Exodus 12 ~ 20101212
~ Pastor Rodney Zedicher ~ Ephraim Church of the Bible ~
Exodus 12 Behold The Lamb!
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” These
are the words John used to introduce the Messiah when he made
himself known to the world. As we celebrate the birth of the
Christ-child, it is appropriate that we reflect on why it was that
he was born. The prime reason for the incarnation - infinite God
became mortal man - was to be our sin-bearing substitute.
Last time we
looked at the institution of the Passover celebration - that it was
a forward-looking feast, to be celebrated throughout all generations
as a means of passing on the memory of God's might acts of
deliverance and judgment. All future generations were to personally
participate in the feast and experience God's presence for
themselves; I am to remember the great things the LORD did for me;
how he brought me out of slavery and into his service.
Today I want to
look at the fullness and fulfillment of the passover celebration. As
a forward-looking feast, what does it look forward to? Last time we
hinted at the answer, when we saw that the final celebration of
passover recorded in detail in the bible was the passover that Jesus
earnestly desired to eat with his disciples. We saw that Jesus
transformed this feast by revealing that it was all about him.
“Take, eat; this is my body. ...Drink of it all of
you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured
out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28).
1 Corinthians 5:7
... For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Let us
therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the
leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of
sincerity and truth.
every part of the passover lamb points to Jesus. The sharing
of the lamb, the specifications of the lamb, the inspection
of the lamb, the slaughter and the application of the
blood, the consumption of the lamb, the protection
provided all point to Jesus, 'the Lamb of God, who takes away the
sin of the world', to 'Christ our Passover lamb' who has been
sacrificed. Today I want to look at these seven aspects of the
Passover celebration as pointers to Jesus.
The Sharing of
First of all,
the lamb was to be shared.
...every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers’
houses, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small
for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to
the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make
your count for the lamb.
us that a lamb would typically feed about 14 people. Preparation was
to be made to share this feast with the family first, and then
neighbors were to be invited. Now when we are preparing for a
Thanksgiving day meal, we usually look at how many mouths we will be
feeding, and then we buy the right size turkey to feed everyone. The
size of the gathering determines the size of the bird. Here, the
lamb is the defining factor. The lamb was to define the number of
people invited to the feast.
Matthew 11:28 Come
to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mark 10:45 For
even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give
his life as a ransom for many.”
John 6:35 Jesus
said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me
shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
...37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever
comes to me I will never cast out. ...54 Whoever feeds on my flesh
and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the
The lamb was to
be shared – shared among family and neighbors. There was to be
fellowship around the lamb. And there were to be no left-overs. We
will talk more about this when we come to the consumption of the
Specifications of the Lamb
selected to be the sacrifice was to be a male in the prime of life
and without blemish.
Exodus 12:5 Your
lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it
from the sheep or from the goats,
Jesus met all
the requirements perfectly. He was in the prime of life, a male, and
without blemish. People were coming to his cousin John confessing
their sins and being baptized by him.
Matthew 3:13 Then
Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by
him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be
baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
that Jesus had no sin to confess. John confessed that he was not
even worthy to take the sandals off Jesus' feet.
The author of
Hebrews 4:15 For
we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are,
yet without sin.
Hebrews 9:14 how
much more will the blood of Christ, who ... offered himself without
blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him
we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 1:18
knowing that you were ransomed ... not with perishable things such
as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like
that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 2:22 He
committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
The Apostle John
1 John 3:5 You
know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
Jesus was the
perfect spotless Lamb of God.
of the Lamb
To ensure that
the lamb was without blemish, it was to be kept in the house for
four days to be monitored and inspected.
Exodus 12:6 and
you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, ...
observed, examined, scrutinized throughout his life. At the
beginning of his public ministry, he was tempted by Satan:
Matthew 4:1 Then
Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by
the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was
hungry. 3 And the tempter came... 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be
gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the
Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”’ 11 Then
the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to
The last four
days of Jesus' life he was intensely scrutinized by the Scribes and
Chief Priests and Elders, the Sadducees, Pharisees and Herodians.
