Sermon: By This We Know Love!
Jesus felt immense agony over the prospect of taking mankind's sin upon Himself, but was nevertheless determined to pursue the course His Father had set before Him. Passover focuses on Jesus Christ's shed blood, not our sins. Three times Pilate declared Christ innocent but yielded to the demands of the crowd for His execution. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, kept God's law perfectly, becoming a substitutionary sacrifice for Adam and Eve's offspring, all of whom have broken this law. Everyone stands condemned under the penalty of the law. Love is the purpose and intent of the law (John 15:9-13, Galatians 5:14) and is distinct from the spirit of the halakha, the oral law, with its many "pharisaical" prescriptions. As God's people keep God's law in its spiritual intent, they begin to think like the Father and His Son, both of whom habitually do good. As Jesus' brother James asserts, it is the doer and not merely the hearer who keeps and truly honors God's law. Loving God and loving others fulfill the law, moving one out of the realm of the letter into the spirit. The Days of Unleavened Bread represents the sanctification process in which obeying God's commandments and putting out sin, imitating Jesus Christ, is the prescribed course set before God's people.
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