Holy Thursday: Does Your Heaven Have Barbed Wire?

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Bible Readings for Holy Thursday, April 21st, 2011 – The 1st Week of Easter

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Exodus 12:1-14

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

John 13:1-17, 31b-35

  • The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. – Exodus 12:13
  • What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. – Psalm 116:12-13
  • In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:25
  • For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.- John 13:25, 34

When I strike the “Land of Egypt”

Conceptually, the biblical “Egypt” represents the same thing for us today as it did to the Jews during passover for thousands of years:

  • A societal and political system of the domination of the many by the few.
  • Vast inequity and injustice.
  • Rampant apathy and hubris.

In a mystical context, the biblical “Egypt” has never changed over the millennia. “Egypt” still represents the worst of the World of Man. It is the very symbol of selfishness, the crucible of greed,  the temple of Mammon, and the repository for the “Wisdoms of the World”, that great and unholy library of all our “wise ways” in direct opposition to the Word of God.

God has promised to strike “the Land of Egypt” once and for all, and permanently rip its foundations from the landscapes of our spiritual hearts. Additionally, we can only be guaranteed safety from this holy destruction of all things “Egypt” by the Blood of the Lamb.

Exodus 12

4. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.

If we ensure that all of us have an equal portion of the Lamb, the God’s spiritual destruction of “Egypt” will pass us all over and our hearts and souls will be forever changed. We will finally be free of “Egypt”: the ways of greed, the ways of war, the ways of inequity, the ways of man.

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD…

This liberation from the ways of the world is not a private gift, not in the least. It is meant to be shared amongst all of the nations of the Earth, amongst all of God’s beloved children, anywhere that “Egypt” and Pharoah still reign in the hearts of God’s children.

If we are ever tempted to call this cup exclusive, we will be laying the foundations for our own “New Egypt”, and through the greed for our own salvation we will have become not as God, but as Pharaoh.

This cup is the new covenant in my blood…

Jesus offers us a new covenant. This is paramount for modern Christians to understand! Listen of you have ears! Read if you have eyes!

The language of the Old Testament is the language of an expired contract. It’s terms no longer apply. It is void.

Relying on the terms of the Old Testament as a rule and guide in conjunction with the New Testament is akin to looking at your old mortgage statements (with the much higher and adjustable interest rate) to calculate your mortgage payment. It doesn’t make any sense. God has refinanced the terms of our salvation with us. God has taken the spiritual equivalent of a 2-year ARM at 8% and given us deed and title outright, paid in full!

Would you still pay on an old mortgage if the house was paid in full? No? Then why do we allow our church leaders to tell us that we still need to pay on salvation?

I give you a new commandment…

“… that you love one another.

Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

Ah, the title and deed of our salvation did come with a new rule. However, this is not a requirement for keeping our salvation, we hold that title forever. Rather, Jesus’ commandment is like a community covenant, designed to promote the betterment of the community and it’s appeal to others considering moving in.

Like our own neighborhood covenants, if the covenants said “no barbed-wire-topped chain link fences” and you turned down the white picket fence in favor of survivalist-chic, you would never lose your home’s title and deed for violating that covenant rule. Similarly, we do not lose our salvation for violating Jesus’ covenant rule. However, favoring chain-link and barbed-wire over white picket fences might affect other some prospective neighbors’ choices to move in. And I can guarantee that your current neighbors wouldn’t appreciate you much, either.

Only a complete fool would try to make God’s beloved community look like a bad thing. Only a fool would ruin that amazing reality for others.

The beloved community… is the whole point.

The destruction of our spiritual and societal “Egypts”… is the whole point.

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth… is the whole point.

Do you get the point?

Then tell your church to put down the barbed wire.

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

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Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

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