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Summary: Holy Thursday sermon connecting Passover with the Jesus, the Lamb of God.

The Lamb of God

Exodus 12:1-14 John 13:1-17, 31b-35

I. Stonecutter Illustration

A. Tourist – German Church – surprised to see a carving of a lamb near top of

church tower

B. Why?

1. When built, workman fell from high scaffold

2. co-workers rushed down, expecting him dead

3. surprised find him alive and only slightly injured

C. How survive?

1. flock of sheep passing beneath tower, landed on top of a lamb

2. lamb broke fall, but lamb crushed to death, man saved

D. Commemorate miraculous escape, someone carved a lamb on the tower

1. exact height from which the workman fell

II. Tonight read of greatest event in Jewish history

A. For 430 years Israelites lived in Egypt

B. at first free, then became slaves

C. Moses becomes leader

1. went to Pharaoh 9 times to ask for freedom

2. each time Pharaoh refused

3. 9 times God sent a plague (frogs, locusts, river to blood-red) as a

consequence upon the Egyptians

D. 10th time – Moses again goes to ask Pharaoh for release

1. Pharaoh refused again

2. Moses told him of worst plague of all

a. firstborn male of every family living in Egypt would die

b. from royal household to poorest of poor

E. Moses gave instructions to Israelites how God would spare them from this


1. select 1-year old lamb without defect or blemish

2. slaughter lamb, no broken legs

3. place some blood put on doorposts and lintel of door of every house

a. so angel of death would pass over and not kill firstborn male

4. at meal they were to dressed with coat and sandals on, ready to leave

bondage at moment’s notice

a. sense of urgency

b. Like 2 lovers who can’t wait to be together.

5. roast lamb and eat with bitter herbs and unleavened bread

a. all meat eaten and if not eaten burned

b. indicated complete and total separation from their past life, nothing left


6. this whole meal revolves around the importance of the lamb

a. one bible commentator put it this way: “In every household of Egypt that

night, there was either a dead lamb or a dead firstborn.”

F. Passover – deliverance and redemption

1. Israelites delivered from captivity and redeemed from their affliction by God

2. Reminder of place God was to have in their lives

3. Reminder of all God had done for them

4. 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 God’s love and saving

acts, it always gave the people hope in the face of physical and spiritual


G. This is festival that has been commemorated every year since the first


1. “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your

descendents. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he

promised, observe this ceremony. And when you 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.’”

H. Today – 1st full day of Passover this year until next Thursday

1. Focal point of Judaism – history and theology

2. became 1st month of Jewish calendar, when had been 7th

III. Jesus – Lamb of God

A. Now, think about Jesus celebrating, remembering this feast of Passover

1. with closest friends, all Jewish

2. reenact holy feast

3. remember God’s action of freeing the Israelites from bondage

4. center of whole meal was lamb – sacrificed and then consumed

B. Jesus knew last meal before betrayal and death

1. He was to become the lamb sacrificed for the people of God

2. As the lamb he would provide salvation, safety, and sustenance for all

a. perfect lamb without blemish – no sin of his own for which to atone

b. lamb with unbroken bones – custom to break legs, speed dying process

not done to Jesus – “Not one of his bones will be broken…” John 19:36

c. lamb of protection from sin – just as blood of Passover lamb protected

home, bore judgment for our sin

c. “He him bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins

and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

I Peter 2:24

d. as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was beaten, he was tortured, but he

didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep

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