The Blood of the Lamb
December 1-2, 2018
All right, looking now at Moses being the deliverer that God has called to bring Israel out of Egypt. He and his brother Aaron went to speak to Pharaoh, and they said, "Jehovah," naming Him by name, "Jehovah, Yahweh, God of Israel, has spoken to us and He has a message for you. Let My people go, that they may worship Me in the desert." Now, Pharaoh's response, actually, was a reasonable response. His response was, "I don't know this God, Jehovah." He knew hundreds of Egyptian gods, but he had never heard of Jehovah, so he said, "I don't know this God. Why should I listen to His voice? No, besides that, I will not let the people go."
What then began was a contest, you might say, between the gods of Egypt and Jehovah because He brought these plagues. Interestingly, each of these plagues was really an affront to the Egyptian gods. We looked at some of those last week, we look at some of these during the Wednesday verse-by-verse service, but we come now to Exodus 12 and the last. The 10th plague is so important because God had given Egyptian many warnings, many opportunities to recognize the power, the preeminence of Jehovah, but they would not be changed. Pharaoh himself was hard of heart.
Finally, the 10th, the judgment of God was given. The final plague was to be released in the land of Egypt, the death of the firstborn in every house in Egypt, even of the beasts. Here's the thing that we've got to recognize, God also at the same time, gave a provision for them to be saved. If anyone would take the blood of a Lamb and then sprinkle it on the doorposts and the lintel of the house they would be saved from God's judgment against Egypt. It would take faith. By faith, they must believe that in fact God would do exactly as He said, and that God's provision was in fact the powerful provision to save.
If they would do as God instructed, they would be saved. Here's the thing, whether they were Hebrews or Egyptians. Here's an interesting factoid, I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating because it's so interesting, when Israel came out of Egypt, many Egyptians came with them. It says in the Scriptures, in many places, that they were a mixed company when they came out and here's what happened, many of the Egyptians said, "This God of Israel, Jehovah, He is greater than any god of Egypt. He's my God." They left Egypt and they became Israelites, which is an amazing thing.
I. The Lamb is God’s Provision
If they believe. See, this provision was for anyone, and this event right here, I tell you, it is the foundation stone to all that happens in the Old Testament. In fact, this event that we're speaking of here, even the Passover lamb, that blood of that lamb is the critical and pivotal event of the entire Old Testament because it points to Jesus Christ. What Jesus did for us on the cross is in fact the pivotal foundation stone of the entire New Testament. Therefore, this is very important for us to understand.
This event must be remembered, God would say, by the keeping of the Passover every year and this month is to be the first month of the Jewish year. The Passover, therefore, looks back. It's a look back, it's a commemoration of all that God did in bringing them out of their oppression and slavery and bringing them into the freedom of the Glory of God and the life that he has for them. See, this is also prophetic then because it looks forward to the coming of the Son of Man, of Jesus, who is the fulfillment of the Passover. I tell you, you could write a book, well, actually many have, on the details of Jesus being the fulfillment of every aspect of the Passover.
He is the Lamb. He is the Lamb of God, and His blood is the blood that must be applied to anyone who believes. Believing God for the freedom from condemnation, freedom from the judgment of death, and into the freedom of eternal life and relationship to God that's how important this is.
Let's read it, Exodus 12 we begin in verse 1. "Now the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, this month shall be the beginning of months for you, it is to be the first month of years for you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel and say this, on the 10th of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves according to their fathers' households a lamb for each household. Now, if their household is too small for a lamb then he and his neighbor nearest to his house, are the take one according to the number of persons in them according to what each man should eat you are to divide the lamb. Now your lamb--" Notice the emphasis on the lamb here because Jesus is in fact this lamb but notice all of these aspects that point to Jesus.
"Your lamb shall be an unblemished lamb, male, a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, you shall keep it," which is to say, keep it with you, even in the house, "keep it until the 14th day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it and they shall eat the flesh." Now, this is so important because when we receive communion it is a commemoration of what Jesus did in the fulfillment of this. It's so important, so significant for us to recognize.
