Summary: Exodus 12:50-13:16. As the people of Israel have just been freed from their bondage of slavery
What a great way to start off our new year! As we set off into a new year it is always good to stop and reflect on what God has provided for us, and to renew our commitment to Him as Lord of our lives.
This morning, as we prepare to look at this text, lets first do a bit of review:
God has faithfully executed His redemptive plan to deliver His people from under the bondage of Pharaoh in Egypt.
This redemption required blood to be spilled in place (substitute) in order for the sins of the people to be “passed over” as the destroyer would go throughout Egypt and kill all the firstborn.
Last week, we reflected upon the specifics of the passover meal and feast of unleavened bread. The lamb was the substitute while the people were called to respond to this redemption by living lives of purity.
II. The Call of Sanctification (vv. 12:50 - 13:2)
Read Exodus 12:50 - 13:2
Notice two things:
“The same day” - On the very day of that the people were leaving Egypt God provides some important instruction. (see next item.
“Sanctify to Me every firstborn…” - The instruction was simple. They are to respond to their deliverance by “sanctifying” every firstborn.
So, what does it mean to SANCTIFY? Sanctification is easy to understand. It has to do with holiness, and the “setting apart” for special use. To understand this, lets turn to John 17:13-19
See John 17:13-19 - Jesus asks our Father to Sanctify us in Truth (set us apart with the truth that is according to His Word.). Jesus’ desire is for us to be SET-APART from the world and unto Him!
Please note: As we can see in John 17, our Sanctification is something that is constantly improving (progressive) as we grow more and more separate from the world.
But, it is also positional. 1 Cor. 1:26-31 - Paul’s point is that Christ is our sanctification (our holiness, purification) once and for all.
So, while we have positional sanctification, we also are called to progressive sanctification (constant growth towards being set-apart for Him.)
Come back to Exodus 13:1-2 - With this kind of sanctification in view, we can better understand what the Lord is telling Moses to do. Sanctify to Me every firstborn…! -
God is telling them this: “I have now freed you! So, dedicate yourselves unto me, including your children. Don’t fall into the other philosophies and teachings of the world. I am your Father! Serve Me exclusively!
III. The Purpose of Sanctification (vv. 3-10)
As we continue into these other verses, lets look at the Purpose of Sanctification.
Note: As we look at this term sanctification, please know that we are referring to progressive sanctification, not positional. Why? Because positionally they are already sanctified by the substitute sacrifice, but there is still much room for their growth in purity and holiness!
QQ - So, what is the purpose of (progressive) Sanctification? In other words, what should be some of the benefits of them (and us) pursuing a greater degree of separateness from the world? (I have THREE reasons from this passage that I feel answers these questions)
A. To Remind us of our Deliverance (vv. 3-5)
The basis of our sanctification is our redemption!
As seen in these verses, the people of Israel are to remember that God delivered them from the bondage and oppression of Pharaoh.
See Psalm 105:1-7 - Note v. 4, they are called to “seek the Lord…” because of what it says in verse 5: “Remember His wonders which He has done…”. (note: you can read this entire Psalm and see how God delivered His people.)
What’s the point? DON’T FORGET what God has done for you! AND if we heed His instruction to be sanctified to Him then we will regularly be faced with the reminder of how He has delivered us!
B. To Charge us towards Purity (vv. 6-7)
Another purpose of Sanctification is to constantly charge us towards PURITY!
READ Exodus 13:6-7 -
The FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD is a powerful illustration of God’s opinion about having SIN in our lives!
This FEAST Communicates TWO things:
How God delivered them quickly!
That they are to be PURE (no leavened bread). They are to be a people “set-apart” for Him!
As the people stepped out of their bondage God establishes an annual feast so that they would constantly be reminded of the people that they are to be being His children.
So, think about this SANCTIFICATION for a moment: What are we called to?
See Romans 6:1-14 - Paul’s argument is that since Jesus has provided us life (v. 8), we should consider ourselves dead to sin (v. 11-12), but present ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness to God (v. 13).