“Open Doors” Series #1
"THE DOOR OF YOUR HOME!"
TEXT: Exodus 12:1-13; Deut. 11:18-21
INTRO: Doors are such important items ... without them we could not get into a place, or get out! Doors become the way in, and the way out!
When we understand that everything that comes into our home does so through a door we can appreciate the symbolic dimension of this event in Exodus and in Deuteronomy about covering the "doorposts" with blood and with God's Word!
The symbol here is powerful ... the entrance to our home where our family lives is to be covered by the “blood of the Lamb.” Everything that comes in should pass by the “blood of the Lamb,” and everything that comes out will pass by it also!
Only those homes where the entrance was covered by the blood of the sacrificial lamb were spared the destructive death angel ... and this is still true!
How's the entrance to your home ... how about the door to your heart too?
PROP. SENT: The Bible will teach us that we are responsible to keep the entrance to our heart and home covered with the blood of the Lamb of God ... this alone will keep out the "death" angel!
I. FRESH START Ex. 12:1-11
A. New Calendar! Ex. 12:1-4
1. While all the previous miracles had failed to get Pharaoh to let God's people go this final one will ... it will be the start of a whole new life for Israel!
a. This final contest will be won by applying the “blood of the Lamb” to the doorposts of one's home...
b. The only protection for both Egyptian and Jew would be the “blood of the Lamb”... if applied, those inside will be safe!
c. This foreshadows the greater “Lamb of God” that later will come, Jesus as the “Lamb of God” will shed His blood ... and it too must be applied to the entrance of our heart and our home if we are to be protected by God!
2. This new event will signal freedom from Egypt for Israel ... thus it will become the spiritual new year for them ... from now on they are to mark this “Passover” as the start of their new year!
a. When we get saved, when we apply the “blood of the Lamb” to our own heart and home ... this marks a new beginning for us too!
b. Their "New Year" will begin by leaving slavery and bondage, by going to the Promise Land!
3. The entire nation of Israel NEEDED to apply the blood if they were to be spared!
a. It would not matter if they had been previously circumcised ... the sign of the covenant by circumcision would not spare them from the death angel ... only the “blood of the Lamb!”
b. It did not matter that they were born into God's people ... only the blood would spare them!
c. They all stood in a place of need ... they all needed to apply the blood!
ILLUS: IN PREPARATION FOR A MEETING IN A LARGE CITY, FAMED EVANGELIST BILLY SUNDAY WROTE A LETTER TO THE MAYOR IN WHICH HE ASKED FOR THE NAME OF INDIVIDUALS HE KNEW WHO HAD A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM AND NEEDED HELP AND PRAYER. HOW SURPRISED THE EVANGELIST WAS WHEN HE RECEIVED FROM THE MAYOR A CITY DIRECTORY WITH ALL NAMES ATTACHED! WE ALL NEED TO APPLY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB IF WE ARE TO BE SAVED! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. This was one of the rare times when the priests were not responsible for the sacrifices, each father was responsible for his own home!
a. Each home had to accept their responsibility for following through with this command!
b. For those who had small families, they were instructed to join with others ... salvation was not just for a family, it was shared as the community of God's people ... no one in Israel was to be left out!
B. Necessary Choices! Ex. 12:5-7
1. The choice of the lamb was very specific ... it had to be yearling male, without any blemish at all!
a. It was to be a perfect specimen ... Jesus was flawless and a perfect specimen of the human race too!
b. The participation in this was voluntary ... no one would be made to obey, but failure to obey would mean the death of the firstborn son!
2. This was not a decision that could be mulled over for an extended period of time ... “now is the day of salvation!”
a. Failure to respond quickly would be costly!
ILLUS: Nikolai Berdyaev, who abandoned Marx for Christianity, insists that neither history nor theology nor the church brought him to the Christian faith, but a simple woman called only Mother Maria. He was present at a concentration camp when the Nazis were murdering Jews in gas chambers. One distraught mother refused to part with her baby. When Maria saw that the officer was only interested in numbers, without a word she pushed the mother aside and quickly took her place. This action revealed to Berdyaev the heart of Christianity -- and what atonement means. -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 35.
b. There wasn't time to debate the theological questions of why they needed to do this ... it had to be done if they were to save their own sons!
