The “Feasts” Series #7
"FEAST OF PASSOVER"
TEXT: Ex. 12:1-51; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; Heb. 11:28
INTRO: Symbols are important to our understanding of truth. For example: The United States flag is not actually the United States, just a symbol of it; the stars represent the states, the flag therefore our union, it is a symbol of our power, resolve, reverence and ideas, etc. It elicits from us pride, praise, and courage just at its sight because it points us to the reality of our union and the huge price tag paid by many to make it so.
Because of this truth symbols should not be overlooked as to their importance for teaching us great realities.
God has often worked through symbols to help us grasp who He is and about His love for us ... Jesus frequently employed the use of parables, symbols in words to teach great truths. The danger is only seeing the symbol and missing the truths, the Pharisees were masters at this!
Within the Feast of Passover we have the Gospel presented, gloriously clear and so prophetically accurate concerning Jesus' work on Calvary. What a miracle! Here nearly 1,300 years before Christ's birth it is prophesied in detail the Messiah's coming and His death and resurrection and the story of salvation for us!
PROP. SENT: The Word of God clearly shows us that Jesus' shed blood on Calvary won't save us unless we apply it to the doorposts of our hearts! Belief is not enough by itself, application must follow belief!
I. SUBSTITUTION Ex. 12:1-7
A. Need Deliverance! Ex. 12:1-4
1. Slavery all their lives!
a. As a nation they had spent about 430 years in Egypt!
b. Most of this time was slavery!
c. Those living at this time had never known anything else but slavery!
2. And so we before coming to Christ ... we only knew slavery to sin!
a. Only the Christian understands true freedom from slavery ... slavery to sin and selfishness until Christ's freedom came!
b. God has an exodus for every sinner from Egypt to the Promise Land!
a. Many sinners tell themselves their ok, based on their good deeds.
b. If good works would free us from sin and its penalty then Christ would not have had to come and die!
4. We need someone to free us, to take our place on the cross ... JESUS DID THIS FOR US!
ILLUS: Dr. H.A. Ironside saw a lamb once while visiting a western sheepherder; it appeared to have 6 legs, the last 2 just dangling behind it. On a closer look however it was discovered the lamb had the skin of another lamb draped over it! WHY? The lamb had been orphaned and all attempts to have another sheep adopt it had failed until one day another lamb was found dead because of a serpent's bite. This dead lamb's mother was obviously upset, yet she would not except the orphaned one ... until the shepherd skinned her dead baby and took that skin and stretched it over the orphaned lamb! Immediately the mother sheep accepted this orphan ... it was to her now her own! How like this was Christ, the Lamb of God who on the cross took that old serpent Satan's bite! If we will accept His covering of righteousness and not our own our heavenly Father will adopt us as one of His own! No wonder THAT John the Baptist said in John 1:29: "Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world!" Don't trust your own skin ... like Adam and Eve; their own attempts to cover their nakedness with fig leaves were unacceptable! God came and clothed them with skins, the first show of the shedding of blood for forgiveness! – Source Unknown
5. The same Pharaoh who earlier had ordered the death of all Hebrew sons at birth was about to discover the same consequences for that sin ... God was going to strike down all first born sons if there was no blood applied to the door of the home.
a. Sin often reaps its own consequences forced on others!
b. In Christ's sacrifice there is forgiveness and cleansing however, otherwise be sure your sins will find you out!
6. The plagues before this last one had automatically been kept from striking Israel; this last one however was not automatic protection! Each Jew as well as Egyptian had to choose to be delivered by applying the blood!
a. Just because you know a Christian doesn't mean you are one!
b. Being a good person or going to church doesn't mean you're saved necessarily!
c. You must apply the blood of Jesus to your own heart's door to be saved!
d. It isn't automatic salvation just because you're an American or a churchgoer, or because you know one!
c. Israel here had already been circumcised ... yet this wouldn't save them now, it would have to be the blood applied and only the blood applied that would exempt the firstborn from death!
B. No Defects! Ex. 12:5-7
1. The lamb was to be watched for about 3˝ days to be sure it had no defect!
a. Christ ministered for about 3˝ years, watched by all and declared to be without sin ... even by His executioners!
b. Pilot declared: "I find no fault in Him!"
