articlesqa April 07, 2016 adopting the lamb
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of thinkheaven.com
You can­not adopt Christ as your own on your own. You must adopt Him when you are a part of a fam­i­ly, a Church. Do not just go to church. Be­come one with your lo­cal church. His Sal­va­tion of you will grow the more you be­long to a church.

Four Days

A friend of mine men­tioned this pas­sage in Bible Study and I thought it was pret­ty cool. Be­fore the Passover, God gave Is­rael a com­mand that seems cu­ri­ous when we ex­am­ine it close­ly. In Ex­o­dus 12:1-6, God tells them to sac­ri­fice a lamb and lat­er He tells them to put the blood of the lamb on their door so that the judg­ment of God, the an­gel of death, would pass over their house­hold. This act of smear­ing the blood is strange enough. But what is real­ly strange is what God says they should do with the lamb be­fore the sac­ri­fice. No­tice in verse 3, He said that they should take the lamb on the 10th day and keep it. Yet the sac­ri­fice doesn’t hap­pen un­til the 14th day in verse 6. Also no­tice that it is not one lamb for one per­son. In­stead it is one lamb for one fam­i­ly. What is the point then of keep­ing the lamb for an­oth­er four days? Why isn’t it one lamb for one per­son? Why wasn’t it one lamb for the whole of Is­rael? Why is it one lamb for a small group with­in the larg­er group of Is­rael?

Well, we be­gan to talk about this in the last ar­ti­cle. The lamb was kept for four days to al­low time for bond­ing and the cre­ation of com­mu­ni­ty be­tween the fam­i­ly and the lamb. The lamb was to be­come a part of the fam­i­ly so that the death of the lamb could be­come the death of the fam­i­ly. The lamb has to spend time with and be­come a part of the com­mu­ni­ty be­fore the death of the lamb could be­come the death of the com­mu­ni­ty. For this rea­son, Christ came to spend time with us. So that when He died, we could die with Him.

Only those who know Je­sus Christ (See Kierkegaard, Philo­soph­i­cal Frag­ments) and are in union with His Com­mu­ni­ty can mourn over His death and die with Him on the cross Gal 2:20. Only those who die with Him can rise with Him Rom 6:5, 2 Tim 2:11-12. Only those who die with Him can die to their sin Col 3:1-5, Rom 8:11-13.

One Fam­i­ly

How­ev­er, the death of the lamb could not only be com­mu­nal. It also had to be deeply re­la­tion­al and in­di­vid­ual. Yet, the sac­ri­fice could not also only be pure­ly in­di­vid­ual. This is part of why God said one lamb for one fam­i­ly be­cause the fam­i­ly is the small­est unit of com­mu­ni­ty. If it was one lamb for all of Is­rael, then the sac­ri­fice is no longer per­son­al. Not every­one will get to know the lamb per­son­al­ly and not every­one would be touched by the sac­ri­fice of the lamb.

Yet if it is only one lamb for one per­son, then the grief be­comes too per­son­al and too nar­row. Grief is an odd thing. It can only ex­ist when it is per­son­al but it can only grow when it is shared. The more peo­ple per­son­al­ly ex­pe­ri­ence the grief of a death, the larg­er and more tex­tured the grief be­comes and the deep­er the death of both the in­di­vid­ual and the com­mu­ni­ty. When death oc­curs in the com­mu­ni­ty, the com­mu­ni­ty not only dies but every mem­ber of the com­mu­ni­ty dies in a dif­fer­ent way. Each per­son had a dif­fer­ent re­la­tion­ship with the one who died and so their ex­pe­ri­ence of that death will also be dif­fer­ent. There­fore, I do not only die my own death through the loss of the one loved. No, with­in a com­mu­ni­ty, I also die in all the dif­fer­ent ways every mem­ber of com­mu­ni­ty died be­cause each of them has also lost this loved one.

