February 5 - Message Update

Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of February 5, 2017

Thank you Greg Ng, for the message from Exodus 12:21-28, What do you Mean?” We are continuing in our sermon series in Exodus. We are at the point in the narrative where Moses and Aaron have gone before Pharaoh to ask for the release of the Israelites from slavery. Pharaoh refuses and so God performs 10 plagues on Egypt in order to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Each plague is increasingly severe and each time Pharaoh stubbornly refuses to release the Israelites.  God had enacted the first 9 plagues and we are right before the 10th and final plague. As we look at this passage, we want to answer the question, Why the Lamb? What is the significance of the Lamb in the Passover?‍

The Lamb is the COVER for our SALVATION.

God instructs the Israelites to stay inside. It says in verse 22, “None of you shall go out”. The reason is that God is going to release the destroyer. And what we see here is that the destroyer is not just coming for the Egyptians. The implication here is that any Israelite who leaves the house will also meet the same fate as the Egyptians. Pastor Tim Keller says this about the Passover, “On one night, in one place, eternal, divine, judgment day justice is coming down. There is going to be a temporary, preliminary, but devastating judgment day.” There is only one thing that will protect you from the destroyer – a lamb. The weakest, meekest, mildest animal there is. They are to kill a lamb, eat it with their family, and put the blood on their doorposts. Why the Lamb? We need to understand that back in that time and in that culture it was understood that your first born belongs to God (Exodus 22:29). We see this in Genesis 22 where God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering to God.‍ Abraham was not surprised – the firstborn belongs to God and God was calling in the debt. When God saw Abraham’s faith, he stops Abraham and provides a ram for him to sacrifice as a substitute for Isaac.‍ The debt of the first born son Isaac was redeemed through the sacrifice of the ram.

For the Passover, God is calling the whole land of Egypt for the debt owed to him – the firstborn.‍ Exodus 12:12 says, “…I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt.” Just as God allowed the ram to be the substitute sacrifice for Isaac, God allowed the Passover lamb to be the substitute sacrifice for the firstborn of the Israelites. The destroyer would pass over those who remained inside and under the protection of the blood. The Passover is a foreshadowing of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.‍ Here is the principle: According to Romans 6:23, because of our sin, we owe a debt or a wage to God which is death. But the debt is paid through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7). In the same way, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is an acceptable substitute for the death we deserve because of our sins.

The Lamb is the CENTER of our CELEBRATION.

In verses 24-28, God commands the Israelites to remember and celebrate the Passover.‍ He says, “You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever.” They are to keep this service – the Passover celebration. For Jews the Passover celebration is one of the central things that make them who they are. For Christians, a revised Passover celebration which we call Communion is one of the central acts of Christian worship.‍ What is at the center of both of these? The lamb. If we fast forward from Moses’ time to Jesus’ time, we see at the Last Supper the celebration of the Passover. At the Last Supper, Jesus imparts a new meaning to the Passover. Jesus will become the Passover lamb through His sacrifice and death on the cross which is represented by the bread and the cup. Here are some observations about the Passover which we can also apply to Communion. The Passover is multi-generational (v24). It is to be kept and celebrated in all locations (v25).  The Passover is to be used to provide a teaching opportunity for children (v26-27a). The Passover is meant to be communal and worshipful (v27).

Isn’t this what SANLO is all about? Serve Adore Nurture Learn Outreach.‍ All these things center around Jesus, the Lamb of God. Without Jesus – there is no reason or purpose to the Passover. Without Jesus – there is no reason or purpose to SANLO. The Grow SANLO campaign is primarily about getting a new facility, but SANLO the community is not about a facility. Grow SANLO is an opportunity to get a new facility with a larger chapel, with more classrooms and a play area for the kids. But more than that, the Grow SANLO campaign is an opportunity to grow who we are as SANLO the community. It is about making sure that Jesus is at the center of all that we are as SANLO. It is about discipling new members in our congregation and in our classrooms. It is about training and mentoring new leaders and teachers.

To Grow SANLO will require all of us. It will be costly. We will have to sacrifice our time, our talents, and our treasures. But here is how we can do it. We can make these sacrifices because Jesus, the Lamb of God has already paid the ultimate price for our salvation.  We have no debt to pay back, no obligations, no interest payments. We are free to SANLO, to Serve, to Adore, to Nurture, to Learn and to Outreach. We are free to Grow SANLO.

Calendar Items:

2/6          7:30pm           Young Life Host Family Information Meeting

2/12                               Grow San Lo Capital Campaign Launch

2/12      12:45pm            Missions Team meeting in room 8-9

2/19      12:45pm            NAOMI Arizona mission Information meeting in room 8-9-10

2/25      10:00am            55+ Brunch with PACE Workshop & Laurie Shigekuni on Elder Care (Gary Yamashita)

3/2-4                              B.A.S.S. Convention

3/5                                 Visitor Day

3/5     both services       Missions Moment – JEMS Mt. Hermon Special Camp

3/11    10am-12pm         Special Camp Information Meeting

3/14-21                          Young Life Homestay Program (Daisuke and Cheryl Ikegami)

3/26        9:00am           CE Teacher’s Brunch & Training meeting

3/26      10:45am            Missions Moment – Joey and Jasmine Tell (http://www.wheelchairproject.com/the_team/) 

4/7          7:11pm           B.A.M.

4/8       11am-3pm         Church Picnic at the CV Community Center (Vern Hu)

4/9                                 Palm Sunday

4/16                               Easter

4/23   both services       Greetings/sharing from David and Sue Verwey (Japan Mission)

4/29     8am – 2pm         Love East Bay – Spring Serve (Pastor Eric)

4/29     9am – 1pm         Special Camp Aide Training (English sanctuary and kitchen use)

Have a blessed week as we Grow San Lo,

Stan , for SLZJCC