Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
It is not an easy matter to understand the doctrinal point Matthew conveys in his Gospel. Many of us were taught that the Gospel of Matthew was simply a storybook. However, Matthew is not a storybook, but a book on the doctrine of the kingdom of the heavens. In order to touch the depths of this book, we need to apply this point to every chapter. In chapters twenty-six through twenty-eight we cannot find the term the kingdom of the heavens. However, everything contained in these chapters is related to the kingdom of the heavens. If we spend time in the Lord’s presence to see the significance of these chapters in relation to the kingdom of the heavens, He will reveal it to us.
Matthew 26:1 and 2 say, “And it came to pass when Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is being delivered up to be crucified.” The word “And” at the beginning of verse 1 joins chapter twenty-six with chapters twenty-four and twenty-five, the prophecy concerning the Jews, the believers, and the Gentiles. Immediately after giving this prophecy of the kingdom, the Lord told His disciples that in two days the Passover was coming and that the Son of Man was being delivered up to be crucified. The significance of the Lord’s word here is that His crucifixion is the fulfillment of the Passover. This Passover was to be the last. The Passover had been observed for more than fifteen centuries. But now the Passover was to be terminated and, in a sense, replaced. By putting together the Passover and the crucifixion of the Son of Man, the Lord was implying that His crucifixion was the fulfillment of the Passover and that He Himself was the Passover Lamb.
The Passover was a type of Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). Christ is the Lamb of God that God may pass over us, the sinners, as portrayed in typology by the Passover in Exodus 12. Hence, Christ as the Passover Lamb had to be killed on the day of the Passover for its fulfillment.
According to the type, the Passover Lamb had to be examined for its perfection during the four days preceding the day of the Passover (Exo. 12:3-6). Before His crucifixion, Christ came to Jerusalem the last time, six days before the Passover (John 12:1), and was examined by the Jewish leaders for a few days (Matt. 21:23—22:46). There was no blemish found in Him, and He was proved to be perfect and qualified to be the Passover Lamb for us.
As the Passover Lamb, Christ was a test to all the people. Throughout the centuries, Christ has constantly been such a test. We cannot be neutral regarding Him. Rather, whatever we are will be tested by Him. We must do something about Him, and we must react to Him. Our reaction will reveal our attitude toward this Passover Lamb.
Verses 3 through 5 indicate that Christ was hated by the religionists. The chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel together how they might seize Jesus by craftiness and kill Him. Can you believe that religion exercised craftiness in order to kill the Lord Jesus? Verse 5 says, “But they said, Not at the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” Eventually, under God’s sovereignty, they did kill the Lord Jesus at the feast (27:15) for the fulfillment of the type. This indicates that Christ’s crucifixion was sovereignly under God’s hand to fulfill the Passover. By hating the Lord Jesus, the first class of people, the religionists, were exposed.
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