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Christ, Our Passover Lamb - Exodus 12:1-13

 

Christ, Our Passover Lamb                  click here for audio

 

1Corinthians 5:7-8

Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:   Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Exodus 12:1-13

Exodus 12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

“Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 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 no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

 

God  sovereignly decreed  to bring a devastating blow on the land of Egypt.  Pharaoh had a tight grip on all the Egyptians and upon all the people of Israel.  The people of Israel prayed for deliverance from their bondage to Egypt.  God sends Moses, one of their own, to be God’s messenger to declare God’s Word to Pharaoh.  “Let my people go.”  Pharoah, because of his hardened heart, refuses to comply and determines to make Israel’s life much harder. 

God sends Moses and his brother Aaron to stand before Pharoah with divine directives to release the people of Israel.  Because of Pharoah’s hard and unrepentant heart, God sends plagues on Egypt.  The first one….

·         Nile River – blood – fish die – Ex.7

·         Frogs, Lice, Flies – Ex. 8

·         Pestilence – disease on cattle of Egyptians;     Boils – skin;     Hail    - Ex. 9

·         Locust,  Darkness – Ex.10

   Each time Pharoah would relent and show some sign of changing his mind, but then refuse to let the people of Israel go from serving as his slaves.

And finally the last one is the death of the firstborn in Egypt.   This would be the one that sends Israel out the door beyond the boundaries of Egypt.

Before this plague involving the death of the firstborn in Egypt----  Moses is commanded by God to tell the people of Israel to select a lamb for their household.   This lamb would be sacrificed and the blood of that lamb would be applied outside on the doorpost of the doorway, and the lintel, or the crossbeam above the door.

1.  A Lamb Unblemished  -   Exodus 12:5   

Your lamb shall be without blemish.    If there were some defect, some debilitating condition, some sore, some disease, the lamb could not be the Passover Lamb.    Down through the years the priest would examine lambs dedicated for sacrifice. If there was some blemish on the lamb, it would be rejected for sacrifice.

Christ, our Passover Lamb, did not have a blemish in His life.  He was perfect. He had no faults, no sins, nothing defective in His character,   nothing deficient in His mind, and soul, and spirit.  A Perfect Life!

1Peter 2:22            He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.

1John 3:5   You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin

1Peter 1:18-19

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Jesus is truly the Lamb of God without blemish or spot.    Have you ever read of something in scriptures that points to a sin committed by Christ?    You’ll not find it.   Even Pontius Pilate said,  “I find no fault in him!”    Nothing incriminating in Jesus.  He’s never failed to keep His Word,  His Promises.   He passes Divine Inspection. 

John the Baptist declared on the bank of Jordan -  “Behold, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.”   John 1:29 

2.  A Lamb full grown      v.5   “….a male a year old.”

A full grown lamb is about 10 months old.   12 months , or a year is definitely a full grown lamb.

It is said that a lamb becomes a sheep at one year of age. 

The lamb was not to be too young or too old. It was to die in the fullness of its strength.

See how this applies to the Lord Jesus.  He died, not in infancy, or childhood, or even in his youth, nor in his old age, but in the full strength of his prime.

Before Jesus gave his last breath on the cross it is said..

Matthew 27:50   Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

This was a strong cry, not a whisper of old age.   Jesus was crucified at the ripe age of 33.  

Luke 21:23  When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age,   

Jesus dying at the age of 33 or 34.[1]  Most Bible scholars agree that Jesus ministry lasted about 3 ½ years.

Listen to a Messianic passage from Psalms.

Psalm 102:23

23 He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. 

 

3.  A Lamb for you

There is an interesting progression seen in verses 3,4 and 5.   In verse 3 we read  a lamb”;  in verse 4,  the lamb”;  in verse 5,   your lamb”.   

There was a time in our unconverted life,  before we knew Christ as Lord and Savior,  Jesus was just “a Lamb”.  We saw in Him no beauty that we should desire Him.  We had no attraction, no desires for Christ.  To us,  He was just “a lamb”.     Then one day the Holy Spirit caused us to see our sinful condition.  The Holy Spirit woke us up from the sleep of death and we saw our desperate condition; our lost condition, and our eyes were drawn toward Christ.  It’s at that point we beheld Him as “the Lamb”.     Not just “a lamb”,  but  “the Lamb”.   We saw that only in Christ alone can be found salvation. Jesus is uniquely the Son of God who came to be not just  “a lamb”, but “the Lamb”.

We hear clearly the voice of John the Baptist in John 1:29 Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

We come to see that "neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, (Acts 4:12).

At this point, God in His sovereign grace gave us faith to receive Christ as our own personal Savior.  It is then He can be said to be  “your Lamb”.[2]     “The Lamb” is   “Your Lamb”.

