|Exodus 12 (NKJV™)|
|1||Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,|
|2||"This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.|
|3||"Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.|
|4||'And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb.|
|5||'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.|
|6||'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.|
|7||'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.|
|8||'Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.|
|9||'Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire--its head with its legs and its entrails.|
|10||'You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.|
|11||'And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD'S Passover.|
|12||'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.|
|13||'Now 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 the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.|
|14||'So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.|
|15||'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.|
|16||'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat--that only may be prepared by you.|
|17||'So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.|
|18||'In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.|
|19||'For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land.|
|20||'You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'"|
|21||Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb.|
|22||"And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until 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 not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.|
|24||"And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.|
|25||"It will come to pass when you come to the land which the LORD will give you, just as He promised, that you shall keep this service.|
|26||"And it shall be, when your children say to you, 'What do you mean by this service?'|
|27||"that you shall say, 'It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'" So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.|
|28||Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.|
|29||And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.|
|30||So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.|
|31||Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said.|
|32||"Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also."|
|33||And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, "We shall all be dead."|
|34||So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.|
|35||Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing.|
|36||And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.|
|37||Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children.|
|38||A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds--a great deal of livestock.|
|39||And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves.|
|40||Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.|
|41||And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years--on that very same day--it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.|
|42||It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.|
|43||And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover: No foreigner shall eat it.|
|44||"But every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it.|
|45||"A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat it.|
|46||"In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its bones.|
|47||"All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.|
|48||"And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.|
|49||"One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."|
|50||Thus all the children of Israel did; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.|
|51||And it came to pass, on that very same day, that the LORD brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
After nine previous plagues, the LORD ensured the deliverance of His people in the plague of the death of the firstborn. Before the Angel of the LORD visited Egypt, God provided a way of escape for His people, and the Passover was instituted. Let's take a careful look at this commemoration of Israel's deliverance and learn how Passover predicted our own deliverance as well.
Beginning in the brickyards of Egypt and ending in the tabernacle filled with God's presence, the book of Exodus chronicles the deliverance of God's people from Egypt and records the end of their oppression under Pharaoh. It also provides an account of the beginning of a prophecy fulfilled: God promised Abraham descendants beyond number, and on the pages of Exodus we see Israel become a great nation.
In this verse-by-verse study, Pastor Skip Heitzig presents an in-depth look at Moses, the ten plagues, the ten commandments, the desert wanderings, the construction of the tabernacle, and more. As we study, we'll see the grace of God, witness the glory of the Lord, and a catch a glimpse of Israel's coming Savior.
Visit expoundabq.org for more information on this series.
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Hebrew Terms: pesach - Passover; Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, boreh p'ri ha-gafen. (Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.); Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olum, hamotzee lechem meen ha aretz. (Blessed are You, Yahveh our Elohim, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the Earth.)
Figures Referenced: Josephus Flavius
Cross References: Genesis 22:8; Numbers 11; Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 26:26; Matthew 26: 28; Luke 12:1; Luke 12:35; John 1:29; John 19:36; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Corinthians 11:21-31; 1 Corinthians 15:6-8; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 John 3:3; Revelation 5:6; Revelation 13:8; Psalm 34:20
Let's pray together. Father in heaven we thank you for the moment and time called Wednesday Night Expound that you've brought us together and we believe that you have a message for us. Not just principles but a message for us in our lives that we can apply and we can grow. And we pray Lord that you would reveal your truth to us. And I pray that like Peter says, like new babies, we would desire the pure milk of the word that we may grow thereby.
So as we study Lord, we study not only scripture but we study the author of scripture. We're looking to find out who you are and what you're like, what your personality is all about and how we can respond to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
More space is devoted to the final plague, the tenth plague which we're about to read. Then all of the preceding nine plagues. They get more real state(ph) given to this death of the first born. It's a longer chapter and you can just glance over the chapter and look how long it is. There are 51 Verses in this single chapter.
So even though we're just doing a chapter, depending on where you're at this could be two or three chapters worth another book of the bible. So it's a long narrative here. And as we start reading through it, it becomes clear as to why it is so long.
First of all, the center of Jewish history is going to be this event called "Passover." And the principal God wants the children of Israel and I would say for us is well to extract from this, is that the basis of their relationship and also our relationship will be the blood of an innocent victim. That is the only way God and man can come together. Blood will be shed and atonement will be made, a sacrifice will be given, and on that basis of shed blood of an innocent victim in this case, a one-year old lamb or less, they will have fellowship with God.
Now this plague is very different from all of the others. Not just in its scope and in intensity but also in its manner because in the other previous plagues, God just said this is going to happen, tell Pharaoh it's going to happen and it happened. This is different. This is an interactive plague. The children of Israel were to participate in it. They were to select a lamb and bring it home and cut it open and drain its blood and put the blood on the tops and on the sides of the door posts which we're going to see in a little bit.
So they were entering in and playing a part in it and interacting with it. And this was an act of faith because it makes no human sense why dried blood of an animal placed over the opening of a domicile, a home, would make any difference for salvation at all. So to do it, that you have to believe it, it was an act of faith.
