la­tion­ship with God means that He walked be­fore God per­form­ing all the works God was per­form­ing. He did only what He saw His Fa­ther do­ing John 5:19. The past 2 ar­ti­cles have been fo­cused on what it means for Him to be in re­la­tion­ship with us and for us to in a re­la­tion­ship with Him. We have been an­gling and ap­proach­ing the cul­mi­na­tion of His Work on the Cross. Now I hope we can ac­tu­al­ly be­gin to ap­proach what that Work means.

The Cer­e­mo­ny

In the last the most re­cent ar­ti­cle, we talked about the Passover and the sac­ri­fice of the lamb. Par­tic­u­lar­ly we em­pha­sized the pe­ri­od of time that oc­curred be­fore the sac­ri­fice. You see it wasn’t just enough to take a lamb and kill it and put the blood on the door. They had to do it in the way that God told them to do it. This pe­ri­od of time can gen­er­al­ly be de­fined in the word cer­e­mo­ny. Now some cer­e­monies can be sim­ple like that of Ex­o­dus 12 or can be elab­o­rate like that of Leviti­cus 8:14-16. The only im­por­tant thing about the cer­e­mo­ny is that it is done in the way God says to do it. The point we will talk about is this: the most im­por­tant part of the cer­e­mo­ny is the Pres­ence of God and His Ap­proval. This is the les­son of Gen­e­sis 2:16-17, 4:4-7. God can only be Pre­sent in ap­proval where He is be­ing obeyed.

An­oth­er way to think about the sig­nif­i­cance of the cer­e­mo­ny is the the anal­o­gy of the wed­ding. Many will say that the most sig­nif­i­cant part of the wed­ding is the vow and the kiss. But we should re­mem­ber that the vow and the kiss are al­ways swal­lowed up in a cer­e­mo­ny. De­pend­ing on the cul­ture, wed­ding cer­e­monies can be elab­o­rate and long or brief and small but there is al­ways a cer­e­mo­ny. So also many will say the most im­por­tant part of a sac­ri­fice is the ac­tu­al sac­ri­fice but it should not be for­got­ten that God has clothed the act of sac­ri­fice in a cer­e­mo­ny that has to oc­cur both be­fore and af­ter the sac­ri­fice. The aim of a wed­ding is the unite the groom and the bride. So also, the point of the sac­ri­fice is to unite two groups: God and the peo­ple. In or­der for the union to oc­cur, God and the peo­ple must, like a bride and bride­groom, ap­proach each oth­er in the dec­o­rat­ed space and the or­ches­trat­ed time known as a cer­e­mo­ny.

Now we will be­gin with a state­ment that may be dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand but will be ex­plained short­ly. Je­sus is the Cer­e­mo­ny in which we meet God. Now this may sound odd. How can a per­son be an event?! Well, let us re­mem­ber what Je­sus said in John 14:6. How can a Per­son be a Way, a Truth and a Life? I am not com­plete­ly sure. I only want­ed to point out that it is not too far fetched to say that He is also the Cer­e­mo­ny. What does a cer­e­mo­ny mean when we are talk­ing about sac­ri­fice? The cer­e­mo­ny is the place in time and space where God meets the peo­ple and the peo­ple meet God. I have just said that Je­sus was our Cer­e­mo­ny. This means I now have to show how Je­sus is the meet­ing place for God and those who be­lieve in Him.

God - The Lamb - The Peo­ple

In many ways, show­ing how Je­sus is our place and oc­ca­sion for meet­ing God has been the whole point of learn­ing how Je­sus was made per­fect. As we said the Per­fec­tion of Je­sus en­com­passed many things and among them was His Per­fect re­la­tion­ship with God and His Per­fect re­la­tion­ship with us, hu­man be­ings. Je­sus is the ul­ti­mate me­di­a­tor, bro­ker, in­ter­ces­sor. Be­cause He knows God and God ap­proves of Him Matthew 3:17, 17:5 and be­cause we know and be­lieve in Him John 14:1, then it be­comes as if Je­sus in­vites us over for din­ner at His House to meet His Fa­ther. In essence He is the only oc­ca­sion and space any man or woman can have for meet­ing God. He is our Cer­e­mo­ny.