"They shall eat the flesh that same night roasted with fire and they shall eat it with unleavened bread, and with bitter herbs." The bitter herbs is a reminder, a remembrance of the bitterness of their oppression, and all that they experienced when they were slaves in Egypt. "Do not eat any of it raw," which is to say, rare, "or boiled at all in water, but rather it must be roasted with fire." Look at this, "Both its head, it's legs, even along with its entrails nothing is to remain, everything must be consumed either by eating it, or consumed by the fire. You shall not leave any of it until morning, whatever is left until morning, it must be burned with fire.
Now, you shall eat it in this manner, with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand, and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover." Why is it called Passover? He explains, "For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, I will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and against all the gods of Egypt, I will execute judgments. I am Jehovah." He uses His name, I am Yahweh.
"The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live. 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." This would be true whether you are Hebrew or Egyptian. I tell you, these are some of the most important verses in the whole of the Old Testament. Let's look at them and understand how they apply starting with this, that the lamb is God's provision. God had warned the Egyptians, and the Hebrews. He's going to bring this great plague. The Angel of Death, of condemnation, is going to come, but He made a provision this is the thing, He made a provision. If anyone would do as God instructed, he would be saved.
Take this lamb, you must kill this lamb and then you must apply the blood of this lamb to the doorpost and the lentil of the house. It's interesting because when they would do that, they would kill this lamb and drain his blood and set the basin of blood at the threshold of the house of the door. Then they take some hyssop and they dip it into the blood and then they sprinkle it on the doorpost and on the lintel. In so doing, they're actually forming across then they go through that blood into the house and they must remain under the covering of that blood all during that plague, they must remain in the house.
This is an interesting thing. The death of the Lamb is God's provision so that the Angel of Death, Angel of condemnation would pass over their house. If they did not apply the blood, then death would come to that house. This is such an important thing, He says, that they must mark your calendar by this date. So significant the first month of the Jewish year is the commemoration then of Passover. It was called at this time simply the first month. Later it was given the name Nisan for the first month.
Interestingly, if you are a student at all of the customs of Israel you might say well I thought Rosh Hashanah was the celebration in commemoration of the new year but that happens in the month Tishri which is the seventh month. You are a good student if you picked that up. What happened was, after the Babylonian exile then they started to have the first of Tishri as the commemoration of the New Year because it was a celebration of the creation of the world. In many ways you might say they have two new years. Some suggest they have four new years, which is a lot of new years.
A. Mark your calendar by this date
The Jewish calendar is interesting. They actually use the lunar calendar the cycles of the moon we use the solar calendar. If you say well wait a minute if they use the lunar calendar that means that at some point spring is going to actually be in winter. Right. This is what they do. You know how we have a leap year, every four years we add a day to align again with the sun cycle and then every 100 years I think we add another one and then every 1,000 years we take one away, all so we stay in alignment with the sun, right? Well, this is what they do to stay then in alignment, periodically whenever they so choose, they would add an entire month. We would call it a leap month, a 13th month they would add so that the Passover always comes in the spring after the barley harvest.
One of the things we've got to recognize through all of this is that in so many ways this is a picture of Jesus Christ who is the Passover Lamb. 1st Peter 1:18 and 19, he says "Knowing that you are not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life, inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood as of a Lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ." The Jews, therefore, marked their calendars, they marked their calendars by the Passover which is a picture of Jesus Christ. I just love this. Their whole calendar is based upon a prophecy of Jesus Christ.
Now, interestingly, our calendar also is marked by Jesus Christ because BC stands for before Christ, AD is the Latin and Anno Domini the Year of our Lord. Although, I have to tell you, when I was young, I didn't know what AD meant. I figured if BC was before Christ then AD must mean after His death and I couldn't figure out where those 33 years went in the middle until someone enlightened me.
I was just a kid and so I was still needing an education. Someone explained to me, "No, it's not after His death it's Anno Domini, it's the Year of Our Lord." Then, of course, the whole thing became politically correct because the world doesn't want to mark their calendars by Jesus Christ and so instead they would say CE instead of AD. CE standing for the Common Era and BCE for Before the Common Era. They must be politically correct, but I don't care what you call it, it's still marked by the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In other words, this is such a significant event and Jesus marks our life as well. When someone accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they are born again. It's like a spiritual birthday. How important is that? That marks your entire life. I remember when I accepted the Lord, it's vividly, indelibly written on my memory. I was 11 years old and it was such this moment. I'm like crying. I remember because we were in a small church in those days and when someone came to the Lord everybody in the church came and gave that person a hug. My mom is crying, and my brothers and sisters and it was such a momentous moment I'll never forget it.
