Summary: As the Israelites left Egypt with a whole new calendar, let’s enter the new year being reminded of how our new life was gained for us.
Today, I want for us to have eyes only for Jesus. I want us to look at the major events of passion week and see that they were fulfillment of types. They were the fleshing out of shadows from Israel’s past, that should have screamed out to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “THIS IS THE PROMISED ONE! THIS IS THE MESSIAH!”
There will still be application for us. Today you won’t hear me saying ‘this is how Christians should live’, or ‘this is how Christians ought not to live’. But there will be significant application for us, nonetheless; and as they left Egypt with a whole new calendar ~ a whole new life, I believe that being reminded of these fundamental truths is a good way to enter the new year.
If you are here today and have never repented of your sin and recognized your need for a Savior; if you have never turned to God and believed on the shed blood of Christ for your salvation, then these things will have great significance for you.
Let’s turn to the 12th chapter of Exodus, and one by one, put flesh on the shadows.
(read vs 1-7)
We have read here, some of the instructions given by God for the first Passover. It was to be the night of the 10th plague; the death of the firstborn in Egypt; the tragic and devastating plague that would finally deliver God’s people out of bondage and set their feet toward the Promised Land.
We see here that God has given them a brand new calendar, and then has given them instruction to order their days according to that new calendar.
On the tenth day of the first month, they were to take a lamb, one for each household, and keep it until the 14th day, examining it to be sure that it was unblemished & clean of disease.
Approximately 1400 years later, early in the week and four days before the beginning of the Passover holy days, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey.
The people didn’t know it, but they were even then selecting their Lamb.
They followed Him with cheers and palm leaves and garments laid in His path.
They shouted, “Hosanna”, meaning “Save us now”. They shouted, “Hosanna to the King”, because they were remembering His miracles and the recent raising of Lazarus, and they mistakenly thought that He had come to make Himself King and deliver them from Roman oppression.
They apparently did not catch the significance of the donkey.
In the ancient world, conquering kings would ride into the city on white stallions, with their armed troops and their prisoners and plunder being dragged behind them.
When a visiting king wanted it to be known that he came in peace, he would ride into the city on a donkey to show that he did not have battle on his mind.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem that day, the occupying Romans would have been put at ease by what they saw, because this surely was one who came in peace; not to cause insurrection.
On the other hand, the Jews themselves were missing a message from their own history. In Judges 5:10 and 12:14, it is indicated that Judges of Israel rode on white donkeys and their sons rode on donkey colts. Was there not a parallel here, with the Son of the Great Judge of all, coming to Israel on a donkey’s colt as the One who "for judgment came into this world" (Jn 9:39).
And judgment was about to begin at the house of God; but the people did not see.
For the next four days, the Lamb was in the public eye.
He purged the temple of the money changers, infuriating the Priests whose pockets were padded by that merchandising.
He taught in the temple, healed by the pool...
and the eyes of all were upon Him.
The children of Israel in Egypt examined their lamb for four days, and 1400 years later, the Lamb of God was arrested and examined closely.
The wife of the Roman governor came to her husband and advised him to have nothing to do with this innocent man, for she had suffered much in a dream because of Him that day; and Pilate set a precedent that husbands have followed down through the ages to this very day...he ignored her when he should have listened.
At the end of his own examination of the Lamb, even he, a pagan procurator, was compelled to announce, “I find no fault in this man”.
The Lamb was taken before the puppet king, Herod, who finally sent Him back to Pilate, having no accusations of his own to bring.
The Lamb was found without spot or blemish.
The children of Israel killed the lamb at twilight.