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Exodus 12:21-28 (What Do You Mean By This Service?)

Jul 12, 2015   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Exodus, Exodus Sermons (written), Old Testament, Sermons, Torah, Torah (written)  //  No Comments

Exodus 12:21-28
What Do You Mean By This Service?

The night that I started typing this sermon, I got up at about 12am or so as I usually do to finish the night downstairs. The reason why I do this isn’t important, but I can say that when I get down there each night, I do enough things before lying down that I don’t fall right back to sleep. Instead, my thoughts will wander through events of the day or whatever else is on my mind.

As I was thinking about the sermon typing of that day, a few thoughts came to mind. As of November 2014, the entire Bible is now translated into 531 languages and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of it. That means that human minds are reading, studying, and contemplating the Bible in all of these languages.

And certainly God is revealing different aspects of His word to different people based on their language. I am convinced that different languages will open the Bible in different ways. Knowing, or at least being able to study, the Bible in the original languages has a unique benefit, but the concepts, pictures, and eternal truths which are drawn out from this book are not limited to those languages.

However, there is a uniqueness in the biblical languages that will reveal things that cannot otherwise be drawn out through other languages. That is why it is important to at least study those original languages. God has hidden marvelous clues concerning His Son, His plan of redemption, and the pictures which point to both in them.

As always, today I will give you highlights of the Hebrew language which are unique and which cannot be discerned from any English translation. And why can I do that? Because they are available to any and all via the internet!

And so as I lay there thinking about His word, I thought, “How blessed we are here today!” We have not just one version in English, but somewhere around 900. We have thousands of tools for studying the word. We have all of the combined commentaries of more than 2000 years of scholars, pastors, and theologians.

This is the most biblically blessed age in all of human history. And yet, modern sermons may expand on biblical truths, but not biblical insights. And many hardly even expand on biblical truths.

The airwaves are awash with feel-good, pre-written sermons which can be bought on line or found in one of a thousand sermon-layout books which have been printed to help pastors not worry about exerting any real effort in their weekly responsibility.

Instead, they take what someone has done, add in a few personal life-applications, and get back to other “more important” things. I was given dozens of sermon prep books before I started preaching and I have never used one. In fact, they went in the recycle.

Going through the Bible one verse at a time is sermon work in and of itself. As I will never go through these particular verses again in my life, I want these sermons to be a record of my love and respect for this eternal gift, the Holy Bible. And your attendance each week is a similar mark of respect for the One who gave us this treasure. May the Lord be glorified through our pursuit of His superior word!

Text Verse: Thus says the Lord:
“Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word. Isaiah 66:1, 2

Of all of the wonders which fill the universe, there is a certain place where the Lord finds pleasure. Heaven is filled with His glory as He occupies His throne. The earth is adorned with evidences of His tender care. It is a blue pearl in the midst of a swirling universe of majestic wisdom.

And yet, with all of the splendor which is seen here, He calls our home His “footstool.” To Him, it is simply a place where He can rest His feet. By His knowledge, all things exist in heaven and on earth, but yes… there is a certain place where the Lord finds pleasure. Where is it? Well, He just told us.

It is in the one who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at His word. Imagine that! In all the glorious magnificence of heaven and earth, He regards such a person. This is how important the Holy Bible is to Him. And this is how favorably He regards the one who holds it in high esteem.

Let us never fail to do so. Instead, let us love it, pursue it, cherish it, and tremble at it… just as we would tremble at the sight of His own majestic face. Let us so regard this wondrous gift. Great marvels are to be found in 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. Hyssop and Blood (verses 21 & 22)

From verse 20 to 21 we have been transported from one time frame to another. In verses 1-20 the instructions anticipated the coming Passover and were probably given before or during the plagues of locusts and darkness. Now in verse 21, we have been forwarded in time to the day of the Passover for the final instructions of this great and momentous event…

21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them,

In verse 3 of this chapter, the Lord spoke these words to Moses –

“Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.'” Exodus 12:3

In that verse, Moses was told to speak to all the congregation of Israel. In this verse, he only summons the elders. The implication is that, as often occurs, the representatives of the people speak to the people as mediators.

When the CEO of a company speaks to his staff, they in turn pass the words on to their subordinates and so on down the line. However, he is said to speak to the entire company when he actually only speaks to a handful of people. This is the same way that Moses is speaking to the congregation.

