Summary: Jesus was Jewish. He celebrated the Passover every year he lived on this earth. He is also clearly pictured in all the symbols of Passover and in the message of Passover itself.

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The Lamb of God

Exodus 12:1-6, 15

(First in the series, That’s My King!)

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S. M. Lockeridge spoke these words At Detroit in 1976. They are priceless, and will ring true until the Lord comes again.

We are approaching a very special time of the year. The Jews celebrate Passover while Christians observe Easter, the resurrection of Christ.

Both are connected. Passover began in 15th Century B.C. when God called Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt, where they had been enslaved for 400 years. God told Moses to instruct each Israelite family to take a lamb without blemish, sacrifice it, and spread some of its blood on the door posts and lentils of their houses. This would spare the people inside the house from the last plague--the death of the firstborn child--which was sent to the Egyptians for refusing to let God's people go. The Angel of Death would pass over the house that was marked with blood from the Passover lamb.

Jesus was Jewish. He celebrated the Passover every year he lived on this earth.

He is also clearly pictured in all the symbols of Passover and in the message of Passover itself.

(Describe some of the elements of a Seder Supper)

Wine: used various times during the meal (Cup of blessing, Cup of Plagues, Cup of Redemption, Cup of Elijah, Cup of Praise)

Matzoh: flat unleavened bread to remind them of the necessary haste in preparing for the Passover. The bread is pierced and striped (Psalm 22:16; Isaiah 53:5)

Chazaret: Horseradish to remind them of the bitterness of Egyptian bondage

Karpas: Bitter herbs (parsley, celery, or potatoes) dipped in salt water to remind them of the tears of the Israelites

Charloset: a sweet brown mixture of apples, walnuts, honey, & grape juice to remind them of the mortar used by the Isrealite slaves to build the storehouses of Egypt

Zeroa: a roasted lamb or chicken bone to symbolize the Passover lamb whose blood saved those who obeyed

The message of Passover is the promise of Redemption, and the story of Passover is our liberation of bondage from sin. Passover is marked by:

1. A new year; a new beginning Exodus 12:1-2

The feast marks a new year; a new beginning for the Israelites.

Old Testament Israel used two calendars:

• The religious one: marked God’s redemption of Israel from the Egyptians. It began with the new moon prior to the exodus (March or April) and is closely connected to Passover.

• The civil or agricultural one. This became known as Rosh Hashanah It was celebrated at the fall planting of crops (September or October).

Both calendars existed side by side until the Babylonian exile. Afterward, the Jews only used the calendar that begins in the fall.

In Christ, every believer is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Old things and the old life are past.

Exodus 12:15 commanded the Jews to sweep their houses clean of any leavening. The consequences of not doing so were dire.

In Jewish homes today the mother cleans the house and the father inspects for any leaven. If he finds any, he sweeps it into a wooden spoon with a goose feather. All are then placed in a bag, taken to the synagogue, and burned the next morning.

Why go through all this? Leaven is a symbol of sin (hypocrisy: Luke 12:1; wickedness: 1 Corinthians 5:8).

But Christ is the bread of life, the manna of God, the living bread (John 6:32, 35, 41, 48).

He makes all things new! (Revelation 21:1-5)

2. A perfect lamb Exodus 12:5

A male lamb in its first year was taken into the home on the 10th of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish calendar). While in the home, it was closely inspected to see if there were any blemishes or disfigurements. If it were without defect, it was then sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan.

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem took place on Palm Sunday… the 10th of Nisan…the day the lamb without blemish was to be selected for the Passover meal!

Christ was closely inspected by:

• Pilate (Matthew 27:11-16; Luke 23:1-6, 13-25; John 18:28-19:16)

• Herod (Luke 23:8-12)

• Annas (John18:12-13, 19-24)

• Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57)

They could find no fault in Him Christ is the “lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19)

3. Complete participation Exodus 12:6

The “whole community” of God’s people was required to participate in the sacrifice.

Bottom line: You did not participate; your firstborn would die along with Egypt’s first born.

This was the 10th and final plague of Egypt.

• Nine others devastated the country: blood; frogs; lice; flies; diseased cattle; boils; hail; locusts; darkness; but Pharaoh would not let the Israelites free.

• The final plague was the death of the firstborn male throughout the land, from Pharaoh to the first born of the cattle (Exodus 11:4-5). Only the blood of the sacrificed lamb, spread on the doorframes of the Israelites’ homes, would spare those inside from this angel of death (Exodus 12:13).

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