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Chapter 58

 

“The Lord’s Passover”

 

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.” (Exodus 12:1-14)

 

Exodus 12 describes the last night of Israel’s bondage in the land of Egypt. The Lord’s captives had suffered much and suffered long in the land of bondage. The fiery furnace in which Israel was refined had been heated by the hatred of Ishmael’s seed against the seed of promise. But God’s appointed time had come for the deliverance promised in his covenant with Abraham. When the appointed day of deliverance dawned, no power could hold God’s chosen captive. Mad opposition was utterly helpless before Jehovah’s outstretched arm of omnipotent mercy. The chosen people must go free.

 

            Child of God, rest your soul upon this rock: The purposes and promises of our God are as sure, as immutable, and as dependable as God himself. Like the gifts and callings of God, they are without repentance. At God’s appointed time we shall march triumphantly into our Canaan!

 

New Beginning

 

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:1-2)

 

            The Lord commanded the children of Israel to celebrate the passover as a time of new beginning (Deuteronomy 16:1). The month Abib was in the spring of the year, corresponding to our March or April. It is the time of new life springing forth in the earth. How blessed it is to know that there is a new beginning for our souls! On that great day of grace when Christ brought deliverance to our souls, all things were made new for us (2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

The Lamb

 

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house” (v. 3). — How fitting that the first thing mentioned with regard to this new life, and that which is most prominent is the lamb. Who can miss the reason for this? Throughout the Book of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our life, is set before us as “the Lamb of God” (Revelation 13:8; 5:6-9, 12; John 1:29). He is…

  • The Lamb Provided in Predestination
  • The Lamb Portrayed in the Sacrifices of the Old Testament
  • The Lamb Promised (Genesis 22:8)
  • The Lamb Prophesied (Isaiah 53:1-12)
  • The Lamb Presented and Sacrificed (Romans 3:24-26)
  • The Lamb Proclaimed in the Gospel (John 1:29)
  • The Lamb Pursued by Faith (Philippians 3:3-14)
  • The Lamb Praised Forever (Revelation 5:8-14; 14:1)

 

            “And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb” (v. 4). — As one family they “did all eat the same spiritual meat” (1 Corinthians 10:3). So it is to this day, and shall be forever. God’s saints are one family, feasting upon one Sacrifice, worshipping one Savior, “of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:15).

 

            “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats” (v. 5). — The lamb sacrificed that night in Egypt had to be a lamb without blemish, a male of first year (Leviticus 1:3-10). Again, our Lord Jesus Christ is held before us in the picture. We have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). And our Savior, like the lamb sacrificed in Egypt, was slain in the prime of his life, when he was full of strength.

 

            The sacrificial lamb could be taken from among the sheep or from among the goats. I have often wondered why the Lord made that specific declaration. As a lamb of the sheep we see that our Savior was an innocent victim. As a kid of the goats we are given a picture of him being made sin. John Trapp observed that a kid of the goats shows that Christ “was made a sinner” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

            “And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening” (v. 6). — Does this command seem strange to you? Why did God specifically require that the “the whole assembly of Israel” have a hand in killing the sacrifice? It seems obvious to me that everything in this verse was prophetic of three things.

1st, The whole nation of Israel slaughtered the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:1-2). The whole nation’s hands drip with the blood of the Son of God. And this was done according to the purpose of God (Acts 2:22-23).

2nd, All the congregation of God’s true Israel are the beneficiaries of Christ’s sacrifice. Though our hands drip with his blood, we live by him whom we have killed!

3rd, As the lamb here must be killed in the evening, so our blessed Savior, the Lamb of God, was sacrificed for us in the evening of time, in the end of the world (Hebrews 9:26). Christ came in the evening of the world (Hebrews 1:2), in the last hour of the world’s time (1 John 2:18), when all was buried in the darkness of sin and death.

 

Blood Applied

 

And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it” (v. 7) — What a striking allusion this is to the sprinkling of the blood of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 12:24). The teaching is as obvious as the nose on your face. — Christ’s precious blood must be personally applied to as well as shed for us (Romans 5:5-11).

