Sermon # 48 Leviticus Sermons
Title: “THE LORD’S Passover”
Text: Leviticus 23:4-5
Subject: The Feast of Passover
Date: Sunday Morning—November3, 2002
Tape # X-28b
Reading: Exodus 12:1-51 (1-14, 29-30, 41-42)
(Leviticus 23:4-5) "These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. (5) In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord's passover."
The first feast, or “holy convocation,” God required Israel to keep, that with which they began every new year, was the feast of passover. Here it is called, “The Lord’s Passover.” That will be our subject this morning.
The first Passover coincided with the last of the Egyptian plagues. The Lord God determined to kill the firstborn son in every family in Egypt. The Israelites would be spared the judgment of God. But we must never imagine that they were not spared simply because of their bloodline.—They were spared because of the Blood!
God gave explicit instructions in Exodus 12 for the slaughtering of year-old, male sheep or goats, and the sprinkling of the blood of the lamb slain upon the doorposts and lintel of each house. Then, the destroying angel passed over any house covered by that blood, for the Lord God declared, “When I see the blood I will pass over you.”
The firstborn sons of the believing Israelites were saved because of the blood. Clearly, this is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and the efficacy of his blood atonement as the Lamb of God, that blood by which we are redeemed, justified, cleansed from all sin, made righteous, accepted with God and saved. It was by divine arrangement that our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Passover, was sacrificed at the time of the Jews’ passover feast.
(1 Corinthians 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: (8) 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."
The passover was the annual commemoration of God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. It was a time of remembrance, reflection, and celebration. The Lord found Israel Egypt, in bondage and set them free that they might worship and serve him.
The Lamb Slain
The Lamb is always at the forefront in the Book of God. “The Lamb slain” is the first object held up to the view of Israel when they were about to be delivered. The same is true today. “Behold the Lamb of God!” is still the cry that first reaches a sinner’s 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 God’s infinite mercy, love, and grace to sinners in Christ. It was a feast of redemption! It was the feast of the lamb!
How gracious our God is! “He delighteth in mercy!” What grace meets the sinner! God meets us with the Lamb; and that Lamb is his own beloved Son! “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
· In the Lamb God shows us life out of death—life for sinners rising out of the death of his own darling Son!
· The very first death recorded on the pages of history was the death of a sacrificial lamb (Gen. 3).
· The first altar erected upon the earth was an altar covered with the blood of a lamb slain (Gen. 4).
· The first act of God for Israel is the slaying of the lamb.
· The first deed of the new dispensation was presenting the true Lamb to the view of all, and then offering up of that Lamb to God.
· The first opening of the door in heaven above presents us with the Lamb that was slain seated upon his throne in heaven (Rev. 4 and 5). See him yonder, seated in glory!—Seated upon his throne!—See him there in his lofty majesty, with the book of God in his hand!—Loved!—Adored!—Ruling!—Reigning!—All heaven gazes upon him with admiration!—All the redeemed sing his praise with unutterable delight and astonished gratitude.
The People Delivered
I want you to see the connection between the Lamb slain and the people delivered. We rejoice to see Christ as the Lamb of God…
· Slain from the foundation of the world.
· Slain in the types and shadows of the law.
· Slain for the satisfaction of justice!
But the slaying of the Lamb, the pouring out of his life’s blood would be utterly without comfort to our souls if any for whom his blood was shed were yet left to perish under the wrath of God. That could never be! The Lamb of God did not die in vain! Christ did not shed his blood for nothing! Israel came out of Egypt, all Israel was saved, not so much as a hoof of one cow was left in the land of God’s curse! Israel went out of Egypt with a high hand, carrying the spoils of Egypt with them.
Because the picture of the passover feast could never be complete without all God’s elect saved, without every blood bought sinner saved, without every ransomed soul with Christ in heaven, our Lord Jesus told us plainly that it would be fulfilled then.
(Luke 22:16) "For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
Only when Christ comes again and gathers all his people up to glory, when “all Israel shall be saved,” when every blood bought sinner takes possession of heavenly glory, will the passover feats be fulfilled. Then, when our salvation is complete, we will keep the Lord’s Passover forever!
