Exodus – Passover – What it reveals to us about Christ

Transcript of my radio program tonight – June 14

This is Simple Faith and I am your host, Cathy Merritt – please join me this evening in prayer and we’ll begin our study in Exodus.

Tonight I pray for Prayer Warriors across the world that dedicate their lives to praying for others – even people they do not know. I pray for their safety and wellbeing. I pray that Lord you will protect them spiritual warfare.

Father, I ask that you be with me tonight as I teach the story of your people and their Exodus out of Egypt.

I for everyone listening to night, I pray that your heart will be open to the word and that it will not be harden as the Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. To know and love God is know that he is powerful and can control any storm.

Guard my mouth tonight Lord and be with me as I teach.

In the Bible, the plagues and other troubles brought on Egypt by God through the hands of Moses, because Pharaoh would not let the people of Israel go out of Egypt. The account, in the Book of Exodus, tells how Pharaoh yielded each time until the plague was removed, then hardened his heart; in the end he let the children of Israel go, only to pursue them into the Red Sea.

God was going to set His people free from being slaves in the land of Egypt.

He sent Moses and Aaron to speak to Pharaoh. They demanded that all of God’s people be set free to worship Him. Each time, what did Pharaoh say? “NO”!

God sent plagues upon the land of Egypt. He did this to show the people that they should worship the Creator, not the creation. God was teaching the Israelites and the

Egyptians that He alone is God.

The plagues.

Turned the Nile River into blood

– Filled the land with frogs

– Sent gnats

– Flies swarmed all over the people

– Disease on the farm animals

– The people broke out in boils (blisters)

– The worst storm ever in Egypt

– So many locusts that the sky looked black

– Darkness for 3 days

The plagues had significant consequences in five different areas.

  1. The plagues were designed to discredit the gods of Egypt. Before the tenth plague God asserted, “I will bring judgment on all of the gods of Egypt.” This is especially evident in the first second, fifth and ninth plagues. In the first plague the sacred Nile was affected. By the end of the second plague the Egyptians detested Ptha, the frog headed god and Heka, a frog goddess. Apis the scared bull could not spare his kind of ravishing effects of the murrain. Ra the sun god could not penetrate the darkness in which Yahweh wrapped Egypt in ninth plague.
  2. The plagues also served to discredit the religious leaders of Egypt. The counsel of Pharaoh’s wisest men, the sorcery and magic of his personal ministers could not prevent or remove the plagues. In the third plague the magicians retreated from the contest; in the sixth plague they were rendered unclean by the festering boils and thus disqualified from officiating in their priestly role.
  3. The plagues revealed the ineffectiveness of Pharaoh as a ruler and god. His total lack of integrity, his stubbornness, arrogance, and mortality are clearly shown in the narrative. He was forced during the contest to offer four compromises to Moses and in the end he was compelled to release the Israelites.
  4. With respect to the Israelites, the plagues were designed to free them from bondage and convince them of the sole divinity of Yahweh. They were a visual lesson of God’s awesome power.
  5. The plagues were also God’s judgment on the land of Egypt for the years of mistreatment of his people.
  6. The plagues were designed gradually to magnify the power of God. In the first two plagues the power of God was imitated by the magicians. They, however were unable to remove the plagues. In plagues three through six the restrained power of God was manifested. God’s unbridled power was manifested in plagues seven through ten.The above six purposes can be summed up in the word “know.” The contest began when Pharaoh declared that he did not know Yahweh. This word thereafter becomes a key word in the narrative. Through the plagues all parties would come to know Yahweh. To know Yahweh means to recognize him because of personal experience and then submit to his authority.

After the plague of darkness, Pharaoh had these harsh words for Moses

11 Now the LORD had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The LORD made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

4 So Moses said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. 5 Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. 6 There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. 7 But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. 8 All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

9 The LORD had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country

The Tenth Plague and The Passover

God provides a way to escape the punishment of sin, and His way is the only way.

(God) wants everyone to be saved. He wants them to come to know

the truth.

– 1 Timothy 2:4

The Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb[a] for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.

11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.

12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

14 “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do.

17 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. 19 For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And anyone, whether foreigner or native-born, who eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel. 20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.”

21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. 28 The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.

29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

The Exodus

31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”

33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 With the dough the Israelites had brought from Egypt, they baked loaves of unleavened bread. The dough was without yeast because they had been driven out of Egypt and did not have time to prepare food for themselves.

40 Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt[b] was 430 years. 41 At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the Lord’s divisions left Egypt. 42 Because the Lord kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt, on this night all the Israelites are to keep vigil to honor the Lord for the generations to come.