Now in Chapter 12, the seemed(ph) shifts from Pharaoh to Moses and Aaron. From Moses and Aaron's speaking to Pharaoh, to now God speaking in this chapter to Moses and Aaron, and Moses and Aaron in turn speaking to the children of Israel. So if this were a movie, the camera pans from all of the drama we have seen in the previous plagues in the palace of the Pharaoh is Moses and Aaron stood before there and thundered the judgments of God upon the land, the camera pans now from the palace to the encampment of slaves, the tents where the children of Israel are gathering and anticipating God to do one final plague.
There's something else about this chapter. You'll notice it. It will become clear but I just want to warn you it's repetitive. God sort of says the same things over and over and over again in so many words and then again in other words. So it comes quite clear to us that God has a message he wants to get through to these people. He's trying drive a point home to Israel. And so he will often repeat himself so they would never forget it and indeed that was to be the case. This night different from all other nights would be the center of their calendar in the future as we're going to read even in Verse 1.
After this night, year after year, Jews all over the world, not just in Israel but all over the world have gotten together and celebrated the Passover Seder. We have some elements of that here tonight which we'll show you hopefully in a few moments. And they reenact what were about to read in Chapter 12. It's a week long festival. Actually two feast are married together in this chapter, the festival of Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread which last seven days.
So if Chapters 1 through 11 were subjugation, then Chapters 12, 13 and 14 are emancipation, from subjugation to emancipation, from slavery to freedom. Something else you should know about and this underscores a New Testament principle. What we're reading in the Book of Exodus has typological or prophetic implications because Paul will use this imagery and say in I Corinthians, "For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us."
Before we jumped in I just want to let you know that today while I was praying and going over this chapter and preparing for this message, I get an email from Christians in Egypt. You may know recently that with all of the freedom celebrations going on in Egypt, there's been a new wave persecution against Christians. Churches are being burnt. Christians have been killed. Several were killed just the last couple of days and hundreds are injured.
So once again we have God's people in Egypt crying out to God to be delivered. So remember after this evening to go home and pray for your brothers and sisters who live in a land of afflictions.
Verse 1, now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying, "This month shall be your beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you." We immediately understand that the calendar of the Jews is now to center upon redemption. It's going to be a new beginning for the children of Israel. It's sort of like when you meet a Christian who's 20 years old or 30 years old or 40 years old and they walk up to you and say, "I'm two years old today." And at first you think, "Okay they're nuts." But then you quickly think, "Oh I understand what they mean. They're talking spiritually. That means two years ago today they prayed and received Jesus Christ. They were born again. They have new life and they're celebrating the second anniversary of that."
The bible tells us that before we came to Christ we were dead, dead on arrival. We were born completely, spiritually alienated from God, we were dead. And our life came. Our real life came when Jesus became the center of our lives. Listen to what Paul writes. This is Ephesians Chapter 2, "You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the year and you were by nature the children of wrath even as others according to the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience."
Now the work "walked" there means you meandered. You really walked without purpose. You really weren't experiencing life the way Jesus Christ wants us to experience life until you came to Christ. So I love the fact that their entire calendar centers around redemption. "When it all begins for you," God is saying and Jesus would be saying to us, "This is when it all begins for you."
Now I do beg your attention for the next few minutes, hopefully the entire evening, but especially for the next few minutes because I want to clear up a calendar issue about the Jews calendar. It says this is going the beginning of months to you and indeed it was and it is redemptively.
So the beginning is in the month of Nisan or the Passover month. That's the spring time of the year. That's the first month in the Jewish calendar. However, you may wonder because the Jewish New Year is celebrated in the seventh month or Tishri which is our fall time around September or October.
So immediately we go, "Well that's really weird. That's really strange." Not so fast. In the United States of America our New Year begins January first. And yet our school year begins in September or unfortunately now in August. Our fiscal year or business year begins at yet a different time. If you're in a professional base fall, your year begins in sort of like Passover, in the spring time of the year.
Now the Jewish calendar is based on three astronomical phenomena. Number one, the rotation of the earth on its axes, that's one day. The revolution of the moon around the earth, that's one month, and the revolution of the earth around the sun, that's one year.
It takes 29 and half days for the moon to make its circuit around the earth. That's a much shorter month than what we're used to. It takes 365 of course and a third days for the earth to make it around the sun. Now the Jewish year is based upon 12, listen carefully, lunar months, lunar months or 29 and a half day's segments. So an entire Jewish year would be 354 and about a third days. And yet the festival season, the festival keeping in the Jewish calendar is based not upon the lunar year but upon the solar year.
So we have the lunar year and to harmonize that, what they do is they will add a month or insert a month every now and then because in a solar year you'd have 12.4 lunar months. Follow me? So every few years they add the month called "Adar," A-D-A-R. It's intercalated or inserted into the calendar so as to jive both a lunar and the solar calendar together.
So if you're wondering why are I read this in the scripture but that on the scripture and why is the New Year celebrated Rosh Hashanah later on? Verse 3, enough said on that, Verse 3. "Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying on the tenth day of this month," that's the first month, "Every man shall take for himself a lamb according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household."
Please notice that the first spiritual feast, the first spiritual ceremony is a family gathering. God is big on not just you do it but I want this done with your family. It's a family meal. It's a family gathering. I want the entire family to learn these principles as a holiday together.