They purposely attempted to set him up, trip him up and catch him in
Luke 20:20 So they
watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they
might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the
authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21 So they asked him,
“Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show
no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. ...26 And they were
not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said,
but marveling at his answer they became silent. ... 39 Then some of
the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.”
40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question.
Those that most
wanted to destroy his credibility were amazed and silenced by his
spotless integrity. When they arrested him, they could not even
bring one accusation that would stand up in court.
Mark 14:56 For
many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not
agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him,...
59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.
When he was
brought to trial, Pilate three times publicly attested to his
Luke 23:4 Then
Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no
guilt in this man.” ...14 and said to them, “You
brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after
examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of
any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent
him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him.
16 I will therefore punish and release him.” ...22 A third
time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have
found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and
Even the thief
who was crucified along side Jesus declared his blamelessness:
Luke 23:40 But the
other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are
under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly,
for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has
done nothing wrong.”
who oversaw the crucifixion declared his innocence.
Luke 23:47 Now
when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying,
“Certainly this man was innocent!”
God himself on
two separate occasions attested to the blameless character of his
Matthew 3:17 and
behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 17:5 He
was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them,
and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with
whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
spotless Lamb of God, was inspected thoroughly by God, by Satan, by
his friends and by his fiercest enemies, and he perfectly passed the
The Slaughter of
So the perfect
lamb was to be killed. The whole point of the careful inspection was
to ensure that the lamb was adequately qualified to serve as a
the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their
lambs at twilight.
Death of the
victim was required. It was not enough that the lamb was perfect; it
had to be killed.
Romans 6:23 For
the wages of sin is death,...
Romans 3:23 for
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 1:18 For
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the
Romans 2:5 But
because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath
for yourself on the day of wrath when God‘s righteous judgment
will be revealed.
God is just. He
is holy and righteous. Sin must be punished. The wages of sin is
death. But God is merciful. He has provided a substitute.
Isaiah 53:6 All we
like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He
was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that
before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
1 Corinthians 5:7
... For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, ...
1 Peter 2:24 He
himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,...
of the Blood of the Lamb
The wages of sin
is death. The lamb was killed and righteous blood was shed, but that
was not enough. The blood must be applied.
Exodus 12:7 “Then
they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts
and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
Exodus 12:22 Take a
bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and
touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the
Why? Why put
blood on your door frame? That sounds messy and it would be hard to
clean up. Your door is your interface with the outside world. We
decorate our doors with thing like 'welcome' or 'bless this house'
or 'no soliciting'; 'insured by Smith & Wesson' or 'beware of
cat'. We may hang our family name over the door to display our
identity. What we put on our door says something about the person
who lives there. Splattering blood on the door frame was not
something Moses or Aaron or the Israelites came up with. 'Honey, I
was just coming home from the grocery store and noticed that Mr.
Schwartskopf killed a lamb and smeared blood all over their door.
It just looks so... cozy and inviting. Do you think we could afford
to do that to our door too?' No, God instructed the Israelites to do
this. God had threatened every firstborn son with death, and
promised protection if they would put the blood of a perfect lamb on
their door. This was an act of obedience, an outward expression of
trust in the word of God. This was an act of faith – believing
they were in danger; believing that God has the right to execute
judgment on sinners; believing there was a way to be protected from
the coming danger. This is taking God at his word.
John 3:16 “For
God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever
believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ...18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not
believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the
name of the only Son of God.
John 3:36 Whoever
believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son
shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Acts 13:38 Let it
be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man
forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who
believes is freed from everything 39 from which you could not be
freed by the law of Moses.
John 1:12 But to
all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right
to become children of God,
Friend, have you
obeyed Jesus? Have you received him? Have you believed God's word
about salvation? Is the precious blood of Jesus splashed over your
life? Are your sins covered by the blood of the Lamb? All you need
do is acknowledge 'yes, I am a sinner deserving of God's just
judgment. I need Christ's blood applied to my account'.
of the Lamb
But this is not
the end of the story. Once the blood is applied outside, there can
be peace inside. The blood is applied for protection, but the lamb
is brought inside for fellowship.
Exodus 12:8 They
shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened
bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat any of it
raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its
inner parts. 10 And you shall let none of it remain until the
morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.