He speaks to the elders, meaning the chiefs of the tribes, and they will in turn speak to those below them. In this way, the entire congregation will quickly get the message that is to be conveyed. And the message contains words which anticipate their release…

21 (con’) “Pick out and take lambs for yourselves

The words are mishku uqehu lakhem tson = draw and take to you (the) flock-animal. The Hebrew is ambiguous and it could mean one of two things –

“Go, and take your flock animal,” or
“Withdraw from the flock your animal.”

If this is the day of the Passover, which the text implies, the first is surely correct. They had been told to have the animal ready on the 10th and then to slaughter it on the 14th. As this is the 14th of the month, the day of the Passover, Moses isn’t asking them to go get an animal, but to go get the animal which had been selected.

21 (con’) according to your families,

This direction and its explanation was given in verse 12:4 –

“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.” Exodus 12:4

“According to your families” means that the animal which had been selected was designated for a certain number of people which may have included people from other families. The reason for the repetition will be realized in the next verse because it is something that wasn’t explained before.

21 (con’) and kill the Passover lamb.

Let’s do some learning from these few words about Bible translations –

…and kill the Passover lamb. (NKJV)
…and slaughter the Passover animal. (NLT)
…and slaughter the passover-sacrifice; (YLT)
… and sacrifice the Phase. (Douy-Rheims)
…and kill the passover. (KJV)
…and kill the Passover. (World English Bible)

…and kill the Passover lamb. The NKJV inserts the word “lamb” for what they believe is clarity. But the word for “lamb” in the earlier part of this verse is tson. It means an animal of the flock and so it could be a lamb or a goat. They have made an assumption that they believe adds clarity, but it is not wholly correct. Further, as we will see, the word “Passover” is used in a special way. The insertion does not convey the intent of the verse.

“…and slaughter the Passover animal.” The NLT gets the terminology better than the NKJV, because tson is an unspecified animal. It could be a goat or lamb, and so “animal” is clearer. But the insertion is still unwarranted.

“…and slaughter the passover-sacrifice;” Young’s literal translation explains the Passover as a sacrifice. Although not incorrect, if one understands the Bible in context, the word “sacrifice” is unnecessary. It is a learning tool which is not inappropriate, but not necessary for one schooled in the feast.

“… and sacrifice the Phase.” Douy-Rheims uses an obsolete word for “Passover.” The etymology of the word is from the Latin translation of the Hebrew, and so this is not incorrect. The word Phase, which means “phase,” “stage,” or “aspect” may be tied to the moon, which is full on the night of the Passover.

“…and kill the passover.” The KJV terminology is correct. The word “Passover” is applied to the lamb itself. Therefore, the word is put in place for the sacrifice being offered. This is comparable to what is said in 1 Corinthians about the Rock –

“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:4

The word “Rock” is substituted for and yet means “Christ.” One word is given to mean both. This is the intent here with the word ha’pasach or “the Passover.” The word means the animal to be sacrificed, which in turn signifies the entire feast.

However, the KJV is still not complete. The reason is that they wrote it with a small “p” when in fact, it is a proper noun and should be capitalized. And so, let’s go to one more translation…

“…and kill the Passover.” The World English Bible gets the gold star for literal intent, clarity, and grammar. They capitalized the “P” on “Passover.” I hope you enjoyed this minor excursion into Bible translator’s preferences and how they can affect other areas of Bible knowledge. And the reason for all this is because of what the Passover symbolizes. The answer is found in 1 Corinthians 5 –

“For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7 NASB

The reason for the minute detail of what the Hebrew is actually saying is because of what the Hebrew is actually picturing. In the end, it is all about Jesus. Today, take time to read 1 Corinthians 5:7 in as many translations as you can. There you will see a wide range of variations. I chose the NASB because it most accurately reflects what the original Greek says.

22 And you shall take a bunch of hyssop,

Here is something new which was not mentioned in the earlier verses explaining the ritual. The people are now told that they are to use a bunch of hyssop with which to apply the blood. This was not previously stated.

The word “bunch” is aguddah. It is the first of four uses of this word in the Bible. It means a band as in a band of men. The reason for telling you this is that it wasn’t just a single piece of hyssop, but a bunch. The blood was to be heavily spattered on the doorposts and lintel. The directions are specific – the blood is to be evident.

The word hyssop that we use today comes from the Hebrew through the Greek. In Greek, it is hussopos and this is a transliteration from the Hebrew ezov. You can hear the similarity ezov/hyssop. It is an herb native to the Middle East and elsewhere. It has antiseptic, cough relieving, and expectorant properties.