I think it could be said quite fairly and honestly that a nation is only a strong as its families, the individual units within it. If the family is weak in a nation, the nation itself is weak. If families are strong then the nation is strong.
And you will find something beautiful in Judaism. If you ever travel to Israel and you spend any time with families there, they're all about the family, meals, family time. And what I love is every Friday evening which is the beginning of Shabbat or Sabbath which is a Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset is you'll see flower stands everywhere, all over the cities, everywhere on the streets. That's because it's customary every Sabbath, every Friday for husbands to buy fresh flowers for their wives. It's just you do it. It's a done deal. It's part of the culture. You bring her flowers, they adorn the table, you dress up nicely, not nicer than just throwing on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Let's just eat dinner, TV dinner. You dress nice for it.
The whole family gathers around. You begin with prayer. You make the blessings. You invite God into the home and God becomes the center. Even if it's only once a week, it's done religiously once a week. Did you know how important it is for families to share meal times together? And as the kids get busier and they get older and they have their own friends and their own activities, to rein them in and say at least one day a week if not hopefully more, we're going to have one meal together around this table as a family.
Study after study has been done showing that kids fair better, physically and emotionally. They're more confident. They do better in school. They're less depressed on and on and on, and they tie it back to the family spending time together.
Verse 4, and if the household is too small for the lamb, that would be a household like mine. We had one son. So three people and a humongous lamb, we got to share it with people. Unless you're like me and have a great appetite, but anyway, let him and his neighbor next to his house, take it according to the number of the persons according to each man's need. You shall make your count for the lamb.
So some families could be too small to consume the entire fair that's on the menu for Pesach, that's the Hebrew word for Passover. So you share it together.
As time goes on, it is written into the traditional writings of the Jews that the minimum number of people to share a single lamb will be 10 people. By the New Testament time, a minimum of 10 people will be needed to have Passover lamb, so Jesus and his disciples in the upper room, that's one lamb for that Passover meal.
If you're family is small, you got to make sure there's 10 people. Now why is this important? Because by the New Testament times, the second temple period times, when the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus is writing about Passover, he announces something very interesting and shocking. He says that during one of the Passovers, during the second temple period, 256,000 lambs are slaughtered in that temple for one Passover.
That would mean that about two and three quarter million people converged in Jerusalem that year to celebrate Passover by that 10 per lamb ratio, and it was an enormous festival as people would gather in that city. And if the household -- I think I read that already, right? Yes, Verse 5, "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats."
Now maybe you spotted this. I bet some of you did. There's a progression taking place that I don't want you to miss. It's beautiful. These kinds of things when you find them in the bible it's like gold. If you go back to Verse 3, you'll notice the term, "A lamb." Every man shall take for himself a lamb. If you go down to the Verse 4 you have "The Lamb." If the household is too small, Verse 4, for the lamb. And then you go under Verse 5 and it says, "Your lamb shall be without blemish." So you have "A lamb, the lamb, your lamb."
Now I see that as a spiritual progression. You see there was a time in my life where I heard about Jesus Christ. I was raised spiritual environment. I heard enough stuff around me to know that Jesus Christ was a lamb. He was a world religious leader I believed one of many who had come. Not necessary unique, but he was a good moral teacher. He was an incredible example. He was a lamb.
But then there came the day when the spirit of God began to convict my own heart about my own spiritual need, and my own sin, and my need for the lamb. And I discovered he wasn't just a lamb, he's the Lamb. He's the answer that I was looking for. He is the only one that God sent out of heaven to take care of the sin of mankind.
And I went from "a lamb" to "the lamb." Like Peter says in Act Chapter 4, "And neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." But the glorious day, the graduation day is when you go from a lamb, to the lamb, to your lamb. It's personalized. You personally received the lamb to yourself.
Listen what Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I lived, yet and I have a Christ lives in me and the light that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith and the son of God who love me and gave himself for me." Yes he's our savior but he's also mine, a lamb, the lamb, your lamb.
The Passover, this festival is the clearest and most striking for shadowing, predictor of the cross of all of the festivals and pretty much in all of the Old Testament. We frequently read about the lamb and it's significant when we read about the lamb. Let me jog your memory. Remember back in Genesis Chapter 22, Isaac and Abraham are walking up to Mount Moriah and Isaac goes, "Hey pops, here's the wood and here's the fire but where is the lamb for the burn offering?" And Abraham says, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for the offering."
Isaiah 53, "Speaking in the future of the Messiah he was lead as a lamb before the slaughter. As the sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth." John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, "Look, the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world."
First Corinthians 5, Paul said, "For Christ, our Passover lamb, will sacrifice for us." First Peter 1:18, "For you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver and gold from the vain tradition received by your fathers, but by the blood of Jesus Christ a lamb without spot or blemish." Revelation Chapter 4, John says, "I looked and behold a lamb as though it had been slain." Revelation Chapter 13, "Jesus Christ the lamb that was sacrificed from the foundation of the world."
All the way through the bible it points to the lamb and the Passover lamb is where it begins in terms of the full foreshadowing of what the cross would do. And because this is important, blood is also important. And we have a question that's been texted in. We'll throw it up on the screen. Why is blood so significant in the bible?
