Connect Recap Notes: March 17, 2019
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Getting Passed Over"
Text: Exodus 12Path
No one ever likes being disregarded, ignored, or overlooked by people. Such rejection cowers our spirit and burdens our sensitivities. But being "passed over" in judgment is a welcome exception. When God established the yearly memorial of the Passover, He wanted His people to remember that they could've died were it not for His powerful intervention. This familiar story tells us four poignant truths.
- It Tells Us about Our Sin (vv. 12-13)
- It Tells Us about Our Substitute (vv. 3-6)
- It Tells Us about Our Salvation (vv. 7, 13, 21-23)
- It Tells Us about Ourselves (vv. 1-3)
It Tells Us about Our Sin (vv. 12-13)
- Although it is difficult to be passed over in life, we are happy to be passed over for judgment. The Old Testament story of the Passover paints a picture of Jesus Christ.
- Seventy Hebrews entered Egypt in Joseph's day; 400 years later, there were three million. The Egyptians forced the Hebrews into slavery; God later used Moses to deliver them.
- Exodus 12 is the basis for our relationship with God. The "judgment" is the final plague—the death of the firstborn. This heavy toll shows us that sin is expensive; it costs a life and can end a life.
- The plagues give a sense of the judgment:
- Judgment of Egypt's gods
- Judgment of Pharaoh (considered an embodiment of the god Horus), who hardened his heart against God.
- Judgment of the Israelites—only blood could save them. The Israelites were judged because of their obstinacy (they rejected God's representative, Moses), and their idolatry (they rejected God and His word). They were not protected by race, nationality, or Abraham's relationship with God. Only the blood would save them.
- As Paul said: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus' life, blood (death), and resurrection will save.
It Tells Us about Our Substitute (vv. 3-6)
- God mercifully provided a remediation of His judgment. Each family sacrificed a perfect year-old lamb in their place (see Leviticus 22:17-33).
- The perfect lamb is what God had always required. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve were covered with skins—a lamb died for each of them; in Exodus 12, one lamb was provided for each family; in Leviticus 23, one lamb was sacrificed for the nation—its blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat; and in the Gospels, Jesus came as the Lamb to take away the sins of the world.
- If we are to have a right relationship with God, it is because of a lamb's blood. As Isaac asked Abraham, "where is the lamb?" (Genesis 22:7) The Lord provided an answer then, and He ultimately provided the answer in Jesus.
- Jesus the Messiah is clearly portrayed as the final sacrifice, the Lamb of God (see Isaiah 53:7, John 1:29, and Revelation 13:8).
It Tells Us about Our Salvation (vv. 7, 13, 21-23)
- The Passover reveals the importance of blood being shed: in the command to slaughter a lamb; the blood applied to the doorframes; and the blood as a sign on the homes. Blood represents life and was the sign that life had been substituted as payment—see verse 13.
- The blood was a reminder that the lamb had died in their place. This covering is called expiation. The people were covered; guilt had been removed. When God saw the blood, He knew death had already come to the house. The penalty had been paid, so the sin was removed. This removal of sin is propitiation. The judgment of God was turned away.
- This can be seen in the cross of Christ. When we look to the cross, we see that payment has been made for our sins; when God looks at the cross, He sees the punishment for sin paid in Jesus. Because of the cross of Christ, judgment passes over us; we'll be safe forever. This is the substitutionary atonement.
- The New Testament is very clear in relating Jesus' crucifixion to His shed blood. It's the blood of Jesus—the Lamb of God—the only Person that never sinned, which cleanses us. (See Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22, 13:12; and 1 Peter 1:19-21.) God doesn't arbitrarily forgive; He forgives because of the blood of a substitute.
- As Joseph Parker said, "an extreme condition demands an extreme remedy. Until you see that you are doomed…apart from Jesus Christ, you will never truly count his blood precious in your sight."
It Tells Us about Ourselves (vv. 1-3)
PracticeConnect Up: What does God's judgment—in contrast to His love—tell you about the severity of sin? Why can't God just overlook sin? To answer this question, consider the following:
- Our entire self-identity is transformed because of this shed blood.
- Our future is changed. Redemption provided a new beginning, a spiritual compass (see 2 Corinthians 5:17: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation…").
- Our family is changed—each family took a lamb (Exodus 12:3). The first spiritual ordinance in Israel was a family celebration. A nation is only as strong as its families, and the Passover strengthened families around God's work.
- As the Hebrews were transformed by the shed blood of the lamb, Christians are transformed by Christ's shed blood. Redemption in Christ changes everything: our faith, our families, and our future.
Connect In: Though the church today is not required to celebrate the Passover (unless one is a Messianic Jew, or participating in a special event), how does the Passover meal symbolize Christ? Consider a few things: the lamb's unbroken bones (see Exodus 12:46, Psalm 22:17, John 19:33), the blood (Exodus 12:7, Hebrews 9:22), and matzah (Deuteronomy 16:3, 1 Corinthians 11:24). For greater insight, see www.gotquestions.org/Passover-Seder.html.
- God's nature: He is perfect, holy, and righteous. God acts consistently regarding the nature and consequences of sin.
- The nature of His Word: Scripture calls for holy living—to be perfect, as God is perfect (see Leviticus 11:44-45, Matthew 5:48).
- The nature of man: humans fall short of God's perfection.
Connect Out: How would you explain the concepts of expiation, propitiation, and substitutionary atonement to an unbeliever, linking them to Christ?