2018-09-02 - Exodus Passover
The Background of Passover
In the next part of this study, we will look at Passover from three points of view. First ,we will look at the initial passage that presents Passover in the context of the Exodus. Next, we will talk a little about how it is celebrated today by the Jew, and how it differs from the Biblical form. Finally, we will talk about the celebration for the Hebrew Christian, and how Passover pictures the work of the Messiah.
The Institution of the Passover
We should note that this section, dealing with the Passover, opens a new portion of Exodus. The first eleven chapters deal with the rise of Moses, the deliverer of the Hebrew. These next chapters, 12 through 14 deal with the deliverance from Egypt. And that deliverance comes through the shedding of blood. This is why Passover is a picture of the work of Christ in providing salvation. Here, once again, the Biblical principle is pointed out, that “ … without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22b).
The first thing that must be kept in mind, is that Passover comes in the context of the final plague against Egypt. The purpose of the plague was: First, glorify the Lord, and second bring about the release of Israel from her bondage, allowing her to go to the land of Canaan.
The nature of this plague is that it was intended to distinguish between the Israelite and the Egyptian.
“ … You may know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel” (Exodus 11:7b).
… Nevertheless, it required an act of obedience to be saved. In other words, one was not saved by accident of birth, just as one does not find eternal salvation by being born into a Christian Home. One must accept the gift of salvation for himself, an act of obedience.
The month here, Nisan, becomes the first month of the ecclesiastical year, as opposed to Tisri (September) the first month of the civil year. As Pentecost is the birth of the Church, Nisan is the birth of the Hebrew as a nation. It is in this month that the Lord sends Moses to the Children of Israel, with instructions as to how they were to avoid the coming plague, the tenth, the death of the firstborn.
First, the people were to get a little lamb, which was to serve as the basis of the offering up for their salvation. The lamb was to be perfect and a male. It could be taken from either the sheep or goat flock. Each family was to have their own lamb, though if they were too few in number, they could share with another small family.
Notice the lamb was almost a pet, in that it was to be kept with the family for four days before it was slaughtered and eaten. The real issue here, though, was the taking of the blood of the lamb and putting it on the door posts and frame. It was this sprinkled blood, when observed by the Lord, that would tell Him no one was to die in that home. Remember, if the Hebrew failed to sprinkle the blood, then someone would die. Conversely, if an Egyptian did follow these instructions, then his family would also be protected.
The other instructions spoke to the disposition of the animal. It was to be eaten by family members, and there were to be no leftovers. Anything left was to be burned in the morning. Also, the instructions were that the lamb was to be cooked only by roasting with fire.
Finally, the lamb was to be eaten quickly, because the people were to be prepared to flee from Egypt. This was the first Passover. This same feast was to be celebrated through all generations. Later the lambs were slain at the temple and this became the festival of deliverance for all the nation. It was this same feast the Lord was celebrating and which became “The Last Supper.” Communion came out of the elements of Passover, and just as Passover was a commemoration of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, so Communion is a commemoration of our deliverance from Sin.
We will see that the rest of this chapter, as well as the next, deals with both Passover and the consecration of the firstborn. These are clear pictures of God’s plan for salvation, as well as how Jesus worked out that plan. The application of this and latter passages is already easy to see, but I want to hold off until we finish looking at the different ways of observing the Passover, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Exodus study to be continued.
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