Well Leviticus will tell us that, but let's not wait until we get there. Let's just sort of preview it tonight. It says without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins and then God qualifies himself when he says for the life of the flesh is in the blood. You see man's sin is so offensive to God, so heinous that basically there is no possible way that mankind on earth could have any fellowship at all with holy perfect God unless blood was shed. A sacrifice was made to pay for the sin.
It works one of two ways, you sinned, you die, right? And the day that you will eat this fruit you will surely die. So you sinned, you die or God says, "I'll tell you what, if an innocent victim dies in your place we can be together based upon that." In the Old Testament it was lamb. The lamb is sprinkled on the mercy seat. God and man can have fellowship with each other, but that simply covered over sin. It never took away sin until the perfect lamb foreshadowed by the blood of the lamb's slain year by year until Jesus came. Then he could eradicate sin and take it away all together.
So Passover becomes a perfect foreshadowing or predictor of the future. Verse 6, "And you shall keep it until the 14th day of the same month and then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight or before nightfall." Now I want you to just think about this. Pretend for just a moment that you're an Israelite. Okay? You're living way back then. You select your lamb on the 10th of the first month. The 10th day of Nisan, you select a little lamb and you are to keep it for five days. Do you know what that means?
By the time you sacrifice that cute little furry lamb, it's going to be a sacrifice for you because what's going to happen is you're going bring that little animal into your house and your children are going to cuddle around it and maybe even take it to bed at night and you're going to think, "What a beautiful little pet" all the time knowing it's marked for death and a few days it's going to die. In a few days a knife is going to slash across its throat, I'm going to drain the blood into a basin. This is a dead animal.
So in that family you will be explaining to your children a holy God, the offensiveness of human sin, the sacrifice, the atonement that God has provided to this little lamb. And five days, on the 14th day of Nisan you will become -- so familiar with that little pet lamb at the sacrifice it will be indeed a sacrifice.
Now notice something. It says you are to kill it at twilight. In Hebrew, literally it means between the evenings. Now get this. According to the Talmud, there are two evenings in the day. Evening number one after 12:00 noon closer to 3:00 PM as the sun's intensity starts lessening, starts abating. That's the first evening. The second evening is just before twilight, just before nightfall.
Now that becomes important because later on there will be an enormous amount of lamb sacrifice for the Passover. I mentioned Josephus had 256,000. That's just one year. They had a service, the killing of all of those lambs for all of the people that brought them.
So they had to do it in a very short period of time around from noon to five or six o'clock on Passover and there would be hundreds and thousands of priest doing this in the temple. That many sacrifices in that officiation(ph). Verse 7, "And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two-door post and on the lentil of the homes or the houses where they eat."
Now the lentil of course is that horizontal crossbeam on the top of the two vertical beams or doorpost. The lamb is to be put on the lentil and on the two sides on the doorpost. They shall eat the flesh on that night roasted in fire with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it parsley, chickaree, lettuce etcetera. These are bitter herbs. Hopefully, I will get to this little Passover set up in a minute and explain that to you.
Now bread without leaven or unleavened bread can be baked quickly and that's the idea. You're going to bake this and you're going to eat it quickly because you're going to be on the run. You don't have to wait for bread without leaven to rise. If you put yeast in it, that's what leaven is, you'll have to wait for it to rise. But they have to leave Egypt in haste or quickly. So they were to bake unleavened bread.
Here is a little sample of unleavened bread right here. It looks like a cracker. It's essentially what it is. It didn't rise. It's just solid. That's unleavened bread and that's the bread we're talking about here. Leaven, in Hebrew "hamets" becomes a symbol of corruption, of evil, of decay because when you introduce leaven into a loaf of bread, that's exactly what happens. It immediately begins to ferment. It works its way through the whole batch and immediately a decay process sets in. With this, it won't decay. It won't be corrupted. It's unleavened bread.
Now that's important because this little analogy, this metaphor of leaven, you find it repeatedly in the bible, right? It's a symbol of evil. Listen to this for an example. First Corinthians, Chapter 5. Let me just read you a portion. Paul is writing to a church that has allowed immoral people without repentance, immoral people to be a part of their church. It didn't call them on, didn't check them on it, didn't disfellowship them for it. Just sort of let it happen.
So he writes these words, "You're boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?" Or another translation says, "A little bit of yeast works its way through the whole batch of dough." Paul continues, "Get rid of the old leaven that there may be a new batch without it. Let's keep the feast, not with the leaven of wickedness and malice, but in sincerity and truth." Then also our lord Jesus Christ even told his disciples on one occasion, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy."
So leaven is never a good thing. It's always a corrupting thing. It's always a decaying thing and it becomes a symbol of sin. I want to throw something in also at you. We believe, and I'll be able to show that to you more on Sunday mornings coming up as we get closer to the crucifixion narrative that Jesus Christ died on the 14th day of Nisan. He presented himself before the people on the Mount of Olives, the hosanna to the king of kings, the son of David.
On the 10th of Nisan that's when the lamb was selected. He was killed on the Passover, the 14th of Nisan. He was buried that evening on the 15th day of Nisan which is the first day of the feast unleavened bread. Very significant because Jesus died but his body, says Peter, did not see corruption, did not see decay. He rose on the third day and he fulfilled the feast of Passover and the feast of unleavened bread all in this space of his death, burial and resurrection.