We say with the Apostle Thomas,  “my Lord and my God”  (John 20:28)      We say with the Apostle Paul in Gal. 2:20   "Who loved me and gave Himself for me"

 

4.  A Lamb Previewed

See v.3 -  select the lamb on the 10th day of the month of Nissan – corresponding to the time between march and April of our calendar.  The lamb was kept separated from other livestock for 4 days, until the 14th day of the month.    See v.6 “you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month…”

The lamb was selected and kept for 4 days before it was killed.   You might say the lamb was the family’s pet during those 4 days.  They identified with the lamb. The lamb was ever present to remind them of His upcoming death.  The constant bleating of the lamb rang in their ears to reinforce the lamb’s  life-giving benefit for the entire household.  From the 10th day until the 14th day the gentle, humble, lowly lamb was a visual and an audible reminder for every family member that apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.   Also, you can say during those 4 days were days of inspection to be sure they had a lamb without blemish.

Four Days with the Lamb

We know that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt, or a young donkey just days before He was crucified. About four days before his death, Jesus Christ rode in triumph through the streets of Jerusalem. He was set apart in public view that all people might see Him as the CHOSEN LAMB OF GOD,  CHOSEN OF GOD, ORDAINED FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.  There’s much that happened during those FOUR DAYS leading up to His crucifixion.

·         Luke 19:45  “And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”  47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.

·         Jesus spent time during those 4 days teaching the people.    He cursed a fig tree that had no figs.  He taught parables.  One parable about a man who did not have a wedding garment; another parable of the 10 virgins; five wise and five foolish.   There are long chapters about the end of the world; the destruction of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the wars, earthquakes and the day of judgment.  There is that comforting chapter,  “Let not you hearts be trouble;  and his high priestly prayer recorded in John 17.

The greatest things he did, he did in the last four days when he was set apart.[3]

You remember I said during the 4 days was a time of inspection to be sure the lamb was without blemish.  Well, during the last 4 days leading up to the Lord’s crucifixion, was a time of inspection.

Jesus was under heavy scrutiny by all kinds of groups.

·         One lawyer asked about which was the greatest commandment.  Jesus responded, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

·         The Pharisees tried to entangle Jesus in his words by sending out some of their disciples along with the Herodians to test Jesus on the question, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Jesus responds knowing their malice, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.”  Jesus said  “whose likeness and inscription is this?”   They said, Caesar’s.  Jesus said, “therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,  and to God the things that are God’s.”

·         It was during the 4 days – the Sadducees tested Jesus on the subject of the resurrection.

All groups of people tested Jesus with their questions.  HOW DID JESUS DO?   HE CAME OUT WITH A PERFECT SCORE!   THE PERFECT, IMMACULATE LAMB!

One man said,  “no man spake like this man”

When Jesus stood trial -  they could not find credible witnesses to speak against him.

Pilate confessed -  “I find no fault in him!”

 

5.  The Lamb Slain


v.6c -7  “…..when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.”  “Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”

a)   Who killed the Lamb?  -    The head of the household killed the lamb, but he was representative of the entire family.   All were participants in the killing of the lamb. This points to our identification as participants in the death of Christ.  The Jews, the Romans, the entire world stand guilty for killing Christ.      To get more specific – it was God who gave the command to kill the lamb.   So God in a sense killed the Lamb.  

Isaiah 53:4  says,  “smitten of God”

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;

The Lamb was the Lord’s Passover.  (v.11)

 

AW Pink speaks to this when he said,   “In Geneses 22:8 we read that Abraham said to his son, "God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering". It was not simply God would "provide" a lamb, but that He would "provide Himself a lamb". The Lamb was "provided" to glorify God’s character, to vindicate His throne, to satisfy His justice, to magnify His holiness.”[4]

 

 

 

b)   Why the killing of the Lamb? --   see v.7    take some of the blood…doorposts…    the killing of the lamb, the shedding of its blood was necessary.     Why?

Because the blood of the lamb was necessary for protection against the final plague that was coming upon the land of Egypt.   

READ   Exodus 11:4-6

DEATH was coming!  The Destroyer was coming!   The Angel of Death was coming,   and either death would come to guilty transgressors, or to an innocent substitute.

All of Egypt,  even all of Israel were guilty sinners!    They stood in path of coming Destruction!

To avert coming death -  an innocent substitute was needed -  and that ‘s the purpose of the killing of the lamb.

THE BLOOD – APPLIED TO THE DOORPOST -    SEE V.23  “…will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses

without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." (Heb. 9:22)

APPLYING the blood to the doorpost -    it’s not enough to have the lamb selected…and even one without blemish…. It’s not enough to have killed the lamb….  Protection from the Angel of Death will come when you apply the blood.   It’s not enough to say you believe in the precious blood of Jesus;  you can sing “there’s power in the blood”, but until you personally RECEIVE CHRIST it will do you no good.

A Savior provided is not sufficient: he must be received.”[5]     There must be personal appropriation. I must have faith in his blood.

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

EPH. 2:13   But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

READ vv.12-13

   When the Death Angel – God’s executioner – saw the blood of the lamb on the houses,  he did not enter.   Why?    BECAUSE DEATH HAD ALREADY DONE ITS WORK THERE!   THE INNOCENT HAD DIED IN THE PLACE OF THE GUILTY!  The justice of God was satisfied!

v.13 “And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike Egypt.”

