Summary: The Throne and The Lamb, part 9 The Original Exodus The Greater Exodus
The Throne and The Lamb, part 9
The Greater Exodus
December 14, 2014
We are in the tail end of a series on Revelation chapters four and five, “The Throne & The Lamb.” I have said that chapter four sets the stage for the drama that is played out in chapter five. At first it looks as though no one is worthy to open the scroll and break the seals. Then a mighty angel tells us that there is one who is worthy, the Lion who is the Lamb, whose victory is a paradox, it came in weakness. He is the only one worthy to take the scroll, open it to reveal and execute God's plans. He earned that right through his sacrificial death so that he can bring salvation to his people and judgment upon his enemies. Today I want us to see how the Exodus points to the Greater Exodus in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
Big Idea – The first Exodus is a shadow or pointer to the greater and ultimate Exodus in the death of Jesus Christ.
The Original Exodus
Remember the angelic creatures are celebrating the fact that God's purposes are going to be fulfilled because the Worthy One can open the scroll. All the worship we have seen in chapter five centers on the person and work of Christ, the Lion who is the Lamb, who was slain to purchase people for God! I want us to look at the Old Testament background to this idea and see how it points to and is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The Old Testament redemptive event imprinted in the mind of Israel that displayed both God's salvation of his people and his judgment upon his enemies is the Exodus when God delivered Israel from slavery to the Egyptians. John points us back to this event when he refers to Jesus Christ as the Lamb who was slain, whose blood ransomed people for God, referring to Jesus Christ. On the eve of the first passover a lamb without blemish was slain and its blood was smeared over the door post and lintels. This was necessary to save every firstborn of Israel and at the same time judge Pharaoh and the Egyptian gods along with him. That is the event, a lamb was slain. The significance of this event is that this slain lamb purchased the safety of every first born of Israel. The first born were just as guilty and deserving of death as the Egyptian firstborn. They were only spared because God had made a provision for them, only them in particular. Those Israelites who put their hope in that sacrifice and stayed inside the house, under the blood, were saved from the blow of the death angel. The sacrifice of the lamb made atonement for the Israelites in particular. So even though they were just as sinful and deserving of judgement God made a provision for them by a sacrificial lamb.” Third, the result of this event is that out of all the nations of the world Israel would become the personal possession of God. They would become to God a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. That is the background to this image of this Lamb who was slain.
The Greater Exodus
As spectacular as that event was, it was only a dim shadow, a pointer to the greater and ultimate Exodus pictured in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lamb who was slain to purchase people for God. As we have seen the Lamb is worthy for three reasons. First, he was slain, that is the event. Second, he purchased people for God, that is the significance of the event. And third, he made them a kingdom and priests, that is the result of the event. John sees the death of Jesus as the greater Exodus, prefigured and pointing to Jesus Christ who established the ultimate eternal covenant relationship established between God and his people, the church. So the event is that the lamb was slain, his blood was spilled. He was a spotless Lamb, without blemish; he lived a sinless life. The significance of the event, is that with his blood he ransomed or purchased people from all nations of the earth. Israel was enslaved to Pharaoh, which pointed to their deeper and more insidious slavery to sin. They were in bondage to both Pharaoh and their own sin and could not just walk away from either. They needed the mighty power of God to miraculously deliver them in the same way we need might power of God to miraculously save us from our own slavery to sin. We cannot just walk away from sin but must be freed from sin. The result is that we are made into a kingdom and priests. Do you see the parallels? There is an event, a lamb was slain. There is the significance, the ransom of a particular group of people for God. And there is the result, that same group of people are made into kingdom and priests. Do you see what John is doing? He is interpreting the Old Testament and expanding upon its original significance, the old covenant promises were a shadow pointing to and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The original Exodus pointed to and is fulfilled in the new covenant Exodus, Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb, who was slain to ransom people for God. In the same way that God provided a sacrifice to ransom the first born of Israel, a particular group of people, he has provided a sacrifice to ransom a particular group, people from every nation. Jesus got what he paid for, he purchased you and so you belong to him. He did not purchase all people, nor did he purchase all nations but purchased people from all nations. John is taking the old covenant promises reinterpreting and expanding them in light of the person and work of Christ to include not just ethnic Israel but people from every ethnicity. The church fulfills Israel as the new people of God.