Verse 9 God is continuing his narrative, "Do not eat it raw nor boiled at all with water but roast it in fire, its head with its legs and its entrails." In other words every bit of that dude, kill it, roast it. "You shall let none of it remain until morning and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it with a belt on your waist, sandals on your feet, a staff in your hand, so you shall eat it in haste. It is the lord's Passover."
You get the imagery? It's sort of like walking into a restaurant and not sitting down but eating at the counter and looking at your watch because you have to bolt out the door any moment.
When you would walk around thousands of years ago, you would wear a robe, a long flowing robe and it was just very loose. When you travel you'd put a belt on and you'd take that bottom portion of it, you'd lift it up and you'd tuck it in the belt so that you would have freedom of leg movement. When you come home and you relax, you'd pull the belt off. God said, "Eat this meal with your belt on, shoes on your feet or sandals on your feet because you're going to get ready to bolt." Now here's an imagery here. Here's the lesson.
Any moment, at any moment in that evening after a certain time, after midnight, at any moment the Lord is going to come. At any moment the Lord is going to send the angel of death and the first born will be killed and those who are under the blood will be saved. It could happen at any moment. Eat it and be ready because when it happens and you're going to get out of Egypt.
In the same manner you and I are told to live in such a way as to anticipate the coming of Jesus Christ. We're told to live that way. The bible repeatedly says that the lord could come back at any moment and we should be ready for that return in the same kind of anticipation that they had during this Passover. Jesus says in Luke Chapter 12, "Let your waist be girded or put a belt around your waist. Let your lambs be burning and you yourselves like men who wait for their master when he will return."
Now I'll just say this, if you really lived that way, if we did, you've heard that before. I know you have. You've heard that if you've gone to any church. Live like the Lord's -- if we really lived that way, do you know how purifying that would be to us? I mean before you would do something that you may think is a little bit shady or a little bit of a gray area or anything. I don't know if that's really good or not.
If you thought the Lord could come back, you're going to, "On second thought. Forget it." That's why John says, "He who has the hope of his coming in himself purifies himself even as he is pure." One of the most purifying things in a person's life is to live as though the Lord could come back at any moment.
Okay. Now we have a Passover meal and I want to sort of draw your attention back here. In fact, there are matches even. Let me see if I can pull this off. Would it be fun? Let's see if it'll work. I probably should've had a lighter or some -- an altar boy.
You can tell how I grew up. I don't think I'm going to make it. Well we got four lit. Let's see if we can get these other babies lit. Okay. So let me tell you what I have represented here on this table and it's a small table, but I want you to just think of this as a small representation of a large table at Passover.
Okay. So these wicks are not trimmed. So this is becoming an arduous task in public.
It's not working. I tried. Okay. At Passover every year, the families gather together for a Seder, S-E-D-E-R, it means the order or the strict order. And there's an order to the way the meal progresses. Typically a nice, fine table cloth, one of your best is put upon the table and the table is adorned not only with the meal but with special foods on a plate. As an example here's an egg, a hardboiled egg that symbolizes hope. It harkens back to the second temple period and it is impart mourning for the destruction of the temple but it's even more basic than that because it symbolizes new life and the children of Israel were really birthed in the affliction of Egypt and the Exodus. What brought them out was sort of like the birth canal into the new land. And so the egg represents the hope of new birth.
Then there's a roasted bone of a lamb. You can guess what that's all about. The blood of the lamb was put on the lintels and the doorpost of the homes in Egypt. So there's a bone of a lamb. Over here is some saltwater. This saltwater represents all of the tears that were shed by the forefathers, the Israelite forefathers in Egypt while they were under the slavery of Pharaoh for so many years. And so the saltwater is like looking at the tears of those who are in affliction.
On the plate there are some herbs, there are some parsley, there are some romaine lettuce, it's supposed to be because the stem of the romaine is bitter, the leaves may not be but the stem is and the parsley is a bitter herb. And this is to speak of the bitterness, the bondage, the suffering. And the parsley can even be dipped in the salt which it is from time to time. It's also dipped in the wine. I don't know if this is real or not, but anyway this is sprinkled like the blood was sprinkled upon the lintels and doorpost in Egypt.
Then we have horseradish, also a bitter herb, a mixture. I just want to show you this mixture here. Can you see that? That's something called -- ready? Haroset, I want you to say that. Okay. Say it again. Yeah. You got to do this when you say it because your neighbor in front of you Haroset.
Okay. So let me tell you what this is. This is a mixture of cinnamon, wine, apples, nuts and it's a thick paste typically and it is to remind you, them, the people taking the feast of the mortar, the clay that our forefathers, the Jewish forefathers made in Egypt to make Pithom and Raamses and the Pharaoh cities and buildings.
A stick of cinnamon is also speaking of the straw that was used. There's the bread, the matzah, the unleavened bread. Typically, there is three matzote(ph) or three pieces of bread at the Passover Seder, typifying the three strata of society, the priest, the Levites and the people of Israel.
The center matzo was taken out, the others wrapped in a napkin. It was broken and that's the symbolism when Jesus took the bread and their traditional Jewish blessing is to break the bread and say, "Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz." "Blessed art Thou, Lord God, King of the universe who has brought forth bread from the earth." And it was passed out and given. Of course Jesus said, "Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you."