God’s eye was not upon the house,  but on the blood.   WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD!  Says the Lord.

God is not looking on how big the house is,  or beautiful the house is,  or the monetary value of the house…….If the BLOOD OF THE LAMB….the BLOOD OF CHRIST is NOT applied…. Death will enter that house…..judgment will come to those inside.

If the house is very old,  delabitated …near falling in…..if the blood of the Lamb is applied to the doorpost……the occupants are spared the judgment of God.

 

THAT MEANS:  Our faith must be in the Blood of Christ,  not good works,  not ceremonial observances,  not church membership, or church attendance….

My faith is built on nothing less,  than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.       The faith chapter – Hebrews 11 -  By faith Moses…

By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.  (Hebrews 11:28)

Romans 3:23-26

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 

6.  The Lamb Sustains -     v.8  eat the flesh    

 

The Passover Lamb -  was first  a sacrifice unto God;    

Then -  it became the food for those sheltered beneath its blood

Tie this in with 1Cor. 5:7 we have   “Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us”   and then the next part says,  “therefore let us keep the feast”

NOT ONLY was the lamb to be killed,  but its flesh was to be eaten.

This was God’s provision for those inside the house,  just as the blood gave protection from the judgment outside.

The people of Israel were about to TAKE a JOURNEY….they were leaving Egypt….and needed the food to give them STRENTH FOR THE JOURNEY.

SOMETHING is wrong…if a person says…. I want the blood of the lamb to be outside on the door protecting us from the imminent danger,  but I DON’T WANT TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH EATING THE LAMB……..

Just like there’s something wrong……..I want the blood of Christ to protect me from judgment, from Hell,  but I don’t want to have anything to do with FELLOWSHIPPING,  loving, and worshipping Christ.

 

Christ is  the BREAD OF LIFE.      As we feed upon HIM our souls are sustained….and Christ is honored.     We feed upon HIM who laid down His life!

When Christ LAID down His life ---  it was a FULL, COMPLETE Sacrifice for Sin!     Notice…the lamb was to be roasted on fire---  this speaks OF   the fires of God’s wrath was placed upon Christ on our behalf.   The Crucifixion…was a ROASTING….. nothing diluted here!   They gave Christ gall to drink to deaden the pain…Jesus refused…He took the full Roasting…  NOTICE v.9 “do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts”     NOTHING WATERED DOWN….

Read  V.10   AND YOU SHALL LET NONE OF IT REMAIN UNTIL THE MORNING………SHALL BE BURN

There were no leftovers!

Christ’s death on the cross -  was a complete and full transaction for sin--- no leftovers --  our salvation is NOT in PART, but a FULL Salvation….a full payment for sin…..a full redemption….  A full atonement for sin….. JESUS said   “It is finished!”

 

v.11   here we see the sustaining work of the Lamb --  We feed on Christ, We fellowship with Christ, and we are given strength for the JOURNEY…. 

Belt fastened….    Get ready to travel…..  not staying in Egypt…..  you are a stranger and pilgrim… the belt…used to hold up the long robe…so as you walk, run, climb mountains…the flowing robe is pulled up and cinch inside held by the BELT…

As we walk with Christ….we must have on the BELT of Truth as seen in Eph. 6:14

 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,

We don’t need for all the loose ends of our life to be dragging us down…

let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us  (Heb. 12:1)

SANDALS ON YOUR FEET     (Eph 6:15)  and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace

There’s a battle ahead of us….. the people of Israel would  face many battles….

God has made preparation for us…. Like the prodigal son… he left the pigpen…went to His Father…was received… there was a feast..fatted calf….  Robe ….ring…. SHOES FOR HIS FEET..

What God supplies….will last forever…..  shoes down here won’t last….always in need of another pair…the shoes God supplies will last forever…..THEY WILL GET YOU FROM HERE TO GLORY.

Deut 29:5  And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot.

Deut 8:4  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

AND YOUR STAFF IN YOUR HAND….

This is for support….we will need to lean upon the staff to maintain balance… it’s for support…

Ps 23   “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”       This is God’s Word.    We lean our full weight upon God’s Word…   You’re going to get tired along the way.   Discouraging moments will come.  Trying times will come….  You’ll need God’s Word to lean upon.

 

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6

 

v.13    I will pass over you

“to spread wings over”   “to protect”

Isaiah 31:5

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.

Here’s the idea of protection  under the wings of the Almighty!

This was the desire of our Lord for Jerusalem….

Luke 13:34

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

 

"For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel and upon the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the Destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you". It was not merely that the Lord passed by the houses of the Israelites, but that He stood on guard protecting each blood-sprinkled door!

 

 

 



[1] https://carm.org/how-old-when-jesus-died

[2] From AW Pink’s book Gleanings in Exodus,  chapter 12

[3] Charles Spurgeon, “Christ, Our passover”

[4] AW Pink,  Gleanings in Exodus, chapter 12

[5] Quote from AW Pink – Gleaning in Exodus, chapter 12


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