Saved Unto Holiness
One final plague is coming upon Egypt before the Israelites will be released from their bondage. However, this plague will be unlike anything which has occurred before, both in type and magnitude. It will strike at the heart of every family in Egypt.
The Lord will pass through the land and selectively kill all of the firstborn males, of Pharaoh himself, all the way down to the female servant who is behind the handmill. He will also kill the firstborn of every animal. However, there is a notable difference in this plague in another way as well.
In the previous plagues a distinction was made, either implicitly or explicitly, between the Egyptians and Israel. They didn’t need to do anything to be exempt. They simply were. But in the case of this plague, they need to do something; they need to provide a sign or they too will be struck by the plague.
Why was this necessary? The Lord had already showed from the previous plagues that He could tell the difference between the people. And more, the people already had a sign – they had circumcision. Why wasn’t this sign acceptable instead of the killing of an animal and spreading its blood on the doorway of their houses?
The answer is that circumcision of the flesh only brought them into covenant relationship with the people of Israel as a collective whole. It is what designated them as a people group. However, it was not a sign of faith from the individual. Rather it was a mark placed upon them before they knew to do right or wrong.
Throughout all of the dispensations in the Bible, the means of salvation remains the same; it is by grace through faith. A person could have simply refused to follow the instructions of the Passover and they too would have suffered the punishment of losing their firstborn.
Paul shows in Romans that being circumcised doesn’t save anyone. There needs to be a conversion of the heart or the circumcision of the flesh means nothing. Without faith in God’s provision, every external sign and deed in the world won’t get a person one step closer to being saved.
And yet there is more. Being redeemed implies a cost. The concept of redemption indicates a purchase is made to buy something back. In essence, there is a clearing of a debt. The blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintel showed that a price had been paid. A substitute had died in place of those inside the house.
Today we will see what comes after being saved. There is a responsibility that goes along with it. If it isn’t acted on, then there are consequences for that failure to act. These stories, and the minute details they contain, show pictures of greater things to come in Christ.
Are you saved? Have you called out to Christ and accepted His death as your price of redemption? If so, then you are now called to a new life and a new direction in that life…
Text Verse: Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16
Following immediately after the Passover comes another feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Unlike the other feasts, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were given to Israel prior to their deliverance. What they picture in Christ Jesus was also given prior to the introduction of the New Covenant.
Jesus instituted the New Covenant in His blood, becoming our Passover Lamb. He also imputed His righteousness to us; His sinless perfection, typified by the unleavened bread. Both of these were alluded to prior to His death. As we are granted His sinlessness in a positional way, isn’t it right that we act in the manner which we have been called to in an actual way?
Hopefully, we will learn this lesson from the introduction of the Feast of Unleavened Bread in today’s passage. This and so many other wonderful pictures of Christ are there, waiting for us to search them out from His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Blood shall be a Sign (verses 12 & 13)
12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night,
The Lord now promises that He will take the necessary action of this final plague in order to redeem Israel. Their long time of hard service and heavy bondage is finally coming to an end and in anticipation of that great moment, more instructions and details are now provided.
The words “I will pass” are not given as a connection to the name “Passover.” They are a completely different word, v’abarti, which simply means “to go through.” There is a difference being made here between Egypt and Israel. “Passing through” is meant in judgment; “Passing over” is meant in mercy.
Further, it is the Lord who personally promises to perform this. It is not a designated representative, such as a powerful angel, but rather it is the Lord who will act. The Bible notes elsewhere that salvation is of the Lord, but judgment is as well. Both of these actions at the Exodus prefigure the work of Jesus in the future.
12 (con’t) and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast;
Some years ago Simcha Jacobovici, the Naked Archaeologist, did a special on the plagues of Egypt. During his less than scholarly work, he found natural reasons for all of the plagues, diminishing them to the point that God was left out of the picture completely. He gave reasons for each plague and pulled a few slight of hand maneuvers in the process, but the most egregious error he made was concerning the plague on the firstborn.
