Easter 2017

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

CHRIST OUR PASSOVER LAMB

INTRODUCTION:

 

The feast of the passover was an annual Jewish celebration which occurred in the first month of their religious year, on the 14th day of Nisan. It usually falls in our March or April near our Easter. This year it was observed this past Tuesday. The feast of the passover celebrated the deliverance of the Jews from their bondage in Egypt and the establishment of Israel as a nation. The feast of unleavened bread began on the day following the passover and lasted seven days. The feast of the passover and the feast of unleavened bread were combined as one of three feasts which all male Jews who were physically able and ceremonially clean were required to attend annually in Jerusalem. This means that there would be many, many men in Jerusalem on these occasions. A second feast they were required to attend was Pentecost, which would occur fifty days after the feast of the passover. The third feast they were required to attend was the feast of tabernacles (or booths), which would begin five days after the day of atonement. It approximates our September.

 

In this message, I want to consider the passover and its ultimate significance.

 

The scene is in Egypt where the Egyptians have experienced all of the plagues except the last one and Pharaoh has hardened his heart and refused to let the Israelites go. As a result of Pharaoh’s hardening his own heart, God hardened his heart to such a degree that Pharaoh could not change his mind because God was judging Egypt. The last plague would occur this night in Egypt.

Turn in your Bibles to –

Exodus 11:9-109 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. 10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.

 

As we move into Exodus 12 , we find instructions for observing what would become known as the passover.

We see –

    I.     THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PASSOVER

 

We note that –

            A.  A LAMB WAS TO BE SACRIFICED - Exodus 12:1-4

 

Exodus 12:1-41 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 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.

 

We also note that –

            B.  THE LAMB MUST BE WITHOUT BLEMISH - Exodus 12:5-6 a

 

Exodus 12:5-6 a – 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. . . .

 

The lamb was to be a young male. There was to be nothing wrong with this lamb.

 

The lamb was to be kept separate for four days to make certain it was without blemish.

 

Next, we note that –

            C.  THE LAMB MUST BE SLAIN - Exodus 12:6 b

 

Exodus 12:6 b – . . . And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

 

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

 

In addition, we see that –

            D.  THE BLOOD MUST BE APPLIED - Exodus 12:7-11

 

Exodus 12:7-11 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 [i.e. boiled] at all with water, but roast with fire; his head [i.e. the lamb’s head] with his legs [i.e. with the lamb’s legs], and with the purtenance thereof [i.e. with the inner parts of the lamb]. 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.

 

Furthermore, we note that –

            E.  THE BLOOD, WHEN APPLIED, PROVIDED PERFECT PROTECTION FROM JUDGMENT – NOTHING ELSE WAS NECESSARY - Exodus 12:12-13

 

Exodus 12:12-13 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 [i.e. a sign] 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.

 

Finally, we note –

            F.  THE SEQUEL - Exodus 12:28-42

 

In the verses which follow, we see that the Israelites did what they were told to do and what followed.

 

Exodus 12:28-4228 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and 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 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. 33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. 34 And the people [i.e. the Israelites] took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. 37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry [i.e. could not delay, could not wait], neither had they prepared for themselves any victual [i.e. food, provisions]. 40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt [i.e. the length of time that the Israelites 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, even the selfsame day [i.e. the very same day] it came to pass, that all the hosts [i.e. all the armies] of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations [i.e. throughout their generations].

Next, we see –

  II.     THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PASSOVER

 

We note that –

            A.  CHRIST IS OUR PASSOVER LAMB

 

In a number of places in the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as a Lamb. He is also referred to as the Passover Lamb.

 

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

I Corinthians 5:6-7 – (6) Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (7) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover [i.e. our Passover Lamb] is sacrificed for us.

 

I Peter 1:18-1918 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [i.e. your empty (or futile) way of life] received by tradition from your fathers [i.e. inherited from your ancestors, passed down by your ancestors]; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 5:6-106 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

 

The Passover Lamb was an Old Testament type of the Lord Jesus Christ. A type is a divinely purposed illustration of some future spiritual truth. As the Lamb of God, Jesus is the fulfillment of this type. As the Lamb of God Who was sacrificed for us, Jesus is the future spiritual truth which the Jewish passover illustrated.

