As we head into Easter and reflect on Jesus death, one of the main elements of the whole sacrifice motif is the element of faith on the part of the one to be cleansed. Right throughout the Old Testament and into Jesus ministry, those who encounter God and are forgiven or healed or transformed all exhibit faith. When God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, he had faith that God would raise him from the dead. When the Israelites in Egypt enacted Passover, they had faith that by putting the blood on the door posts the angel of death would pass over. When people offered sacrifices in Jerusalem they had faith that the shed blood would cleanse them from their sin and restore their relationship with God. When Jesus encountered people it was their faith that enabled them to be healed.
The Bible says that faith in Jesus as our Passover lamb leads to salvation for us now. So what is faith? Hebrews 11 tells us that “faith is be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. Jesus said that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed – so it is very powerful when exercised. Yet it can still be hard to grasp and hold on to. The key element of faith is not purely the action but the person or thing in which you put your faith in. Sometimes I seen on car windows stickers that say “Just Believe”, or “Magic Happens”. So you could say that is faith, but I would say it is useless faith because the object is non-existant or powerless. We can put our faith in Jesus because he has demonstrated through his life, death and resurrection that he is the author of life and able to forgive and cleanse once and for all.
So the power comes from the object of our faith, yet there is a need for us to put into action our faith as an act of obedience and trust. When we do that then the mystery of salvation occurs. God’s power is released and we encounter him, and the Holy Spirit changes us from the inside out. We are set free, forgiven, restored, and we become children of God and heirs of the promise of salvation both now and yet to come. May Jesus increase our faith in him.
Grace and Peace - Garry