2. When the Iamb was slain it's blood had to be applied to every house, not just some!
ILLUS: Under the Old Testament system, every worshiper had to bring his own lamb. If he had no lamb, he had to buy a lamb. He could not borrow a lamb. No one could give him a lamb. He had to provide his own lamb. In the New Testament everything is reversed. God provides the Lamb! -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
3. After slain the lamb was roasted whole ... no bones broken, as with Christ, not a bone broken but slain!
4. The lamb was impaled on 2 stakes at right angles to each other, thus forming a cross to hold the lamb while it roasted!
5. The blood was sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts on both sides of the door, thus making the shape of the cross!
6. No freedom would come if the lambs they used was flawed, only Christ has lived a sinless perfect life ... He is the only Lamb of God, through Him freedom comes from sin and there is no other means!
7. Even the time of the lamb's death was prophetic, it was to die at twilight, the same hour when Jesus gave up His Spirit in the Gospels!
II. SUSTENANCE Ex. 12:8-20; 1 Cor. 5:7-8
A. Necessary Dinner Ex. 12:8-11; 1 Cor. 5:7-8
1. It wouldn't be enough just to leave Egypt ... strength would be needed to go through the wilderness!
a. The lamb would not only help save them but it would feed them or sustain them!
b. This is the picture of communion!
c. Jesus while celebrating the Feast of Passover with His disciples "Took bread and said, this is my body which is broken for you, take eat."
ILLUS: In his book Written in Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor had explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same rare blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.
"Would you give your blood to Mary?" the doctor asked.
Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."
Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room -- Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny's smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube.
With the ordeal almost over, his voice slightly shaky, broke the silence. "Doctor, when do I die?" Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he'd agreed to donate his blood. He'd thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he'd made his great decision.
Johnny, fortunately, didn't have to die to save his sister. Each of us however, has a condition more serious than Mary's, and it required Jesus to give not just his blood, but his life. -- Thomas Lindberg, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Leadership, Vol. 5, no. 1.
2. The unleavened bread had 2 truths to it:
a. The hurried way in which they left Egypt ... let us be in a hurry to flee from this world and its ways!
b. The purity of the bread ... to be without Leaven: "Beware the leaven of the Pharisees" -- leaven was not even to be found in their homes on this occasion!
c. "Get rid of the old yeast that you might be a new batch without yeast ... as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the festival (of Passover or communion), not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Cor. 5:7-8
3. They were to share the lamb with family and neighbors!
a. So must we!
b. Let us seek out the lost and invite them to share the Lamb of God with us!
c. There was to be no leftovers!
B. Near Death Ex. 12:12-13
1. without the blood applied, death would strike the Jews as well ... circumcision was not enough to save them, they had already been circumcised, they must yet apply the blood; circumcision identified them with Israel (like us with the church) but salvation was necessary by each one through the blood of the lamb ... or death was near!
2. The blood and its application was the only hope for life ... this is still so!
C. Needed Details Ex. 12:14-20
1. While Egypt slept, Israel feasted! (Still true ... while the world is sleeping the church is feasting!)
2. No yeast! ... Not even around the house!
ILLUS: If Christ is an example, nobody needs him; but if he's a sacrifice, everyone does. -- Fred Smith, Leadership, Vol. 4, no.3.
3. Passover would not only be an atonement, but also a communion!
4. They were to follow all the details to the letter, their lives depended on it!
a. So might yours ... only by accepting Christ can you be saved!
b. Your life depends on it, there is no other way!
5. They had to stay behind the limits of the blood covered door during the time they waited to leave ... to go beyond its borders would expose them to death!
a. When we leave the borders of Christ's blood we are exposed to the death of this spiritually dark world!
b. They were safe only by being under the blood!
c. These were all important details! And they still are!
d. Heb. 11:28 "by faith he (Moses) kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel."
III. SALVATION! Ex. 12:21-51
A. Not Destroyed! Ex. 12:21-23
1. Imagine how crazy this must have
a. Slaves for 430 years!
b. How would they be victorious over powerful Egypt, with an army, with swords, with overwhelming numerical strength, with strategy?
c. NO! They would win with a lamb and its blood sprinkled on the doorposts and lintels of their homes ... and unleavened bread!
d. The people had to trust the words of Moses' no matter how strange this sounded, we too much trust the Words of Jesus no matter what the world thinks of salvation and how foolish it seems!
e. Deliverance then and now did not come by intellect, or skill, or power of human might, or social programs, etc., but by His Spirit and the blood applied!