 

            When God the Holy Spirit comes in the saving operations of his grace he takes the things of Christ and shows them to his people. He shows redeemed sinners what the Savior has done for them (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

 

            Giving us the hyssop of faith, showing us what Christ has accomplished for us, we are made to see that the righteousness of Christ is sufficient for our souls, that by his blood we are justified and cleansed from all sin. It is by this application of the blood that we “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” by whom we have received the atonement.

 

Lamb Eaten

 

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (v. 8). — This, too, is a picture of that faith by which we live before God. Faith is eating the Sacrifice (John 6:51-57).

 

            The lamb had to be roasted with fire. That was a portrait of our Savior’s agonies on the cross, when he endured all the fire of God’s holy wrath due to our sins when they were made his. He called this consuming of his bones (Psalm 31:10).

 

            The unleavened bread that was to be eaten with the sacrifice portrays the fact that Christ is received, that he is believed and trusted, by a new man, by one who is born of God, and that faith mixes nothing of the flesh with the sacrifice of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

 

            The bitter herbs with which the sacrifice had to be eaten speak of the contrition of soul and bitterness and sorrow of heart, the godly sorrow of true repentance, which always accompanies faith in Christ, as we look on him whom we have pierced (2 Corinthians 7:10; Zechariah 12:10).

 

            “Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof” (v. 9) — The whole lamb had to be eaten. So it is with us. We need the whole Christ. We trust the whole Christ. We receive the whole Christ. We live by the whole Christ. Nothing short of all that Christ is is sufficient for our souls’ needs.

 

            But the lamb was not to be eaten raw, or merely boiled in water. It had to be thoroughly roasted with fire. Christ is not received rashly, in a cold, lukewarm manner, with indifference. And nothing can be mixed, added, or joined to him. Christ alone must be trusted for our acceptance, justification, and salvation. This is emphasized again in verse 10. — “And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.”

 

            “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover” (v. 11) — This is a great picture of sinners trusting Christ. Our loins are “girt about with truth” (Ephesians 6:14). Our feet are “shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). And the staff of faith is in our hands.

 

            “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (vv. 12-13) — The blood sprinkled upon the door, not merely the blood spilt, but the blood applied was the token of God’s favor by which Israel was assured of God’s salvation. As Robert Hawker observed, “An unapplied ransom is no ransom. An unapplied Savior is no Savior” (Hebrews 9:19-20; 1 John 1:7).

 

A Memorial

 

And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever” (vv. 14). — This ordinance of our God, the Lord’s passover, is an ordinance to be kept forever in God’s Israel, because “it is the Lord’s Passover” (v. 11). No, we do not keep the carnal feast; but we do keep the feast, as we live by faith upon Christ our Passover, who is sacrificed for us.

 

            Never was there such a display of wrath and judgment as that displayed in the sacrifice of our Christ at Calvary. Never was there such a display of mercy, love, and grace. There is no death, but only life in the house sprinkled with Christ’s precious, sin-atoning blood. Let there be no fear in our souls, but only a holy feasting upon the table and the sacrifice God has spread for us. As Israel was ready to go out of Egypt because of the blood sprinkled, so we who trust the Son of God are ready to go out of this world because of the blood sprinkled (Colossians 1:9-14).

 

            If you dwell safely dwell beneath the blood; justice cannot drag you to execution. The curse cannot be upon you. The law cannot condemn you. Vengeance cannot slay you. The blood upon you cries — “Away! Stand back! No foe can touch, where I protect!”

 

            Are you thus marked by the blood as one of Christ’s redeemed? If not, arise and flee to the wounded Lamb. The day is far spent; the night of ruin is at hand. The destroyer is at your heels. Each house unmarked with blood was a house not spared. Each soul unwashed will be a soul undone. Only the blood applied can heal. Only the blood applied can stand as a token upon the door. Oh, may God give you faith in the crucified Lamb!

 

            Let none forget, “it is the Lord’s passover.” Everything about the work of redemption and grace is his. “Salvation is of the Lord!” He is the Father of his house. He chose the Lamb to be slain. He slew the Lamb. His is the hyssop, the gift of faith, by which the blood is applied. His is the application of the blood. He sees the blood. He passes over the blood sprinkled soul. His is the glory, both now and forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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