Summary: This Sermon shows the parallels between the Lord Supper and the Passover, and the need for trust in our relationship with God.
December 19, 2002
I. I don’t like to start a sermon with something that is my opinion, but the fact that I said that is a sure sign I’m about to.
A. I have given you other people’s opinion of when Jesus was born, and now I want to give you my opinion.
B. As I said couple of weeks ago, one thing is pretty sure Jesus was not born in December, the bible says that the shepherds that came to Jesus’ birth were in the fields with their sheep. (Luke 2:8 NIV) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Shepherds in Jerusalem didn’t live out in the fields at night in the Winter time.
C. It was too cold and they usually brought their flocks into some kind of a stable at night. So Jesus was not born in the winter.
D. Like I said this is my opinion, but there is some evidence that it is true. The fact that the Shepherds were in the fields with their sheep at night indicates that it was warmer weather.
E. I think that Jesus was born in the Spring near the time of the Passover, because there are so many connections between Jesus and the Passover, and it would be just like God to do something that way.
II. The Passover was about deliverance. God’s people were enslaved in Egypt, and God was going to deliver them, but their deliverance required something from them. It meant that they had to trust God, and follow his instructions.
A. On the 10th of the month each family was to choose a lamb to be slaughtered at twilight on the 14th. The blood was to be smeared on the doorposts and lintel of the house, which God would see and thus spare the people in that house from the destruction that would come on firstborn of the Egyptians.
B. God was going to spare the Israelites the death that would come to the Egyptians and through this he was going to deliver his people from bondage.
C. The word Passover, is the Hebrew word ( pesa) which comes from a verb meaning to pass over, in the sense of to spare.
D. Jeremiah Unterman says it this way, The ultimate significance of the Passover, though, is not in its sociology or history, but in its unique role in the life of the Jewish people. It was and is the festival of freedom and redemption par excellence. Representative of Gods love and saving acts, it always gave the people hope in the face of physical and spiritual oppression.
E. The Passover was about deliverance and redemption. It was the way that God delivered his people from bondage, but it was also something that they had to participate in to the extent that they had to follow God’s instructions and trust that what he told them was true.
F. If you are a parent you can understand how much faith it took to sit still if you were told that the angel of death was coming to the place where you were, and that the first born child of every family was going to be killed. But, if you smeared the blood of a lamb on the door post and door header of your house and followed specific instructions, including keeping your whole family inside the house where that blood was, your child would be spared.
G. Those people had to have faith in God. They had to trust God, and take him at his word to believe that if they trusted his instructions that their family would be spared.
(Exo 12:1 - 27 NIV) The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 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. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 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. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 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. "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn--both men and animals--and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. 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. "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. 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. 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. "Celebrate the Feast 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. 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. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 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. "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ’What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 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.