He claimed that the firstborn of Egypt lay on a cot that was lower than all the others as a sign of dignity. Because of this, natural gasses crept in and killed all of the firstborn of Egypt because they alone slept on that honorable bed.
First, there is no such proof of any such sleeping arrangements, and secondly this verse says that the firstborn of both man and beast were affected. Unless the Egyptians made little firstborn pig, monkey, donkey, cow, and goat beds that were lower than the rest, we can be assured that the Naked Archaeologist is as full of hot air as his crummy theories.
There is no possible natural explanation for what occurred on that terrible night of the first Passover. Having cleared that up, in Exodus 4, this promise was first revealed to the ears of Moses –
“”‘Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.'”” Exodus 4:22, 23
Now the time for those words to be fulfilled has come. But to make the plague all the more remarkable, it will include not only the firstborn of the people, but of all of the animals as well. The fifth plague was somewhat of a precursor to this coming plague. In Chapter 9, a distinction was made between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt –
“And the Lord will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the children of Israel.” Exodus 9:4
Pharaoh failed to heed that remarkable occurrence and pressed on in his stubborn attitude. Now, the final plague will be refined to such a precise extent that it will make the plague upon the livestock seem almost insignificant in comparison.
12 (con’t) and against all the gods of Egypt
Although most of us have read Exodus, including these few words here, we probably haven’t lost any sleep over them. But scholars vary in their opinion of what they mean, even to amazing degrees. The word “gods” can also mean “princes” and so some say that this means that they will equally suffer in the plague, but that is obvious on the surface. Every household with the blood is exempted, every other will suffer.
It could also mean that the term “gods” is explained by the firstborn of the people and the beasts. In other words, the firstborn of Pharaoh was considered the royal heir to the throne and thus he was a deity. And all of the beasts that were worshipped would have their firstborn killed as well. Thus the judgment is against “all the gods of Egypt” in this sense.
One person changes the spelling of “gods” to “habitations” – “against all your habitations” – by reversing one letter in the Hebrew. Instead of elohe, he changes it to ahley. But that kind of fiddling with the Bible is tenuous at best. Another possibility is that as the Lord went through Egypt, he destroyed their idols.
This view actually has precedent elsewhere in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 5, we read this account about Dagon, the god of Ashdod –
“Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon and set it by Dagon. 3 And when the people of Ashdod arose early in the morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and set it in its place again. 4 And when they arose early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen on its face to the ground before the ark of the Lord. The head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands were broken off on the threshold; only Dagon’s torso was left of it. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon’s house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.” 1 Samuel 5:1-5
That is similar to the Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the ark was stored in a wooden box with a Nazi symbol on it. The symbol was burned right off the box, just as Dagon was knocked off his perch. At least two other times, speaking of Egypt of the future, the Lord is said to literally destroy their idols –
“Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud,
And will come into Egypt;
The idols of Egypt will totter at His presence,
And the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.” Isaiah 19:1
“He shall also break the sacred pillars of Beth Shemesh that are in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians he shall burn with fire.” Jeremiah 43:14
But all of these options fall short of being correct. What this probably means above all else is what one would assume when reading it without inserting any presuppositions. In Chapter 11, Moses told Pharaoh exactly what was coming by speaking these words to him –
“Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. 6 Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.'” Exodus 11:4-6
Knowing this in advance and then seeing the onset of the plague, Pharaoh and all of Egypt would petition their false gods. But none would be able to save the firstborn. Thus, it would be a complete judgment on each and every god of Egypt in one fell swoop.
They were entreated for mercy, but no mercy would come because they had no ears to hear and no power to stave off the plague. Because of this, the gods of Egypt are therefore judged as false gods. This then would be the same type of judgment as when the Lord accepted Elijah’s offering on Mount Carmel.
The god of the worshippers of Baal was judged to be a false god before the Lord, exactly as the people acknowledged after seeing the Lord’s fire come down from heaven.
