Christ, Our Passover

In John 5:39 Jesus told the religious leaders among his audience,   You diligently study  the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, NIV

  • Jesus ws constantly pointing His disciples backward toward the O.T. scriptures because He recognized the ability of those writings to bring them to present day faith in Him. The O.T. is a primary reference to the life and work of Jesus.  This connection is often referred to as typology. (The study of religious texts for the purpose of identifying episodes in them that appear to prophesy later events)

The antitype is the real thing. The type is an image of the antitype. The hammer on an old typewriter, was the antitype. When this hammer hit the paper through the ink ribbon, it left an image of the antitype. This image is called the “type“. When you pulled out the paper, the letters were mere type images of the original antitype.

The O.T. scriptures provide for us a more comprehensive and thorough understanding of N.T. events.

  • This morning we studied about independence and how God’s truth sets us free. There is not more vivid picture of divine liberation than the story of the first chapters of Exodus. God’s desire and work to free the Israelites is a “type” of our spiritual salvation from the bondage of sin.
  • One of the most interesting elements of the scriptures is their constant tendency to show us Christ. WE see Him in every page. So we see Him here as well.

I.  Let My People Go – The fate of Jacob’s family changed after the death of Joseph and the arrival of new Pharaoh. The Egyptians enslaved the Israelites and oppressed. It may have seemed that these political events had trumped God’s purposes and promises. Had God forgotten His people?  Ex 2:23-24 – 23 Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God wanted to free His people from their oppression.

A.  God chooses Moses (at the burning bush) to take His message of deliverance to the Israelites and to Pharoah. God calls on those in bondage to trust in Him for their freedom.  Ex 3:15-20 – Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying,”I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; 17 and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘ 18 Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. God would do it. At the center of this deliverance is the constant appeal of God’s words. The constant refrain of Moses to Pharaoh is God’s specific call – “Let My people Go.” In the end, God will deliver His people through the power of His words. All of Satan’s (Pharoah’s) efforts to keep God’s people in bondage would fail.

1.  We know how this ends.  Pharaoh continually refuses to let the Israelites go to worship, so God sends 10 separate and progressively damaging plagues upon the Egyptians. In the end, God’s judgment upon the deaf ear of the Pharaoh is the death of the king’s own firstborn son.

B.  At the consummation of the plagues in the death of the firstborn, God displays for Israel and Egypt His mercy and wrath in a single event. On most every other night in Egypt, it was better to be an Egyptian than a Hebrew. But on that night the places were reversed. God had consistently made a distinction between those who were His, and those who were not His people.  Ex 11:1-7 – And the Lord said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will let you go from here. When he lets you go, he will surely drive you out of here altogether. .. 4 Then Moses said, “Thus says the Lord:’About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. 6 Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. 7 But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the Lord does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’ God would spare Israel and execute judgment on Egypt.  What would make the distinction?

1.  God instructions to Israel concerning their final meal in captivity was significant to the whole process of liberation.  This meal is the Passover. It is a type of our own salvation.

II.   “When I See the Blood” – God gave specific instructions.

  • On the 10th day of the first month (Abid)they were to choose a year old lamb or kid without blemish from their flock.  That lamb was to be set aside from the others for four days.
  • Four days later they were to kill this lamb at evening.
  • The blood of the lamb was to be applied to the doorposts and lintel of their house.
  • The lamb was roasted with fire and eaten, along with bitter herbs and unleavened bread.
  • What was not eaten was to be burned with fire and totally consumed.
  • They were commanded to eat in haste, with their shoes on their feet , their staff in their hand, and their loins girded about them.
  • They were to remain in the house until morning.
  • This meal became a yearly observance to commemorate the day of their deliverance – their day of independence from the oppression of Egypt.

A.    At the heart of this event was the sacrificed lambEx 12:11-14 – 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.  14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

B.  The presence of the blood on the doorposts distinguished the household of the Israelites from the household of the Egyptians.  (God did not need the sign , it was a sign to them)   he blood on the doorposts indicated their faith in the action of God that night. They believed He would come to deliver them. They were ready to go.    Ex 12:26-27 – And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ 27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

1.  What a glorious day it must have been when over 1 million Hebrews threw off their shackles and marched out of Egypt as one.  God’s plan came to fruition just as He said. The Passover provides a few important elements of God’s plan for their freedom. What did it teach them?

  • It was not of their doing. God released them by winning an enormous victory over their captors. (Strong hand) – “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (Ex. 14:13)
  • The death of the lamb was necessary. There was no substitute for its blood in evading the judgment of God.  In that sense the lamb’s death was substitutionary for the death of their own firstborn.  It was symbolic of both God’s judgment and His mercy.
  • Even though they did nothing to free themselves, their deliverance was contingent upon their obedience to God’s commands. Their freedom was conditional.  The words that Moses spoke became the means of their deliverance.  “What must we do?”
  • Following the night of judgment came the morning of deliverance.  The people of Israel crossed over the Red Sea on dry land, with a wall of water on each side. When Pharaoh pursued them, God caused the waters to return and the Egyptians perished.  Israel was saved.

III.  Christ, Our Passover: 1 Corinthians 5:7 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. The words of Paul in 1 Cor. 5:7 are a direct link backward. Centuries of keeping this feast, millions of slain lambs, all point to a single fulfillment. Jesus is that Lamb.  When John, the Baptist saw Jesus approaching his audience in John 1:29, he exclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus was not a lamb, He was THE lamb.  This was the Lamb that Isaiah prophetically described in Isaiah 53:

  • Suffered as one who was despised and rejected (v. 3)
  • Suffered vicariously for the iniquities of others (v. 5-6)
  • Suffered in silence and non-resistance(v. 7)
  • Provided the sacrifice that pleased God (v. 10-11)

A.  There are several  connections (typologies) between the Passover and Christ.

  • According to the divine purpose, Jesus was crucified, as our sacrifice, during the Passover feast; and at the same time of the day as the daily sacrifice at the temple. God’s timing was perfect.
  • No bone of the Paschal lamb was to be broken, so no bone of Jesus was broken, in fulfillment of prophecy.  (John 19:36, Ps. 34) What did this symbolize?  The lamb was to be a symbol of unity–the unity of the family, the unity of the nation, the unity of God with his people whom he had taken into covenant with himself.
  • The lamb was entirely consumed – representing Jesus whole dedication and sacrifice for us.
  • The unleavened bread also represents purity.  This is Paul’s connection in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.  The unleavened bread represented the new consecrated life of the Israelite, separated from the stain of Egypt. So the lamb was first, then the feast of the bread.
  • The bitter herbs that were eaten with the lamb represent the call of repentance and confession, which are a fitting and natural accompaniment to our salvation.
  • The attire of the Israelite represented his willingness and readiness to leave (probably standing)  1 Peter 1:13-16 – 3 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
  • They were to remain inside – again this was a call to trust in God. As they heard the cries and sounds of death around them, they were to wait for God’s deliverance.

Conclusion:  It cannot be doubted that the lessons of the Passover was in Peter’s mind when he wrote: 1 Peter 1:17-21 – 7 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

The sacrifice of the Lamb is so central to the story of our deliverance that it becomes the most familiar image of Jesus, our Lord. He is OUR lamb.  The revelation of our redemption is revealed to us by the Lamb. It is interesting to note that the N.T. book that mentions the Lamb more than any other is the book or Revelation. Jesus is THE Lamb in Revelation.

Rev 5 – 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,”Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”

3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. Worthy Is the Lamb

8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.