2. It worked! They were not destroyed! ... In fact not
only could they go but the Egyptians loaded them down with gold, silver,
precious stones, clothing, tremendous wealth,
a. Without lifting a sword!
b. Without tactics, etc.
c. It wasn't what seemed reasonable that saved them ... it was what was righteous!
ILLUS: In Man in the Mirror, Patrick Morley tells of a group of fishermen who landed in a secluded bay in Alaska and had a great day fishing for salmon. But when they returned to their sea plane, they found it aground because of the fluctuating tides. They waited until the next morning for the tides to comes in, but when they took off, they only got a few feet into the air before crashing back into the sea. Being aground the day before had punctured one of the pontoons, and it had filled up with water.
The sea plane slowly began to sink. The passengers, three men and a 12-year-old son of one of the men, prayed and then jumped into the icy cold waters to swim to shore. The riptide was strong, but two of the men reached the shore exhausted. They looked back, and saw the father with his arms around his son being swept out to sea.
The boy had not been strong enough to make it. The father was a strong swimmer, but he had chosen to die with his son rather than to live without him. -- Robert Russell, pastor and author. Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 2.
B. News of Deliverance Ex. 12:24-28
1. We must instruct each generation about this God given solution for deliverance from sin!
a. Our children need to hear first and understand.
b. We must put an emphasis on educating our children in the ways of the Lord!
2. We also need to tell the stranger and alien among us, the slave, etc.
ILLUS: Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt in a proclamation designating Bill of Rights Day. Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 8.
a. It is only good news if they hear it!
b. No news is bad news!
c. God's news is good news!
3. Israel was free ... by God, not military might!
C. News of Death Ex. 12:29-36
a. From the lowest to the king!
b. It now for them was too late! Pharaoh wanted a blessing after it was too late! *[READ Ex. 12:32]
2. On the last day the Bible says there “will be wailing and gnashing of teeth...” sinners will one day be sorry for their sins ... but it will be too late!
a. God does have a deadline!
b. It may differ from one to another based on their death date.
c. Why put salvation off, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS." Heb. 3:7,15; 4:7b
3. Egypt not only lost many lives, it also lost its goods and its power and pride!
a. In the end sin will strip its victims naked ... without giving life!
b. God humbles the proud!
D. New Day! Ex. 12:37-51
1. A new day dawned for Israel; it was one of wonder and joy!
a. No longer slaves!
b. No longer poor!
c. No longer an exiled people and a weak nation, now a powerful nation!
d. No longer hopeless ... the Promise Land was just ahead!
e. No longer hungry!
f. No longer fearful!
ILLUS: It was February 1941, Auschwitz, Poland. Maxmillan Kolba was a Franciscan priest put in the infamous death camp for helping Jews escape Nazi terrorism. Months went by and in desperation an escape took place. The camp rule was enforced. Ten people would be rounded up randomly and herded into a cell where they would die of starvation and exposure as a lesson against future escape attempts. Names were called. A Polish Jew Frandishek Gasovnachek was called. He cried, "Wait, I have a wife and children!" Kolba stepped forward and said, "I will take his place." Kolba was marched into the cell with nine others where he managed to live until August 14. This story was chronicled on an NBC news special several years ago. Gasovnachek, by this time 82, was shown telling this story while tears streamed down his cheeks. A mobile camera followed him around his little white house to a marble monument carefully tended with flowers. The inscription read: IN MEMORY OF MAXIMILLAN KOLBA. HE DIED IN MY PLACE.
Every day Gasovnachek lived since 1941, he lived with the knowledge, "I live because someone died for me." Every year on August 14 he travels to Auschwitz in memory of Kolba. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13) -- Source: Victor Knowles, Peace on Earth Ministries. Adapted from Crossroads Family Circle.
2. They had passed from death unto life ... how great a day it must have been marching out of Egypt, fully loaded with the gold and silver of Egypt, without lifting a single sword!
a. God still promises deliverance!
b. His blood was shed for you ... BUT you must take a hyssop branch (faith) and apply the blood to the doorposts and lintel of your heart, believing isn't enough, application is necessary!
c. Then you too will pass from death to life, eternal life!
CONCLUSION: Jesus is the Passover lamb ... if you apply the blood to the doorposts of your heart salvation and deliverance will come! The shed blood didn't deliver unless it was applied! Have you done that yet? Don't wait too late!