(Revelation 4:10-11) "The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (11) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
(Revelation 5) "And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. (2) And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? (3) And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. (4) And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. (5) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (6) And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (7) And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. (8) And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. (9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; (10) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. (11) And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts 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 that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, 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, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (14) And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever."
The Place of Feasting
Without question, the children of Israel kept the passover feast in the land of Canaan, just as we shall keep the feast forever in heaven. But the feast had to be kept in Egypt before it could be kept in Canaan. The children of Israel were required to keep the feast while they were still in Egypt.
(Exodus 12:11) "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."
The first passover feast was a feast of faith. Israel had not yet been delivered. There were no signs or indications of any kind that they would be delivered. All they had to go one was the Word of God, the naked Word of God. There were four things essential to the Lord’s passover. These four things are still essential things. It is my prayer that the Lord God will now cause you to keep this blessed feast. If you now, for the first time, begin keep the Lord’s passover, this day shall be to you the very beginning of life!
I. First, the passover feast required the slaughter of a Lamb.
(Exodus 12:3-6) "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: (4) 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. (5) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: (6) 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."
Israel could not come out of Egypt except a sacrifice be made on their behalf. They deserved the wrath of God just as fully as the Egyptians did. Moses’ sons deserved to die just as much as Pharaoh’s. They could not escape the judgment of God, except blood be shed, except the life of an innocent victim be given.
Now, here me, my friends.—No sinner could ever be saved by the grace of God except by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ as the sinner’s Substitute.
(1 Peter 3:18) "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
II. Second, the blood of the lamb had to be sprinkled.
(Exodus 12:7) "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."
Before any sinner can eat the feast, before any sinner can trust the Lord Jesus Christ the blood must be sprinkled upon his heart, effectually applied to his conscience, by God the Holy Spirit.
· Redemption Accomplished
· Redemption Applied
(Hebrews 9:11-12) "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
(Hebrews 9:14) "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
(Hebrews 10:22) "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Let me tell you about the sin-atoning blood of Christ.
A. It is distinguishing blood. That blood was sprinkled on door-post and lintel; and by it Israel was separated from Egypt. The only difference between Israel and Egypt was marked the blood. So it is now. The only difference between God’s elect and the reprobate of the earth is the blood. The world has always hated this fact. Beginning with Cain, the people of the world have ever despised the blood of Christ, despised it as the sinner’s only door of access to and acceptance with God. The people of God, like Abel, acknowledge this distinction, rejoice in it, and give thanks to God for it! Israel is distinguished from Egypt by blood!
B. It is protecting. The Lord God said, “When I see it, I will pass over you.” The blood was Israel’s shield. The sword of justice can never pierce that shield. The blood is ever before him. We do not see it. It is outside, beyond our vision, shed 2000 years ago. But God sees it. That is our security. We trust the blood which God sees, and know ourselves secure.
(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."
C. It is delivering blood. The blood did not merely protect Israel in Egypt, but it delivered Israel out of Egypt. It was the blood that saved: “I gave Egypt for thy ransom.” There is death for Egypt, but life for Israel. Pardoned and set free, Israel turns its back on the land of bondage. The blood was the opening of the prison doors. It is still the blood that sets us free! Freedom by the blood is what we preach. Freedom by the blood is the only freedom there is!
Illustration: Two Black Birds
III. Third, the lamb had to be eaten.
(Exodus 12:8-11) "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. (9) 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. (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. (11) 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."
There is no deliverance for our souls until Christ is believed, until the sacrifice is eaten by faith.
(John 6:53-56) "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
· Eaten with Bitter Herbs—Repentance!
· Eaten without Mixture—“Sodden with water.”
· Eaten Entirely!
· Eaten All At Once!
IV. Fourth, “All the hosts of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:40-42).
(Exodus 12:40-42) "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. (41) And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (42) It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations."
· Every Israelite!
· Everyone for whom Blood Was Shed!
· All upon whom Blood Was Sprinkled!
· All who Ate the Sacrifice!
· All went out upon the same ground and for the same reason!
· They took the riches of Egypt with them!
(Romans 11:26-27) "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27) For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins."
(Revelation 14:1-5) "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. (2) And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: (3) And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (4) These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (5) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
(Revelation 15:3) "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."