Because of this, it is used as an aromatic herb and for medicine. It’s a brightly colored shrub with dark green leaves. During the summer, it produces bunches of pink, blue, or, more rarely, white fragrant flowers.

The hyssop is mentioned only 10 times in the Old Testament, and with but one exception found in 1 Kings 4, it is consistently used in connection with purification. In one of the most moving psalms of the Bible, the 51st, David pours out his heart to the Lord over his sin before the Lord.

He had gone into another man’s wife and then had her husband killed to cover up the act when she became pregnant. In complete remorse for his actions, he penned this psalm which includes these words in the 7th verse –

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7

David understood the significance of the hyssop and included these words, understanding that if he wasn’t so purified, he would be cut off from his people, just as his predecessor Saul was. But the Lord looked on his heart with favor and purified him.

However, the hyssop finds its ultimate fulfillment not in the Old Testament, but in the New. The hyssop of the Passover from Egypt only prefigured the hyssop of the true Passover. The words are recorded in John 19:28-30 –

“After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”

In Exodus, the hyssop applied the blood to the openings of the door. In John 19, the hyssop was applied to Jesus’ mouth, the opening of the Door, as He called Himself. It is a prophetic announcement that the only way to be saved is through Him. The hyssop then is a symbol of His work – His word and His Spirit as explained by Paul in Ephesians 5:25-27 –

“…Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

The Passover of Egypt only looked forward to our greater Passover from sin. Thank God for Jesus Christ, our true and eternal purifier from all iniquity and unrighteousness.

22 (con’t) 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.

The word “basin” here is saph. It means a cup or bowl, but it also has the secondary meaning of threshold. This is the first time that it is used in the Bible and it is used twice in this verse. The repetition of the word has intent.

The cup holds what is in the cup. In Zechariah 12, the same word is used to describe Jerusalem as a “cup of drunkenness.” In Jerusalem will be God’s fury against the nations –

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2

The same thought is found in the exodus account. The cup holds the blood and the blood is what withholds God’s wrath. Therefore, the cup and what it contains, is not only symbolic of protection for those who possess it, but they are symbolic of God’s wrath for those who don’t.

The war against Jerusalem of the future is in no small way depicted here in the book of Exodus. The secondary meaning of this word, saph, is threshold. The word is used in the same way as it is here in Exodus as it is in the book of Zephaniah –

“Flocks will lie down in her midst,
All beasts which range in herds;
Both the pelican and the hedgehog
Will lodge in the tops of her pillars;
Birds will sing in the window,
Desolation will be on the threshold;
For He has laid bare the cedar work.” Zephaniah 2:14 (NASB)

Therefore, we are being shown that. “Theologically, it becomes a symbol of God’s presence in holy power or judgment.” (HAW) Through the use of the blood in the basin, there at the threshold of the house, God’s power to save and His righteous judgment are being depicted.

22 (con’t) And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.

This is the second new addition from the earlier explanation of the Passover and it explains why the words “according to your families” were repeated. Whoever came into the house to share in the meal was expected to stay in the house and not leave. They were not to go back to their own house after eating, but to stay put.

Those who were selected to join the family meal were considered as a part of that house until the plague was accomplished. What it should indicate to us is that any redeemed by the Lord should be considered as close to us as our own family. They have been passed over and are now a part of a greater family. Unfortunately, this isn’t yet realized among believers and it won’t be fully so until the day when we stand in the presence of the Lord and forget all of our petty differences.

Those who awaited the Lord’s deliverance in Egypt, and those of us who await its fullness now, can both take the advice of Jeremiah that he gave during the destruction which occurred all around him –

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26

The world is falling apart around us and we need to hope and wait quietly and among our true family until we have been brought out from this place of trouble.

The sweet smell of hyssop fills the air
A bright crimson stain of blood surrounds the Door
Testimony that a Lamb has died there
From His undefiled body the blood did pour

Innocent and pure! Why did the Lamb have to die?
Wasn’t there any other way for us to be free?
O God, my heart out to you does cry
How could the precious Lamb have died for one such as me?

Where can such love be found? How can it be true?
Did the Creator really send His own Son to Calvary
To bring back to Himself people such as me and you
Where can such love be found? Tell me, how can it be?

II. For You and Your Sons Forever (verses 23-25)

23 For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians;

Based on the coming words of this verse, scholars will say that the Lord doesn’t actively destroy the firstborn of the Egyptians, but this portion of the verse is clear. Moses says that Yehovah, the Lord, will pass through to strike them.