But that pre­vi­ous para­graph was so dry. Let me tell you a sto­ry you have of­ten heard be­fore. Once upon a time there was a young prince who lived well in the palace of his fa­ther the king. Now the king was wise and kind and as the prince grew up, he came to pos­sess a good heart just like his fa­ther. One day, as the prince was walk­ing through the city sur­round­ed by his per­son­al guard, he saw a girl about his age stand­ing on the cor­ner. Her clothes were old and ragged and she stood there beg­ging for coin or bread. He turned to one of his sol­diers and asked, “Who is that girl?“. The sol­dier did not know. Af­ter all, there were many such beg­gars in the streets. The prince was lost in the depths of thought though his feet con­tin­ued to move along the road to his fa­ther’s house.

When he ar­rived home, he said to his fa­ther the king, “I have met a woman and she is love­ly. I want to mar­ry her.”
The king was de­light­ed and ex­cit­ed and said to him, “Tell me all about her.”
“Well fa­ther,” the son said, “her clothes are the lat­est fash­ion among her peo­ple. She is an en­tre­pre­neur and works hard to find wealth wher­ev­er pos­si­ble.”
The king per­ceived that she was a beg­gar and said to his son, “Son, I see that you see more in this woman than is ac­tu­al­ly there. She is a beg­gar and does not know the ways of the Palace. You can­not mar­ry her...”
“But fa­ther,” the prince in­ter­rupt­ed, “I may be see­ing into her what she isn’t right now but I know in my heart that she can be more than what she is now.”
“Well son, if you would let me fin­ish,” said the king, “I was go­ing to say you can­not mar­ry her un­less you teach her the ways of the king­dom.”

And so the prince walked away think­ing and plan­ning what he would do. He knew that he couldn’t just show up and meet her in his fan­cy clothes and rid­ing a horse. She would be too over­whelmed and would do what­ev­er he said but she would nev­er have the heart that he and his fa­ther pos­sessed. He had no choice. He had to leave the palace, leave the clothes and leave the sol­diers. He had to dress like her, smell like her and talk like her so that he could get to know her and she could get to know him. Yet through his ac­tions, he let her know that he was the prince. And when she asked where he was from and why he had a strange ac­cent, he would tell her that he was the prince and his fa­ther was the king. She might then call him crazy, or she might call him a liar but maybe, out of cu­rios­i­ty, she would stay. And he hoped, that in time, she would come to be­lieve him and even­tu­al­ly rec­og­nized him as lord. All the while, he would hope and pray that as they got to know each oth­er, she would ac­quire his heart. For only af­ter she knew the ways of the king­dom, could he take her to meet his fa­ther. And ex­act­ly as he had thought, the prince did.

Many, many, many years lat­er, the prince re­turned to the king­dom with the woman by his side. They both wore tat­tered clothes and their faces were cov­ered in dirt. The prince had ac­quired old scars and the woman had new­er ones but the king im­me­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized his son and em­braced him. The son, mo­men­tar­i­ly es­cap­ing the em­brace, took the hands of the woman be­side him and turn­ing to his fa­ther, he said him, “Fa­ther, if you will re­ceive us, this is my bride. I have come to know her and she has come to know me. She has my heart even as I have your own.” The fa­ther, with­out hes­i­ta­tion, em­braced the woman and said to her, “Wel­come home my daugh­ter. Since my son left so many years ago, I filled every sec­ond with a long­ing to meet you.”

Per­fec­tion

As the sto­ry above shows, the cer­e­mo­ny was more than just the fan­fare and food sur­round­ing the lat­er wed­ding. The cer­e­mo­ny be­gan when the prince went out to make the woman his bride by en­ter­ing into a re­la­tion­ship with her. He had to do it this way so that he could even­tu­al­ly take her to meet his fa­ther. This sto­ry in many ways re­flects the sac­ri­fice of Je­sus on the cross. The cross, the sac­ri­fice of Je­sus, is a meet­ing place for God and the peo­ple. The cross would not be the cross if Je­sus didn’t ac­tu­al­ly bring any­body to the cross. And how could He have brought peo­ple with­out first know­ing them? There­fore, He had to form re­la­tion­ships with the peo­ple around Him.

Yet, He couldn’t just do it the way He want­ed. He had to do it the way God want­ed. Oth­er­wise, He would have ex­changed the good Heart of the Fa­ther for the cor­rupt heart of the peo­ple. Had He be­come cor­rupt­ed, then the Fa­ther would not have rec­og­nized Him when He re­turned to the King­dom and again, the peo­ple could not have been in­tro­duced to the Fa­ther. So again we say, the Work of Je­sus was His Per­son. He was Per­fect in re­la­tion­ship to us and Per­fect in His Walk with the Fa­ther. Only those who know and re­late to Je­sus, can meet the Fa­ther.

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