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Celebrating Easter

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We see signs of God’s plan unfolding in the Old Testament. This plan was put in place before creation. God knew the choices humans would make before He even created them. After the serpent (Satan in disguise) tempted Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, God pronounced this curse: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel” (Gen. 3:15).

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   This is called foreshadowing, a hint of something that will happen later. As John R. Cross writes in The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, “God was not talking about women and snakes having an aversion for each other. … The Lord God was saying that he would some day deliver man from Satan. There would be a male child, born of the woman, who would crush Satan’s head—a fatal wound. True, Satan would also hurt the child, but only with a strike at the heel — a temporary injury that would heal.”

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Many other Old Testament stories point to Easter, most prominently that of Passover, when God prepared to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been enslaved for 400 years. Ten times Moses said to Pharoah, “Let my people go.” Each time Pharoah refused, God sent a plague on the Egyptians, but still Pharoah’s heart was hardened (Ex. 7-10). So God planned to send one more plague: On a certain night, the firstborn son of every Egyptian family would die (Ex. 11). God told Moses that each Israelite household must kill a lamb without blemish and put its blood on the doorposts of their home and on the lintel above the door, essentially marking the sign of the cross in the doorway. Then the Lord would pass over that household, sparing the Israelites’ firstborn sons (Ex. 12:1-13).

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At the Last Supper, Jesus and His disciples were celebrating the Passover that foreshadowed Jesus’ death so many years before. Jesus was the lamb without spot or blemish, the only One qualified to die so that we can have eternal life. He who was present at creation knew even then that He would make the ultimate sacrifice, paying the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross.

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But just as God predicted that Satan would strike the heel of the woman’s offspring, He also proclaimed that the Son of Man would crush Satan’s head. Christ’s death on the cross was not the end of the story. Like Jonah, who was spit out of the fish’s mouth after three days (another foreshadowing), Jesus rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion.

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In place before the beginning of time, God’s plan culminated in an empty tomb. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, He offers us new life in Him. Just Between Us (JBU) wants you to experience new life for yourself this Easter. We invite you to explore these articles to give you greater insight into Christ’s death and resurrection.

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