Thus, there is no reason to think that He merely passed through to strike and then gave the job of striking to another to actually accomplish. Rather, the Lord struck the Egyptians, He struck Israel when they were in disobedience, and He will strike the nations when He returns at the second coming.

23 (con’t) and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door

It is the blood and only the blood which can protect those in the house. The Lord would pass over any door with the blood. If a family of Israel didn’t believe it was necessary, they too would suffer in the plague. Nothing but the blood can save. It is an eternal truth concerning Christ which is pictured in this ancient event.

Without receiving Christ through belief in His work, there can be no redemption; only the fear of death and condemnation.

23 (con’t) and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.

The words “the destroyer” are ha’mashkhit. The word shakhat means “destroy.” The definite article ha in front of it is what brings it to life, ha’mashkhit – “the Destroyer.” Scholars attempt to find every possible way of disassociating “the Destroyer” from the Lord. But there is no reason for this. As the Pulpit Commentary notes and as I have already said –

“…it is to be noted that elsewhere Jehovah himself is everywhere spoken of as the sole agent.” (Pulpit)

This is correct and evidence for it is found in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 15:26, it says, “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” However, there is a definite article in front of “death” there as well. It says, “The death.” Paul is personifying death, showing that it is a result of an action.

This then takes us all the way to the end of the Bible where in Revelation 20 it says –

“The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 20:13, 14

There, in both instances, death is again personified, just as it is here in Exodus. The destroyer is death, the result of the Lord’s judgment. It is not an entity itself, but the result of a work-accomplished.

Not intending to change the word of God, but so you can understand the intent, we could paraphrase it by saying, “The Lord will pass over the door and not let the Death which is in the land of Egypt come into your houses to strike you.”

24 And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.

The ordinance here is not speaking of the sprinkling of the blood. That was never repeated again. Rather, it is speaking of the precept of the blood of the sacrifice and the observance of the Passover as a commemoration of redemption.

As curious as it may seem, Moses has been speaking in the plural form all along, but he suddenly changes to the singular form in the middle of this verse. “You (plural) are to do this and you (plural) are to do that.” However, it now says, “You (plural) shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you (singular) and your (singular) sons forever.

The only commentator who even mentioned this said, “Perhaps, we are to understand that Moses insisted on the perpetuity of the ordinance to each of the elders severally.” (Pulpit) But that doesn’t make any sense because he is talking to all of them.

Instead, it is a picture of individual salvation. What is being said is, “You (people) shall observe this thing as an “ordinance-to-you” (a ‘personal-ordinance’) and your (every individual) sons… In the Hebrew, there is a dash, known as a maqqeph, between the words “as an ordinance” and “for you.”

24a maqqeph

 

This dash unites the two words so that they become one in intent. Every person individually must participate within the group. In other words, it is a personal ordinance within the collective; each person is obligated to observe the feast. It is a picture of our salvation. In the church we have to personally receive Christ.

There are no tag-along Christians united through the family, but not through Christ. Even the Old Testament gives us hints as to how God operates towards His people. It is by grace and through faith that we are saved, in all dispensations.

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.

The Passover was to become a perpetual memorial, every year at its time. After they entered Canaan, which was promised to them through their fathers, they were to continuously and faithfully observe the rite. Assuming control of the land didn’t end the need for the Passover, instead it necessitated it.

The Lord was to be proven faithful in the grant of land and therefore the people were to be faithful in the keeping of the ordinance. Should they go into exile from the land, they would still be obliged to perform the Passover because even in exile, they were promised to again receive the land.

Therefore, the annual rite was never to be neglected, but it was to be a reminder and a tutorial for the next generation concerning the work of the Lord on their behalf. The rite of the Passover is the longest continually observed such rite in the world today. It has carried Israel as a people for 3500 years.

And yet, it is an observance which they missed the significance of when it was fulfilled in Christ. As Matthew Henry says –

“The keeping of this solemnity every year was, 1. To look backward, that they might remember what great things God had done for them and their fathers. Old mercies, to ourselves, or to our fathers, must not be forgotten, that God may be praised, and our faith in him encouraged. 2. It was designed to look forward, as an earnest of the great sacrifice of the Lamb of God in the fulness of time. Christ our passover was sacrificed for us; his death was our life.” Matthew Henry

For every Jew who comes to know the Lord, the observance takes on a new and wonderful dimension to them. And for every son of Christ in the church, we look to the cross and observe it as our true Passover. Redemption has come, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