12 (con’t) I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
e’eseh shephatim ani Yehovah – “I Yehovah will execute judgment.” It is emphatic that Yehovah would personally attend to the judgment upon Egypt. He alone would work salvation and He alone would work destruction. To Him alone belongs the power and the glory, and to Him alone belongs the fear of His enemies.
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are.
What has to be understood is that Israel was not guilt-free. They had worshipped the idols of Egypt and they had not been faithful to their God. But the Lord had called Abraham and made His promises to him. His plan of redemption for mankind was to come through this group of people, guilty as they may be.
But the guilt implied that judgment was necessary. And so in order to atone for their sins, an innocent lamb was sacrificed. It is the blood which atones for sin and which expiates the guilt for the sins of the people. Those who had applied the blood would be exempt from judgment.
If this isn’t a clear enough picture of the work of the Lord Jesus and the mercy of God, then you might go back to the beginning and recheck your faith! Every detail of this account shows us pictures of what Christ, the Lamb of God, has done for us. Israel is being used as a microcosm of the greater salvation of all people.
We all stand guilty before God. And yet, by applying faith in the shed blood of Christ to our lives, we are granted mercy and saved from the wrath to come. The doorposts for Israel; Calvary’s cross for the world – the blood is the sign for the people of God.
The sign is for us, not for God. He has provided the sign for our assurance of His following through with what the sign represents. Israel will be passed over; the church will be raptured up. And both will be saved from the time of wrath which those around them would have to face.
13 (con’t) And when I see the blood, I will pass over you;
u’phasakhti alekem – the words are emphatic. “I will pass over you.” Here, the spoken word is the guarantee. The Lord spoke a promise to Abraham and Abraham believed. In that act of faith, the Lord counted it to him for righteousness. By faith, Israel was to keep the Passover and the sprinkling of blood. This is what Moses, who represented Israel, was noted for in Hebrews 11 –
“By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” Hebrews 11:28
Likewise, God has given us His word and our belief in what that words says is what counts us as righteous. The blood is the sign of that guarantee. The blood of the lamb in Egypt was the sign to the people. Our reception of the blood of Christ on Calvary’s cross is our sign. When the Lord sees the blood, the Lord will pass over.
God will not destroy those who are saved by the blood. It is a picture of our own redemption, certainly a pre-tribulation rapture for the church, and a complete protection for the sealed 144,000 of Israel during the tribulation.
13 (con’t) and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
The word for plague here is negeph. It is the first time it is used in Scripture and it means a mortal blow. The sense of the passage is that when the conditions laid down by the Lord were met, the privilege which he had extended to the people would be granted. If they failed to meet them, it would not be.
Even among Israel, there was always a choice of obeying or disobeying. One way or another, Egypt would be struck, but Israel had been granted mercy. And so it is true with the world. Judgment will fall on all people, but for those who receive the word and accept the sign, mercy will come.
In judgment I will pass through the land
I will destroy those who remain at war with Me
In My anger, I will strike with My mighty hand
A crushing blow for all the world to see
But there is also mercy for those who pay heed
I will not strike those who have faith in My word
When I see the blood, then it is agreed
That I will extend mercy, even I the Lord
Their judgment came in a Substitute
An innocent Lamb for them has died
My righteousness to them I will impute
For to their hearts, the Lamb’s blood they have applied
II. An Everlasting Ordinance (verses 14-16)
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial;
In these words comes the first use of the word zikkaron, or “memorial,” in the Bible. The Feast which is now going to be explained was to be a constant reminder to the people of the redemption of Israel and all that it entailed. In order for it to be so, the Lord gives His instructions concerning the celebration…
14 (con’t) and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.
Besides the Passover, this is the first mandated “feast” or khag in the Bible. Previously, Moses demanded of Pharaoh that the Israelites be allowed to go into the wilderness to observe a feast to the Lord, but that hasn’t occurred yet and it was not a mandated feast at that time. Rather it was a request. This, however, is.
From this time on, it was to become an annual reminder of the work of the Lord on their behalf and their responsibilities to Him. All generations of Israelites after this were to observe the feast so that they would never forget His acts on their behalf.