The wine was taken and there's four glasses of wine at a Passover Seder. First one was deliverance or sanctification. The second one was judgment. The third one was redemption and the fourth one was a celebration of praise. The wine is lifted and the typical host, the Jewish host would say "Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam borei pri hagafen." Is that right? Which mean -- I'm asking you. You go on. Don't ask me.
"Borei pri-hagafen," blessed are you Lord God, King of the universe who has given us the fruit of the vine. And of course Jesus said, "This is my blood which is shed for you. Do this often in remembrance of me." The host is going to read Exodus Chapter 12 to all of the people in that feast Verses 1-13 and they're going to recount all of the plagues.
So the story of Chapter 12 is told every year in dramatic fashion like portrayed here at this table. Beginning in Verse 21 and I'm going to read rapidly down to Verse 28, Moses takes what he just heard, delivers the goods to the children of Israel and they did it. Let's read it quickly. Then Moses called for the elders of Israel and said to them, "Pick out and take lambs for yourself according to your families and kill the Passover lamb and you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin and strike the lintel on the two doorpost with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning for the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians. And when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorpost, the Lord will Passover."
See the play on words? The door and not allow the destroyer to come into your house and to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever and it will come to pass. When you come to the land which the Lord will give you just as he promised that you will keep this service.
So God is commanding this Seder, this service and it shall be when your children say to you. What do you mean by this service? That you shall say it is the Passover sacrifice of the lord who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when he struck the Egyptians and delivered our households so that people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Then the children of Israel went away and did so just as the Lord have commanded Moses and Aaron so they did. And notice a command in Verse 24. You shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever. So because of this Verse this has been developed by the Jewish people. A little book called the "Haggadah" which means "the recital" or "the telling" literally, the telling. We're going to tell you the story kids over and over again.
And in this little Haggadah, after matzah is uncovered, the father will read as I said Exodus 12:1 to 13, "And he will say this is the bread of affliction which your forefathers ate while they were in Egypt".
At that point, one of the sons in that household will ask a question. Notice the question that is asked here. Your children will say, "What do you mean by this service?" So because of that verse, in this Haggadah book, the recital; the telling book, there's a little section and the child asked the, the son asked this question, "How is this night different from all other nights?" He asked that at the table. And he asked these four questions that are part of that. On all other nights we eat both leaven bread and matzah, why on this night do we eat only matzah?
On all other nights we eat various vegetables, why on this night do we eat bitter herbs? On all other nights we eat hastily, but on this night we fast leisurely and keep vigil. Or it says in some of the more modern ones, on all other nights we sit down to eat, why on this night do we reclined to eat is a long, long meal.
Fourth question, on all other nights we talk of mundane matters. Who won the game? What's the stock market doing? How are the neighbors?. But on this night we relate the full story from the Exodus in Egypt.
God says your kids are going to ask you some spiritual questions. You've had this happened. At Passover they're going to go, "Why are we dong this? What does this mean?" You've sat down at home and your kids say, "Dad, mom, why do we pray before meals? I spent the night last week at Joey's house. They never prayed before meals. Why do we do it?" Same idea. Why do we go to church on Sunday? Other kids at school, they don't go to church. Why do we do it? God says, "You need to have this answer for them." This is the Lord's Passover.
Now we get to Verse 29. This is really the real drama. This is the night nobody slept. "And it came to pass at midnight that the Lord struck. All the first born on the land of Egypt, from the first born of Pharaoh who sat on the throne to the first born of the captives who is in the dungeons to the first born of the livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he and all his servants all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt for there was not a house where there was not one dead." And many called for Moses and Aaron by night and said, "Rise and go out from among my people, both you and the children Israel. Go and serve the Lord as you have said and take your flocks and your herds as you have said." And be gone, get out of here, scram and bless me also.
Now that verse we were looking at a moment ago, Verse 29, really Verse 29 and 30, the of that verse forms a refrain for a poem that is recited at the end of every Passover. The basis of these words form a refrain, they've been worked into a poem and I just thought since we have the Haggadah here, the recital, the telling book, I'll share with you what is told every year at the Passover.
Here is the little poem that is worked into. It's called, "An only kid" or "A young lamb." That father bought for two zuzim an only kid, and only kid, then came the cat and ate the kid. Then came the dog and bit the cat. Then came the stick and beat the dog. Then came the fire and burnt the stick. Then came the water and quenched the fire. Then came the ox and drank the water. Then came the butcher and slew the ox. Then came the angel of death and killed the butcher. And then came the Lord blessed be he and destroyed the angel of death that killed the butcher, that slew the ox, that drank the water, that quenched the fire, that burnt the stick, that beat the dog, that beat the cat, that ate the kid, that the father bought for zuzim and only kid, and only kid.
The poem is simply all of Egypt, all of Egypt was touched. All of Egypt was in pain but God intervened in redemption during that time by judgment, but also by salvation.
Verse 33, And the Egyptians urged the people that they might send them out of the land in haste for they said, "We'll all be dead." So the people took their dough. That's not money it's actual dough. But they took their money too. That other kind of dough you'll see. Before it was leaven and having their kneading bowls bound up and their clothes on their shoulders, now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing, and the Lord had given the people favor in the side of the Egyptians. So they granted them whatever they requested thus they plundered the Egyptians.