When I see the blood, I will pass over you
When proof that the Lamb died is properly applied
Then My promise which is faithful and true
Will be kept, and in you I will be glorified

My child, redeemed of the Lord
You have faithfully adhered to My word

And so the consequences of sin are gone at long last
The time when death had its hold has now passed

You have moved from death unto new life
From the bars of iron and the chains of brass I have set you free
Between us is ended all enmity and strife
Through My Son, the Lamb, you are reconciled to Me

III. Recounting the Deeds of the Lord (verses 26-28)

26 And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’

The rituals of the Passover were both explicit and unusual. Every sense would be affected by its observance. The smell of the lamb, the taste of the bitter herbs, the sight of the set table, the sound of the cracking matsah bread, and the physical sensations associated with conducting the rite – into the night – would all be impressed upon every mind who participated.

Eventually, the children would get old enough to want to know why they were observing the rite – “Papa, what does it all mean?” It was the intent of the Lord that it would be held infrequently enough to not get caught up in the ordinary and yet frequently enough to allow Israel to be eager in anticipation of its return.

The memories of the previous year would be just fresh enough for the children to say, “We have done this some time before and now we’re doing it again.” It is comparable to our own observances throughout the year. We learn to eagerly anticipate them because they are not too frequent to get tired of, but not too distant that there is no hope of the day finally arriving.

And when the days arrive, we have stories to explain their origin and why we observe them. If we talk about them in secular holidays, such as the 4th of July, how much more should we talk about them on the more important, Christ-centered ones.

And with each observance, the details shouldn’t be overlooked. If they are, then the true nature of the observance gets replaced with unhealthy traditions. Christmas has lost much of its meaning because we have failed to pay heed to what it originally meant.

To the Jews, the Passover never took on its proper significance because it became to them an observance of how the Lord loved them instead of how they should have loved the Lord. Only in the cross of Christ can the Passover take on its fullest meaning. Matthew Poole warns us about losing our religious heritage by not being wise in our spiritual observances –

“God expects this even from the Jewish children, and much more from Christian men, that they should inquire and understand what is said or done in the public worship or service of God, and therefore not to rest in dumb signs, whereof they neither inquire nor know the meaning, or in the service of God in a language which they understand not.” Matthew Poole

In the years leading up to the reformation, rites were conducted in Latin and dumb signs had replaced directed love and devotion. The reformation brought the church back to Christ, but once again He is being lost to so many. He has become an idol of prosperity, licentiousness, and social reform to many instead of being our holy sacrifice and our means of purification from sin and impurity.

27 that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord,

zebakh pesakh hu l’Yehovah – “Sacrifice Passover, it to Yehovah.” This is an emphatic statement and it is the most formal and precise description of it which has been given. But the question is, “What does “it” describe?” Is it speaking of the whole ritual or the animal of the ritual?

The answer must be the animal. The term “sacrifice” is what draws out the meaning. There are formalities associated with any sacrifice, but it is the sacrifice which defines the formalities, not the other way around.

The Passover sacrifice had its formalities; the sin-offering had its own as well. Each sacrifice was meant for a certain purpose and the formalities were given in conjunction with the sacrifice. A life will be taken as a substitute. When the proof of the death of the animal is presented, there will be a result which follows…

27 (con’t) who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’”

Every detail of the Passover rite has pictured the greater work of Christ. Not a detail has been given which fails to show forth what He did. Israel was to slaughter an animal and eat it after putting its blood on the doorposts and lintel. We have been instructed by the Lord to “…take and eat, this is My body” once we have applied the blood of the cross to our own lives.

Israel was passed over in mercy; Egypt was struck with a mortal blow. We are passed over in mercy; the world who rejects Christ will perish. The Passover animal stopped being sacrificed when the temple was destroyed. For 2000 years, the Jews have observed the Passover without it.

However, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper has been faithfully observed by true believers in a continuous manner for those same years. There have been no gaps in the true praises of God among His people. But they have come from different lips and different hearts during the wanderings of the Jews.

The final, ultimate Passover Lamb died so that we could continue to sing His praises for all eternity. Soon, our time here will be finished and Israel will come to know what they had missed. Salvation is of the Lord and the Lord is Jesus.

27 (con’t) So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

“The people” here at first seems to imply the elders who came before Moses. These people surely went back through and told the masses and the worshipping must have flourished in Goshen like flowers in the springtime. This is the first time that this sentiment has been seen since all the way back in Exodus 4:31 –

“Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. 30 And Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.” Exodus 4:29-31

There was a time when they believed the word of the Lord and the message from Moses, but they fell away because of their hard bondage. Now, with the very hour of the deliverance at hand, they once again bow their heads and worship.