3. A failure to comply either by Egyptian or Jew would result in loss ... there is only one thing that will cause the death angel to pass over their house that night and that one thing was the “blood of the Lamb” applied to the entrance to that home ... and that all were inside the place of safety!
4. Procrastination was not an option ... there was a necessary choice to make ... and time was critical!
ILLUS: ONE NIGHT IN 1962 IN A HOTEL IN SEATTLE, BILLY GRAHAM WAS SOUND ASLEEP. SUDDENLY HE AWOKE WITH WHAT HE LATER DESCRIBED AS "A BURDEN TO PRAY FOR MARILYN MONROE," THE MOVIE ACTRESS. WHEN THE FEELING CONTINUED THE NEXT DAY ONE OF GRAHAM'S ASSOCIATES TRIED TO REACH THE ACTRESS THROUGH ONE OF HER AGENTS. THE AGENT OFFERED NO HOPE FOR A MEETING IMMEDIATELY. “NOT NOW ... MAYBE TWO WEEKS FROM NOW.” THE AGENT TOLD BILLY GRAHAM. TWO WEEKS LATER MARILYN MONROE'S SUICIDE SHOCKED THE WORLD. TWO WEEKS WAS TOO LATE! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
5. It was their choice as to whether they would do things God's ways or their own ... while this whole thing must have seemed strange to them, obedience would make the difference of life and death ... it still does!
a. The blood was to be applied to the door's side posts and top beam, thus making the shape of a cross!
b. The home's entrance was to be covered by the “blood of the Lamb” ... God help us as Christians to have our home and the entrance to it covered by the Lamb of God's blood too!
6. Have you made the choice to apply the “blood of the Lamb” of God to your home and the entrance to your heart!?
a. This was the father's responsibility here!
b. It still is a call for dads to be the priests of their homes and apply the blood of Christ to all that goes in and out of their home!
c. Have you made the necessary choice dad?
C. No Compromise! Ex. 12:8-11
1. With the blood's application they were instructed to eat bitter herbs, to symbolize the bitterness of slavery that they were about to be delivered from ... and to eat bread without yeast to symbolize purity and the haste in leaving!
a. There was no time to debate issues ... just obey ... no time for yeast!
b. What they were leaving behind was the bitterness of slavery ... which had left a bitter taste in their mouths!
2. They were not to cook the lamb by ordinary means ... this was more than a dinner ... the lamb was to be considered a sacrifice which was only done by fire!
a. To cook the lamb in any other way would have been to make it nothing more than dinner ... it was to be considered as a "sacrifice" to spare their lives!
b. Thus, whatever was not eaten had to be completely burned like a sacrifice!
c. Notice too that this sacrifice had to be taken in by them ... while it was available, they had to consume it! This is true with Salvation too ... while God has provided His son as the sacrifice it is up to us to "consume" Him, to take Him into our life if it is to have merit! Having a “substitute sacrifice” is a requirement!
ILLUS: There was a law in Tokyo about 1900 that no foreigner could take up residence there unless he had a "substitute." There were natives who hired themselves out for this purpose. If the foreigner broke any law, the substitute suffered the penalty for it, even if the penalty were death. In a similar way, our standing before God and his law is only obtainable through the substitutionary work of His Son. And this substitutionary work is obtained without any fee -- only faith in Him. -- James M. Gray -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 36.
3. The instructions were designed to be a constant reminder to Israel each time they celebrated "Passover" what had been done for them, so this meal is still served by Jews today to symbolize these truths ... except of course the part about Jesus.
a. It was very important that Israel follow these instructions to the letter!
b. The reason for this was to preserve the meaning of the event without corrupting it ... there could be no wavering from the instructions!
c. This is still true, we cannot reinvent how people should be saved, and it must be by what Christ taught, without compromise!
4. Communion is the New Testament ordinance that preserves for us the meaning of Jesus' death and life for us ... it is to be kept as Jesus taught so that the meaning is not lost!