14 (con’t) You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
The term “everlasting ordinance” is khuqat olam t’khaggu. In essence it is a feast which is to be observed for ever. This everlasting ordinance is not necessarily speaking of the Passover, but of the Feast of Unleavened Bread or matsot. The Passover is what makes the Feast of Unleavened Bread possible.
The Passover is one of the annual feasts of the Lord, and eventually the two became united in terminology, but the Feast of Unleavened bread is a separate and distinct celebration with its own picture and fulfillment in Christ and in His church.
15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.
The Passover is on the 14th of the month. This feast is held from the 15th to the 21st day of the month. A seven-day week is believed to have been unknown to Egypt at this time, but it was not unknown completely in the world.
Abraham’s family observed a seven-day week as was seen in the marriage of Jacob to Leah. Jacob was asked to fulfill his marriage week with her before marrying Rachel. Despite this, there isn’t any record of Israel observing a seven-day week until this point.
From here on out, it would be the standard observance of the people. Whatever day of the week the 15th fell on, they were required to remove all leaven from their houses and keep it out for a full week. During this time, they were to eat unleavened bread.
The reason for this was that it pictured the complete removal of the yeast of Egypt from their bread. In the Bible, bread is the fundamental means of sustaining the body – even a symbol of life itself. If one didn’t remove the yeast of Egypt, it showed that they longed after that which Egypt provided.
In essence, they had failed to separate themselves from the life they were called to leave. The removal of Egyptian yeast thus symbolized their new life, being purified from their old means of sustaining life.
In general yeast can be considered in two ways. First it causes fermentation, and thus corruption. But it also causes the bread to rise, thus picturing pride, which itself is a form of corruption. The remembrance of the feast is given for the reason of severing themselves from the wicked practices of Egypt.
However, the picture is given for us to see Jesus and His perfection as well as our obligation to act in a pure and undefiled manner. This is explicitly stated by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5. The Corinthians were having issues with immorality in the church and Paul wrote to them words of correction. In them he identifies both the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread –
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? 7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
First he noted that Christ is our Passover. After this, he notes that we are to “keep the feast.” It is not the Passover, but the Feast of Unleavened Bread of which he speaks. The leaven of malice and wickedness are to be removed so that we are unleavened, picturing sincerity and truth.
We have been called out of “spiritual Egypt,” meaning the fallen world. If we don’t remove the yeast of Egypt, meaning the old immoral ways of the world, it shows that we still long after that which the world provides rather than what Christ has offered. As always, every word we are seeing in the Old Testament is pointing to a much larger picture of redemptive history.
15 (con’t) For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
The penalty for eating bread with yeast was for that person to be cut off from Israel. This seems like a harsh penalty, especially when it is a mere observance of something that happened only once in their history. However, it is a picture of a greater truth which is again explained by Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.
What is it that we are to do with those who transgress the commands of the Bible in the church age? The answer is found in what Paul recommends for a man who was living a sexually immoral lifestyle in Corinth –
“…deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5:5
Like the Israelites of old, we are to expel the man living in malice or wickedness. And Paul gives the exact reason why we are to treat a fellow Christian in this manner in Galatians Chapter 5 –
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9
If yeast were allowed in the house of Israel, it would be used, as yeast is used, for leavening the bread. Thus all of the bread would be leavened. If sin is allowed into a church it is bound to infect the entire congregation. It is a lesson our modern church has forgotten. And how quickly we have degraded into the vilest of conduct in many once-faithful denominations!
16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you.
A holy convocation, or miqra qodesh, is called for both the 15th of the month and the 21st of the month. It was to be a gathering of the people for sacrifice, prayer, and fellowship. It may also have included instruction as well. Later, the convocations were called by the blowing of silver trumpets which were directed by the Lord to be made for this purpose.
16 (con’t) No manner of work shall be done on them;
This is explain in more detail in Leviticus 23:7, 8 –
“On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.” Leviticus 23:7, 8
Customary work means employment or other regular work. This then is not a Sabbath observance which forbid work of any kind, including the cooking of meals. This is seen as we continue…
16 (con’t) but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.
