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Monday, October 28, 2013

What It Means to be Filled with the Holy Spirit # 13

"And When the Day of Pentecost Was Fully Come" (continued)

Christ is Our Passover

We are to partake of Christ, for in Christ we find ALL That Wholly Satisfies and Delights God! And if we look again at John six, we will see that the Lord Jesus begins to make this very clear to us as He proclaims: "I AM the Bread of Life." And John 6:4 tells us that when the Lord proclaimed that He was the Bread of Life, another Passover was near; and this implies that at least a year had passed since Jesus cleansed the temple (John 2:13). And although John does not record it all, it had been a time of ministering to the needs of the multitudes, and it had been a time of teaching and of training for His disciples: - the Sermon on the Mount had been given (Matthew 5; 6 and 7); the twelve apostles had been called; can He healed many that were sick of various diseases, and cast out many demons; and much, much more. Furthermore, it had been a time of intense spiritual conflict between Christ and the religious leaders as the enemy furthered his plan to kill the Christ of God; for satan knew that when Christ fulfilled God's purpose, his doom was sealed (Mark 2:6, 24; Mark 3:6; John 5:10-18).

Now, it was during the season of the Passover that the Feast of Unleavened Bread was also kept; and in John six, we find our Lord Jesus revealing further the true meaning and reality of these Feasts of the Lord as He miraculously feeds over 5,000. Each of the Gospels records this important incident: Matthew tells us that, "Jesus ... saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and He healed their sick; Luke tells us that, "He received them and spake  unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing"; Mark tells us, "And Jesus, when He came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and He began to teach them many things". John tells us that it was the Passover season, and only n John do we find the full meaning of the feeding of the 5,000.

So, "When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a great company came unto Him, He saith unto Philip, 'Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' And this He said to prove him: for He Himself knew what He would do" (John 6:5, 6). Jesus knew what He would do, for He knew what was in the hearts of men. He knew that this great company that was coming unto Him was not only hungry physically, but He knew that in their hearts, they were starving spiritually. He also knew that these 5,000 men that were coming unto Him were, be decree of the Law of God, on their way, or soon would be on their way, to Jerusalem to the Feast of Passover and to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For God's Law decreed that "three times in a year all thy males shall appear at (1) the Feast of the Passover and Unleavened Bread, and at (2) the Feast of Pentecost, and (3) the Feast of Tabernacles. This is why John 6 numbers the men, and not the women and children.

Yes, Jesus "knew what He would do," for He knew that the "feasts of the Jews", held at the temple in Jerusalem, would not sustain the people's lives "before the Lord God." Jesus was about to announce that the Law of God had been fulfilled: - the Law which had brought these Passover pilgrims three times a year before the Lord their God had been fulfilled. He knew that the "time had come, and now is" that He alone could sustain their lives before God. And, now, all who would "come unto Him" - both men, women and children - would partake of Him Who is the Bread of Life.

So Jesus fed the 5,000. Consequently, when the men who had seen the miracle realized that Jesus could meet their natural and material needs, they wanted to make Him a king, by force if necessary. But Jesus perceived their intent and departed, because He was not to be a king in the old creation. No! He was the True Bread from Heaven! He was the Eternal Life and the life Sustainer of the New Creation!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 14)

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