This act, among other things, surely signifies their agreement to the annual ordinance, thankfulness for their coming freedom, gratitude for the surety that they were God’s people and that He had been faithful to His promises to them, and joy at the anticipation of all that the exodus implied. Are these also traits that each one of us stores in our own hearts as we come to the Lord’s Table?

These things were fulfilled in an earthly sense for Israel and they are fulfilled in a greater, spiritual sense for us. Their redemption was for relief from pains of the body. Ours is for relief of the pains of the spirit.

Their redemption came about by a meal involving an earthly animal; ours comes in partaking in the body and blood of the heavenly Lord. Their redemption allowed them to go from bondage in Egypt to freedom in Canaan. Ours has brought us out from the bondage of sin and death and it guarantees eternal freedom in heaven.

In all ways, the Passover of Christ is superior to the Passover of Moses, a Passover which only looked forward to that of Christ. Therefore, let us be loyal to the One who directs us through His word, filled with thanks for the freedom we possess, grateful for the bond which exists between our Creator and us, and filled with joy at the anticipation of our heavenly calling and assured eternal walk in His presence.

*28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.

The disbelief which permeated the people after their initial meeting with Moses has been replaced with absolute certainty in Him after seeing the nine great plagues which had by this time fallen on Egypt. The stubborn defiance by the officers of the Hebrews toward Moses is now replaced with gratitude and certainty.

The people who complained about their hardships are now reveling in the prospect of freedom. This is the Passover! This is the time of God’s favor! Today is the day of salvation! The bondage has come to an end! This is the message that the Hebrews had received, and they were ready to follow up on that message with action.

They would slaughter the Passover, apply the blood, and await their release. And here we are today, finding out that the Passover of Israel is only a picture of a greater Passover for each of us. The Lamb that was slain is Jesus. The blood that was applied evidenced His death. And the judgment which rightly should have fallen on us was taken out on Him.

Only Jesus can take us out of spiritual Egypt and restore us to the presence of God. This is the message of the Bible and this is the word which has gone forth. If you have never received this gift of God’s love and grace, be sure to do so today. Now is the time of God’s favor! Today is the day of salvation! Let me tell you what you need to know in order to be saved from the wrath to come…

Closing Verse: “By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” Hebrews 11:28

This closing verse is from Hebrews 11, the great hall of fame of faith found in the Bible. God acknowledged Moses’ faith because of the sprinkling of the blood. And He will do so in your life as well if you will but receive His Gift. Do it today! Receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Next Week: Exodus 12:29-36 (The Plague on the Firstborn) (35th 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.

What Do You Mean by this Service?

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

And you shall take a bunch of hyssop
The blood that is in the basin, you shall dip it in
And strike the lintel and the two doorposts
With the blood that is in the basin

And none of you shall out of the door go
Of his house until morning as I have instructed so

For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians
And when the blood there He sees
On the lintel and on the two doorposts
The blood which His holy wrath does appease

The Lord will pass over the door as He said He would do
And not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you

And you shall observe this thing, forgetting never
As an ordinance for you and your sons forever

It will come to pass when you come to the land
Which the Lord will give you
Just as He promised, please understand
That you shall keep this service, just as He has instructed to do

And it shall be, when your children say to you
“What do you mean by this service, tell me this?
That you shall say, “It is the Passover
To the Lord it is a sacrifice we are never to miss

He passed over the houses of the children of Israel
In Egypt when He struck the Egyptians, leaving many dead
And delivered our households as we today continue to tell
So the people worshipped as each bowed his head

Then the children of Israel did so after they went away
Just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron
So they did on that day

The story of the Passover is a truth found in God’s word
But it only is a picture for us to see so much more
It was meant to look forward to Jesus our great Lord
When His sacrifice once again opened heaven’s door

Israel was brought out of bondage in Egypt the land
But we too have been brought out from sin’s strong hold
By the work of Jesus, a deed mighty and grand
It is a story which will forevermore be told

How can we but praise You, our majestic King!
How can we but share the wondrous gospel story!
Forevermore the redeemed of the Lord will sing
Of our sweet Savior, clothed in light and splendid glory

Yes, we praise You now, O God, and even for all eternity
Our hearts long to see You Lord, in all of Your majesty

Hallelujah and Amen…

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