Summary: The significance of God’s sovereign plan of salvation as revealed in the Old Testament, which is fulfilled by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In this lesson, we will learn who Jesus is, as a Perfect Redeemer who became a Passover lamb.
Read: EXODUS 12:11-13 (English Standard Version)
We will kick off our brand new series, “Past Perfect”! For the next four weeks, we will discover the significance of God’s sovereign plan of salvation as revealed in the Old Testament. We’ll also be able to learn how this came to pass through Jesus’s life and death. After this series, May each of us live a life in accordance to the gospel.
For the Christian, the Passover isn’t a festival as such, but for what it represents as a symbol of redemption. Here we see a foreshadowing of Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Saviour of the world to as many as would believe in Him. We can be assured of the truth of this when we recall the encounter the two despondent disciples had with Jesus on the road to Emmaus. After the journey ‘They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us … and opened the scriptures to us?”’ What did the resurrected Christ do? Luke tells us, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
The story of the Exodus from the clutches of Pharaoh is well-known. Moses had been commissioned to lead the Israelites from Egypt but Pharaoh was loathe to leave them go as they were a valuable source of free labour in his building projects. They were held in slavery, and were forced to submit to hard labour, to suffer unrestrained beatings and to make bricks without straw (2:23,24; 3:7). Demonstrations of God’s power in inflicting successive plagues of increasing intensity and discomfort to Egypt’s infrastructure only served to harden Pharaoh’s heart. God had to move against him, in the words of the historian, with ‘an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment’ (Exodus 6:6).
It was God who took the initiative, revealing Himself in faithfulness and compassion for His people. He had heard their cries for help in the unjust denial of their liberty and had remembered His promise to the founders of their race, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the Promised Land of Canaan. He was a covenant-keeping God and this great deliverance of the Exodus was a foretaste of the deliverance of salvation from sin to be made possible by the atoning sacrifice by Jesus on the Cross. The Passover meal, a real historical event, is also a vivid type anticipating in symbolic form the greater escape from sin’s penalty in what Jesus would do some eighteen hundred years later at Calvary. Freedom for the Israelites, and later for mankind, would come in obedience to God’s careful instructions to be carried out to the letter. In this lesson, we will talk about Jesus as the Lamb in the Passover.
i. SPOTLESS LAMB
ii. SUBSTITUTE LAMB
iii. SHELTER LAMB
I. SPOTLESS LAMB
5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, 6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight. EXODUS 12:5-6
22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 1 PETER 2:22
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. PSALM 51:5
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. ROMANS 7:19
24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. ROMANS 7:24-25
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:21
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 PETER 1:18-19
God was very specific about the lamb that was to be chosen for the Passover. There were three conditions. First, it had to be male. Second, it had to be in it’s first year-both of these things speak of the great value of the lamb, and lastly, it had to be without blemish. The sacrifice had to be in its prime, carefully chosen, and kept under scrutiny for four days to ensure it was ritually pure at the time of its death. Nothing less than perfection would be adequate as an offering to God. How true this was of Jesus. He began His ministry around 30 years of age. At His first public appearance at the River Jordan when He was baptized at His own request by John, we’re told that ‘heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are my beloved Son, in You I am well pleased”’ (Luke 3:21-23). Throughout the three years of His earthly ministry the Jewish leaders subjected Him to intense observation, trying to catch Him out in something He might say and do. The accusers of Jesus had to resort to the words of false witnesses to condemn Him. Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah that ‘he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth’ (53:9). Yes, as the writer to the Hebrews put it, Jesus was ‘one’, the only one, ‘who is holy, blameless, pure’ (7:26). He, like the Passover lamb, was a perfect offering, sinless, spotless and without blemish.