Exodus 12:46 It
shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh
outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones.
The lamb is to
be properly prepared. Even the method of cooking is proscribed. The
lamb is to be roasted with fire. The lamb is not to be watered down
by boiling. It is not to be uncooked, but it is to go through the
fire. Fire is a picture of God's wrath against sin. Jesus, the Lamb
of God, endured the fire of the wrath of his Father toward our sin.
Many people want to water Jesus down and add their own ingredients
and make him into a stew, but this is not God's way. 'Jesus is the
main ingredient, but I've added my good works to the pot to make it
taste better.' You have diluted the Lamb and watered down the
gospel. Many others will take part of Christ but not all of him.
Many feel he is a good example to follow and a role model to aspire
after, but when he claims to be the unique divine Son of God, equal
with the Father, co-eternal with the Father, that is too much to
swallow. Many feel that he was a great moral teacher but they become
offended when he claims to be the only way to God. Many applaud when
he takes the children on his knee, but cringe when he drives the
moneychangers from the temple with a whip. Many appreciate his life
and teachings, but would turn away in horror at his bloody
crucifixion. Some would like him as a political leader but are not
willing to admit that they are sinners in need of a substitute. Some
would take him as a Savior who forgives but not as a King who
commands. Some would honor him on one day but not allow him into
their homes as Friend. We must have the whole Christ! Not a bone of
him is to be broken. He is not to be dismembered and torn apart in a
way that suits us! We are not at liberty to pick and choose which
parts of Jesus are most palatable to us. Jesus must be kept intact.
We must have all of him or none at all.
John 6:47 Truly,
truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the
bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and
they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so
that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that
came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live
forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is
my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves,
saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you
eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no
life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has
eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my
flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on
my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the
living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever
feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread
that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever
feeds on this bread will live forever.” ... 60 When many of
his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who
can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his
disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you
take offense at this? ... 66 After this many of his disciples
turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the
Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon
Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the
words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to
know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
We do not get to
define Jesus as we like. We come to him as he is or not at all.
Peter understood that, although many things Jesus said were hard to
swallow, there was no other place to turn for eternal life. We must
feed on him, and all of him. There are to be no left-overs.
The Manner of
Eating the Lamb
The manner of
eating the lamb is specified:
Exodus 12:11 In
this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals
on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in
haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.
God had promised
deliverance from slavery. We are to eat expectantly. Eat in faith.
Believe that God will do what he said he would do. Be ready to go.
Be ready to be set free from sin. There is a sense of urgency here.
Provided by the Blood of the Lamb
The purpose of
the passover is protection:
Exodus 12:12 For I
will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike
all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on
all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13
The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And
when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will
befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
...none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the
morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians,
and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts,
the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to
enter your houses to strike you.
God is providing
a way for all who would hear his voice and obey him to be spared.
All are sinners and all deserve to die. But God himself provides a
substitute. The blood is a sign that those inside have believed what
he said and acted in faith. The blood of the lamb shielded those
who were under the blood from the hand of judgment. God looks on the
blood and his justice is satisfied. A substitute has been
slaughtered. There can be safety and peace and sweet fellowship
Psalm 119:114 You
are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 57:1 Be
merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes
refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the
storms of destruction pass by.
Colossians 3:3 For
you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Romans 8:1 There
is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ is
our Passover sacrificed for us! Jesus is to be shared with those
around us. Jesus meets all the requirements to be a sufficient
substitute. Jesus was thoroughly inspected and passed the test
perfectly. Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree. He took our
place. Is the blood applied to you personally? Have you taken all of
Christ? Are you enjoying the whole Jesus as he is in his glory? Are
you enjoying the protection he provides? Are you enjoying sweet
fellowship in him?
Behold the Lamb
of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn.1:29). Christ our
passover lamb has been sacrificed (1Cor.5:7). You were ransomed...
with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without
blemish or spot (1Pet.1:18-19).
Revelation 5: 6 And
between the throne and the four living creatures and among the
elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, …
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take
the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your
blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and
people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests
to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” ...12 saying
with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to
receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory
and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on
earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them,
saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be
blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”