THE GREAT & FINAL PASSOVER – a Devotion for 1 September 2016 Anno Domini
3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite 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 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. Ex 12:2-13 (KJV)
Have you ever pondered of just what things of the Scriptures Jesus reminded the two men on the Road to Emmaus? Was it not all of the Law and Prophets that point directly to the Lord of Lords? In fact every Word of Scripture is about our Lord. Do you suppose that revelation of Jesus may have included the account of the very first Passover down in Goshen of Egypt? “25 O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27 (KJV)
Being Omniscient, the Lord knows all things past, present and future. In Eternity Past, He conceived of a means of reconciliation and redemption for the sons of Adam whom He knew would choose the poison tree rather than the nourishing fruit of the Tree of Life. The provision God made in that twilight of the primordial pre-Creation was His only Begotten Son who would be typified in the innocent Lamb without blemish that was sacrificed in old Egypt as a means of preservation and protection of the chosen people from the wrath of God. You will note that they were not required to earn that salvation by any good or commendable works, but simply by belonging to His Elect nation and obeying this critical command given through Moses to cover their doorposts and lintels with the blood of that innocent lamb. When the Avenging Angel of the Lord passed over Egypt that night, He would see the blood covering the doorposts and lintels (both horizontal and vertical much as the cross) He would pass over that dwelling and all its occupants spared. The only good thing they did was obey that one, simple command.
The Passover Lamb is sacrificed on eve of 14 Nisan. So was our Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed at that very moment when the sacrificial lamb was sacrificed in the Temple just beyond whose walls stood that brutal and rough-hewn cross upon which our Savior was crucified for remission of our sins. The appointed time of the Temple sacrifice was the 9th hour (or 3 PM) on the eve of 14th Nisan. “44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Luke 23:44-46 (KJV) Of the same event, Matthew says: “51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matt 27:51-53 (KJV) You will note two points in the above texts: 1) that Jesus died precisely at the hour of the sacrifice of the Temple lambs; and 2) that the Veil of the Temple dividing the Holy Place (the place beyond which the High Priest could not go) from the Holiest Place (place of God) was rent from TOP to BOTTOM symbolizing a work that only God could initiate from on high.
It was the High Priest that annually wafted the prayers of intermediation of the people on high with the upward curling smoke of the frankincense from the Table of Incense before the Veil. He was not permitted to go beyond that Veil as High Priest. But now, with the final and efficacious sacrifice of the Lamb of God, that Veil was torn removing the separation of the believer from God. Christ has now become our High Priest and Intermediary who is not separated by any such Veil from the Father. “18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” 1 Peter 1:18-21 (KJV)
Our Lord was in a Borrowed Tomb where He rested over the Sabbath Day which He always observed even in the Tomb (for that Sabbath Day was also the annual Passover and therefore classified as a High Sabbath). “31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” John 19:31 The preparation was the time of preparation of the Lamb sacrificed in the Temple which had died at 3 PM along with the Lamb of God. It was a time, too, of the preparation of the Body of Christ for burial. Can you see the absolute economy of God in His Word shedding effulgent beams of Light on His dear Son?
We no longer sacrifice innocent lambs or oxen on the Day of Passover. In fact, every day is Passover for us since Christ exists eternally with the Father and has become our Passover. “7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Cor 5:7-8 (KJV) In the liturgical aspects of the Holy Communion, we are observing the true Passover of Christ. We spiritually partake of His Body in the unleavened Bread (leaven represents sin and false doctrine; therefore the nature of the bread should bear the nature of the thing symbolized); and His Blood in the Wine. We are practicing, in the Lord’s Supper, that coming Great Wedding Feast of the Lord and His Bride the Church. My old pastor of bygone days used to repeat the oft-quoted adage, “A family that sups together, stays together.” I suppose this is cemented by prayer as well.
Now, reader, if we fail to grasp the significance of that first Passover in old Egypt, we can in no wise comprehend the glorious fulfillment of that promised Passover consummated in the crucifixion of Christ in our redemption. At that last Day when God sees that we are covered by that blood of the cross that His Son shed in our purchase, He will Passover us just as the Angel of Death Passed Over the Children of Israel in Egypt – except this will be the Great Passover – not in sparing our mortal lives, but beckoning us to eternal life with Him.
PARALLELS OF FIRST PASSOVER WITH CHRIST:
The Passover lamb was unblemished and spotless. So is the Lamb of God of pure and complete innocence. John the Baptist properly called Him the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.
The Passover lamb of Egypt was to be taken out of the fold. Our Lord, too, became part of the fold of humanity: “14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (KJV)
The Passover lamb of Egypt had to be one year old signifying its youthful maturity. Our Lord too died in full bloom of young manhood.
The Passover lamb in Egypt was to be roasted whole. So was the crucifixion of Christ a whole offering for all of the sins of the world. Not a bone of His body was broken. (John 19:36). How sad of the modern Body of Christ (the Church) which is broken and humiliated in the face of the world.
The blood of the lamb of Passover was to be saved in a basin for its preciousness, and not trodden under foot. We observe that rule in the wine of Communion which must not be treated irreverently or trodden under foot.
The blood of the Passover lamb in Egypt was not only shed indoors (sprinkled on our souls) but sprinkled on the doors, posts, and lintels for all without to see. I believe this symbolizes that those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ inwardly will also bear an outward witness of that Blood.
Do you bear that faithful witness abroad?