The Two Opportunities for Justification--Part 1
Nov 19, 2011
After His resurrection, Jesus explained His death to two men on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:27 says,
"And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures."
In other words, the Law of Moses prophesied of Christ. These men needed to know that the Law had prophesied the timing of Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb. In other words, Moses prophesied that Jesus would die at the same time that all the lambs were being killed for Passover. So the timing of Jesus' death proved that He was the true Passover Lamb.
All of the feast days prophesy of something. The wave-sheaf offering prophesied of His presentation to the Father in heaven to establish officially the fact that He had been raised from the dead. Thus, He was alive before sunrise (John 20:1), but had to wait until the high priest waved the sheaf of barley in the temple before presenting Himself to the Heavenly Court. That occurred at the third hour of the day, or mid-morning.
Likewise, Pentecost, which occurred seven weeks later, prophesied of the baptism of fire in Acts 2. The autumn feasts then prophesy of the events surrounding the second coming of Christ.
The point is that the law is not merely a moral imperative. It is also prophetic of the divine plan. One might say that since the law is the expression of the mind of God, it is a moral imperative for God when dealing with His creation. This is because God will always be true to Himself.
One little known law that is equally prophetic is the law of the Second Passover. Most people tend to skip over this feast day because they do not understand it. The law is found in Num. 9:9-11. This law was revealed a year after Israel had departed from Egypt. In fact, this was their first Passover which they kept in the wilderness. The problem was that a man had died, and his sons had buried him. Having touched a dead body, they were ineligible to keep the Passover. Yet the law said to keep the Passover. So God gave Moses a Supreme Court ruling on this question.
(10) Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, "If any one of you or of your generations becomes unclean because of a dead person, or is on a distant journey, he may, however, observe the Passover to the Lord. (11) In the SECOND MONTH on the fourteenth day at twilight, they shall observe it..."
Verse 14 makes it clear that both Israelites and aliens (foreigners) were to observe the Passover in this manner. "You shall have one statute, both for the alien and for the native of the land."
How does this Second Passover prophesy to us today? Well, Passover itself speaks of Justification by faith in the blood of the Lamb. Inasmuch as the people were to eat the Passover Lamb, they were eating the flesh of Christ and drinking His blood, as Jesus said in John 6:53,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves."
To eat the Passover Lamb, then, spoke of believers receiving LIFE in Christ. Why, then, were there two feasts of Passover a month apart?
It is because many in this life time are "unclean" because of a dead person. They are mortal on account of Adam's sin, and so they touch a dead body constantly. Likewise, they are "on a distant journey" far from Christ. This is the story of the vast majority of mankind throughout history. Is there no Passover for them? Can they not receive Justification at a later time? Can they not eat the flesh of Christ beyond this current journey of life?
For these, there is a Second Passover. It is a second opportunity to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Mainstream theology denies a second opportunity for Justification, but the law of God reveals that this is the mind of God built into the divine plan.
It is not a second "chance," but a second opportunity. God leaves nothing to chance. He is truly concerned with the billions of people throughout history who never really had even one opportunity to hear about Jesus. And so He established a law on which the prophets expounded further.
"But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord."
"Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him; all nations shall serve Him."
Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Isaiah 45:23, 24
(23) I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. (24) They will say of Me, "Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength." Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame.
In my childhood, I was taught that when every knee bows, it will be because they were forced to bow to Christ, but that it would not benefit them at all. Even though they will all swear allegiance to Him, these sinners had passed the deadline for justification. I was taught that there was opportunity for justification only on this present journey of life.
My early teachers did not know the law. There is a law of the Second Passover, by which all men have no choice but to stand before God. The long journey ends at the Great White Throne. No longer will they touch a dead body. The remaining question, then, is how the judgment will affect them, seeing as how they will all know and believe on that day.
The example of Israel's journey from Egypt to the Promised Land shows us that God is interested in more than mere Justification. Justified believers have left Egypt, but God's plan is to mature them through Pentecost so that they may inherit the Promised Land through the Jubilee and the feast of Tabernacles. Being justified at the Great White Throne does not exempt them from undergoing the same baptism of fire (through Pentecost). This is the lake of fire.
To be continued.
This is the first part of a series titled "The Two Opportunities for Justification." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones