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The Feast of Passover
The first Holy Convocation God required Israel to keep every year was the Feast of Passover. This feast was a constant reminder of GodŐs great work of grace in bringing Israel out of Egypt by his mighty power and stretched out arm, because of the blood that was shed for them (Exodus 12-14). The Passover was a picture and a constant reminder of GodŐs promise to send a Redeemer, even Christ our Passover, who is sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).
This feast is called Ňthe LordŐs PassoverÓ because the whole of the work was his. Three things were prominent in the first Passover — (1.) A Lamb — (2.) Blood! — (3.) Deliverance! — It was preeminently Ňthe LordŐs Passover!Ó He ordained it. He provided the lamb. He accepted the lamb. He passed over the people. He brought them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. He was praised for it (Exodus 15). — ŇSalvation is of the Lord!Ó As often as we eat the bread and drink the wine at the LordŐs Table, like Israel of old, we show forth the LordŐs death until he comes again. As Israel kept the passover in remembrance of their redemption out of Egypt, we observe the LordŐs Supper in remembrance of our Redeemer and our redemption by him, in remembrance of redemption finished by his blood atonement (1 Peter 1:18-20. And we observe that blessed ordinance in anticipation of the redemption (deliverance) of our bodies from the grave in resurrection glory (Romans 8:23; 13:11).
A Lamb Slain
The Lamb is always at the forefront in the Book of God. ŇThe Lamb slainÓ was the first object held up to the view of Israel when they were about to be delivered. The same is true today. ŇBehold the Lamb of God!Ó is still the cry that first reaches a sinnerŐs ear, the very first message a sinner hears. Christ, the Lamb of God, our sin-atoning Savior, is the very first thing the chosen, redeemed sinner sees in his experience of grace. The very first feast with which God would have his people to worship him, the very first feast which the God of all grace required fallen, sinful men to keep, the very first day of every year was a display of GodŐs infinite mercy, love, and grace to sinners in Christ. It was a feast of redemption, the feast of the lamb! How gracious our God is! ŇHe delighteth in mercy!Ó What grace meets the sinner! God meets us with the Lamb; and that Lamb is his own beloved Son! In the Lamb, God shows us life out of death, life for sinners rising out of the death of his own darling Son!
The People Delivered
All Israel came out of Egypt. Not a hoof was left in the land of GodŐs curse (Exodus 10:26). Israel went out of Egypt with a high hand, carrying the spoils of Egypt with them. The slaying of the Lamb of God would be meaningless if any for whom his blood was shed were left to perish under the wrath of God. The Lamb of God did not die in vain! The picture of the passover feast could not be complete without every blood bought sinner saved, without every ransomed soul with Christ in heaven (Luke 22:16; Revelation 4:10-11; 5:1-14).