5. We are to keep reminders of what Christ has done for us ... this is what communion is all about!
ILLUS: AT ONETIME AT THE CITY TEMPLE IN LONDON, THERE WAS IN THE CONGREGATION A RESTAURATEUR NAMED EMIL METTLER, WHO WAS A CLOSE FRIEND OF ALBERT SCHWEITZER THE GREAT MEDICAL MISSIONARY. IN FACT, EMIL METTLER WAS A KIND OF AGENT FOR SCHWEITZER IN BRITAIN. METTLER WOULD NEVER ALLOW A CHRISTIAN WORKER TO PAY FOR A MEAL IN HIS RESTAURANT, BUT ONCE HE DID HAPPEN TO OPEN HIS CASH REGISTER IN THE PRESENCE OF A SECRETARY OF THE LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY. THE SECRETARY WAS ASTONISHED TO SEE AMONG THE BILLS AND COINS A 6 INCH NAIL! WHAT WAS IT DOING THERE? METTLER EXPLAINED, “I KEEP THIS NAIL WITH MY MONEY TO REMIND ME OF THE PRICE THAT CHRIST PAID FOR MY SALVATION AND OF WHAT I OWE HIM IN RETURN!” – SOURCE UNKNOWN
6. The plan must be adhered to without changes or compromise if it was to lead to salvation!
7. Notice the instruction on how all this was to be eaten or consumed:
a. They were to eat this with their clothes on ready to leave Egypt!
b. This was no casual meal ... it was meant to be consumed with the idea that they were ready to leave behind their slavery and to leave behind the bondage of Egypt!
c. This is true with Christ too ... those who receive Christ should do so with the understanding that taking Christ into their life means leaving behind the slavery of sin ... and marching out of "Egypt" – going in a new direction ... towards the “Promise Land!”
8. Deliverance meant just that ... they were delivered from the bondage of slavery, they were not to return to it again!
a. When we accept Christ we are to break from our sinful ways ... to not return to slavery again!
b. We are to accept Christ ready to run away from "Egypt" (our past life of slavery to sin) ... these two things go together!
c. They were not allowed to eat this meal and then sit around in Egypt for a while longer! NO COMPROMISES!
II. FAITH & SALVATION Ex. 12:12-13; Deut. 11:18-21
A. No Contest! Ex. 12:12-13
1. Prophetically, just as the death angel passed over everyone that night for both Jew and Egyptian ... God's judgment will one day pass over every human who has ever lived ... and like then, only those who have applied the “blood of the Lamb” of God will be spared!
a. This took an act of faith on the Jews part ... to dress as though they were leaving for sure after 9 other attempts had previously failed, (remember the plagues, each time Pharaoh changed his mind about letting them go!) thus this demonstrated their faith that this time the blood would make the difference!
b. This time, there would be no contest ... the defining moment had come! The blood would set them free!
2. The gods of Egypt met more than their match in the true God of Israel ... there was no contest!
a. Already many of the gods of Egypt had been shown as powerless by each plague:
(1. The Nile god “Osiris” – worshipped for giving life gave dead fish and became blood!
(2. The frog god “Hekt” – a goddess of fertility multiplied so much that the land stank when they all died and rotted in Egypt!
(3. The earth god “Seb” found itself struck with lice ... no match for the real God!
(4. The god of the atmosphere “Hatkok” was struck with abundant flies.
(5. The cattle god of Egypt “Apis” couldn’t save the cows, they were all struck with a disease ... they were no match for God!
(6. Egypt’s god “Typhon” couldn’t protect them against boils … probably leprosy and open running sores.
(7. Egypt's god and goddess of rain and lightening “Shu” was out of control by God’s command … hail and fire raining upon Egypt destroying their crops!
(8. Egypt’s locust god “Serapia” couldn’t save their crops from the hoards of locusts.
(9. Egypt's sun god “Ra” was turned to darkness ... he was no match for God here!
(10. And Pharaoh and his first born son who both were considered gods would find they too were no match for the God of Israel!
b. God had given Egypt and Israel “10 good reasons to believe in the true God!”
c. Israel could trust in faith that God's salvation would work ... they could dress and be ready to go, the blood would make the difference! (It still does!)