When I think about that spiritual birth, He makes all things new, it reminds me of these videos that I see where someone who is color blind is given these glasses. I think they're called Chroma glasses, where they can now, for the first time in their life, they can see color. I love this picture because to me it's like this beautiful picture of what happens when someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ. They can see, they can see like they've never seen before.
I love those videos because oftentimes they'll give it to them like a birthday gift or something and so they're opening this gift and then they, "These glasses, these sunglasses, how nice." Until they put them on and they take them off and they put them on and they take them off and put them on. "I had no idea. That's how flowers look? That's how grass looks? You guys have been seeing this the whole time? That's how the sky looks? I had no idea." Oftentimes, they start crying this is so beautiful. I love the scene. I love the scene because it's like newness of life in Christ Jesus.
When someone receives Christ and the brokenness of their life and all the sin has been taken away. They've been forgiven, they've been given the gift of eternal life, they have a hope for salvation for eternity, they see everything new. Newness of life, it marks your life. At our candlelight services every year when we light the candles and we hold them up and it just speaks about Jesus being the light that shines in the darkness. Then we have everyone blow out their candles according to how long they've been born? No. How long they've been a believer in Jesus Christ because that's the most significant birthday you'll ever have right there.
B. Have a relationship with the Lamb
This is such an important thing. When they brought the Lamb then into the house, it's such a significant event that he says, "I want you to keep this Lamb with you." In other words, I want you to have a relationship with this Lamb. Bring it into your home on the 10th day, grow close to it even though it will be killed on the 14th day. By the way did you know that Jesus on that famous day that He came into Jerusalem, it was the 10th of Nisan, and He was killed on the 14th day of Nisan? When He came into Jerusalem, they were celebrating, "Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." They were waving palm branches, while welcoming. This day is the day that God had been prophesying all these years before. So many ways. It's a picture of Jesus Christ.
When you bring an animal into your home the family's going to grow close to it. Many of you know, of course, we raised five kids, now we've adopted our granddaughter so now we're raising our sixth. For us, raising kids and having animals in the house go hand in hand. At one time we had like 17 animals in the house. Now we have only one child in the house so we have a whole lot less animals but we still let animals in the house. For example, we have a cute little dog, Romeo. Isn't that a great name for a snuggly dog? I love it because whenever Romeo goes outside and you can't find him, you have to go outside and you have to say.
"Wherefore art thou, Romeo." We love Romeo. We have hermit crabs. You would be surprised how affectionate, maybe we should say clingy, hermit crabs can be. We also have a guinea pig, Butter cream. Yes. The other day Havier said, "Grandpa, we need to go to the pet store." I said, "Why?" "Butter cream needs a coat." We are not buying a coat for a guinea pig. God gave that guinea pig a fur coat, an expensive guinea pig fur coat.
Do they grow close, they grow close to the animals. I remember once we had some friends who offered to raise two beef cattle on their place for us and so we selected them and we bought them and put them on their place. We would come out and feed them and I didn't want the kids growing close, so we selected names that were very carefully chosen. One was called barbecue, the other was called beef.
When they bring that lamb into the house the point was that the lamb was to become meaningful to the family. Why do we have a lamb in the house Papa? The Father would say, "Because God is going to bring judgment and this lamb is going to give his life to save us." In other words, you'd be thankful for that lamb. God's judgment will surely come and this lamb, this innocent, unblemished, perfect lamb is going to die and the blood of this lamb will save us. You be thankful for that lamb.
Isn't that the point, isn't it a picture of how much God loves us and our response to Him? See, it says in Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." That's love. We didn't deserve any of it. He pursued us with His love, and He gave His son who died on the cross, pouring out the blood of the Lamb for us. Our response must be that of love.
C. The Lamb must be inspected
Notice also, then, in Exodus 12, that the lamb must be inspected. Take this unblemished lamb into your home, at some point, the lamb must be inspected to make sure that it's perfect in every way and this is a picture of the sinless perfection of Jesus Christ. He is that lamb.