The fa­ther grieves over him­self be­cause part of him died when he sac­ri­ficed the lamb. Yet he also grieves over his daugh­ter be­cause a part of her died when this lamb died. And he also grieves be­cause he will nev­er see that same love in the eyes of his son be­cause this lamb was slain. And in such a way grief grows in size when it is felt and re­flect­ed in the hearts of many peo­ple. This is the foun­da­tion of what Paul calls grow­ing into the full­ness of Je­sus Christ Eph­esians 4:11-14 since His first gift to men was His Death on the Cross.

So a per­son­al grief would be too small to re­flect the mag­ni­tude of the lamb that was slain. But if the num­ber of peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty is too large, then death of the lamb would not touch every­one in the com­mu­ni­ty since there would not have been enough time to ac­tu­al­ly get to know the lamb. The grief has to be per­son­al so that it might be born but it also has to be com­mu­nal so that it might ma­ture.

Re­ject­ing The Lamb

Yet the union of the lamb with the fam­i­ly also has an­oth­er and quite op­po­site ef­fect. As the day of sac­ri­fice grows near­er, each mem­ber of the will of­ten be­gin to dis­tance them­selves from the lamb. They know the lamb is marked for sac­ri­fice and with each pass­ing day, the day of sac­ri­fice grows clos­er. They know the grief they will feel if they al­low them­selves to get too close. They be­gin to cre­ate more emo­tion­al dis­tance so that the shock of the loss will be less. In fact, it may come to a point that by the fourth day, they strive to feel noth­ing for the lamb so as to shield them­selves emo­tion­al­ly from the death of this lamb.

Yes the lamb must die but the grief would be too per­son­al and un­bear­able if they at­tached them­selves too per­son­al­ly to the lamb. For this rea­son the dis­ci­ples ran from Je­sus Mark 14:50. Yet we must re­mem­ber the words of Solomon who said it is bet­ter to go to a fu­ner­al than to a par­ty. At a fu­ner­al, you might learn a few things Ec­cle­si­astes 7:1-4 among them be­ing this thing he called “glad­ness of heart”. And so the more dis­tant you are from the Lamb that was slain, the less glad­ness of heart you will learn at His fu­ner­al and the less joy you will ex­pe­ri­ence at His Res­ur­rec­tion. How far away are you from the lamb? How much have you shield­ed your­self emo­tion­al­ly from His Death? Is the Cross a raw wound in your soul or like a false prophet, have you healed your­self light­ly Je­re­mi­ah 6:14, 8:11 by cre­at­ing emo­tion­al dis­tance be­tween your­self and the Lamb?

The eas­i­est way to cre­ate this emo­tion­al dis­tance is to avoid the com­mu­ni­ty of be­liev­ers or to avoid go­ing to church. By do­ing this, though you may be a Chris­t­ian, your grief over the cross, your sor­row over your sin be­comes too per­son­al, too small and re­mains weak. This is be­cause, as we have said, grief only grows as it is re­flect­ed in the hearts of those who also mourn His Death and mourn their sins that drove Him there. So also, your joy be­comes too per­son­al, too small and weak. This is be­cause joy, like grief, also only grows when you can see oth­er hearts leap­ing be­cause of His Res­ur­rec­tion. I’ve heard many Chris­tians say they don’t have to be part of a church com­mu­ni­ty. But I hope the above shows I can only tru­ly grieve over my sin and re­joice over my sal­va­tion in Christ, when I am part of a church com­mu­ni­ty. In fact, choos­ing to not be part of a Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ty de­grades my Chris­t­ian life so much, that I should be­gin to won­der if I am a Chris­t­ian at all. The first step of be­ing part of a church com­mu­ni­ty is this: Go to Church!

A weak grief at the cross means a greater love for sin. A small joy over His Res­ur­rec­tion means a greater joy and love for the world. So Paul is right to say we can only grow into the full knowl­edge of Christ to­geth­er. Let us not for­get the warn­ing of John con­cern­ing a love for the world 1 John 2:15-17. So do not weep at the Cross alone. Weep and mourn with your broth­ers and sis­ters, fa­thers and moth­ers. And do not re­joice about His Res­ur­rec­tion alone. Re­joice with broth­ers and sis­ters, fa­thers and moth­ers. So that your grief may be­come full and your joy as well John 15:10-12.

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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3

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