Sermon – April 9, 2017
Exodus 12 – The Passover and the Lamb of God (mp3)
As Jesus faced the last week of his life, he entered Jerusalem during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a week-long celebration about God’s deliverance of Israel during the Passover. It is no accident that Jesus would give his life during this week, and we ought not to miss the significance of this great act. Much can be learned from the themes of God’s act of deliverance, and both the way it was to be remembered and the ways in which Christ modified the feast. While not exhaustive, the following are themes of the Passover from Exodus 12, and what they mean for us now that Jesus, our Passover lamb, was slain for us:
While judgment loomed over the land, God provided a way for his people to escape, through a blood-sacrifice. Jesus is our deliverance, our means of assurance that God’s judgment will likewise pass by us.
Unleavened bread indicated haste, but the people often longed for the foods and comforts that they remembered in Egypt. God makes his people remember the Passover, not by applying blood again, but by eating only unleavened bread. The point is simply this: at times, God will make you give up that which is comforting to lavish better things upon you.
As the one-night Passover, an event that forges a new nation, is turned into a weeklong festival, occurring at the beginning of the year, we are to see the Passover as the creation of a new nation, and pointing towards a newness that is anticipated in the Passover, but not experienced fully until Christ.
Built into the week of remembrance, like the Sabbath week, is a rest from work. This, again, is hinted as the point of the remembrance without being truly fulfilled: the people must again work. But, in Christ, we get a real rest from our labors, a full rest that the physical deliverance from Egypt could never provide.
Interestingly, the blood on the doorposts was not a sign for God; but for the people! It was a sign for them that provided the assurance that God would pass them over. The blood of Jesus is a likewise sign for us. We have assurance that we will never be condemned: who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died! (Rom 8:34)
Let us be assured this week: Christ, our Passover lamb, has been slain. Therefore, let us no longer live as slaves in Egypt, servants of our sin in the world. For freedom we have been set free, that we may serve God in a better land. Praise God for his gracious kindness in the sacrifice of Christ, who makes all things new!