Food could be prepared on this particular day of convocation and thus it is not a Sabbath. This is important to know and remember concerning the timeline of Jesus’ cross. The gospels are very clear that the day following Christ’s crucifixion was a Sabbath, not a convocation. In Luke 23, this is what is recorded –
“Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” Luke 23:53-56
Therefore, understanding the terminology here and that of the gospels, we can know, along with other assurances, that Christ’s cross occurred on a Friday, not a Wednesday or a Thursday.
As a memorial and as an everlasting ordinance
You shall leave behind the life you once held dear
To you there is now to be a new allegiance
And in your life shall a new lifestyle appear
For those who are unwilling to comply with My word
You shall hand them over to Satan as is their choice
This is for their good, so that on the Day of the Lord
Their spirit will be saved according to My voice
I have spoken that all who come to Me will be saved
But the congregation needs to be kept pure and holy
And so for those who have willingly misbehaved
They must in this life suffer their own indignity
III. Let us keep the Feast (verses 17-20)
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.
To us, the words translated “this same day” would be an unusual expression. They are b’etsem ha’yom – in bone (of) the day. The meaning is “that of the same substance.” It goes all the way back to Genesis 2 where Adam said –
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:23
Adam was declaring the woman to be of the same substance as he. Thus, to say the “bone of the day” is to mean, the day of the same substance as the original. Each year on the same day, the 15th of the first month, the Feast is to be commemorated. It is an interesting idiom that didn’t make it into the English language as so many others did.
It is on this same day that the Lord says that He will have brought out Israel’s army. It is the third time the word tsaba, or armies, is applied to the people of Israel. The Lord is their Commander and they are His hosts. When they leave, it will not be as a ragtag bunch of people, but as an army bearing dignity and order.
17 (con’t) Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.
Again, they are reminded that this day is to be observed. The repetition has purpose. It is to show that they are to pay special heed to this instruction and never fail to follow through with it. The exodus itself began on this day, the 15th of the month.
This corresponds to our new life in Christ coming after the judgment on our sin and our deliverance from it. In essence, there is our day of adoption which is followed immediately by our journey in being the Lord’s adopted. We will never be un-adopted and so we are to conduct ourselves as if this were truly the case.
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.
In the Hebrew the word “month” is missing at the beginning of the verse, but it is not an unusual form of ellipses. When something is otherwise understood, it is often dropped. Because the word is used two more times in the verse, it is to be understood that it is the first month.
This is a general repeat of verse 15 and it is a reminder that if a person were to eat bread with yeast in it during this period, it would in essence be a denial of the new life in which they were called to live. The generations afterward were to follow suit as a reminder of this same calling.
The entire seven-day period was made holy through the special observances of the first and the seventh days of the feast. These miqra qodeshim, or holy convocations, sanctified the entire period. They therefore stand in place of all seven days. This observance then is realized in our life in Christ.
The eating of the unleavened bread pictures our pursuit of Christ in this new life. His words in John 6:27 point to this –
“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” John 6:27
The giving up of regular work is then picturing our having attained true rest in Him. This is seen in Hebrews 4:3, where it says that we who have believed in Christ enter into His rest. A few verses later, the author of Hebrews explains it further –
“For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:10
In Christ, our labors are finished, symbolized by the convocations at the beginning and end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Again, these two days stand in place of the entire feast period.
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.
Again, this verse appears to be a mere repetition of what has already been said, but it isn’t. An addition is made which is that there is no distinction between a native born or a stranger in the congregation. The native of the land in Hebrew is ezrakh ha’aretz or literally, “a tree in its native soil.” The stranger is the word ger; a foreigner or an alien.
The distinction between the two is important. The native is speaking of a literal descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The land was promised to them and thus they are considered of the native soil. The stranger is anyone who has joined themselves to Israel and accepted their customs and practices.