John 1:29, the next day, John the Baptist-- Remember, John the Baptist had a tremendous following. People gathered to come and hear him and be baptized by John calling them to repentance from their sins. One day, Jesus appeared walking on the other side of the river and so John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and he said, "Behold, look, look, see the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." He is that lamb in Revelation, in the book of Revelation. John is given this vision into a heavenly view, and the one who sat on the throne had scrolls written on the front and the back, but they were sealed with seven seals.
It was told to John, "Is there anyone found worthy to open these seven seals?" He said, "No one, there's no one worthy," and John began to weep when he heard that the no one is found worthy. The angel said to him, "Stop your weeping for the lion from the tribe of Judah is worthy," and so he says, "I looked, and I saw a lamb as though slain." That is an amazing picture right there. He is that lamb. Hebrews 4:15, "We do not have a high priest, that's Jesus, who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are yet without sin." He is the unblemished lamb.
II. You Must Partake of the Lamb
Now, the beautiful application of this is that it was the Lamb that was inspected, not the person bringing the lamb. Now, apply that to our lives. This is the whole point of why we need a Savior. Our sins separate us from God and if God were to inspect our lives, we would be found spiritually bankrupt. Is there any righteous? No, not one. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We need a Savior and that lamb died in our place, the perfect sinless Lamb Jesus Christ, who will stand before God as our advocate. It's a beautiful, beautiful picture for us but would you notice this because it's so important that we make it personal, you must partake of the Lamb.
A. The blood must be applied
Pay special attention to this because this application is so critical, by faith they must apply that blood of that Lamb believing that that blood would in fact save them. In other words, must be personal. You have to have that blood applied to your life, that blood must be applied to your life. You cannot have a relationship to God through someone else. You cannot have a relationship to God through your wife or through your husband or through your parents. Everyone has to have their own relationship, the blood must be applied.
See, having someone else experience God for you it's like watching Jesus knock on your neighbor's door and then your neighbor inviting Him in and then you go watch through the window as they have dinner together. Now Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and I knock. If anyone would open the door I will come in to him and I will sup with him, have relationship with him." Therefore, see, the blood must be applied. On the 14th day of that month they were to kill the lamb, drain his blood into a basin, set that basin of blood at the threshold of the door, then they are to take a branch from a hyssop tree and dip it into the blood and sprinkle that blood on the doorpost and the lentil forming a cross.
They must go through that blood and remain in the house. It's a picture that's so powerful because it speaks of the blood of Jesus Christ poured out on Calvary, but it's not enough that it was poured out, must be applied, must be applied. This is such an important thing. What if somebody didn't agree with God's provision? "I don't like this whole blood thing. Blood makes me queasy. I don't like the killing of an animal, I'm against it. I object to the whole thing, blood, killing of animals, I just I don't like any of it. I'm not going to do it." Here's the thing, you got to come to God on His terms. You can't negotiate new terms. God says, "It's the blood of My Son, My Son. My only begotten Son has been given to the world. Whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." You can't make your own deal.
You can't say, "Well, I don't like it. I don't like blood, I don't like the killing of animals. I object. I'm a member of-- Thank you, Peter. I object to the whole thing. Instead, I think I'll do this, I'm going to make a list of all the good things I've ever done. It's going to be a good list I'm telling you I've done a lot of good things and I'm going to take that list, I'm going to duplicate it, so it's doubled. I'll put one on that doorpost and one on that doorpost and then I'll enter my house through my good works."
Jesus would say, "I'm not impressed. That's not sufficient. That doesn't earn your way to eternal life. What about all those other things? What about the things you didn't write down? What about all those lies? Hasn't everyone told a lie at some point? What does that make that person? Really, you think a list of good works?" "No, no, I will list all of the things I've given to charity. You know, I've been very generous with charity." I'm thankful you did that but that's not enough to earn you eternal life. That should be the result. "I will do this, I will take gold, the purest
of gold and I will put that on the doorpost of the house. God would say, "I'm not impressed. I made all of that gold."
Jesus is the only begotten Son. Listen to Him. Jesus said, "No man comes to the Father but by me. I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life." He is God's provision and the blood of Christ must be applied. You come to God on His terms. Now, there is faith involved in this. To the Hebrews to do what God asks they must believe that God's judgment was coming, just as He said. In fact, the book of Acts 17, "There is a day fixed in which God will judge the world. He's called all men to repentance, having furnished proof to all men, by raising Jesus from the dead."