 

As our passover lamb, Christ was sacrificed for us on the very day the passover was being celebrated. The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus, but they wanted to wait until after the feast day because of all the people who would be in Jerusalem for this occasion.

 

Matthew 26:4-54 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. 5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

 

However, circumstances changed their plan because they found that Judas Iscariot was willing to betray Jesus right away.

 

Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

 

The first day of the feast of unleavened bread is the day on which the passover would begin. It would begin at sundown that day, i.e. at about 6:00 p.m., when in Jewish time, it would turn Friday, the day of the passover. The feast of unleavened bread would actually begin the day after the passover, but Luke is using the words in a broader sense to include the passover.

 

It was Thursday, the morning before the passover which would begin at 6:00 p.m. that evening, the hour it would turn Friday in Jewish time. Preparations were apparently already made for the passover meal that evening except for its location. Apparently the place where they would eat the passover meal was being kept secret from Judas so that he would not be able to lead the soldiers to Jesus until later that evening.

 

Matthew 26:17-2017 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

 

We ordinarily refer to this meal as the Last Supper. It is also the passover meal; and Jesus is eating it with His twelve disciples, including Judas Iscariot.

 

After the meal was eaten, Judas, knowing that Jesus would go with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives, would leave in order to lead the soldiers to Jesus where he would betray Jesus with a kiss.

 

Late that evening Jesus would be arrested and the trials would begin. He would be tried before Annas and before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, and Peter would deny Him. Early in the morning He would be tried again before the Sanhedrin and then taken to Pilate, then to Herod, and then back to Pilate. Pilate would attempt to get the Jews to agree to release Jesus rather than Barabbas, but the Jews demanded the release of Barabbas rather than Jesus.

 

Matthew 27:15 Now at that feast [i.e. the passover feast] the governor was wont [i.e. was accustomed] to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would [i.e. whomever they wanted].

 

Matthew 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

 

So, Jesus was crucified as our passover Lamb around 9:00 a.m. on Friday, the very day of the passover feast.

 

Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour [i.e. 9:00 a.m.], and they crucified him.

 

Jesus died around 3:00 p.m. at the ninth hour.

 

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted [i.e. which, when translated, is], My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 

Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

 

We also note that –

            B.  CHRIST WAS WITHOUT BLEMISH

 

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities [i.e. Who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses]; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

 

I Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile [i.e. deceit] found in his mouth.

 

 

Next, we note that –

            C.  CHRIST WAS SLAIN

 

I Corinthians 15:3-43 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.

 

Romans 5:6-8 – (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely [i.e. rarely] for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure [i.e. perhaps] for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth [i.e. demonstrates, proves] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

In addition, we note that –

            D.  CHRIST’S BLOOD IS APPLIED TO BELIEVERS

 

I Peter 1:18-1918 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [i.e. your empty (or futile) way of life] received by tradition from your fathers [i.e. inherited from your ancestors, passed down by your ancestors]; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

 

I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

Revelation of Jesus Christ 5:9 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

 

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

We furthermore note that –

            E.  CHRIST’S BLOOD, IF APPLIED, PROVIDES PERFECT PROTECTION FROM JUDGMENT – NOTHING ELSE IS NECESSARY

 

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

 

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

Finally, we note –

            F.  THE SEQUEL

 

II Corinthians 5:5-85 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing [i.e. Who has prepared us for the very same thing] is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest [i.e. the downpayment, the guarantee] of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst [i.e. while] we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather [i.e. prefer rather] to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

 

I Thessalonians 4:14-1714 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep [i.e. those who died] in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep [i.e. precede, have an advantage over those who have died]. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

I Corinthians 15:51-5851 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [i.e. this mortal body] must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible [i.e. this corruptible body] shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

CONCLUSION:

 

On Easter Sunday morning we have gathered to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

We realize that God raised Jesus from the dead in order to demonstrate that He had accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on behalf of believers.

 

We thank God that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead by God the Father.