This has enormous ramifications both at the exodus, where an immense multitude of foreigners joined Israel and became a part of the collective whole, as well as numerous incidents of foreigners coming into Israel throughout the pages of the Bible. It also includes those non-Israelites who have joined Israel today.
They are all collectively under the same umbrella. And the same is true with those who will live in the land after the tribulation period. Here is what Ezekiel says about them –
“It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 47:22, 23
Those who are joined to Israel are to bear the same responsibilities, and they are to share in the same opportunities. This hasn’t changed even in modern times with Israel and it is the exact same expectation of those in the church. All are considered on an equal basis in Christ. Paul explains this in Ephesians 2 –
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13
This is why he uses the imagery of the olive tree in Romans 11. There is the native tree and there is the wild olive. The same conditions are levied upon both and the same honors are granted to both.
*20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”
These words extend the meaning of what was said about the bread. Not only are they to eat unleavened bread, but they are to eat nothing with leaven in it. No food of any kind was to have any form of yeast in it. Further this prohibition is to go to any dwelling where they reside.
This includes their time in the wilderness, in Canaan, and even during their exiles. They were required to observe this at the same time each year wherever they lived. Having said that, because this feast is fulfilled in Christ, it is also set aside in Christ, as are all of the feasts of the Lord.
He has accomplished everything which was pictured by the Old Testament system, and every law required by that system. In Him alone is found the perfection of God’s standard. Now, instead of observing these feasts, we trust in their fulfillment in Christ. Paul explains this several times and in several ways in the New Testament. But he is exceptionally clear about this in Colossians –
“So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16, 17
Israel’s laws concerning the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread symbolize their deliverance from Egypt and consecration based on their redemption. Those shadows are now fulfilled in Christ. And so let us keep the feast in Him, not with externals, but with the internal changes which He desires from His people.
We’ve come to the end of today’s verses, but not the end of the story. Much wonder lies ahead and all of it pictures a greater story, that of Jesus. It is through Him that true deliverance from this corrupt world comes about. And it is through Him that heaven’s doors are once again opened for the people of the world. If you have never received Jesus as Lord and Savior, please give me just another moment to explain how you can today…
Closing Verse: “…if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:21-24
Next Week: Exodus 12:21-28 (What do You Mean by this Service?) (34th Exodus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night
And will strike in the land of Egypt all the firstborn
Both man and beast will face this plight
And against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment as I have sworn
I am the Lord
This is my spoken word
Now the blood shall be for you a sign
On the houses where you stay
And when I see the blood, by my design
I will pass over you and not come by your way
And the plague shall not be on you to destroy you
When I strike the land of Egypt as I am set to do
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 from the greatest to the least
You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread
On the first day you shall remove leaven
From your houses, just as I have said
For whoever eats leavened bread
From the first day until the seventh day
That person shall be cut off from Israel
Thus I have commanded you in this way
On the first day there shall be a holy convocation
And on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you too
No manner of work shall be done on them
But that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you
So you shall observe the Feast
Of Unleavened Bread as I instructed you
For on this same day I will have brought your armies
Out of the land of Egypt as promised to you
Therefore you shall observe this day in your governance
Throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance
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
Remember to do as I have said
For seven days no leaven shall be found in the houses of your nation
Since whoever eats what is leavened
That same person shall be cut off from Israel’s congregation
Whether he is a stranger or a native of the land
This is what to you I now command
You shall eat nothing leavened, but instead
In all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread
These are the instructions as given by the Lord
For Israel’s feast as He commanded them to do
And so by His spoken word
They were so charged with His words to carry through
But this feast is only a picture, a mere shadow
Of the greater work of the Lord Jesus
In what He has done, we have come to know
The fullness of what God has done for us
And so let us keep the feast in sincerity
Let us devote our lives to holy living in His sight
We as the Lord’s redeemed have been called to purity
And to conduct ourselves in a manner just and right
And so let it be according to His word
That we live this way for all of our days
Pursuing Christ and Christ alone – our precious Lord
And giving to God, through Him, all of our praise
Hallelujah and Amen…