This is the third part in a series on what I think was going on behind the scene on Passover, ca. 29 A.D. The first part was the in the garden article, the second was the on the cross article, now what was going on while Jesus' body was in the tomb. Notice what I underlined above. Second Peter 1:20 says, "No prophecy of the scripture is of anyprivate interpretation." The Greek word translated private is idios (id'-ee-os), meaning pertaining to self, one's own, and private. I'm pretty sure our English word idiot, idiotes in Greek, is related to this word. If it is I hope you give me some slack. I believe God deals in logic, and feel confident analyzing His activities in a logical manner.
The preparation for the crucifixion began in Eden when Adam & Eve disobeyed God. For some reason the thing that seems to have bothered them most was being embarrassed about their nakedness, so they "sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons" (Gen. 3:7). God's initial response was to demonstrate that man could not cover up his sin; only God can do that, so He killed an animal and made them clothes from the skin (Gen. 3:21). Proof that Adam got the message that blood had to be shed to cover sin, and that he relayed it to his sons, is evident in Gen. 4, when God accepted Abel's animal sacrifice but did not accept Cain's "fruit of the ground" offering. The fact that this was known to be the accepted form of worship is shown over and over through Noah (Gen. 8:20) and Abraham (Gen. 22:13); bringing us to the first Passover in Egypt (Ex. 12:11). The bottom line with God is made plain in Ex. 12:13 when He said, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you."
Passover was established as a public worship service in Lev. 23, where it is called a feast, a holy convocation. It began about sundown on the 14th of Abib, the Hebrew first month of the New Year (corresponding to approx. April on our calendar), and lasted 7 days. The first Passover required each Hebrew family to kill a lamb or kid, dip a bunch of hyssop in the blood and paint both door posts and the lintel. That's when God made the statement referenced above from Ex. 12:13. Once the Tabernacle was assembled, and later when Solomon's Temple was constructed, the blood of the sacrifice was taken into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the Mercy Seat. This Mercy Seat was the solid gold lid on the gold-plated box called the Ark (Ex. 37:6), a replica of the true Mercy Seat in God's throne in Heaven. The ritual the High Priest went through to do this is explained in Lev. 16:14 in relation to the Day of Atonement. He would dip his finger in the bowl of blood and sprinkle the Mercy Seat, then he would sprinkle blood seven times before the Mercy Seat (before means on the face of) in the direction from west to east. That blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat covered the people's sin from God's sight for one year.
Now what do I logically think was going on during those 3 days Jesus' body was in the tomb. The first thing He did was go to His Father's throne and sprinkle His own blood on the Mercy Seat. When He met Mary Magdalene in front of the tomb He said to her, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father" (John 20:17). I'm convinced He would have sprinkled the Mercy Seat, then the face of it seven times, west to east, just like Aaron and dozens of other high priests had done it in the Temple for over 1500 years. The big difference is His blood didn't cover up man's sin, it removed it "As far as the east is from the west," (Ps. 103:12); "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Heb. 10:17). The second thing He did (as I discussed in the Jesus in Hell article back in Nov. 2014) was descend into the Paradise section of hell, as Paul tells us in Eph. 4:8-10, and Peter in I Pet. 3:19. I'm sure Daniel and David and the old Prophets and all those who had died righteously under the previous dispensations were glad to see Him. He told them who He was and what He had just done, preached the Gospel to them, and then led captivity captive. Those two words are a play on the Greek word for a prisoner of war. All those souls are now in Heaven where paradise has been relocated to (2 Cor. 12:4 & Rev. 2:7).
You may be recalling that Greek work idiotes, but that's what I think happened during those 3 days. Next month I'll expand on this with an article called The Atonement.
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