3. Israel would not only have to believe but take action to see salvation come their way!
ILLUS: A BEGGAR STOPPED A LAWYER ON THE STREET IN A LARGE SOUTHERN CITY AND ASKED HIM FOR A QUARTER. TAKING A LONG LOOK INTO THE MAN'S UNSHAVEN FACE THE ATTORNEY ASKED, “DON’T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?” THE MAN REPLIED, “YOU SHOULD, I'M YOUR FORMER CLASSMATE … REMEMBER, SECOND FLOOR, OLD MAIN HALL?” THE LAWYER ANSWERED, “WHY SAM, OF COURSE, I KNOW YOU!” WITHOUT FURTHER QUESTION THE LAWYER TOOK OUT HIS CHECKBOOK AND WROTE A CHECK FOR $100 AND HANDED IT TO THE MAN SAYING, “HERE, TAKE THIS AND GET A NEW START. I DON'T CARE WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THE PAST, IT’S THE FUTURE THAT COUNTS.” WITH THAT HE HURRIED ON. TEARS WELLED UP IN THE MAN’S EYES AS HE WALKED TO THE BANK NEARBY. STOPPING AT THE DOOR, HE SAW THROUGH THE GLASS WALL WELL-DRESSED TELLERS AND THE SPOTLESSLY CLEAN INTERIOR. THEN HE LOOKED AT HIS FILTHY RAGS AND THOUGHT TO HIMSELF, “THEY WON’T TAKE THIS FROM ME. THEY’LL SWEAR THAT I FORGED IT.” AND SO HE TURNED AWAY WITHOUT ACTING ON THE CHECK IN HIS HANDS. THE NEXT DAY THE TWO MEN MET AGAIN, AND THE LAWYER NOTICING NO CHANGES ASKED THE MAN, “WHY SAM, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE MY CHECK? DID YOU GAMBLE IT AWAY? DID YOU DRINK UT UP?” THE BEGGAR ANSWERED, “NO!” AND AS HE PULLED THE CHECK OUT OF HIS POCKET HE TOLD THE LAWYER, “I DIDN’T THINK THE BANK WOULD ACCEPT THE CHECK!” THE LAWYER THEN SAID, “LISTEN FRIEND, WHAT MAKES THE CHECK GOOD IS NOT YOUR CLOTHES OR APPEARANCE, BUT MY SIGNATURE, GO ON, CASH IT!” THE MAN HAD A PERFECTLY GOOD CHECK, BUT FAILED TO ACT ON IT, THIS IS TRUE WITH SALVATION TOO, IT IS PERFECTLY GOOD, BUT WE MUST ACT IN FAITH ON IT BY RECEIVING IT OR IT WILL NOT SAVE US! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. As long as they had the blood applied they were safe! It served not only as a sign to God that they had faith, but it served as a sign to each other that they had obeyed God too!
5. Nobody beats God, NOBODY! There is NO CONTEST!
B. Needed Constantly! Deut. 11:18-21
1. Here later Moses instructs Israel after the fact of their deliverance about the importance of that "door" again.
a. This time, to keep alive that faith which delivered them they not only need the blood applied but now they are to write God's Word on their foreheads and hands!
(1. Forehead to represent all that they think! (We use our head in thinking)
(2. Hands to represent all that they do! (We work with our hands)
b. God's Word would serve as the constant teacher throughout their whole life!
c. The Word of God is to be placed everywhere in their home and in their lifestyle!
2. It would not be enough to just have the Priest's words about God ... each man should emblazon it upon their own bodies (life) ... and on the door frames to their home and gate!
a. It would be necessary to be reminded again and again of God's Word!
b. This would be the constant need ... while the blood had to be applied but one time to the door frames; here the Word of God is to be placed on them to read over and over again!
3. Our children need more spirituality than just what they get in church ... they need it at home too ... written on everything that is considered our home!
ILLUS: 1% OF THE CHILD'S TIME IS SPENT UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL ... 7% UNDER THE INFLUENCES OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL ... AND 92% UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOME! -- (BY ALBERT S. TAYLOR)
4. The thrust of this section of Scripture is that God's Word must be so common in everything around us and in us that it is a natural part of our daily life! Like the command to have it on their forehead and hand … to literally stick to us!
5. It should be at the entrance and exit of everything that is a part of us! This is the point!
6. WE need this constantly in our lives ... and so do our children! Every time Israel strayed from God it was because they lost His Word or ignored it, or failed to teach it to the next generation!
7. What's written on the door frames to your home?
CONCLUSION: Doors have 2 purposes: to keep things out, and to let things in! A door is both an entrance and an exit. It is precisely for this reason that Israel is told to put blood on the door frame of their homes. The blood of the Lamb is to guard what goes into our homes and to sanctify what comes out! Is Christ's blood on the door to your home and your heart?