Nobody ever had help packing their bags faster and more than the Israelites did by the Egyptians on that night. Go back in your mind to the time when Moses brought his rod before Pharaoh and threw it down and it turned into a snake. He should've listened then. Ten plagues later he finally gives in, finally.
And then the children of Israel journeyed from Raamses to Sukkot. About 600,000 men on foot besides children, 600,000 men had children, had wives. You have between two and three million people. So just think how fast and how numerous the children of Israel had grown from the 770 people that came from Canaan into Egypt under Jacob when Pharaoh or when Joseph was second in command to Pharaoh and this huge multitude now in a few hundred years.
Verse 38, troubles on the horizon. A mixed multitude went up with them also. Flocks and herds and a great deal of livestock. The mixed multitude is simply Egyptians who had intermarried with the Israelites, that there was an equal yolk. Some are under the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That's the Israelites. Some were not and they get married and they're going to be a mega problem in the congregation of Israel.
So I'm going to ask you to hold that thought of the mixed multitude until we get to Numbers 11. Can you do that? You'll probably forget by then. I'll probably forget by then, but they come up and they are in full carnal force in Numbers 11 in complaining mode. They're trouble makers, always a problem in the work of God.
And they baked on leaven cakes of dough which they brought out of Egypt. For it was not leaven because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait nor are they prepared provisions for themselves. Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was 430 years. Before you text the question that says, "Why does it say 400 years in Genesis 15?" You're going to be afflicted 400 years because God was rounding off the number to make a prediction. He didn't have to be exact then. Abraham wasn't taking notes on pencil, with a pencil and paper. But you're relatives are going to be bound for 400 years. He's rounding it off to the nearest hundred. It happened to be exactly 430 years.
It came to pass at the end of the 430 years that on that same day, it came to pass that the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the Lord for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. That is the night of the Lord, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations and the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover, Pesach, Passover." No outsider shall eat it. Why? It's Simple, if you eat this Passover, it speaks of the fact that you are under the covenant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and you believe by faith in that shed blood of the lamb that was sacrificed for that death angel to be conquered.
If you don't believe that and you're not under the covenant, God says an outsider shall not eat it. Interesting because when Paul writes about taking communion in the Lord's Supper he says basically the same thing. He says it's possible that you can eat and drink. Listen to this. You can eat and drink damnation unto yourself. If you're not a believer and you take the elements of communion, you're taking the elements of a covenant that you are not partaking of and in effect heaping more condemnation on yourself, pointing the spotlights on your own sin and mocking the cross by not believing in the cross yourself.
This is one of the reasons that we don't do it all the time and we're going to break from this coming up soon in a couple of weeks. But we typically like to take the Lord's Supper Wednesday night, not on Sunday morning because on Sunday morning it is more of a mixed multitude. There are often more unbelievers present.
It's not always. I'm painting with a broom a little bit here, but typically we find a concentration of more believers on a Wednesday night and so to make it easier and facilitate that that's why that we like to have it with believers as the New Testament says.
Verse 44, we'll finish this quickly. "But every man's servant who is bought from money when you have circumcised him; then he may eat it." Circumcised bondservant which is speaking of the covenant. A sojourner and a hired servant shall not eat. Why? Because a hired servant is just really serving himself. He's just working at the church to collect the paycheck. He's just sort of doing it because he wants the benefits. He's not really doing it because he's called and he is a believer. So a hired hand is not to do it.
In one house it shall be eaten. You shall not carry any of the flesh outside the house nor shall you break one of its bones. And that should perk up your interest. When Jesus died on the cross, none of his bones were broken to fulfill, John tells us, the scripture. And he quotes out of Psalm 34:20 which says, "He keeps all his bones, not one of them shall be broken".
Verse 47, "All the congregation of Israel shall keep it and when a stranger sojourns or travels with you and wants to keep Passover of the Lord. Let all his males be circumcised and then let them come near and keep it. He shall be as a native of the land for no uncircumcised person shall eat it." Why?
What's the big deal about circumcision? It's the sign of the covenant. It's the sign of the covenant. It's that very sign -- do you remember it? That Moses failed to keep and that's why God says, "I'm going to kill Moses because he's representing the covenant but he himself hasn't even entered into to the sign of the covenant," and circumcised his son probably because his wife wasn't into it. He didn't want it to happen. He didn't want to create trouble at home, "Okay honey. Whatever you want, I'll just disobey God because I want to keep the family together." Not knowing it's really not going to keep the family together because he's going to get killed.
So he circumcised his son. His wife has been out of shape but they lived through it.
Verse 49, "One law shall be for the native born and for the stranger who sojourns among you," it's the same applied. That's all the children of Israel did as the Lord commanded Moses in Aaron so they did. And so it came to pass on that very same day that the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies. Please mark that verse.
This is the Exodus. This is the exit. They're exiting the land. They're "exodusing" the land. They're leaving. This final plague, this Passover is what emerges the children of Israel out across the wilderness into their own land. So here's the summary as we close.