That's a pretty powerful verse right there. There's faith involved, they must believe that God's judgment was coming, just as He said, and they must believe that they would be saved by His blood that's applied to the doorpost of their house. In fact, He tells us in Hebrews 11, the famous chapter on faith, verse 28, "By faith, they kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood so that he who destroyed the firstborn might not touch them." It's by faith. The blood must be applied by faith, not feelings. Feelings will let you down, you don't always feel saved.
You're driving down the road and someone cuts you off, you might not feel saved at that moment, feelings will betray you. The fact of it, is that Jesus died on the cross and He shed His blood. When you take that and apply it, then the condemnation of death which we all deserve passes over us. That's, in fact, how we're saved. Every person is under the condemnation of death. When the blood of Christ is applied, then that condemnation does not fall upon that person but instead, it falls upon Jesus that death is applied.
When you take that blood, and you sprinkle it, what are you applying? I'm applying blood, but what is that blood? It's the life of that animal, He died, His life is found in that blood. You are sprinkling that death, and therefore we are receiving life, eternal life, resurrected life when we receive that blood, which is the payment in full our sins, the payment is death. It's a glorious thing. Then, He tells us, chapter 12 that the lamb must be consumed. The Hebrews were to eat the lamb in its entirety, anything not eaten must be burned with fire, don't eat it raw, don't boil it. It must be roasted with fire.
Here again, is a picture of the condemnation of God falling upon Jesus Christ. Now, some have mistakenly thought, "This means the fires of hell. The punishment of Satan against Him." No. It's true that we are saved from the fires of hell but this is God's judgment that is falling upon Jesus instead of us. This is a beautiful picture of communion. By the way, we're going to receive communion today. How appropriate is that? Because communion is a picture of this very thing.
B. The Lamb must be consumed
On that night, when Jesus was having that last supper, Passover supper, He said, "This is my body, take it, eat." That's an amazing thought. "This is my body, take it, eat. Then He took the cup likewise, "This is my blood, take it, drink." That's a powerful understanding. You must partake of it. It is a beautiful picture of us, "This is my body." We are partaking of the Lamb, the unblemished, righteous Lamb, partake. This is the great exchange, He takes our sin upon Himself, and we partake in His righteousness, we become united with Christ in this Salvation.
2nd Corinthians 5:21, is one of the most important verses in the entire Bible. Write this down on the tablet of your heart, memorize it because it's so good. "He made Him who knew no sin," that's Jesus, "to become sin in our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." One of the best illustrations I've ever heard of this is, imagine that your standing before God is represented by a checking account and that your sins are debts overdrawing your checking account. If you accumulate all of those sins, how overdrawn is your account? I say, hopelessly overdrawn, you'll never pay that debt.
He comes, and He pays the debt of it entirely, paid in full. Now, right there, that's enough that we ought to give God praise, but wait, when He pays all of that debt, and He pays it in full, let me ask you a question, what is the balance of your checking account? It's zero. That's pretty awesome because that's a whole lot better than the negative that it was, but it's still zero. He's not done because he says that he takes then the righteousness of God that's found in Christ Jesus and he adds that to your account.
Now, how much is in your account. I suggest to you that it is infinite in nature. He has given to you the very righteousness of God so that when you stand before that great throne of God one day, you're not going to be standing there wearing your sins. Praise God for that because that'd be pretty embarrassing. Now, it says, "As far as the east is from the west, so has he removed our transgressions from us." Well, where did they go? He placed them on His Son, the lamb.
Then he gave to us, the very righteousness of God so that when you are standing before the throne of God, you're not standing there in your sin, you are standing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is something to celebrate. That is amazing. When they are to consume this lamb completely it's a picture isn't it, of our fervency in Christ. Jesus said, "The highest, the greatest, the foremost of all that God has ever said, is that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength."
That's our response, isn't it? That's our response. God, you're amazing. You're amazing. Some people believe they can take nibbles and tastes. When they think nibbles and tastes, what is it that they give of their heart? Little bits. Don't take nibbles and tastes. When God saved you, He saved you completely. He saved you in your entirety and therefore you respond by giving God your whole heart. That's our response. "God, you're amazing. You are amazing. Here's my heart, all of it. I love you"