Passover Restrictions

43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal:

“No foreigner may eat it. 44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him, 45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it.

46 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones. 47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.

48 “A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it. 49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”

50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.

The festival of the Passover has been celebrated by Jews for thousands of years.

It is the retelling of the great story of how God redeemed the Jewish nation from enslavement in Egypt. The celebration itself was given to the Jews while they were still in Egypt. The original celebration centered around the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the Lord passed over the houses of the Jews during the last plague poured out on the Egyptians – the killing of every firstborn.

To a large degree, the Passover lamb has been eliminated from the Passover festival (with the only remnant being the roasted lamb shank bone). The New Testament says that Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb.

The Passover lamb was to be a “male without defect,” which is the same description given to Jesus.

In addition, when the lamb was roasted and eaten, none of its bones were to be broken. This fact was also prophesized for the Messiah, whose bones were not to be broken.9 It was customary during crucifixion to break the leg bones of the person after a few hours in order to hasten their death. The only way a person could breathe when hanging on a cross was to push up with his legs, which was very exhausting. By breaking the legs, death followed soon by suffocation. However, in the case of Jesus, they broke the legs of the other two men, but did not break His, since He was already dead.10

Passover symbolism

Much of the symbolism of Jesus’ last Passover week is lost to us because we are unaware of the customs of the time. For example, Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem five days before the lamb was killed in the temple as the Passover sacrifice for the sins of the people of Israel. Five days before the lamb was to be sacrificed, it was chosen. Therefore, Jesus entered Jerusalem on lamb selection day as the Lamb of God.

The people did not understand the significance of this, since they greeted Him with palm branches and hailed Him as King, shouting “Hosanna,” which means “save us.” However, they were not looking for a spiritual Savior, but a political savior. Palm branches were a symbol of freedom and defiance, since Simon Maccabeus had entered Jerusalem with that symbolism. Jesus’ reaction was to weep, since He realized that they did not understand the Messiah’s purpose in coming.

Passover sacrifice

The day Jesus was crucified was the day of the Passover celebration and the day that the Passover lamb was to be sacrificed. For the previous 1,200 years, the priest would blow the ram’s horn at 3:00 p.m. – the moment the lamb was sacrificed, and all the people would pause to contemplate the sacrifice for sins on behalf of the people of Israel.

At 3:00, when Jesus was being crucified, He said, “It is finished” – at the moment that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and the horn was blown from the Temple. The sacrifice of the lamb of God was fulfilled at the hour that the symbolic animal sacrifice usually took place. At the same time, the veil of the Temple (a three-inch thick, several story high cloth that demarked the Holy of Holies) tore from top to bottom –  representing a removal of the separation between God and man. Fifty days later, on the anniversary of the giving of the law (Pentecost), God left the earthly temple to inhabit those who call on the name of Jesus through His Holy Spirit.

Burial

The festival of unleavened bread began Friday evening (at sunset). As part of the festival, the Jews would take some of the grain – the “first fruits” of their harvest – to the Temple to offer as a sacrifice. In so doing, they were offering God all they had and trusting Him to prove the rest of the harvest. It was at this point that Jesus was buried – planted in the ground – as He said right before His death. Paul refers to Jesus as the first fruits of those raised from the dead in 1 Corinthians. As such, Jesus represents the fulfillment of God’s promise to provide the rest of the harvest – resurrection of those who follow the Messiah.

Resurrection

Matzah – striped and pierced Christian symbolism in the Passover occurs early in the Seder (the Passover dinner). Three matzahs are put together (representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). The middle matzah is broken, wrapped in a white cloth, and hidden, representing the death and burial of Jesus. The matzah itself is designed to represent Jesus, since it is striped and pierced, which was prophesized by Isaiah, David, and Zechariah. Following the Seder meal, the “buried” matzah is “resurrected,” which was foretold in the prophecies of David.

Christian communion

It was during a Passover Seder that Jesus proclaimed that the meal represented Himself and that He was instituting the New Covenant, which was foretold by Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

The celebration of this covenant has become the ordinance of communion in the Christian faith. At the end of the meal, Jesus took the unleavened bread, broke it, and said that it represented His body. Then He took the cup of wine, which would have been the third cup of the Seder – the cup of redemption. He said that it was the new covenant in His blood “poured out for you.” It is through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are declared clean before God, allowing those of us who choose to accept the pardon, to commune with Him – both now and forevermore through the eternal life He offers.

Next week we’ll talk more about the path of Deliverance.

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