The Passover was to commemorate past deliverance, but the Passover was also to predict future deliverance. It predicted the past deliverance, Egypt. It predicted the future, deliverance, the cross. Just picture what it would look like to stand in the opening of a door and take hyssop with blood and place blood here and here.
It looks like another lamb who would hang on a cross in that very shape some thousands of years afterwards. It is to predict and Paul even says the communion that speaks of the Passover is to predict the Lord's coming as well. It ties all of those elements together. Okay, here's the principle. A lamb changed the lives of Israel. And the principle is still the same. A lamb can change the life of anyone.
Either you're going to die for your sin or you're going to let a lamb take your sin and die for you. Every Billy Graham Crusade when he used to do crusades, at the end of every crusade the same song was sung. Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me and that Thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God I come! I come."
All of that is based upon the imagery we just read in Chapter 12. The only way come to God, the only way to meet with God is over the shed blood of his son the Lord Jesus Christ. It's the only place God will have fellowship with any person. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perished but have everlasting life.
Heavenly father we thank you for the evening we've spent together, being able to consider the scripture and be able to read it together, apply it to our lives, this long but epic passage of scripture. Thank you that we could see it with some of these of elements on the platform tonight. Father we pray as we close that we would think of that principle. Our lives can be different because of a lamb. Our lives can be changed because of a lamb. Israel was able [Cross Talk] to be saved because a lamb whose blood was applied to their homes. We can be saved because the blood of Jesus Christ is applied to our lives.
I want you to think as we close tonight if Christ is to you a lamb, the lamb, your lamb. Is he your lamb personally? Maybe you're becoming convinced more and more that he's not just a religious leader, but that he's singular and unique and provide the only solution for man's quandary. If so, take the next step and make him your lamb.
Give your life to Christ tonight. Ask Jesus into your heart. Some of you have never done that before. You've watch others do it. You've come and you've been contented as simply observe. But tonight and maybe it's been accumulation of days and nights the Lord is drawing you to himself and he is saying to you, "I want to make everything new for you. I want you to have a brand new life. I want you to have hope. I want you to walk with the living God. I want you be in covenant relationship with me. I am willing to take your sin and obliterate it and give you hope and a future but you got to receive it."
If any of that is true about you or maybe you can think of a time when you did walk with the Lord but you haven't been walking with him and you need to come back home to him and you want to hope for your future as well. If any that is true, I want you to raise your hand up in the air right now. Just raise it up and keep it up for a just a moment so I can acknowledge you.
God bless you ma'am right up here toward the front on my left, right in the middle toward the back. Anybody else? I love to pray for you. Raise your hand up. Bless you sir. Anyone else? Raise it up so I can see it. You're saying, "Yes. Tonight I'm going to receive Christ as my savior." God bless you on the far left. Any others to receive the gift? It's a gift but you got to receive it. I'll never force it on you but he offers it. In the very back on my right. Quickly, anyone else? God is speaking to your heart. You throw that arm up. You surrender to him tonight. God bless you sir.
Father, I pray for every person who has that hand raised or who raised it a moment ago. You know deep inside their thoughts. You know what they're experiencing and feeling in their hearts. You love them so deeply and you want to grab a hold them and make all things new. And that hand indicates that second stage where Jesus isn't just a lamb but he's the lamb. He's the one that I must call upon him, can call upon and when they do that you become their lamb.
Lord as they do that, as they make this commitment, would you strengthen that commitment? Would you help them to walk with you? Would you fill them with the sense of purpose and joy even if it's a very difficult time in their lives a sense of peace would come and surround them. Change them forever. Begin tonight in our midst we ask it in Jesus' name and everybody said --
Pastor Skip Heitzig: Amen. Now let's all stand to our feet. Now listen carefully. If you raised your hand, if you raised your hand and I saw hands around this auditorium. I want you to get up from where you're standing right now, find the nearest aisle, stand right up here in front on the floor, I'm going to pray a prayer with you right now. It's a prayer of receiving Christ and making him your savior. You come. This will take just a moment just a moment, just a moment of your time. Come right up here in the front.
I'm about to pray with this group who's walked forward. I bet there are some of you who have seen this before. You've watched it and maybe you've even thought from time to time, "That would probably be a good thing for me to do. I think I really need that." Well you do. You'll be actually correct in thinking those thoughts. But some things held you back. I don't if it's just you think you're not ready yet. You don't know what your friends are going to say. You don't know what kind of troubles is going to get you into work.
I want you think right now strategically in terms of forever and ever and ever. Think of eternity for just a moment and you weigh what those thoughts are against eternity and you'll make the right choice as so many have already done and indicated tonight. As we sing this chorus through more time, e're going to ask anyone else who's on the cast(ph) for making the decision to make it now, to make it definitely to come forward and pray these prayers.
Toward the end of the book of Revelation Jesus said, "Behold I make all things new." He begins by making us new. He begins by making you new tonight. And so I'm going to lead you in a prayer. You've come forward. I'm going to lead you into prayer. I'm going to say it out loud. I'm going to ask you to say this prayer out loud after me from your hearts to the Lord. Okay?
Let's pray. Let's pray together. Lord I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe that Jesus died on a cross, that he shed his blood for my sins. And that he rose again from the dead. And he did all of that for me. I turn from my sin and leave my past behind. I turn to you as my savior and my Lord in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. Congratulations.